Lighting

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I am stumped. Being that this will most likely be the only dollhouse that I will ever due, do to how large it is (Garfield), I am wanting to do everything right. I am ready to add lighting, but I don't know which direction to go. Do I make my own lamps, or buy them. Battery, canned lighting and make a faux ceiling, LED, not LED. What are the pros and cons of everything. I'm hoping to have this house for years and years so my daughter, and future children can enjoy it and hopefully they use it for their kids. Which lights last the longest, which are easily replaceable if a bulb does go out? I am clearly overwhelmed, but hopefully once I get this going I can continue going and get this bad boy done. I'd just love to get some progress on this thing, and I haven't been able to do anything for a few weeks. 

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Also, I feel like I'm just buying supplies instead of actually using them. Anyone else experience this? 

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16 minutes ago, H-Ann said:

Also, I feel like I'm just buying supplies instead of actually using them. Anyone else experience this? 

Well, that is what I call a part of the preparation phase, accumulating  "must haves" for future what ifs and whenever needed stuff....

ie totally. Normal around here :) 

 

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2 minutes ago, Anna said:

Well, that is what I call a part of the preparation phase, accumulating  "must haves" for future what ifs and whenever needed stuff....

ie totally. Normal around here :) 

 

I appreciate that! It's good to know that I'm doing what's expected. I just thought I was being indecisive :dunno:

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This is just my opinion about dollhouse lighting.  If your children are going to play with the dollhouse I wouldn't put in lighting.  The lighting available for these houses are very delicate and some can be quite expensive.  You can certainly make your own, and I have seen some fantastic home made lights on this forum.  I have not used LED lighting yet, so maybe that is a sturdier option.   Even with soldering the connections, bumping a light with your hand too hard can break it.  If your children are just going to be admiring your hard work and not playing with the house, then the options are all that you mentioned.  I use tape wire, but it took me awhile and a lot of practice to get the art of installing it and making it work consistently.  I know others like round wire.  I think the agreement would be they both work it's your preference on which you use.

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20 minutes ago, H-Ann said:

I appreciate that! It's good to know that I'm doing what's expected. I just thought I was being indecisive :dunno:

Not indeciaive at all, just allowing yoursel to have choices when needed! This is such a fun addition, era, scratch that, I mean hobby ... when mini-ing you Will be able to try out ways to do things you never thought of doing before/prior mini-ing, and there is no limitation on what might be just the thing to achieve the look you are after. Sometimes it is just the a piece of nothing really that gives that perfect finishing touch.

 

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5 minutes ago, 1martinimomma said:

This is just my opinion about dollhouse lighting.  If your children are going to play with the dollhouse I wouldn't put in lighting.  The lighting available for these houses are very delicate and some can be quite expensive.  You can certainly make your own, and I have seen some fantastic home made lights on this forum.  I have not used LED lighting yet, so maybe that is a sturdier option.   Even with soldering the connections, bumping a light with your hand too hard can break it.  If your children are just going to be admiring your hard work and not playing with the house, then the options are all that you mentioned.  I use tape wire, but it took me awhile and a lot of practice to get the art of installing it and making it work consistently.  I know others like round wire.  I think the agreement would be they both work it's your preference on which you use.

This is something that I had not really thought about. So you're saying, go without the lights, and then maybe down the road, I can just use the battery operated ones if I really want lights installed.

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3 minutes ago, H-Ann said:

This is something that I had not really thought about. So you're saying, go without the lights, and then maybe down the road, I can just use the battery operated ones if I really want lights installed.

However! I kind of want to do this house right. If I'm going to do hardwood flooring, I'd like to have the lights already done so that I don't have to take it apart to do it later.....

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Heatherann:

Welcome to the forum (I am a little behind, so if you introduced yourself, I either did not get that far or have forgotten if I responded!). Please don't feel like you have to do everything right. I am a perfectionist at heart, so I understand this feeling, but with doll houses there is no "right" way. Just asking what kind of glue is best will get several different - and wonderfully useful -  replies! You can make decisions about different techniques and test them out and if they don't work, you start again. I have ripped out all kinds of stuff that I was sure was going to be fantastic, only to discover that I hated it. It's been a learning process. As far as the supplies go, maybe once you have the Garfield done, you will want to put them to use again on another house... along with all the new tricks you will have learned. 

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1 minute ago, H-Ann said:

However! I kind of want to do this house right. If I'm going to do hardwood flooring, I'd like to have the lights already done so that I don't have to take it apart to do it later.....

