“I don’t know what eventually led me to want to install a star ceiling in my soon to arrive baby girl’s nursery but I’m glad I did. My daughter will forever have the coolest night light in the whole town.”
A father’s labor of love for his daughter.
A Star Ceiling Installation
Contributed by Tyler
I started out doing some research online to get an idea of what I was about to undertake. As I explained my plans to my wife she lovingly nodded and agreed let me install “something” in the ceiling all while she had no real clue of what it would look like. I later found out that she had imagined big gaudy star shaped light bulbs all over the ceiling in the nursery, but she was pleasantly surprised with the end result.
I was able to come by 200 feet of .75 mm unjacketed fiber from a friend of mine that owns a haunted house and I rushed home to begin the installation. I started by surveying my attic and tried to guess where the nursery’s ceiling actually started and ended under all the insulation. My attic is quite accommodating as far as attics go, no nasty shredded newspaper insulation, no ducts or excessive wiring, and I could even stand straight up in most areas.Before I could put my initial 200 feet of fiber I would need to scoop all the insulation out of my work area.
There was quite a pile of insulation on the other side of the attic when I was done clearing it out.
With the insulation gone I could now start poking the fiber through the ceiling. I did this with a simple sewing needle and a pair of needle nose pliers. Once the hole was punched, I slid about 4 inches of the fiber through each hole from the attic side.After the fiber was in I would tape each fiber to the ceiling. This secured it temporarily until I could put a drop of tacky glue where the fiber went through the sheetrock. I wanted to make sure I didn’t have a clumsy moment and pull out a few stars.
I also took some 2X4’s up into the attic with me to give me something to lie across while installing the fiber in hard to reach places. I really didn’t want to damage my ceiling by accidentally putting a hand or foot through it. Each move I made was as deliberate and as cautious as possible.
With my initial 200 feet of fiber optic strands I was able to finish about one fifth of the ceiling. I quickly ordered more. I ordered 700 feet of .75 mm and 300 feet .5mm, both unjacketed fiber.
After I had all the fibers installed I painted the under side of the ceiling to cover any damage that resulted from my sewing needles. (BTW: I went through numerous needles). I painted right over the fiber but made sure none stuck to the ceiling after I rolled over them. When the paint was dry I trimmed each fiber flush with the ceiling and went back up into the attic to tie up any loose ends. I drilled holes through the ceiling joist to run the fiber the shortest possible route to the light source and to ensure that if any one walks in the attic that they wouldn’t step on or uproot any strands.
For a light source I used a fiber optic night light that changes colors red, blue, green, and yellow. I removed the 10 inches or so of fiber optic strands that came attached to the night light and directed all my star ceiling strands right into the night light. I also purchased a wireless power outlet and plugged my light source into it so that I wouldn’t have to open the attic every time I wanted to turn the stars on or off. After I had the light source attached I made sure to check the star field from the nursery to make sure it looked ok and to see if I needed to fill any bare spots. Feeling confident about my handy work, I covered all the fiber up with insulation and built a little enclosure for the light source so the insulation was not in direct contact with it.
If I were to do this project again I would have used more .5 mm and less .75 mm diameter strand and I would have tried to make it look more like the night sky. Also in the near future I would like to get a twinkle blue or white light source instead of my color wheel. I’m also going to hard wire an outlet switch in the nursery for the light source in the attic.
All together I probably spent twelve hours over the course of a week on this project but it was worth every second. Everyone who sees it is flabbergasted that I was able to do it myself. My daughter is now 6 months old and she will wake up and just stare at the ceiling, giving her tired parents a few more minutes of much needed rest. It looks amazing both by day and by night and my daughter will enjoy it for years to come.
Great Job Tyler!
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