I decided I’d try my hand at tape wiring for the half-scale RGT Bungalow. I’ve never done tape wiring (successfully), so here I go.
Step one is to mark the walls where the tape run will go. A big help to me in understanding how to plan the run was 1) The CirKit Concepts DVD; 2) Dollhouse Lighting by Barbara Warner (an older book but helped me with the basics, especially making folds instead of splices everywhere). CirKit Concepts (http://cir-kitconcepts.com/) has both.
The kitchen marked for tape. I didn’t plan for wall lights in either of these rooms (I have ceiling lights), but this way, if I ever want wall or floor lights, it’s ready to go.
The first floor tape run finished. I purchased CirKit Concept’s starter kit, which includes copper tape (conveniently in a double strip), brads and eyelets, a punch, test probe, lead-in wire with switch and instructions. Transformer must be purchased separately–I already had a transformer I wasn’t using, so this kit was perfect for me.
I folded the tape at right angles when I wanted to go up and down and around walls. Apparently, too many splices can weaken the connection and dim the lights farther down the run, but folds don’t. Be careful when folding that the tapes don’t touch!
Outside, the tape run begins here, and the junction box is attached–two prongs on the underside go into the copper tape.
Transformer is plugged into the junction.
I plugged in the transformer, switched on the power, and stuck the test probe into the end of the downstairs run. It lit! I hadn’t caused any shorts. Yay!
Installing the outside sconces. I did a “through the wall” installation. Wires come through the wall through holes drilled (right through the tape), and are connected to the copper tape with eyelets. (on the right you can see the excess tape, still attached, that I will take up to the second floor.)
Wire is pulled through drilled holes, installation stripped, and eyelets pushed into drilled holes with the bared wire. I trimmed the excess wire once I made sure it all worked.
The tape and eyelets are covered with wallpaper.
I added the second floor, brought the tape wire up through the stairwell, and continued. No break between first and second floor.
Where the brads are on the floor is my one and only splice. I only did it because I ran short of tape. I had almost enough to go up the last wall, but not quite. So I had to splice more on.
Light that will go on living room ceiling.
The living room light wires came up through drilled holes in the floor (drilled right through the copper tape), with eyelets pushed into the holes.
The tool is the most handy thing I bought. You put the eyelet on the end and press it into the pre-drilled hole. It is sold apart from the CirKit kits, but can be found at Hobby Builder’s Supply or CirKit Concepts. I recommend it.
Kitchen light wires coming up through holes I drilled (1/16″ drill bit). I found the center of the room below before I drilled the holes.
Eyelets go into copper and excess wiring is trimmed.
Kitchen light working!
Living room light a go.
The assistants ready.
Once I had the roof on, I needed to wallpaper the bathroom, which is kind of a cave (no windows). I decided to go with a mural. The paper is scrapbooking paper with a Monet theme.
I like how it came out with the trees and reflections.
This is the template I used to fit the mural paper. I wanted it to go in as one continuous piece instead of cut up, so I taped scrap paper inside the room, taped together and cut to fit. Used this template to cut out the mural. I was terrified this wouldn’t work at all, but it fit perfectly!
The mural goes smoothly around the corners without a break.
I had marked holes under the wallpaper where the sconce would plug in. Once the wallpaper was pasted in, I put eyelets into the holes (no it wasn’t easy to find the holes–I marked them on the template then punched holes in the template and marked through to the mural paper with a pencil. Even then it took me a couple tries to get it into the tape exactly right. The test probe helped.)
I have a sconce by Lighting Bug and a sconce adapter by CirKit Concepts. The adapter lets you turn the back of the sconce into a plug that plugs right into the eyelets. (Detailed instructions come with the adapter.)
The sconce on the adapter and plugged in.
Finished room with sconce. Need to do the flooring next!
The papered bedroom. As you can see, I’m not using the second partition, and I’ve moved the stairwell opening. On the left wall and under the window are holes where plugs will go for floor and table lamps.
So that’s the lights. I will do flooring and finish the outside next.
Supplies for this project I ordered directly from CirKit Concepts (http://cir-kitconcepts.com/), but I’ve seen their kits and supplies at Hobby Lobby and dollhouse shops.
All the lights so far are from Lighting Bug. I love their lights!