Then you should do the lighting, because that is what you want to do.  That is what is so fun about these houses.  You make the decisions.  I just wanted to let you know about how little hands can do a lot of damage to a lighting system.  I know this, because my big hands have damaged my own lights!

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41 minutes ago, amyole said:

Heatherann:

Welcome to the forum (I am a little behind, so if you introduced yourself, I either did not get that far or have forgotten if I responded!). Please don't feel like you have to do everything right. I am a perfectionist at heart, so I understand this feeling, but with doll houses there is no "right" way. Just asking what kind of glue is best will get several different - and wonderfully useful -  replies! You can make decisions about different techniques and test them out and if they don't work, you start again. I have ripped out all kinds of stuff that I was sure was going to be fantastic, only to discover that I hated it. It's been a learning process. As far as the supplies go, maybe once you have the Garfield done, you will want to put them to use again on another house... along with all the new tricks you will have learned. 

Thank you! I made my introduction when I joined back in February, I believe. It's hard being a perfectionist, but I will try my hardest to follow your advice. Live and learn! I'm currently decorating my own house, so my life is consumed of nothing but making expensive decisions, which is why it's difficult. 

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40 minutes ago, H-Ann said:

However! I kind of want to do this house right. If I'm going to do hardwood flooring, I'd like to have the lights already done so that I don't have to take it apart to do it later.....

You can do the flooring on a template so it can be removed when you want to add wiring. Just be careful not to glue the baseboards to the flooring, so the flooring panel can slide out.

Understand that doing it right has many connotations. There are several ways to accomplish "right" -- like beauty, right is in the eye of the beholder. Try not to assume an artificial "right" or you'll make yourself nuts trying to achieve it. Take the construction one step at a time, and the house will let you know what it wants.

If your children are young, you might consider child-proofing it. Maybe leave out the window "glass", as small hands like to reach through windows. Maybe reinforce the inside of the corners by stapling and/or gluing square dowels in the corners, Maybe leave off any gingerbread; little fingers love to pick it off. And maybe save the hardwood floors for later; the kit flooring can be scored into boards, stained and coated with polyacrylic for a lovely wood flooring effect. And even if your children are total angels who wouldn't think of writing/decorating the walls with markers or crayons or decorating with stickers or sitting on the roof or using the house as a stepstool to reach the top of the dresser, their friends who come to play not be quite so civilized. :D 

There's a big difference between making a rugged dollhouse for child play and making an elegant one for an adult collector, but there's no reason the one can't morph into the other over a period of time.

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I understand how you feel, pouring so much time into a house one might as well go that extra mile and get things 'right'. A large house like the Garfield will need a lot of lights to be well lit and keep some 'consistency' in the decoration from room to room, even if you go for 'low cost' fixtures it will certainly be a large investment that you could spend on other building materials.

Here's my advice: invest in some tapewire, ceilling and wall adaptors, probe and other tools required to do a full circuit. You don't have to buy the light fixtures now, but you can plan for the future and leave the circuit in place for later. I would recomend keeping a record/schematics and run the tape at the same height/distance in every floor (if you want to instal extra lights later, you know where you need to apply a socket/adaptor). And as sugested above always use templates, if anything needs repairs later you can just lift the floor/wall. There are fixture adaptors for tapewire that work with most lamps and make them really easy to remove, so if the house will be played with later and you have invested in delicate chandeliers: pop them out of the socket for safekeeping :)

Regarding lightbulbs: leds heat less and last longer than incandescent but the dollhouse fixtures tend to be a bit more expensive (at least for now). It also depends on usage, if you leave the lights on for hours they will burn faster, but in any case most fixtures come with replaceable bulbs and it's not too complicated to switch them. You can use either type, just not both on the same circuit as they require diferent power. Hope that helps!

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I would build the Garfield the way it's telling you it wants, pulling out all of the stops, and let that one be for YOU; then build another one for your children and their friends to play with however they will, and when they're old enough to appreciate the "big peoples'" dollhouse it will be there.

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Have you thought about putting strips of LED lights in each room instead of conventional lights. If you run a strip of triangular cross section wood along the ceiling edge of a room and stick a small strip of LEDs on the inside edge so that its diagonally facing downwards into the room but hidden from the outside view. You could have non working light fittings in each room too. These would be easier to fix or replace than conventional lights should anything go wrong (and lighting can be temperamental especially if you move the house)

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