Installation and Fiber Guide

There are several rules that one must be aware of when working with fiber optic cable.

DO NOT put the fiber outside without protection it from Ultraviolet rays.  Protection is required inside when the fibers will be subject to UV from skylights, windows or fluorescent lighting.  All of our fiber optic cable is UV protected as long as it stays in its jacket.

DO NOT bend the fiber at hard right angles; the cable should go straight at least 12Ē out of the illuminator before any large bends.

DO NOT cut the end of the fiber without using a very sharp razor, scissors or a special hot knife. Measure the cable very carefully because once itís cut thatís it, you canít glue it back together.  If you have any doubt, allow extra for your cut. 
There are some things you need to do to make sure your project performs as you expect it to. .  You must polish the cable end that goes into the illuminator.  If you donít, the light output will be weak and you could actually melt the cable (one good reason to have a service loop in the cable!).  Also, if the cable ends are not trimmed before you insert the harness you could damage or destroy the color/twinkle wheel. This is what can happen.
If you purchased a metal halide illuminator, there are a few things to know. Metal halide lamps take a few minute to get to full brightness.  If you turn it off it wonít turn back on right away.  It gets VERY hot, donít touch it!
To prepare the cable ends: Trim the cable casing from the fiber strands (be careful not to cut or damage the Teflon coating on the outside of the fiber strands). Leave approximately 4Ē of exposed fiber strands. If you nick the strands you WILL reduce the fibers ability to transmit light. Unscrew the large nut from the fiber port and place it on the cable.  Place the exposed fiber strands into the fiber port, extending the fibers about 1/2Ē beyond the port and screw the nut back onto the port face.

Tighten carefully, this will determine the light intensity, the tighter the cluster of fibers before the final cut, the more light will be transmitted. If the fiber ends are still loose you will have to use the reducers or extra fibers to ďfill inĒ the empty space. To use the reducers, just place one inside the other until you get a tight fit on the cable. If itís still loose, place 4Ē lengths of fiber into the fiber ends sticking out of the fiber port until it is as tight as you can make it. Heat the blade of a utility knife. Make sure the blade is very hot before cutting the exposed fiber. Carefully trim the excess fiber approximately 1/8Ē in front of the port end (use the metal ring on the port end to make sure you donít melt the port). Do not use a sawing action; rocking back and forth is OK. Press down on the fiber and allow the hot blade to do all the cutting. A smooth cut (like ice smooth) will increase the light transmitted dramatically. Remember to remove the ring. After you cut your cable, itís very important that you prepare the end of the cable that will go into the illuminator port. You can do this quite easily by using 150 grit sandpaper to remove the rough edges of the cable. Sand the strands until theyíre fairly smooth. Finish the cable by using 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper. Sand until the cable is mirror smooth. Make sure the cable back is flush with the fiberport - this will give you the maximum light output for your project! Some pictures of what they should look like: Picture One Picture Two

DO NOT place an illuminator in a small area. They require 50 to 100 cubic feet of FRESH air per minute.

Instructions for Metal Halides
Instructions for X20

This is what can happen if they overheat.

DO NOT put the ends of the fiber in liquids.

DO NOT drag the fiber around on a rough surface, as this will damage it.

1) How tight can I bend the fiber?
Generally, do not bend the fiber more than eight times the diameter. If it is bent in a very sharp angle you may create a spot that will result in a marked degradation of light output. Gentle bends will result in brighter light emissions.

2) Do UV rays effect fiber optic cable?
Yes, these rays will degrade the cable, effecting longevity and light output. You must protect the cable with either lexan tubing or a special PVC type jacket.  DEL Lighting, Inc. only sells this type of protected cable.. Make sure your illuminator has UV filtering glass.

3) How far will the cable illuminate?
This really depends on many things. Because the cable loses about 3% of the light per meter, if you have a long run you must have a very bright illuminator (which is also very expensive!). If you can loop the cable with both ends in the illuminator, you may be able to illuminate up to 175 feet successfully. However, if you a lot of sharp bends in the cable or your project is very linear (like a building), then 75 to 85 feet will probably work better. For a straight run (only one end of the cable in an illuminator) you should consider 35 to 40 feet the maximum.
Another factor that plays a critical role is the ambient lighting. What looks to be bright around a pool will be very dim in a shopping mall. For the former, a 75-watt illuminator will be fine, for the latter, several 150-watt illuminators may have to be used. Also, taking into account what was mentioned before about bending the cable, the more bending you put in the cable the bigger the illuminator or the shorter the run will have to be. The cable should have a straight run for the first few feet if at all possible.

4) Certain colors carry better over the cable and are perceived as being brighter by the human eye, i.e. yellow is much brighter than red. Take this into consideration when planning your project

Some more information on the DESIGN PAGE

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    Del Lighting, Inc.
    5331 Brewster
    San Antonio, TX  78233

    (210) 590-5196  FAX: (210) 590-4957
    sales@del-lighting.com

Updated 09/14/10

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