Fiber Optic Star Ceiling
Tri North Lighting fiber optics star ceiling kits provide a complete solution for small and medium size star ceilings, floors or walls. These kits provide everything you need including an illuminator, fiber optics cable and complete installation instructions. The fiber optics cables are pre cut at the factory to greatly simplify and accelerate the installation.
Suggestions: The appropriate density, or quantity of points in an area, is highly subjective. Most ceilings use between 1 and 6 points of light per square foot of surface area. Lower ceilings (less than 10 feet high) require more density than higher ceilings (more than 15 feet high) in order to look natural. Sparser layouts tend to look more natural, and denser layouts tend to look more glitzy.
DISTRIBUTION: Natural stars look splotchy. To best recreate the beauty of the natural sky, we urge you to vary the spacing between points. Some areas should have several stars together and other areas very few stars. Consider incorporating a dense Milky Way section into your project.
CONSTELLATIONS: You may want to have a few stars that form a constellation. Use several larger strands of fiber in the same hole to make a constellation star point that is brighter than the other star points.
INSTALLATION: Install each illuminator in an accessible location that allows each cable to reach the ceiling with 3 feet of slack. Drill a hole through the ceiling and, working from above the ceiling, insert the proper size fiber through the hole, allowing it to protrude several inches into the room. Secure the fiber in place with adhesive. Allow the adhesive to dry. Clip the fibers to approximately 3/8 from the ceiling and apply a light coat of latex paint over the ceiling and fibers (optional). After the paint has dried, clip the fibers to 1/8, or to 1/4 if you prefer to allow for a future repainting and re-clipping.
Technical Remarks: Locate Illuminator(s) in an accessible, ventilated area. Route cables to locations of star points. Coil excess cable if needed.
Installation Sequence: Paint ceiling, drill holes, insert fibers, adhere fibers in place, lightly repaint ceiling, trim fibers to 1/8". Leaving an additional 1/8" would allow for future repainting of the ceiling.
The installation of a star field ceiling is not very hard but can be time consuming. An important item to consider before ordering the components is to verify access above the ceiling material in order to install the fibers. Before the material is ordered, determine the placement of the illuminator, the number of points per square foot and the length of the fiber tail required.
If the fiber head is pre-made at the factory, which is highly recommended, it will arrive at the job site bundled and cable-tied for ease of handling. The first thing to do before beginning installation of the fibers is to have a qualified electrician install and wire the illuminator. In some cases, all the electrician might need to do is to wire a standard plug. As a rule, your illuminator will be placed on a shelf in a closet, along the top of a wall or in the center of the room secured to a structural beam. After the illuminator is installed, begin installing the fibers.
The following tools are needed for installation; a Dremel Tool, up to 3 sizes of drill bits (.75mm, 1mm, and 1.5mm), 30 minute epoxy for fiber placement, scaffolding or ladders if required and two people to do the actual installation.
If access above the ceiling or a grid type ceiling is possible, begin by laying out the fiber around the room in the pattern that the fiber will be positioned. Start at the closest star locations and work away from the illuminator. Two people are required so one can drill from below and the other, above the ceiling, can poke the fibers through the hole and epoxy the fibers in place. As the fibers are placed, the person doing the drilling should pull 3 to 4 inches of fiber though the hole, exposing them though the ceiling. This allows the ceiling to be finished, mudded, painted, etc., without worrying about covering up the fibers.
For a drop down paneled ceiling remove the panels next to the area to be worked on, drill and place the fibers, then replace the panels while moving across the room. If working in drywall that is not yet installed, cut the drywall to size and do any test fitting required. Once the sheet of drywall is cut correctly, drill and place the fibers, making sure to leave adequate room around the perimeter for taping. Now lift and install the completed panel and continue on to the next one. If the ceiling has a crawl space with no means of panel removal, the same method is used with one person below drilling and one above placing fibers and securing with epoxy. As the fibers are placed, retain a few fibers in each area to use as fillers once the ceiling is completed to fill in any bare areas.
Once all of the fibers have been placed, the ceiling is finished and all are satisfied with the fiber placement and effect, clip the exposed fiber ends about 1/4 to 1/8 of an inch from the ceiling with a pair of snips. This will allow the ceiling to be repainted several times without losing the star field.
Using fiber optics to create a starry night effect is a spectacular way to set a mood. This effect has been used in themed restaurants, amusement parks and residential home theaters. There are some guidelines that can be used, but we strongly suggest that you remember these are only guidelines. For specific application needs, we recommend that you contact us.
The primary effect is created by using one to three different fiber sizes and a rotating sparkle wheel to create a twinkling effect. One size of fiber optic cable will look ok, but by using three fiber sizes mixed together provide the illusion of depth. Larger diameter fibers appear closer while the smaller diameters appear as distant stars. If you can use one of our pre manufactured fiber optic star kits, we do suggest that you use them because they are fairly inexpensive. If you would like to create a ceiling with three different sizes of stars, we suggest that you purchase our fiber optic star pack or fiber optic end point cable spools.
There are also a wide variety of fiber optic illuminators that we sell as well. For smaller ceilings with short runs of fiber optic cable, we suggest you use the led illuminators or a 75 watt halogen illuminator. In cases where you need to place your fiber optic illuminator 40 feet or more from the star field, we suggest you use the Super Vision Star Pro 70 watt metal halide illuminator. The metal halide light bulbs have more lumens than the 75 watt halogen illuminators do.
Information required for quoting or planning a fiber optic star ceiling:
1. What is the square footage? The standard rule is to use 3-6 points of light per square foot.
2. Is the ceiling surface dome, flat or multi-level? This information must be obtained in order to determine your length of fiber.
3. Electrical placement and access to the illuminator. The best location for the light source is the center of the room with the fibers distributed out from there. However, electrical outlets are usually placed along the wall and not in the center of the room. The location of the light source is an important issue in determining how many light sources are needed and the length of the fibers. The fibers should be no further than 50 feet from the light source.