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collecting sun light using a parabolic reflector and piping it into the flat....is there anyone who tried? Answered

...my idea is to collect sun light with a parabolic reflector( e.g. an old satellite dish covered with mylar http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mylar ) and piping it through optical fibers from the roof to my room. of course...there have to be a lense to concentrate the light.....
anyone built stuff like this? reposts are welcome!


others have covered the skylight issue. I'll assume that you don't/can't/won't use the method of a large opening in your roof to solve this problem.

Using the parameters you've given I'd say it's possible, though there may be some concerns.
As I'm sure you're aware, if you shine a flashlight into one end of a fibre optic cable the light will be carried along the length of cable and the other end will light up (even if there are bends in the line, just no hard 90's). One cable obviously isn't enough, you'll need much much more to have any hope of producing light. I estimate to achieve any kind of luminosity on the other end you'll need a cable bunch at least the diameter of a grapefruit. Though possibly less if you were able to focus the light somehow. Instead of a parabolic mirror a lens light be more appropriate.

The though occurs to me that no amount of fibre optic cable may be enough to achieve suitable lighting. While the idea may work it might be something akin to shining a small light spot on the ceiling. Meaning you can see that it's doing what you want, just not increasing the lux in the room, which kind of defeats the point. You need a constant light source that throws the light, not just bring it into the room.

Of course, I've never done any of this before. The only real way to know if this is going to work is to try it for yourself! Good luck!


1 year ago


1 year ago


1 year ago

im not a sales person just someone who just designed the kickest light system ever!!!!!!!!! @ http://www.fiberopticproducts.com/ youll find lots of cables and all you need is there... I am building an aquaponics system and a book case trey holder for about 3 different plant trays and need light too all the treys i looked here and all you need is 3 of there florescent fibers that take in clear daylight it filters for you the uv and inferred and gives you just the bandwidth you need to grow, at the ends attach stands to all three on both sides braid all strands into 1 encap atach endcap fiber optic cable then take to a box which holds 2 cfls from your local grocery store 1 2700 k and a 6700k then you pipe too the three different treys and have side glow and mirrors to focus the light down and you have it

This has been done.

Apparently one of the fibers not properly installed to a light fixture can start a fire- thats how much light gets pumped though this thing.

Inside the house you'd just have 'light fixtures' with some kind of lens that would diffuse the light throughout the room.


It sounds like an awesome idea!

Soeren. I've the same idea, but I think it easier to transfer concentrated light from Fresnel lense on the roof to the flat using mirror by the window.
My flat is on the 1st floor north side of the 5 floor residential house.

This is a rather overdesigned solution to a simple problem :-) Is your room on the upper floor (near the roof) or ground level)?

If your ceiling has access to the roof a simple opening (skylight) can provide a surprising amount of light, certainly enough to illuminate a room during daylight.

For a slightly more sophisticated solution, use some 18" circular metal vent, polished (or layered with mylar) on the inside. Put a transparent plastic cover on the top. Internal reflection will collect light from almost the whole 180o field of view, and bounce it down to the room. You can put a diffuser on the insde end, or not, as you prefer.

Such a vent solution can even be bent (gradually), to pipe the light around corners or from a south-facing roof to a northern room. There are commercial companies that make and install these things, but it's simple enough that you could do it yourself.

If you really want to try the optical-fiber solution, realize that you need to match the collection area for the light transfer to work well, which does not scale well at all. With 1mm diameter fibers, you'd need nearly 100,000 of them for a 1 square foot area!

I would also like to "pipe" light from a roof down through a closet into a north-facing room with too little natural light for me.  Even in our upstairs room, the most needy (for light) spot is under an attic space that is quite high. 
The local commercial installers of the solatube are not eager to do this work for me.

kelseymh: do you intend for your suggestions to be applied to illuminate a room on the first floor in a two story home with attic?
What about using a device that would point further east in the winter, and gradually swing further south until the summer solstice?

My vision was for a room adjacent to the attic.  You ought to be able to pipe light down through a closet space, so long as you don't try to make the bends too sharp (the goal is shallow-angle reflections to reduce absorption loss).

Good luck!

..especially my room is on the north side of our house...no brightness there. my room is under the roof. its a pitched roof....so there is no possibility to catch the light directly above my room. i have to pipe the light into optical-fibers.
replying your advice to use nearly 100,000 units of fibers...alternatively there is the option of using lenses....i wrote in my question.

i attached a photo so perhaps you can more imagine.

http://www.sunlight-direct.com/install-walmart.php ( professional construction)

greetz from germany, sören


It looks like sunlight-direct.com is still working on their system, and that they are no longer installing even pilot systems to test.<br /><br />http://www.sunlight-direct.com/lighting.php<br /><br />Perhaps one should contact the company to find out the current status of their efforts?<br />


9 years ago

it has been done before ther is a working device produced by "sunlight- direct" a company from san diego. the fiber come from the other side (the mirror side) another mirror in the focal length of the big dish concentrating sunlight towards the fiber. it is equivelant to 150 x 100w regular light bulbs. it is amazing. you need a diffuser to take the light from the fiber and to widden it again i took a part in a project in the university were they built such a thing to use in surjeries instead of laser to burn tumors. we concenrated sunlight 18000 times. we got 10 W per sq/inch. lie a laser beam it can cook with the heat it generates. like we cooked ants with a concentrating lens when we were kids. dont loose hope. it can be done. if you have an idea about the materials to use i'll be glad to join you with this project. i'm a mechanical engineer facinated about this too.

hmm....so i will try to build it....if there are news i let u know..! thx for your cocomments! sören

a tubular skylight is ineffective in germany...in the southern states of the us you can use it very well but in germany...its NOT bright. so i have to collect the sunlight, concentrate it and diffuse it on the other side of the pipe. a tube with a dome on top is not realistical for german weather conditions..... so help me please!


9 years ago

Install a tubular skylight (a google search turns up lots of hits). You can install one in a few hours if you have the right tools. I think they even have them at places like Home Depot.