Building ‘The End Terrace’ Dolls House (part 7 installing lighting)

A view of a terrace house in red brick with a yellow front door and a double sash window. The house abuts a tall grey concrete wall with a fence above it that cuts off the end of the terrace row and the road. There is small front garden area with two stone gate posts, a very low wall and stone coping to the right with a hedge growing over it, and a taller brick wall to the left leading to the neighbouring house. Daisy is wearing a yellow high visibility work coat and black trousers and boots. She is standing on the pavement with a hand on a gatepost while looking at the 'For Sale' sign placed by an agent called 'Redi Bricks'. The whole scene is hand made at one twelfth scale.

Following from part 6 and the building of the back of the house I will now be installing the lighting and wiring.
I have chosen to make the lights removable from each room using a plug and socket arrangement in the ceiling. There is a blog entry on how I made the lights here.

I chose barrel jack plugs and sockets as they are shorter then 3.5mm audio jacks, and I happened to have a few in stock. I decided on the line sockets as they are a smaller diameter then the chassis sockets. That allows me a second chance to modify the lighting if needed at a later date without a large hole in the ceilings.

First off I cut the solder terminals short and soldered on some tiny two core wires giving each socket around 250mm (10 inches) of wire.

Four barrel jack power sockets, two with wires soldered onto them.
Soldering wires to the sockets.
Two barrel jack sockets held in crocodile clips for soldering.
Working two at a time.

I drilled a 7mm hole into the 4mm plywood ceiling at each of the lighting positions. The holes were then tapped out to M8x1.5 thread, the closest I had to fit the thread on the barrel jack sockets. Each one was then screwed into the ceiling.

The ceiling board for the ground floor with barrel jack sockets screwed into holed in the ceiling, looking like little chrome ceiling roses
Lighting sockets in the ceiling.

As can be seen there is very little clearance inside the ceiling void.

A view inside the ceiling void showing the barrel jack socket inside with wires attached.
Only just enough clearance in the ceiling void.

These are the plug in lights I made in this blog entry. They are made from drinks bottle tops.

Seven bottle cap lampshades with barrel jack blugs and LEDs installed. Two are blue translucent, one is white translucent, two are plain white in different shapes, one is orange, and one is a crinkly shaped clear cap.
A good range of lampshades.

Plugged into the ceiling sockets they look like lamp shades on a batten lamp holder. A sensible fitting given the low ceiling heights in this house.

A white 'bell' shaped drinks bottle nipple installed as an upstairs landing ceiling light.
The upstairs landing light.

As I wanted to control each light separately I needed to wire then each to a switch bank. I had some off cut of four pair telecoms wire, I only needed seven pairs so two runs would do. The top floor lights were run down a void in the house back wall I had left for that purpose.

The top of the dolls house showing a multi core wire leading to the three lighting sockets.
Using old telecoms cable for lighting.

The wiring for the ground floor lights were fed through the ceiling void and down the corner behind the front house wall. With the wires pulled out tot he front of the house I could then solder joint them and sleeve with heat shrink before tucking it all back into the void.

The front view of the dolls house showing two loops of multi core cable coming out from the base.
Two cables to run seven lights.

The wiring exits the house underneath. As the house will be elevated slightly off the workbench it will be a good place to hide the power supply and the switch bank. I will also be adding external lighting to the front and rear of the house too.

That’s it for this instalment. in the next instalment I will be placing the house in its permanent location.

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