How to fix uneven lighting from a Lamplighter® unit

by Michael Groves
Sometimes you will find that not all of the fibers inserted into a Lamplighter unit provide an even light.
Most of the time this is due to the curl inherent in the fibers when only a few fibers are inserted into the unit.  The fibers naturally curl as this is how they come off the mile long spool they are stored on.  This curling will cause the fibers to not receive as much light as they should. Here are some easy solutions to this problem:

1. Temporarily add some short fiber lengths (say 4" long) to better fill the tube that is inside the Lamplighter unit, or
2. Temporarily insert one of the fibers into a small stirring straw (the sort you get from a coffee shop) and insert them into the Lamplighter unit, or 
3. Straighten the fibers as described in blog post - "How to Straighten a piece of Fiber Optic Cable:  

When you have inserted quite a lot of fibers into the unit the issue of curling will completely disappear as the bundle of fibers inserted will automatically 
cause the fibers to straighten out.
If you have already inserted a bundle of fibers and there is one that is not providing as much light as the others of the same diameter in the bundle, remove the fiber and re-insert it in another position within the Lamplighter unit and adjust it's position within the unit until you get the desired intensity.
Please note:  
1. As you insert a bundle of fibers into the unit, it changes the optical characteristics of the inside of the unit such that the optimal position for the most intense lighting will require you to pull the bundle slightly away from the "stop" in the interior of the unit.
2. You can insert fibers into the unit until they won't go any further.  Do not be concerned about damaging the optics as they are protected from damage by a "stop" that will only allow the fibers to enter to about 3" (7.6cm).

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