While I am in total agreement that all the best dolls houses should have lighting I have always found installing it an absolute disaster.
A little while ago I made the decision to only install LED lights in all my future projects. With this in mind I ordered everything I should need from my favourite supplier, Small World Products
For the first time I am having a mix of LED lights and more traditional bulbs because I am going to attempt to light up all the fireplaces. This also meant I needed to obtain the materials for making the leads longer on all bulbs as they are sooo short.
This another of my big moans about lights. Why do they always come with such short wires?!
Well this is the main kit: a transformer (starting top left, down and across), a 3LED light strip, a dual unit connector (more on that later), a flicker unit (for both lights and fire places), extension wire, shrink tube and single LED lights.
I have also bought a heat gun that is used for paint stripping for the shrink wrap.
Wire strippers to expose the ends for connecting each length of wire.
Lots of red and amber lights for the fireplaces
Phew, seems like an awful lot of stuff for one small shop!! I have already installed the longer LED strips on the ceilings of the shop too.
The LED light strips do come with much longer wires than normal lights so I won't have to mess about with them thank goodness.
The first thing I had to do was strip the wires on the red bulb. It has the normal two wires and I have to say this is the hardest job of all. No matter how careful I am my wire gets shorter and shorter as I accidentally cut straight through the blooming wire! Patience and a very gentle hand are needed here.
The extension wire has to be carefully spilt down the middle and then pulled apart to make two wires to match the bulb wire.
This has to be done at both ends of the extension wire for finally fitting to the power unit/flicker unit.
You should end up with something like this at each end.
You need to have quite a bit of metal wire showing to make the next stage easier.
Next step is to cut a small length of shrink wrap tube, slide in over one of the wires and then join each piece. You have to wind the ends together quite tightly as you want to make sure you have a good connection.
The shrink wrap tube then slides over the join.
Last but not least comes the heat gun. A little blow over the wires shrinks the tubing and forms a very firm join........
I have never attempted soldering so I have no idea if this is an easier technique or not but it seems pretty pain free if fiddly. I will try and do a whole buch in one sitting I think as the wire stripping gets much easier with practice.
Now all I need to do is test the bulb.
More on that tomorrow