Dollhouse lighting…hmmm…as usual, I did the learn as I went thing. There are a couple of things that I wish I had done differently, but overall I’m happy with the electrical progression.
Since most of my lights will be hard wired into the house itself, the first step was to figure out where I wanted them and how to hide the wires. What to do if I have no actual furniture built yet? I made paper templates and placed them around the first floor of the house – that would be the living room and the kitchen/ dining room. To make the cutouts fairly accurate in scale, I printed out a list of standard American home furnishings dimensions and then converted them to 1″ scale. If you need one, you can find the list that I used here. https://www.highlandwoodworking.com/furnituredimesions.aspx
These paper templates are approximate since I don’t really know what I’ll be putting where, but it is close. There will also be a bump out on the side and the front of the dining room, so the table won’t be as cramped as it now looks.
Once the position was figured out, I drilled holes in the ceiling where I wanted the lights. Then I fed the wires up through those holes, and attached the fixtures to the ceiling underneath. At the bottom of the photo you can see that I added a mini column dividing the living room from the kitchen downstairs. That way I can bring all the wires to the center and hide them with a u-channel length of wood trim. I drew lines from the holes to the center front so that I could use my Moto tool to gouge out a channel into which I could bury the wires.
Now here is where I will do better on the second floor wiring. I should have carved out channels BEFORE pulling the wire up through the holes. It was no no big deal except that I had to be VERY careful not to nick the tiny little wires in the process.
After taping the wires in place, I was free to put down flooring. In this case I wanted carpet in both bedrooms. The “carpet” is a piece of upholstery fabric with enough weight and texture to simulate dollhouse sized wall-to-wall. If I needed to remove the carpet to fix wires someday, I used -not glue- but carpet tape to fix it in place.
OK, HERE is where I learned about not nicking tiny little wires. After installing the carpet, one of my lights did not work. I had previously tested and retested all the lights at each step of the way, so I pulled up the carpet to see what the problem was. Can you guess? I DID cut into a wire with my Moto tool! Ah well, live and learn… Fortunately it was no problem to replace the wire and then to replace the carpet. I was sure glad that I had not glued the carpet into place, I can tell you that for sure.
Finally, all of the lights work! The little white table lamp is connected through a tiny hole between the wall and the baseboard. It was then pulled to the front of the house under the foundation. The lamp is on the floor now, but will be placed on a long bookcase once I get it built.
Now, on to the the second floor construction. By the way, that modern art piece that you see on the living room wall is actually a box of supplies on my worktable behind the dollhouse. I hadn’t noticed it before but now I’m thinking that I like the colors against the grey wall. Maybe that will be the jump point for my tiny little abstract painting for the living room.
Stay tuned- I’ve been accumulating wallpaper and fabrics!