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Light Pipe - Clear Core (3mm, 1' 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 1 foot length of 3mm diameter light pipe. This light pipe is clear and can be easily connected to a basic 3mm LED with a length of shrink tubing or some tape.


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • I am having trouble straightening my light pipe - it seems permanently curved... Any tips?

    • Heat up some water in a bowl in the microwave. Take bowl out of microwave. Put Light Pipe in bowl with hot water. Wait 1 or 2 minutes. Remove Light Pipe from hot water. Bend it, stretch it, twist it, curl it, anyway you want it... That's what I would try at least (haven't tested it yet)

      • Confirming this tactic - hot water works wonders. I let my pieces heat up all together in a large pot, in water just below a boil for 30 seconds or so. Then I took them out and laid some weights on each end and on the middle to prevent them from coiling up again. After they cooled, most of the curve was gone. The process didn't seem to affect their clarity at all. You could probably get them perfectly straight with more heat, but I didn't have time or sufficient scraps to spend on it.

  • Can a 5mm LED be "shoved" through the 3mm pipe? Or do you HAVE to get the 6mm pipe for 5mm LEDS. OR can you just place the 5mm LED on the end of the 3mm pipe and heat-shrink it. Thanks!

    • All of our light pipe is solid all the way through, so it is more like a rod than a tube. You can get pretty much any diameter LED to work with any diameter light pipe simply by butting it up against the end; heat shrink is a perfect way to do this.

  • How well do these work with IR LEDs?

    • Would be interesting to see if these actually work with IR LEDs. You can usa a camera to check this. Let us know if you tried.

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