Trying to refurbish fiber optic lighting - what is this?

gwaldron

Member
Jun 25, 2014
8
Fairfax, VA
Hello! I'm trying to clean up the fiber bundle on an old fiberstars system. The terminus looks like the picture below. Does that look wrong? It almost looks and feels like a glob of melted glass. I'd love any recommendations on how to proceed with cleaning this up.
IMG_20200523_111131.jpg
 

jonpcar

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2016
522
Gilbert, AZ
You are exactly right...a melted end probably from a light that was either too close or maybe not meant for it. When I had these, I did trim them once when your situation occurred. You have to have enough leeway and do it with a sharp cutting tool (snips), not a grinding tool. Looks like you will have to cut back into tha5 piece you are holding to get a clean optic cable “surface”. My in-pool side also had a leak and got gummed up with algae and had to be cleaned/resealed.

sure you want to do this? Is this a lighting system that you have seen in use or are your fixing an inherited system? Overall, mine degraded and was very dim by the time I replaced it. Another problem is that they no longer make the original bright lights that came with the original system...I think my originals were 500watt halogens (possibly 400w). Do you have the other hardware required (box with light/color wheel/huge transformer)?

s.r. Smith makes some replacement LEDs for these. There are a couple caveats...search these forums for “treo” or “kelo” if you are interested. In any case let us know how it goes. I think there were a few threads on “fiberstars” as well that you might find helpful.
 

gwaldron

Member
Jun 25, 2014
8
Fairfax, VA
I inherited this system a long time ago and got it working once but only for a brief while before the bulb gave out. I do have the entire system - the transformer, fan, etc. and it all still works. There's a sticker on the box saying it takes an HI-110 lamp -- these are still available but are only 183w...? For now I've just stuck a ELC-5 250w/24v lamp in there for testing.

I love the idea of converting to LED and I'll do the research you recommended. Thanks for that. In the meantime I might try to clip/grind back the existing fiber just to see if I can get it operational. Nothing to lose, really.
 

jonpcar

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2016
522
Gilbert, AZ
I inherited this system a long time ago and got it working once but only for a brief while before the bulb gave out. I do have the entire system - the transformer, fan, etc. and it all still works. There's a sticker on the box saying it takes an HI-110 lamp -- these are still available but are only 183w...? For now I've just stuck a ELC-5 250w/24v lamp in there for testing.

I love the idea of converting to LED and I'll do the research you recommended. Thanks for that. In the meantime I might try to clip/grind back the existing fiber just to see if I can get it operational. Nothing to lose, really.
They might have changed the standard light from when I originally got mine...1993, but 183watts seems like it would be really dim... I did end up using that same ELC-5 250w/24v that you are testing with when I couldn’t get my original bulb. And, that is the replacement light that melted my fiber optic end...maybe more focused than original or I put it too close?

Anyway, it’s worth a shot to fix...Good luck!
 

gwaldron

Member
Jun 25, 2014
8
Fairfax, VA
Oh, that's really good to know! I'll order a HI-110 and see what happens. I'm the meantime I took a rotary cutter to the fiber and improved it as best I could. Pic attached. Thanks again for the tips!

IMG_20200524_112720.jpg