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how do you make a led's light extend? Answered

As in, I have a flash drive that I want to steampunk and thought about putting a falseto vacuum tube on the end that the filament lights up when I plug it in. What is the most efficient way to transfer the light from the led to light up the false filament. (My led is an orngeish amber color.) Would it have to be like a fiber optic or a small tube filled with glue?


A short length of optical fiber is probably the easiest to implement.  You can buy fibers embedded in nice plastic "insulator" at Best Buy or a good electronics shop, for about $30 for a 2m length.  Do a Google or Amazon search for "optic fiber".

The only other thought I've got is to use a length of white thread illuminated by the LED. It won't look quite right, though. Then again, I'm not convinced the fiber optics will either.

Actually, I'd suggest making the fake tube imitate one of those which had frosted glass, or enough internal parts, that you couldn't actually see the filament. Then you could just use the LED to light it from inside that area.

Color's going to be another issue. I'm not sure whether orange LEDs are available. You might have to experiment with having both a yellow and a red, with appropriate resistor values to balance them to the color and intensity you want.

Have fun...

<sighs> Orange LEDs have been in production for years, in fact conadia stated that he/she had one already.
Please check out the variety of colors you can get online, ranging from IR and UV to pink, purples, multi-colored and varying sizes, lenses and lumens.
Sites I recommend are:  www.kingbright.com

Please research your answers before posting, as it makes for a much better answer and a more informed Maker.  ;)

conadia might also consider making a "fake" display, similar to the one h4cked at http://www.flickr.com/photos/oskay/4403046215/   ....without using multiple colors (depending on space available in your project.)

Fiber optics have been used for a long time and can even be found in some 1970's Cadillacs (used as turn signal indicators mounted in the front fenders and above the rear window!)

Just remember to purchase low-grade fiber optic cabling, as the higher grades are more expensive!

Or you could pay $5 for the same cable at DealExtreme.  ;)

Good idea through!