Customer project 47 - Star Ceiling with three fibre optic circuits

This interesting project, by our customer Mick W of Essex, is notable for two reasons. Firstly, with 450 stars it's considerably larger in scope than most residential installations, and secondly, it has not one, but three halogen light sources.

Starscape's standard halogen light source has sufficient physical capacity to accommodate all 450 fibres, but Mick wanted to be able to display several colours simultaneously. So, this meant creating three separate fibre optic harnesses, each illuminated by its own light source. Working to very detailed specifications from Mick, Starscape made up three harnesses of different fibre numbers and lengths. About half of the fibres were to be illuminated with white light, and the balance in colours.

In this high density star ceiling installation you can see a nice tight cluster of fibres at centre right. Three separate light sources means that stars of different colours can be displayed simultaneously.

The two photos above show the sideglow effect of the fibre, with fibres glowing green and blue. In the photo at right, you can see that there is only one power flex coming out of each of the light sources, even though the two units on the right have a socket for a power cord to feed the colour wheel motor. So, clearly, at this point Mick was happy to have the colour wheels stationary on the selected colours. Click on either photo for a larger image.

The principle is simple enough, but this was quite a big job, simply by virtue of the number of fibres involved.

"We are absolutely delighted with the results," says Mick. "Once the ceiling was finished I was not sure if it looked a little over the top, but I now believe it has grown on me to the extent that I think it is superb. I do think that if I were to do it again I could do it even better."

In this photo the protruding optical fibres have yet to be trimmed back flush to the ceiling. With the fibres trimmed back, and the room lighting turned up, the effect of the star ceiling is more restrained.

Two photos of the star ceiling in different lighting conditions. The photo at left is interesting because it was taken before the fibres were trimmed back to the ceiling and demonstrates very well the halo effect which is created when the bare fibre ends are left projecting by a few millimetres. Also, with the room lighting turned down the colours are more pronounced. In the second photo the halo effect is absent, indicating that it was taken after the fibres were trimmed back to the ceiling.

One thing to bear in mind is that if Mick tires of this particular look he can change it simply by changing the colour wheel positions in one or more of his light sources. So, he could, for instance, simply have all the stars on twinkling white. Or by rotating the colour wheels through a few degrees change the colour balance.

Mick, who lives in Romford, Essex, has kindly volunteered to show his ceiling to anyone interested in tackling such a project. Anyone interested in taking up this generous offer should get in touch with us here at Starscape.

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