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Optical cables and their use as commercial lighting

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Patrícia Jaššová
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Optical cables are commonly available today and can be found in industrial facilities, offices, but also in homes. They are used to connect to the Internet or transmit audio or video. But did you know that you can also use them for lighting?

Properties of optical cables

  • They are used for lossless data transmission.
  • It is possible to use them over much longer distances than metallic cables.
  • Thanks to them, we will also achieve higher transmission speeds.
  • Compared to conventional cables, optical cables are more flexible and resistant to mechanical damage.
  • The signal transmitted through optical cables is more resistant to degradation by electromagnetic interference.

Optical cables and lighting

Optical cabling does not have to be strictly used only for audio or video transmission. Thanks to modern procedures, it can also transmit light into the interior of buildings. Advantages of using optical cables for lighting:

  • Versatility and safety: Optical cables are safe to use even in wet environments, such as near swimming pools. They are also safe to touch and do not pose a fire risk.
  • Low energy consumption and easy maintenance: With one bulb powering multiple light points, fiber optic lighting is low-energy and low-maintenance.
  • There are no limits to creativity: Optical cables can also be used as a modern, downright futuristic element that will attract the attention of the public.

Filament Mind, Wyoming

An example is the large-scale optical installation by designers Brian W. Brush and Yong Ju Lee for the grand opening of the Teton County Library in Wyoming. This installation visualizes a library search in flashes of colored light. Its name is Filament Mind. It used more than 5 kilometers of fiber optic cables and 44 LED illuminators to collect, categorize and render searches from libraries across the state of Wyoming in vibrant colors.

Whenever a visitor to the Teton County Library’s online book catalog enters a question or specific search words, the corresponding wire from the Filament Mind lights up. If a person clicks on one of the search results, another cable will light up. There is also a donor mode where the entire exhibit flashes different colors of light as a way of thanking the private donors who made the project possible.

Hard Rock Cafe, Tulsa

UFO Lighting designed and manufactured a 7.02m high fiber optic chandelier for the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Impressive, right?

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The Hilton Hotel, Staten Island

Hilton hotels are known for their top quality and luxury. This is what inspired the modern and design lighting that UFO Lighting prepared for the hotel.

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In the hotel’s magnificent ballroom, there are more than 3 100 crystal balls illuminated by optical cabling. The crystals, which measure 60mm in diameter, are suspended from filaments and set into the ceiling via wave-shaped channels to create a sense of opulence and luxury.

One floor above, 2,100 hollow glass spheres are suspended from the ceiling. The combination of balls with a diameter of 100 mm and 150 mm perfectly complements the cosmopolitan decoration of a trendy night club.


Optical cables have a number of excellent properties, thanks to which the portfolio of their use is constantly expanding. You can use them not only to transfer data, sound or video, but also to create a spectacular interior element or a literal work of art from them.


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