Wiring a Dolls House

There are many ways to wire and light a dolls house.

Wire

A system were each light is wired directly back to a lighting strip or a remote controlled lighting system. Each light can then be individually tested for any faults as you go along. Most dolls house lights come with white plugs which will need to be removed before the wires are hidden under carpets or flooring and taken out of the back of the house. Making a channel in the floor will help to hide the wires.. Once the wire is at the back of the house it can have its plug reconnected and plugged into a lighting strip. These lighting strips come in different sizes and have adhesive backs so they can be attached to the dolls house. The lighting strip is theN connected to your power supply. This can in turn be connected to a controlled lighting system which will turn the lights off and on and also dim individual rooms as required from the remote. All being done from the comfort of your own
armchair.

Copper Tape

Copper tape is very thin and has an adhesive backing which will carry the electricity round the house in a ring and fits easily under your carpet or flooring.The tape is coated with a shellac or varnish to protect it from corroding when in contact with glue or varnish. Individual lights are connected to the tape and all of the lights will function at the same time. Reliable joints between tapes can sometimes prove to be a problem Plastic coatings can at times interfere with the connections. Any faults on the tape can be more difficult to find than the wiring system. Using remote control for individual lights is not possible with this system.

Led Lighting

Led lights have there own internal battery which means that they have no wiring and can be moved about the house if you require. Each light has its own individual switch which means you can choose which lights you have on or off in the house. Batteries are replaceable. As no electricity is involved they are considered safer for children but the lights can have a slight blue tinge and are not always as bright as the mains powered ones. Also remember that batteries go flat so their positioning is important, you need to get to them to replace the battery, But more important is off-on switch this can get very fiddly.

Before choosing your lighting system you might want to take into account some of the following:

Where is the dolls house being placed?

If in a prime location you will need to ensure that the lighting will fit with its surroundings. This type of location would be ideal for a remote control system as there would be more opportunity for its use. With this system as against Leds you would need to ensure that there is an electricity supply and a postion to hide the wiring. If this is not available then you could choose to use Led lights.

What to consider before any decoration.

The first thing to do is to decide what type of lights you are going to use, either mains controlled or battery. Then where these lights are going to be placed as you can then make the appropriate channels in the floor and walls before laying carpet or flooring. The holes for wall lights need to be made before wallpaper goes up. You will also need to consider where fireplaces and cookers are being placed. If you are using tape wire then you will need to draw up a room plan and install the tape before you begin your decorating, whilst with wire you can cut and lay your carpets but do not glue until lighting is finished. Try to work out how many lights you are going to install and allow for any future changes before purchasing your power supply, this will ensure for any future
changes you might make.

Controlling of your Lighting System

Flickering effect units are available for your candle bulbs and fireplaces and these need there own circuit which is then connected to the controller. If you decide to purchase a remote control lighting unit the flickering effects can also be controlled by this. With a controlled lighting system you can choose which lights are on or off at any one time and you can also dim any as you require. You may be happy to have all your lights on at the same time in which case you wire your lights to a power supply and they turn on with the mains supply.

Transformers/Power Supplies

Transformer or power supplies are used to change our normal household power into one that the dolls house lights can use. The standard power supply for dolls houses runs at 12 volts. The number of lights you can run from the power supply depends on how many amps it has. To determine what power supply to purchase you need to count the number of bulbs in the house not lights. A chandelier could have 8 bulbs. Normal dolls house light bulbs draw 50 milliamps so a 1 amp power supply would power 20 bulbs, remember bulbs not lights.

Avoiding Lighting Problems

Lighting problems in copper tape generally occur when connections are corroded or the tape is loose or incorrectly installed. Tape wire should be installed in room as against the whole house to make finding faults easier in the future. Wire systems involve plugging individual lights into connections at the back of the house or roof. If the light is not working then the fault lies in the wiring or the light fitting and can easily be identified.

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