Light Pipe - White Core (3.5mm, 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 3.5mm 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 3mm LED with a length of shrink tubing or some tape.


Looking for answers to technical questions?

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  • Praeluceo / about 10 years ago / 2

    So why is the lightpipe material more costly than EL Wire, when it seems like it'd cost more to produce? At any rate, I'd like even-numbered lengths, or longer lengths of lightpipe if it's possible, something like 10'?

  • sodabrew / about 9 years ago / 1

    What is the use-case difference between the Clear and White light pipes? My use-case is routing a small green LED from a circuit board about 6 inches to a front panel.

  • Member #559639 / about 9 years ago / 1

    I bought one of these hoping to use it as a light pipe. It's as flexible enough to bend into a ½ inch radius curve. I tested a 2.5 foot length with a 218 lumen led. A few inches from the light source the light pipe turns very yellow, but actually glows pretty brightly. At 2.5 feet in length the light emitted at the end is nothing more than a dull yellow glow. It could be a useful alternative to yellow EL wire, but is not useful as an actual light pipe.

  • Member #162295 / about 11 years ago / 1

    What is the Numerical Aperature (NA) rating of these light pipes?

    How flexible are they?

  • Sciguy / about 12 years ago / 1

    It's not too soon to think about halloween 2012!

    I'm definitely getting like 2 of these 5ft rolls and the 25 pack of RGB leds... No idea what I'll do with them, but it's gonna be awesome!

  • BB / about 12 years ago / 1

    I'd like to see a comparison with EL-wire.

    • it would depend on what LED was used, how long the pipe was, etc. there are a LOT of variables.

      • BB / about 12 years ago / 1

        Could you show a demo? The reason is that while EL wire is neat, it consumes a lot of power at 1.5W/meter (high brightness). It also has a relatively short lifetime.

        Even if there is light fall-off it may be worth using these light pipes at a higher price, but longer lifetime with 1W LEDs or other bright light sources. I'm just not sure how well these things illuminate

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