Fiber optic light source is one of the fiber optic test equipments, used to measure the fiber optical loss for fiber optic cables. Usually fiber optic light sources are used together with the optical power meters.
A fiber optic light source is often used to light enclosed areas that do not have any direct line of sight to an external light source. This makes them useful in applications such as medicine. Some buildings incorporate optical fibers as light pipes or light tubes, which channel sunlight collected from the exterior of the building to provide lighting to locations in the interior. A fiber-optic light source with strands of optical fiber that are designed to intentionally allow significant amounts of light to leak through their cladding and out of the fiber are also used decoratively. This is common in Christmas decorations and can also be incorporated in things such as store displays, clothing, and decorative lights.
Basically there are two types of semiconductor light sources available for fiber optic communication – The LED sources and the laser sources.
A basic LED light source is a semiconductor diode with a p region and an n region. When the LED is forward biased, current flows through the LED. As current flows through the LED, the junction where the p and n regions meet emits random photons. This process is referred to as spontaneous emission.
Like the LED, the laser is a semiconductor diode with a p and an n region. Unlike LED, the laser has an optical cavity that contains the emitted photons with reflecting mirrors on each end of the diode. One of the reflecting mirror is only partially reflective. This mirror allows some of the photons to escape the optical cavity.
But fiber optic light sources have been identified as a fire ignition mechanism in the operating room. This study attempted to determine whether a forced-air warming blanket (FAWB) could affect the ignition or spread of fire caused by a fiber optic light source. Advances in light source and fiber optic technology may increase the radiation output of visible and infrared wavelengths at the end of the cable and at the distal tip of the endoscope. Higher outputs not only increase the risk of fire, but may introduce the risk of burns during close-range inspection of tissue with the endoscope. Since absorption of high-intensity radiation at visible light wavelengths may also cause tissue heating, additional filtering of infrared wavelengths may not eliminate this hazard. Furthermore, with the increasing use of television systems with video cameras connected to the endoscopes, many physicians operate light sources at their maximum intensities and believe they need even greater light intensities.
Now, Princeton Lightwave of Cranbury, N.J. and OFS Labs have introduced a fiber-optics-based solution. The new fiber-based light source combines all the ideal features necessary for accurate and efficient scanning: uniform, intense illumination over a rectangular region; a directional beam that avoids wasting unused light by only illuminating the rectangle; and a “cool” source that does not heat up the objects to be imaged. Currently employed fiber optic light sources such as tungsten halogen lamps or arrays of light-emitting diodes lack at least one of these features.