Have you imagined how it would look to use the solar lighting inside the room where you work, sleep and play? All of us have indoor lights set up at our house. But do you know an alternative to indoor lights using fiber optic technology?
The Fiber Optic cables can carry the light from one point to another along their length. The solar fiber optics capture the sunlight, transmit through the cable, and emit it inside the house. Interesting rite! Every advanced technology takes our cost one leap ahead of conventional systems, but the savings you make on electricity are worth it.
Let us discuss how fiber optics work in indoor solar lighting.
How does Solar Fiber Optic lighting work?
The Solar Optic lighting system dwells upon three significant components in bringing natural lights into your building.
Solar Collectors / Receivers
Like the photovoltaic solar panels, the fiber optic systems also need to be installed on the rooftop for optimum usage. The solar collector in the panel consists of several mirrors that help concentrate and collect the sunlight into the fiber that helps transmit the light. They track the sun throughout the day and capture the maximum sunlight possible to bring down your building.
Fiber Optic Cables
As the name indicates, fiber optic cables are similar to electrical wires. While the electrical cables transmit power, the fiber optic cables transmit light. Once the solar collector/receiver collects the solar energy, the fiber optic cables help transmit the energy for the lighting of our building.
There are two types of fiber optic cables available in plastic and glass-coated. The Glass coated cables are much more effective in carrying light, and the cost of the glass-coated line is considerably higher than the plastic coated.
The Last and most important component of fiber optic lighting is the lights. While the light travels up to a few hundred feet through the fiber optic cables, a lighting apparatus is installed at the end of the cable, which disburses the sunlight. This mechanism is very similar to the conventional electrical light setup.
The fiber optic companies have introduced different lighting products that give different lighting experiences.
How much does Solar Fiber Optic lighting cost?
There is no same-length-one-price strategy in the case of solar fiber optic lighting. The cost depends on the length you would require to light up the area, and if your building is far away from your roof, you would need more distance and vice-versa. The lighting boxes would themselves cost $500 or more based on their size.
As mentioned above, the material you use for your cable also influences the cost. The glass cables come with higher quality than the plastic ones and cost around $10 per foot. If you want to reduce the cost of wires, you may prefer acrylic material, but the quality is much lower.
Should you install Solar Fiber optics?
It depends. Solar fiber optics is still an upcoming technology not well established around the country. If you can afford the initial upfront cost for the installation, you can very well go for it. It offers many advantages, including high-quality natural light and less stress about changing the lights in hard-to-reach places.
Considering the initial cost of solar fiber optics, it would not be worth it for the house owners. But, as technology develops and solar fiber optics is used across the country, the cost comes down and makes it feasible and viable for all the properties.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Installing a Solar Fiber Optics
The transfer of light from natural sources has the following benefits.
- Natural light empowers more alertness.
- When the workplace is lightened naturally, productivity also increases.
- Sunlight provides better visibility.
- There is no flickering of the electricity.
- Environment friendly
- Reduces the cost of electricity bills
- Natural lights trigger the ganglion cells and control melatonin and cortisol production in the body—this helps synchronize the body clock.
While everything has a flip side, fiber optics is no exception. The major shortcoming of the Solar optic fiber is the cost of installation and length of the wire required to transmit the sunlight into the building. The farther the building is from the roof, the higher the length needed to transmit the light.
Further, the collector needs to receive adequate sunlight to transmit them indoors. Though the system can track and adjust accordingly on a cloudy day, there will not be enough lighting to eliminate the darkness.
Fiber optics is the latest innovation in bringing outdoor light indoors. The fiber optics collect the sunlight and transfer it to your lights through the fiber optic cable. Can you imagine the heights of creativity and innovation infused in the process? The ultimate purpose is to conserve and preserve natural energy.
Though the cost of installing solar fiber optics is not feasible, as we advance, with innovation sprouting up every day, the demand for fiber optics will surely increase. The benefits will outgrow the cost and make it worth spending the upfront cost.