Home Cinema Lighting Project 3

This is a truly exceptional fibre optic star ceiling by one of our customers in South Africa. Artcoustic SA and Sphere Custom Design are professional home cinema installers, so the scope and standard of finish is far beyond what the average DIY enthusiast is likely to aspire to.

The room started out with a plain flat plasterboard ceiling, so the deep coffers you can see in the photos were added specifically as a key feature of the design. We generally tell customers that it's not necessary to paint their ceiling black or dark blue to achieve nice effects with fibre optics, but this was a case where painting a dark background was certainly the appropriate option. Although it's not obvious in the photos, the sky effect also includes some specially-painted clouds to give a bit more depth and interest to the illusion.

Thousands of fibre optic stars.

The dramatic star ceiling gives the impression of being outdoors, but with all the comforts of home to-hand. Click here for a larger photo of the room.

Artcoustic's Christiaan Beukes decided to go for a distributed light source approach, using many light sources, but with relatively short fibre runs, and commissioned us here at Starscape to assemble nearly 50 "mini-harnesses".

"In total I think there are around 4,500 stars in that ceiling," says Christiaan. Each of the recesses has between 180 and 250 fibres, in a mixture of 0.75mm and 1mm diameters. Brighter stars were created by occasionally putting two or even three fibres in the same hole. Another way of doing this is to use 1.5mm or even 2mm fibres, but these are considerably less flexible and thus more difficult to work with. They're fine in the workshop, but their tendency to coil up on themselves can be frustrating if you are crawling around in the attic or ceiling void!

Given the sheer number of stars that had to be installed, Christiaan decided that he wouldn't glue the fibres in place. Bare fibre ends were used, trimmed back to the ceiling, and the fit in the 1mm holes in the plasterboard was snug enough to not require glueing.

Bank to Home Cinema projects.


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Bathroom fibre optic lighting

Project 91

Wildlife projects at Starscape:

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