Lighting and Wiring

Page: 3

You can cut wires to be shorter. Just leave enough room to work with them. After you cut them you have to very carefully pull the plastic coating away from the little copper wires inside. Just like you do on a real cord, but the white plastic is very thin so be careful or you'll cut the wires too. I have some of the plyers with little "teeth" that will clamp shut on the handle to hold the brads. I get a good hold of them and just push them into the wood leaving them out just a tiny bit to wrap the copper wires from the light around the little brad. I use the same plyers to do that. They are like forceps. Then I just take the flat part of the forceps and push the brad the rest of the way in. The wallpaper goes right over the wires and you don't see them. I always leave a little "trap door" in the wall paper to get to the brads if need be. I cover it with a piece of wallpaper cut to match exactly over and use the mini tac to hold it on the wall, or if you make a hole going through the wall and connect the wire on the other side of the wall, you can cover it with a picture or something.


Installing Chandeliers: If there is a floor above where you are installing the chandelier wiring through the floor is an alternative to using an adapter. First make sure that you have worked out a way to secure the chandelier to the ceiling. Drill a hole in the ceiling and run the wire through the hole. If you are using tapewire you run the tape along the floor above the chandelier. Attach the wires from the chandelier to the tape on the floor using grommets (eyelets). An alternative is to put a plug on the wire and plug it into an outlet in the floor above. I have installed a number of chandeliers in this manner.


Wiring a chandelier: I think it's much easier to wire the fixture to the floor above. I just brought a piece of the wired tape across the floor to the spot where the light would go below and made a little hole to bring the wires from below up and direct wired it. I used a good glob of the tacky stuff to stick the base of the light to the ceiling. Only drawback to this method is if you want hardwood floors on the floor above. You should leave this area easy to get to in case of an electrical problem with the light fixture. My dollhouse is all carpeted so it wasn't a problem for me. You could use the sheets of hardwood though and tack it down around the edges if need be. Good luck.


Stripping Wires

Jayleen posted - "Cir-kit has a little wire stripper that costs about $2 that is the greatest thing I've ever used for stripping wires."

This is merely an alligator clip. You can buy a bag of them from Radio Shack for the about same price. I wouldn't be without mine.


Stripping wires: Cir-kit has a little wire stripper that costs about $2 that is the greatest thing I've ever used for stripping wires.


Stripping the ends off wires: About the plastic on the lamp wires, if you use a dull knife, such as a paring knife and just very gently cut turning the wire and then gently pull, the plastic should come off. Practice on a piece of long wire. You have to cut very softly so you don't go thru the wires. If one or two tiny wires come off, it's okay as long as the majority of them are there and then twist them together. You can either direct wire them to the wire using the brads to wrap the ends around or use a little plug. Remember that one lamp wire goes on one side of your wire tape and the other lamp wire goes on the other wire tape to complete the circuit. Assuming you are using the tape wiring system.


Ceiling Fan Sites:

that should get you started.


Working ceiling fan: In the past, I have made working ceiling fans in rooms and houses by installing an appliance timer motor (4 to 8 RPM) in the space above and providing 110Volt AC power. Your application presents another problem. Where to hide such a large motor in a green house, glass ceiling. I haven't yet fully researched the idea to build a prototype but a helpful computer nerd (hardware type - not software) may be able to help you set up a tiny stepping motor to run at a convincing, steady, slow speed.

OLDER VINTAGE: You could possibly make your fan(s?) to be belt driven (actually) with an appliance timer motor hidden below the base and operating a dummy motor/shaft assembly in a remote corner. This could be very fantastic.

Mel K.

Faulty Wiring: I used tape wiring in my first two dollhouses. It was a sometimer for me to. Some times it worked sometimes it didn't. I wasn't my brads because they were all tightly fit, but it was my wiring from my lighting fixtures. I would have to rub the connection and it would pop back on. This happened often. I vowed I was NEVER going to use tape wiring again. However, I started my third house with the intention to sell and I didn't want to invest in wiring when I still had tape wire left. So I tried it again. But this time I soldered all my wire connections. And I got beautiful bright lights that lit every time!!! I did the same to my first two houses and all the frustrations of turning on the lights are gone. No more flicking, no more lost connections. And it's easy to do. If you can use a gun you can solder. The only difference is that it's not hot glue. And best of all. They are cheap! I see them at the 99 cent store all the time.

Tonya, BKLYN

Lighting Hutches and other furniture: Very simple to light hutches, bookcases, cabinets etc. Just drill and put bulb in hole, hidden behind a soffit of course. blob a bit of glue from behind to hold the bulb. . Run wire or tape wire down the back and attach a cord & plug. Use it like a lamp.... Go look at lighted furniture at a large furniture store and see where they put the lights. Replace the shelves with Plexiglas and put mirror stuff inside back and/or sides to scatter the light. Decorate with transparent stuff, colored beads etc. Outstanding accent!

Judie - Daytona Beach, FL

Chandelier: There are no hard and fast rules in making miniatures and the same applies to electrification. If you use tape wire, you will find that your installation will probably be easier using chandelier adapters. .Personally, I recommend the Cir-kit Canopy Adapters.

Warren Flaks

Chandelier: You do not need to use the canopy attachment for your light fixture, but it makes it easier to take it out if you have to for bulb replacement or to transport the   room or house without damaging the chandelier.


