Tuesday, 8 February 2011

LED Lighting.......Loved it!

I have never been a fan of dolls house lighting. It's too fiddly, too expensive, never works properly and so on. Just recently I came across Small World Products new range of LED lighting and decided this looked like the answer to many of my issues.
At October's Miniatura I had a long chat with the ever helpful lady on their stand and came away with the basics - a couple of 6 light and 3 light strips, a transformer and their signature Easy Wire Connector.
 The strips can be bought in all different lengths and can even be split up if you want. I chose to use a normal transformer as then I can add normal lights as well but the strips use so little power you can power them with a battery pack. Each 3 strip of LED's uses less power than one grain of wheat bulb apparently.
I also bought the SWP connector because I have used them before and find them really easy to wire, I'm sure there are other connectors that are equally suitable.
Each strip is sticky backed so they can be placed flush to ceilings or furniture. As this is my first time of using them I decided to do it the easy way and fit them flush to the ceiling.
 After fitting the cornice to the back walls I drilled the holes for the wires as close to the ceiling as I could. The wires are colour coded (+ and -) and are quite thick and as I hadn't done any routing I was a little concerned that I would not be able to hide them amongst the ceiling beams as planned.
 The wires just slot in to the connector with each connection opened and tightened using a tiny screwdriver. Very simple and none of the usual bad language that lighting systems usually brings out of me!
 Of course you still have all the wires but that's another problem! The green light shows you that the power from the transformer is fully connected.
 So wires connected, power on would the lights work....
 .....and they did, first time. No re-screwing of impossibly small light bulbs or stripping wires that won't connect properly.
 I glued in the ceiling beams and tucked up the wires hoping that they would now be hidden away.
 I turned over the house, which I was working on upside down, oh the pleasures of working on a smaller project, and just as I had hoped the wires and lights were hidden behind the beams.
 I chose white light LED's as I prefer bright light but the strips can also be supplied with 'yellow light'. 
 This is the ceiling at an angle that shows the wires but they cannot be seen when looking into the house. Obviously it would be much better to route them in and then paper the ceilings but one, I don't know how to do that and two, how do you remove them if they are all encased. Not sure.
The lights are supposed to have a 1500 hour life span which sounds ok to me. Then the whole strip would need to be replaced which could be a nuisance I suppose, but as I have never been able to replace a bulb without it smashing or pulling the whole light off the wall I will cross this bridge when I come to it.
 I was also interested to see how the light would spread over the whole room as my strips were at the back of each room. So I added a bit of the furniture.....
 .....and took a couple of photos as the evening drew in.
 This was taken at 6.30pm and the room filled with light upstairs...
.....and downstairs.
I am really pleased with the strips and am already thinking of adding a couple more within the furniture or under external beams.
I am sure that they can be used in many more creative and clever ways but for me they are a definite winner. They can be mixed with normal light fixtures, table and floor lamps maybe? With batteries they can light up window displays or those lovely picture boxes lots of people make.
As you can tell I am a convert!
Small World Products have not put them on their website yet but they are always really helpful on the phone or can be contacted by email for postal orders. They will talk you through all their products and offer lots of advice.
And, following lots of helpful advice from all you helpful bloggers I finished the doors today. Hooray!


  1. It's looking amazing, love seeing your progress.


  2. Janice - thank you for such an informative post. I've been looking at ways of just washing a ceiling with light and you've provided me with the answer! The whole thing looks very effective - you should be pleased with yourself. (I swear a lot when doing lighting as well - lol)

  3. Irene, I can't tell you how easy it was.....and absolutely no bad temper! Not with the lights anyway although I did manage to knock a bottle of linseed oil all down myself, I did swear then!

  4. I was really interested to read this post Janice, as I want to light the Toll House, when I eventually get round to putting it all together. Looks like I'll be using LED's, so much simpler. Thanks for sharing this with us..

  5. I have been wondering about led lighting as well, so it is good to see what others have done and it certainly is very effective. I'm waiting for a led fire to come from the US - not sure how I'll fit it yet.

  6. Thank you so much for this post, Janice! The effect is great! And I will definately have to try this lights in the next project:D

  7. This is great Janice, I hate lighting projects too. This is a much simpler option. Thank you for sharing.


    Debie xxxxx

  8. Those are exactly what i'm looking for but I have no idea where can I find those in Finland... anyway, good to know these things really exist. :)

  9. It's a good thing we don't have dollhouse lighting here so I started with LED lights too. I love them to bits. I used them to light up 4 hanging lamps I made in the tent. I think I will use them again in the tribal house because my kitchen is too dark :).

    Your room looks amazing with the lights and they are hidden so well from sight. This is a darn good idea :).

  10. Wow, very cool pics! Love the look with the lights! Great work!!


  11. Looks very cool! anything that makes lighting easier is great in my books. hardly any of my projects are lit for that reason, too stressy! So this is a great idea, and very effective by the looks of it. everything looks great already, love that fireplace, what a job youve done! Kate xxx

  12. ça à l'air bien ce système !

  13. And....looked at the lights this morning and NONE of them had fallen down taking half the wallpaper with them!


  14. Janice,

    Great lighting system and I will most certainly get some, too bad I didn't stop at their stand whilst at KDF! I just need to work out a way if I want them on the ceiling...but have no beams to hide them behind. There HAS to be a way to hide them! :o)))

    Many thanks for the much needed info!
    Michelle xxx

  15. Sounds like a dream come true! I will never do tape wire again, this looks so easy :) I ordered some battery powered lamps from HBS but they were out of stock. I will show them on my blog when I get them. Thanks for the great info Janice.

    Victoria ♥

  16. Can't speak highly enough of them Victoria. One of the many things that drives me mad about dolls house lighting is the feebleness of it. It takes so many lights to light up one room and all those wires to go with them. Grrrr! With these I think one 9 strip would light up a whole 10 by 10 inch room no problem.

    Looking forward to see what you make of the battery ones, I am not surprised they have sold out.

  17. this is a great idea or opportunity to us to know more about LED Lights, for more information how it works and how better it is..... thanks for sharing......


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