Saturday, April 24, 2010

Lights in the Kitchen!

I love lights.

I love well-done lighting in the real world (whether on stage or in a living room), and miniature lighting has always captivated me in inverse proportion to its scale.  The instant I see little lights go on, my brain switches immediately to "child".  In a good way :)

I have learned, in my brief time doing dolls' house scale lighting, that sometimes it goes ridiculously smoothly, and other times it's a pain in the arse.

For some reason, the little fires in the kitchen decided to be the latter.

The fires themselves are fabulous.  I'd like to learn to make my own, but until then, these are my favourites.  I bought two identical ones from this eBay seller, Kerby Lane Miniatures -- of all the commercially-available dolls house flames/fires I've ever seen, these are the nicest.  (When they have them for sale, you can usually find them by searching eBay for "dollhouse flames").

They don't come with a plug, which is fine by me.  I'd just have to take it off and put it back on again, and the little plugs are my least favourite part of wiring.

For good reason :)

I got all my holes drilled, I moved my circuit board and transformer to the table on which I'm working on the kitchen.  I got the little wires pushed through the holes.  And I started to put the little plugs on the little wires.

Both units put up a struggle.  I couldn't get brass pins out of the plugs.  Then, when I could get them out, I dropped them and couldn't find them and used bad language and had to find another.  Then I had trouble stripping the wires without cutting them, then I had trouble getting the brass pins back into the plugs, and then the damned things wouldn't light up :)

But, finally, both units were correctly wired, plugged in, turned on and everything was magical!

I really like the effect of the flame unit in the enclosed bake oven -- I'm so glad I actually made separate little boxes for each oven!

And this photo shows all three of my new arrivals:  the flame unit casts a nice glow on the fireback.  The little cauldron is hanging from the chimney crane.  The chimney crane doesn't swing, which was a bit of a disappointment, (because we all like moving things, eh? :) I was also at a loss how to install it so that it both looked somewhat believable and held the cauldron roughly over the centre of the fire.  Finally I cut a tiny triangular section of basswood, glued the crane to it, painted it black, and then glued it in the upper back corner of the cob irons.  It looks quite convincing, even close up, so I can live with it :)

I can't wait until tonight to take night photos!


  1. I love the result! It's extremely real!
    Very well done!

    Mini hugs

  2. Hello Nina. I think that even today the work went well: the result of the fire is beautiful. It makes me think of the crib (presepio), where the lights are very important to give the right atmosphere. When it is finished, the Tudor castle will be much more beautiful than Elaine Diehl and Colleen Moore :-)

  3. I love the fires, it the first time I've seen some with actual flames that look good!! Must have a look myself! I LOVE the whole look of this room it’s fantastic…you and the little ones should be SOOO proud!! :o))

    The cauldron looks large is it?

    Getting the little brass pins out of plugs has to be worse thing AND then trying the get the wires in too! Grrr! You can buy a pin extractor (not that expensive) if you have a lot to do. I use pliers and lots of swearing still ensues! lol

    Michelle xx

  4. The ovens look great! The flames are so real! I love it! The cauldron looks like mine for the Sev's office ;) It is bigger but I like it, besides it was the first thing that I bought thinking about Snape's dungeon ;)

  5. I love the hearth look! So warm and inviting. I havent tried lighting yet as it was the copper tape style when I started. I guess it must be easier these days. C

  6. The fires look so nice! I have to get some also :)

    I've been doing some wiring also today and I can tell you that I hate doing the lights, but have to as all the nice ones cost a fortune.


  7. Awesome! They look spectacular! :)

    Worth the struggle, I'll say. :)

  8. Thanks, guys for all the lovely comments!

    A pin extractor sounds heavenly, Michelle. Gotta look into that ... I hate those little things.

    The cauldron is actually pretty small -- it's only about an inch in diameter. I think I want to put something bubbling away inside it :)

    Hi, My Realitty, nice to see you! I use the round wires because I was advised to when I started out (in October, just in case it sounds like I've been doing this a long time :) I like the round wire system, because it's straightforward to trouble-shoot, and, knowing me, there's going to be a lot of trouble!

  9. Hi Nina,
    That looks fab! I love the fires they are really effective.
    Emma x

  10. WOW, Nina! I truly have never seen a better "fire" effect. I did one before where I tried to make it glow but it is not easy controlling the speed and I didn't make the coal. I love these and you are so sweet to give the link because guess who may be having the same fire? :). My problem is the plug. We do not have the plugs for miniature lightings so I always use normal size plug for my LED lights. Do you think it will work for these fires?

    Your kitchen is coming together so very well. Can you imagine when it is all done and everything is lighted up? Who needs Christmas tree right?

  11. Very effective - it looks great (pardon the pun!). Your description of experiences with lighting made me smile - it describes me and my experiences with the little blighters to a T. I hope you'll post some night-time pics.

  12. Night time pics already scheduled to post this afternoon, Irene :) Blighters is the word for them. Well, a fairly polite word ...

    Sans -- thank you! I don't know enough about electricity to know the voltage and so forth of the LED lights. I know these little fires are 12 volt, so if you've been able to use commercial lights before with your LED plugs, then these should be fine. They certainly have two wires, that's about all I know ...

    I have to go out for the rest of today -- more tomorrow! Thanks, everyone, for commenting ...

  13. Wow they are realistic. I've never seen one that good either. Does it flicker as well.

    I hate leds...I did a couple of commissions where I made wizard staffs that lit up at the end. What a pain that was. I passed it all over to Mick and he made me some lovely flickering ones...I just made the staff :-)


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