Hanging chandeliers: Anita asked: [I was looking at the chandeliers I picked out and, to my horror, noticed that these Americana swag lamps actually have a white plug and cord just like a table lamp would.   I thought they would have something like two prongs at the   top that you would just plug into the tape wire itself on the ceiling    How the heck do you hang these things?] You have to wrap the wire around 2 prongs in the ceiling canopy.   Since the chandelier wire is too long, you will have to cut the wire.   I suggest that play with the canopy and wires a bit to see how they work before cutting the wire.  

One caution (learned from experience) make sure that the exposed wire from each side in the canopy   are not touching each other even a little bit or you will have a short.

Carol S P Miniatures

Chandelier wiring:   When you see a chandelier with several bulbs and only two wires at the top, joints have been made inside somewhere to combine wires. If you have 2 bulbs, for instance, you can solder one wire from each bulb to an outgoing wire, and the other wire from each bulb to another outgoing wire, and that takes it from 4 wires to 2. The joints have to be insulated with something, which adds bulk.

Another trick sometimes used is to attach one wire from a bulb to the brass fittings around it, and only run one wire up to the top, and attaching a wire to the brass there for the other wire out. That assumes that the brass is continuous from start to finish.

Barb Jones

Making electrified chandeliers: Just starting to electrify my own house and looking at possible resources. Many miniaturists have recommended the excellent advice they had received from Copper Connections in the UK.  I had a look at their site and saw that the bulbs/ candles come with different thickness wires. They have a micro flame bulb 8" wires with the term 40 ma after it, the other bulbs have wires 50 ma and 60 ma. So presume that is the wire thickness. Their site is /trolleyed/5/13/index.htm

Teepee crafts , a magical supplier of findings etc. have chandelier kits and makings. In their list of bulbs is shrink wrap tubes. They might be for passing your wires through to keep them tidy. They have a wonderful on-line catalogue for findings, silk ribbon and tiny braid.

The Blackberry Patch sells 'How to books'   DB1 =A310 GBP includes patterns for chandeliers, lights and accessories. I have never seen it, but her own chandeliers are beautiful.

Pauline   in Mansfield UK

Bulbs/Transformers: [They have a micro flame bulb 8" wires with the term 40 ma after it, the other bulbs have wires 50 ma and 60 ma. So presume that is the wire thickness.] ma stands for milleamperes.   This is a measure of the electrical current that flows through the bulb.    This is useful for calculating the number of bulbs that can be used with a transformer. The equation to find the current output of a transformer is: current (in ma) = (Watts / Volts )*1000   (e.g. 1667ma = 20watts/12volts) add up the total of all the bulbs, and don't exceed the 1667ma.   approx 40 of your 40ma bulbs, or 13 if the 120ma flourettes.

Typically, the more power an incandescent bulb consumes, the more light it gives.

Tom Berkner

Electrifying a Chrysnbon Sewing Machine: Last night, I was just so clever…   I was about to install two light fixtures in my needlework shop roombox, and was taking everything out.  When I looked at the sewing machine, I remembered talk on the digest about sewing machines with electric lights.   Well, mine is just a cheapo - but very realistic looking - Chrysnbon sewing machine (without the treadle), which I mounted on a board, so it would appear electric.  I remembered that when I put it together, it was hollow inside.  I started to think about putting a grain of wheat bulb inside, and cutting out a hole just above the presser foot.   Fortunately, I had another sewing machine kit, unassembled, so I decided to give it a try.  Well, although the inside is hollow, there wasn’t quite enough room for the light bulb.  However, armed with an X-Acto and a file, I was able to gouge out enough room in both halves to fit the bulb.  After I hooked up the overhead lights, I connected everything temporarily, and WOW – it all looked great, especially the sewing machine…  

Jonathan in Israel

12 V lamp and 9 v batt:  If you use a 12 v lamp with a 9 v batt you will get a dimmer glow to the bulb. it will glow about only 3/4 of its intended luminosity. On the up side the bulb will last much longer. If you use a momentary switch the light will only stay on as long as you hold down the "plunger". It is a boon to those of us that forget to shut off lights.

Drbob...Delray Beach FL

Short in your new installation:   Replace the fuse in your fuse holder & test the system again, maybe you hooked the light up wrong or you left an xacto knife (or something else like jewelry) touching the bare wires & creating a short.  Remember that if you used any single tape in your system, that you have used insulation material to cross over another tape.   If you are still blowing fuses than you need to figure out which floor the short is on.   Cut your tape between the 1st & 2nd floors & test the 1st floor.  If the lighting works than that floor is fine.  Next cut between the 2nd & 3rd floors & test the 2nd.  If the fuse blows, than you know the short is on the 2nd floor. Look carefully & if you are lucky, the booboo will be looking you right in the face.  If you are not so lucky, than you must cut between each room until you find out which room the short is in.  Once you find it, retape & than reconnect all your cuts.  Remember to reconnect using brass brads.


Transformer...I do know that the Cir-Kit transformer has a circuit breaker housed within it. That's so that if your lights become over heated or you are running too many, the transformer will disconnect and after cool down will automatically reset. I don't know that the Houseworks transformer does the same.

Roberta in Wisconsin

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