I thought I would write to see if anyone had any experience with fiber optic lighting in a low tech format. We are all familiar with the $600 "light source" that powers some fiber optic lights, as well as the huge heliostats and reflectors that some large corporations have. But what about something lower tech that is within the reach of "Joe Lunchbox"?
The final footprint of our house is right at 3700 square feet. Like most homes, there are a couple of dark corners. Rather than cut through the metal roof (that leaked badly when we tried it before), I am is going to use the one existing hole in the roof, which happens to be in the middle of the house and will run fiber optic cable bundles through there to three lenses in the dark corners.
This project will be low tech and will NOT track the sun (a $600, minimum, option). The sources will be set at 200 degrees from north, at 32 degrees off the horizon...... the optimal spot in our location for maximum solar gain.
But since there is little about solar lighting using fiber optics that is not cost prohibitive, I am having to design my own systems. One system will be a "cold reflector" with the fiber bundle placed at the focal point and three more will be Fresnel lenses in boxes, set at the appropriate angles, with the fiber bundles placed far in from of the maximum focus of the lens so that light and not heat hit the bundles.
Of course this light will travel through the bundles to the light boxes in the ceiling, providing light into the dark corners in the daytime. To get fancy, I have also ordered 12 watt LED spotlights to build into the frames for nighttime illumination. That is about the same wattage we would have used for ceiling lights anyway, but we won't need them during the day, so it still saves energy.
I know nothing about the theory of fiber optic lighting, so I may be missing something important here. It seems as though my lights will work throughout the major daylight hours.
Since these are going into our main living/traffic areas, they will be set flush with the ceiling in detailed boxes. I plan on using vaguely translucent panels inside the frames to diffuse the light and hide the cable bundle from sight.
Does anyone have any information/experience/links regarding this?