light up tubes?

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Old 12-27-11, 08:24 AM
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light up tubes?

I have this idea for a table in my store. I want to router out some channels in the top, put some sort of light up tube in it, then put a resin on the top with crushed glass in it. The idea is that the light will be diffused in the crushed glass on the top. I need an idea of what kind of light tube to use. I was thinking it would be a good idea (if this exists) to use a tube that I can have a regular bulb put light into. So the idea is if I put a bulb on one end of the tube, the light will travel down the tube and light the entire tube up. I want to do it this way, so I can make the bulb replaceable from underneath the table. once the resin is on I cannot get at the tubes again.

Any ideas on what kind of tube thing I need?
 
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Old 12-27-11, 09:01 AM
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You can embed a clear acrylic tube in the table and feed it light from one end like a fiber optic. Bending and forming the acrylic rod would require the use of a heat gun or torch. Another option is to use EL wire. Just do a online search for "el wire" and you'll find tons of vendors selling it. It's also available from some auto parts stores as it's used for tricking out cars and stereo installations. It's available in various diameters, lengths and colors and is really easy to work with.
 
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Old 12-27-11, 09:16 AM
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Under counter rope lights were what I thought of when I read this.
 
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Old 12-27-11, 10:43 AM
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I was thinking rope lights as well, but how long do they last?
 
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Old 12-27-11, 11:11 AM
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No clue but you could probably rig the tube so they could be easily pulled out and replaced.
 
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Old 12-27-11, 11:52 AM
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The newer LED style lights last a long time (long is a subjective term I know), but you can still lose one or two of the emitters over any given length before the rest fail.

I'm with Mitch....there must be a way to make it so they can be removed
 
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Old 12-27-11, 12:00 PM
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I had a thought. If I use side glow fiber optic cables, can I use a bright flashlight to illuminate them? I think I may need 3'-4' at the most.
 
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Old 12-27-11, 02:00 PM
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I vote LED rope lights. I can get you a few links if needed.
 
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Old 12-27-11, 03:14 PM
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For a clear tube, you can use the clear food grade fluorescent bulb covers. They slip on a tube to prevent breakage in vulnerable places like commercial kitchens.
 
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Old 12-27-11, 03:35 PM
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Change of plans. I decided to use vinyl chips instead of crushed glass (I stock everything if I go this rout). Thanks for all of your suggestions, but I will not be lighting this table. I don't know how to delete a thread.
 
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Old 12-27-11, 07:00 PM
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I would avoid embedding anything in the table that cannot be serviced at a later date. Even LED's do not last forever and I fear embedding them will cause them to fail sooner.

On a job we did there was a very large (about 7' X 20') boardroom table for the company big shots. We did not design the table only hooked it up. The design was it would have two 1/2" strips of lights on the top the whole length of the table. This was done with some low voltage LED strips of varying lengths that were set into the table and then glass was set on top. The strips came from the factory already embedded in a plastic. This became a servicing nightmare! The company had us replacing the strips (As the table fabricators would not do it even though they built it in the first place) almost on a monthly basis. The LEDs kept failing one here and one there. The light manufacture finally sent out a rep and they determined that they kept burning out because it couldn't dissipate the heat. After that, they would not warranty them.
 
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Old 12-28-11, 08:31 AM
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BC: Just because you changed your mind is not reason to get rid of the thread, you asked questions which provoked thought and an exchange of ideas which might help someone else down the road.
 
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