I enjoy building doll houses on the side. Whenever I have some spare time I will put together a doll house, paint it, and add some furniture. These doll houses either go away to a family member, or I sell them whenever we have a yard sale. These doll houses though are always put together in haste to try and make a quick buck.
When I am looking to create a masterpiece though constructing a doll house takes a lot of time, patience, and effort. No matter how perfected the doll house is in the end though, if it lacks one vital key element the doll house is a flop. That key element is lighting. Without lightning, it’s just a waste of time.
Lighting a doll house though can be very difficult, and at times dangerous, if you don’t know what your doing.
The first doll house I ever worked on turned out to be my favorite piece, simply because I had lighting. At first I was a little nervous about how to approach it, but with trial and error, and a few electrical shocks to the fingers I figured I would share my knowledge on going about lighting a doll house.
You see when I first began I didn’t have many manuals and books to look through, and what was available online was only limited to very hard to understand manuals.
I decided that I needed a kit, and the only ones available to me that made sense was Cir-Kit Concepts Inc. I had an 11 room doll house to work with, so I went with their deluxe lighting kit that I found at www.oakridgehobbies.com. Surprisingly this very same doll house lighting kit is still available for sale, as it had been 5 years ago. The price however went up to $117.00. You necessarily may not need the deluxe kit, and a small starter kit may suit your needs just well.
In these kits it is all the same. You get copper tape, a wall plug in, and a tester pen.
The first thing you are going to do is to get your copper tape out. This tape comes with 2 strands running along together side by side. This is how it is to be set up in the doll house. Like yellow lines on a road. Figure out where you want to place lights in the doll house. You can even trace lines with pencil if you’d like. Slowly take the copper and run it across walls, ceilings and floors in the doll house. Make sure though that both pieces of copper tape are close to one another but not touching, or crossing over one another. It takes a steady hand, but once done, you will have a doll house filled with copper tape running side by side throughout the home. This tape can later on be covered with wall paper or coats of paint.
Do not worry if you accidentally rip the copper. Small white connection tabs can be placed over the tears to make the connection work.
Next you take the wall adapter, this wall adapter will have two sharp metal prongs, the prongs are to be punched into the copper tape to create a secure connection.
Now you may plug the adapter into the wall. Next take the tester pen, which has a small light bulb attached to it. This pen will light up if you have put the wire in correctly.
Now you need lights! Hopefully you already have them on hand.
I find that the lights available on the market now are annoying. Most come with very large plugs. You may cut these ridiculous plugs off, and splice the wire. You can either add the lights on with the connection stickers, or by soldering them. I prefer to solder them, because these cheap stickers tend to peel off and can cause you to loose the connection.
Before doing this though, figure out which walls you will be wallpapering, and which ones you will be placing paint on. You can solder on lights now, and wallpaper over them. I recommend wallpapering every wall this way, because you will need many, many, many coats of paint to hide the copper wiring, and no matter how many coats you give it, it will always show through a tad.
After you are done soldering all your lights in, you can now begin to add your own furniture pieces.
The end result will be a glorious, lighted doll house that will have everyone in awe when they see it.
There are many other kits available online, but these kits tend to be very confusing to those just learning how to put lights into doll houses. I recommend you buy kits only from Cir-Kit Concepts.
After you have toyed around with this kit, you will find that you can light a doll house on your own for a lot cheaper with tools from the hardware store. After all, you really only need copper tape, and a compatible AC adapter. Wink wink.
Lighting is probably the most frustrating part of putting together a doll house. The end result though is worth the cussing and small electrical shocks you may get. Hehe.
Just a tip- Always turn off the lights at night.