Doll House Wiring Made Easy
If you are daunted by the task of doll house wiring and fitting lights -Don't Worry- help is at hand.
Lighting a doll house can be a very daunting task when you do it for the first time. Knowing where to place your lights and where to run all the wires is a confusing enough task and how to connect them all up and actually get them working may feel beyond your capabilities but do not worry. Lighting your doll house is much easier than you think and we are here to help. We have put together a full step-by-step guide to doll house wiring to lead you through the process and you will have your miniature lights up and running in no time.
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First of all lets familiarize you with the basics of doll house wiring...
There are two basic methods for doll house wiring: copper tape and the twin wire or socket strip method. Although both are frequently used for lighting doll houses many dolls house shops and builders recommend the twin wire method as being the easiest for beginners. I will explain both here:
Copper Tape Method
The copper tape method uses a very thin strip of adhesive copper tape to conduct electricity around your dolls house. To use this method you would run two parallel lines of copper tape right around your dolls house forming a continuous loop. If your dolls house is front opening the best option here would be to run the parallel lines right around the back of the dolls house. You can then attach the wires from each light in the house to the copper tape by drilling a tiny hole in the back of the house and passing the wire through. The normal method for attaching wires to the copper tape is to solder them on. Once you have connected your lights you can connect a transformer plug to the copper tape, plug it in and your house should light up.
This method is more often used for houses that are not front opening as the copper tape can be run around the house and hidden under flooring and wall paper. One point I will mention is that copper tape can be corroded by adhesives and does break which is why it is not the favored method of many miniaturists.
The Twin Wire Method
The twin wire or socket strip method uses a combination of wires, plugs and sockets for doll house wiring to connect lights in your dolls house to a power source. This method is easier to modify, easier to install, is less likely to break and is cheaper than the copper tape method. This is how it works:
Lights are fitted into each room of your dolls house. Lights normally come with 60cm of wire with a standard sized plug on the end. The wire from each light is run either to a point in the house where you have decided to place your socket board or out of the back of the house to where you socket board is attached. In front opening houses it is easy to attach a socket board to the back of the house and drill a tiny hole in the back of each room to run you wires through. The plugs at the and of the wire is then plugged into your socket board. You socket board is attached to a transformer which plugs into any normal household socket to supply your house with electricity. Doll house wiring really is that simple.
To the right is a picture of a standard plug used in doll house wiring which you will find at the end of the wire attached to your dolls house lights. These plugs will fit into the sockets on the socket board.
Transformers are used to change our normal household power supply into one that doll house wiring can handle. The standard transformer used for doll house wiring is twelve volts. The number of bulbs you can run off a single transformer depends on the 'watt' value of the transformer. Remember that watts determine the number of bulbs you can run from a single transformer and not the number of lights, therefore a three arm tulip light counts as three bulbs.
If you are using a large amount of lights you should balance them out over two or more socket boards in your doll house wiring. Also you may want to consider using two transformers and two separate lighting circuits if your doll house is large or if you are using a lot of bulbs.
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