Wednesday, 1 October 2014

How I did the lighting

Thelma asked me how I did the lighting.  I would have shared but I have no idea if my approach is the best one!  All I did was do the wiring for the lights exactly as I would do for round wiring in a 1/12th.

Let me just say whatever scale you are in I wouldn't use copper tape system - thousands do - all I said was I wouldn't.  I think it is fraught with problems - if it fails in any way it is often difficult to find the source of the failure and very hard to remove and replace the wiring.  It is known to degrade over time especially if under wallpaper (not acid free) and or next to glue etc etc.  The round wiring sytem - using those little plugs on the ends of wires dangling from lights is much the simplest to put in and 'repair', swap, replace.

So my basic method in 1/12ths using that system is what I did here;  I just moved down in scale to LED chips and batteries rather than plugs, power strips, transformer and mains electricity.

My lights came from True2Scale but I know a lot of people use Evan Designs.  They both offer a how-to-do-it section - this is a link to the one I read at True2Scale.  

http://www.true2scale.com/led-lighting-tutorial

Where I am up to so far is just these three lights in the kitchen.




three different lights in this room

Firstly I made a paper template of the ceiling area where  the lights would be going.  Basically, in this case, it was  pretty much a four inch square.  I then put it on the floor of the room the lights were going in and arranged all the furniture etc on it to see where things would end up.  You need to do this for real as you have to take into account doors and windows and room to walk around etc etc.  I then put gentle pencil mark guides here and there on the paper and pulled the whole thing out and set it up again to be sure it was OK.

I then marked exactly where I wanted the lights to go.  I wanted a dropped light over the dining table, one recessed into the ceiling over the sink and one above the cooker.

The piece of paper then went on to the floor above - it wasn't glued in place so that made it easy - and I drilled the appropriate holes using a small hand drill.  The wires on these LEDs are very fine so you need a very small drill.  

For the 1/8th recessed eyelet I just increased the bit size about three times until I got the hole I wanted and then tapped the eyelet in place.

The dropped light is a flower bead and a small bead above that to help finish it off.  Getting the height right was the most difficult part;  I eventually did that by cutting paper strip the height of a person and dropping the height to their eye level.  Could have done it by making it 3/8ths higher than the table (18 inches real life).  I wanted some sort of ceiling rose fixing - all I could think of was a sequin, painted white and turned so it sort of 'cupped' the ceiling.

The light over the cooker is behind the chimney access cover so it is just threaded through.  I did put a bead beneath the hole to stop it pulling through when i was trying to tighten the wires to make them lie flat as they run across the floor above.

It is then a case of deciding for sure where you want the wires to exit - that will depend entirely on you and the kit you are doing.  In my case I am probably going for a simple battery on the back arrangement.  I am not struggling to conceal everything because the building isn't really 360 degrees and I won't be setting it in a landscape as many people do.

I drilled a hole in the room above the kitchen in the centre of the back wall right where the floor butts into place.  There will be a skirting board to hide any tiny visible flaws.  All three wires came up through their various holes and went through this single hole and out to the back.

In 1/12ths I make grooves in the floor to carry the wires but I think these wires are so fine they will sit under the real wood flooring I am putting in without making any bumps (we shall see!)  If you were using paper floors you would need to mount that on card.  The floors will just have a minimum of double sided sticky tape holding them in place then if there is any problem with alight or I fancy changing it for something better I can lift the floor pull the light out and do a swap.  No so easy of course with quarter scale as everything will be stuck to the floor, so I am not planning on it.

From there the ends of the wires temporarily twisted into the battery system just see if they worked.  Take a look at the instructions link  for this.  Eventually there will probably be ten bulbs wired to the one battery kit.  I am not sure yet how many lights I will have around the whole building - so much depends on furniture placement and if I can make table lamps, wall lights, bathroom lights, standard lamps and fires to light up.

I hope this helps - I am sorry this isn't my usual picture and text (or even UTube) 'demo' but the build is on one side of the Atlantic and I am now on the other.  Please, please ask me about anything that this explanation doesn't make clear'or I have missed out.  That is one of the main reasons for the blog - to share.


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