“When we first started the process of installing the fiber optic stars, I thought, ‘wow this is going to be a nightmare’, but it wasn’t! If you develop a plan for the installation of the fiber optics, the process will not be a problem. Three people were able to install almost 700 stars in one weekend. We placed stars in the ceiling over the seating, in four large windows, in the wall and the ceiling of the entry area to our home theater…and we have never done a job like this before. “The effect is fantastic!
Brian & Debbie Lamont
Fiber Optic Store Comments:
The main star area was 10 x 14, with a desired 4:1 star density. There are also stars in the foyer and in the ‘fake windows’ on the wall. The Lamont’s followed our advice and drew up a plan to assist their fiber calculations. Here’s what Brian and Debbie ordered for their Home Theater Star Ceiling:
Materials ordered for the Star Ceiling:
- 300 ft of 32 strand fiber optic cable
- 500 ft of .5mm single strand filament
- 1 fiber optic illuminator with Twinkle Wheel
Brian and Debbie followed our star ceiling guide throughout their installation. We’d like to thank them for taking these photos along with writing the text for these pages.
If you’re looking to install a star ceiling, be sure to visit our “Guide to Installing A Star Ceiling“. Here you will find answers to many questions, fiber & illuminator combo packs and more customer contributions.
Brian & Debbie’s Comments:
Here we are trimming away the outer layer covering the fiber strands. This was one of the most time consuming and tedious procedures as we didn’t want to cut any of the fibers off by
mistake, especially since we were trimming about two feet of covering off. After several attempts and by using a piece of junk board, a clamp and a razor knife with an angled blade, we were able to trim the covering in a fast manner.
We begin separating the fibers and start the process of placing them into the ceiling tile.
We used an assembly line approach to this and utilized 3 or 4 people at one time.Once the fibers were separated, one person slid the fiber optic cable into a needle, handed it to another person who took the needle and pressed it through the tile, another person applied duct tape over the fiber optic cable to the back of the ceiling tile…. then the process was started over again.
When we had four people, one person would feed two people with needles and one person duct tape everything.
We used one 32 strand cable for each 2′ x 4′ ceiling tile.
Jim (our good friend) and Debbie pulling the individual strands through small holes I had drilled in the wood. These strands ran to the top portion of the large windows in the ht.After we did two windows with the individual strands we started using the 32 strand cable for the other windows and we found the cable a lot easier, faster, and more forgiving than the individual strands.
Here Jim and I are placing the complete tiles in the ceiling grid.
This was a little problem as we only had 1 1/4″ inch of space to place a one inch thick ceiling tile in the ceiling grid.
In some places we had to trim away the back of the tile in order to place it around piping.
All photos are thumbnails, click on photo to see a larger image, use backspace to return.
The ceiling about 50% complete and you can see the individual strands hanging down.
Two Helpful Tips:
- Make sure to leave 2-4″ of fiber optic strands hanging down that can be trimmed once the job is complete.
- Use black non-fiber ceiling tiles, they make the job a lot easier.
Jim trims the excess fiber optic strands with a nail clipper. We had a little less than 700 stars, so there was a lot of trimming.
But the effect was fantastic, when we dimmed the lights for the first time… it was great!
These photos show the individual cables running back to where the illuminator would be placed. Instead of drilling a lot of holes we ran the fiber optic cables back threw the same holes, this was easier to control and kept all the cables from heat pipes, etc.
The individual strands hanging down from the tiles.
… towards the rear of the theater.
>>> This photo shows one of the toughest areas to install the fiber optics.We had to place the tiles over a small roof, but with only 1 1/4″ of space for a 1″ tiles and trying not to damage the roof tiles at the same time proved to be a real hurdle. We almost had to lower the grid but with a little patience we were finally able to install the finished tile.
One thing about installing fiber optics…. it isn’t a tough job but you must have patience.
Here we’re building the arched foam covered acoustic treatments for the (4) large windows.We used a 1/4″ panel, glued the acoustic foam to the front, and placed black speaker cloth over the front of the foam and stapled it to the back.
>>> installing the fiber optic strands to the top portion of the arched panel.
Then the panel will be placed into the window with shutters so it would give the illusion of a starry night.
This photo shows the location of the illuminator which is up in the ceiling, and covered over with a wood panel. With the addition of insulation the noise of the illuminator is very minimal, and we could cut the noise even more but no one has even heard it running.