Light Pipe - White Core (6mm, 5' long)

Light pipe is very cool stuff. It transmits light along its length, like fiber optic cable, but it also "leaks" light along the way, causing the entire length of tubing to light up when a bright light is shined into one end. It can be easily cut to length with a pair of scissors or a knife and by using a piece of shrink-tube to attach a super bright LED to one end, you can produce an EL-like effect.

Light pipe is great for decorative applications, you could even sew it into an e-textile project. It's also a good way to 're-route' an indicator light that's buried inside an enclosure, so that it's visible on the surface. Putting different colored LEDs at either end produces some very cool effects as well!

This is a 5 foot length of 6mm diameter light pipe. This light pipe has a white core that reflects light out and makes it visible in slightly brighter conditions. It can be easily connected to a basic 5mm LED with a length of shrink tubing or some tape. This works great with our super bright LEDs.


Looking for answers to technical questions?

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  • Member #234375 / about 11 years ago / 3

    I need longer then 5feet!!! why can't you sell by the foot?

  • yigiter007 / about 8 years ago / 1

    Why isn't there a picture with it hooked up to a light? If there is i cant tell which one it is.

  • GearheadRed / about 8 years ago / 1

    I have been experimenting with some LED types, primarily surface mount flat style but I think they are not as effective at transmitting light down the length of the pipe. Probably in part due to my requirement of using red LEDs since they are typically less bright than other colors. Can anyone suggest a super bright red LED that would be most effective at directing the maximum amount of light down the length of the pipe? Previously I have been using the 3.5mm diameter white pipe, I am going to try switching to the 6mm to see if that helps collect more light from the LED.

  • John Crane / about 9 years ago / 1

    I know it has been some time since the last comment, but... Is this product sourced directly for sparkfun? I can't seem to find a similar product anywhere. (say in differing diameters or lengths, if my needs were for what you have I would buy it here) Do you have any suggestions for search parameters that might help one find such a product?

  • sephers / about 11 years ago / 1

    Do the light pipes have some sort of connector so they can be joined to the LED, wasn't sure what was in the product post video but it looked like there was one there.

    • russpatterson / about 11 years ago / 2

      heat shrink around the LED and the light pipe.

      • AdamTolley / about 11 years ago / 2

        If I were going to DIY it, I would wrap a touch of white paper or aluminum foil around that junction, so as to reflect light back that leaks out of the side of the LED - of course I would need to be careful with shorts.
        ...and then the heat shrink over top.

    • mbrown9412 / about 11 years ago / 1

      hot glue gun!

Customer Reviews

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Does not transmit light more than a few inches

I'm in a technology/design graduate program, and I've been satisfied with everything I have purchased from Sparkfun, except for this item.

I got excited when I saw this item for sale, as I'm working on a project it would be perfect for -- if it worked as advertised. It was on sale, so I impulsively purchased 30 feet (6 5-foot lengths). When it arrived, I tried using it with the super bright blue LEDs I had purchased previously from sparkfun ( taped to one end, as recommended. The light only ran a few inches down one of the 5 foot lengths of light pipe.

Was hoping to use this for a project, but it simply does not work well enough for any application I can imagine. Would've be great if sparkfun had specified how far the LED light will penetrate. That way, I could've avoided a completely useless purchase.

Fortunately, it looks like I should be able to return what I purchased due to the 90-day return policy.