Fiber Optic Decorations

by blackspanielgallery

Fiber optics have become common in decorating. Now fiber optic decorations are popular, and not just at Christmas time, although fiber optic Christmas trees are plentiful.

Fiber Optics is an interesting concept that allows for some unusual pieces of optic art that can be used as fiber optic decorations. Whether it is for holiday use or everyday use, fiber optical devices add a unique look to a decorating scheme.

Fiber optics decorations are applications of the same technology as found in modern communication innovation. In communications, glass coated with a second glass made with a lower index of refraction is used, simply because there is a need to control surfaces from which the reflections occur. This is not the case for decorations, and air at the surface of the fiber does quite well.

How Do Fiber Optics Work?

Is There a Difference in Decorations and Communication Fibers?

Light is sent into a thin fiber.  When light strikes a surface two things can happen, it can exit the first material or reflect back.  If the light is in a material with a higher index of refraction, think of glass as higher than air, then the light that exits bents closer to the surface.  If the light is initially traveling at an angle close to parallel to the surface, there is no way to have the light bend enough, so a full reflection occurs.  So, light in a thin fiber reflects back into the fiber, since the light strikes the walls of the fiber at small angles.


In communication the frequency of a laser is used to determine which conversation is which.  The lasers change frequency rapidly in response to voltage changes, and hence can carry many signals at once.  The signals are chopped into pulses, or digitalized, so one fiber can carry thousands of signals with pulses of different frequencies following each other.  The original wave an be reconstructed from these pulses.


In decorations the signal does not need to carry communications, so there is no need for a laser.  An LED will do just fine.  The light travels through the fiber even if it is bent.  The reflections still direct the light along the fiber through the bends.  Actually, this also happens in communication fiber optics.


Unlike communication fibers, air is fine to replace the second layer of glass, called cladding.  The cladding protects the fiber from loss due to things like drops forming on the glass, but in decorations a little light escaping is no big concern.


Also unlike communication fibers, the fibers used as decorations work with all colors.  Color is determined by the frequency of the light.  Communication fibers do not use two bands of frequencies because the light is absorbed for them.  But, since decoration fibers are short enough all frequencies of light get through.  The absorption is caused because glass making uses water, and the water cannot be totally removed from the fiber.  Some of the water breaks down, and the hydroxyl is what does the absorbing.


Fiber optic decorations also do not suffer from scattering, it actually is what makes the fiber visible.  In communication, the loss due to scattering is a problem.  So, special glass is not needed for decorations.


So, fiber optic decorations can be made cheaper than fiber optic communication cables with less attention to detail.  Actually, it is better to have scattered light in decorating.

Fiber Optic Decorations for Everyday Use

Lighted Decorations

A lighted piece, especially a centerpiece, adds a unique touch.  And, if LEDs are used they require such a small amount of power that batteries can be used to provide the electricity.  This eliminates the need to be near an electrical outlet, so tables in the canter of a room can be easily decorated with LEDs lighting up fibers.

Special Party Lights

Party Fiber Optic Lighting

Some fiber optic decorations are used primarily for parties.  These can get people talking about the event for weeks, especially if they have not yet seen similar lighting.  And there are cheap fiber optic decorations, so they can be used at a party even if there is a budget.  Luaus and showers are two events that can benefit from fiber optic decorations.


LEDs can even come with color changing ability, or several LEDs of different colors can send light through different fibers.  This means multicolored displays are possible.

Party Fiber Optic Lights

Special Party Lights
Fiber Optic LED Flower Centerpieces (Set of 12)

Outdoor Decorations

Use Solar Fiber Optic Decorations

Solar power can recharge batteries, and the lights connected to those batteries can light up at night.  Again, LED lights use little power, so the lights can stay bright well into the night.  Lights on stakes can add a special touch to a garden, or to a path that leads to a home.  

Fiber Optic Christmas Tree

And Other Christmas Decorations

There are many fiber optic Christmas trees available, and they come in a multitude of sizes.  The smaller ones make a good addition to a child’s room.  When I was a child we did not have these, but each year I would be given a branch cut from the bottom of the Christmas tree and a few unbreakable Christmas ornaments to have my own decoration.  In the age of artificial trees cut branches no longer are an option, but a small, inexpensive fiber optic Christmas tree will do just fine for a child to have a personal Christmas decoration.


In addition to Christmas trees, fiber optic Christmas decorations are easily found.  Lighted houses that can be set out for a Christmas village certainly can easily be found.  We have a couple of fiber optic pieces that my wife got from Avon, and they have lasted for years.  They are used to decorate small end tables that are located at the ends of the living room sofa.  These have changing color, so they get quite a bit of attention.

Fiber Optics for Thanksgiving

Autumn Decorations

Thanksgiving fiber optic decorations are few, but the one shown below is particularly nice.

Decorate for Thanksgiving with Fiber Optics

A Nice Autumn Piece
Autumn Harvest Blessings Pumpkin Decoration

Halloween Fiber Optics

Scary Lights

Fiber Optics can be used in Halloween decorations.  They can provide an unexpected eerie look, and that can be scary if done right.  There are table pieces that can be used as Halloween decorations, whether or not you are having a Halloween party.

Fiber Optic Skull

Fiber Optic Halloween Decoration
Rubies Fiber Optic Spider Skull Table Decoration


Decorating can be fun, and using fiber optic decorations can give a unique look that will impress your guests.  


This article contains links to affiliate programs from some or all of Amazon, Zazzle, Viglink, and Ebay through Viglink, and Adsense advertising.  These must use cookies to allow for proper crediting.


The introduction image is allowed by an affiliate program.

Updated: 08/03/2017, blackspanielgallery
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blackspanielgallery on 07/21/2017

It is nice that such things have reached consumer products.

Veronica on 07/21/2017

Ah so pretty . Ty

I purchased some fibre optic Christmas tree lights 34 years ago and they have never failed yet, I didn't know how they worked - ty - and I love them .

blackspanielgallery on 07/15/2017

It is there now. Thanks for asking. It is not specifically Thanksgiving, but works well.

blackspanielgallery on 07/15/2017

There are only 2 on Amazon, a pumpkin which is on page 2 and a wreath on page 1. I did a search for Thanksgiving fiber optics. More Christmas comes up than Thanksgiving even using Thanksgiving in the search. I will add the pumpkin in the article.

DerdriuMarriner on 07/15/2017

blackspanielgallery, The church, the mini-trees and the water floats are lovely. Do you know of any tasteful Thanksgiving fiber optic decorations?

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