How do they put Fiber Optics in the Pavement at Epcot

Here’s a quick guide on how you can add a little bit of Disney Magic to your back yard or driveway. If you’ve ever been to Epcot you probably remember those cool pavement squares that lit up with fiber optics at night. Well here’s how to do it.

1) You’ll need a light source, a.k.a The Illuminator.

2) A color wheel: a machine that rotates a colored gel in between the Illuminator and the bundle of tubing. These days you can buy a combo unit that has the Illuminator and Color Wheel in the same box.

3) Fiber Optic Tubing bundle. The tubes are packed together at the source so that light is shot into several hundred tubes at once. From the source, the tubes in the bundle and then split and run to their final location apart from each other. To achieve a multiple color look have multiple sources spread out through your concrete block.

4) Buy or build a concrete paver mold. You’ll want to use a mold release spray so you can reuse the same mold over and over again. Try using a piece of black felt to thread your fiber optics through, put that in the bottom of the mold, and leave several inches of ‘slack’ above the top of the mold.

Be sure to set up your entire design before you pour the concrete. You’ll probably want to dim the lights and run a few test patterns here. After the concrete is poured, clip the tubes to their proper length (flush with the concrete).

And voila. Your own Epcot Fiber Optic Pavers.

Of course, to do the really cool moving designs you need some sort of program control on your lighting source. That’s likely going to run you a few bucks.

Thanks to the excellent site for the basics of this post.