Back to Lights & Electrics
|The most significant addition you can make to your dolls house is lighting, it adds colour and warmth and gives that lived in feeling. The range of components available makes wiring a dolls house relatively easy, even for a beginner. If you have not attempted lighting before we recommend that you consider it. You will not find it difficult and you will be delighted with the results.
There are miniature working lights available to suit every taste and period, including chandeliers, ceiling lights, wall lights, table and standard lamps and outdoor and street lights. Our lights are all complete with a bulb, wire and plug and can easily be fitted into your dolls house.
For those of you who are new to dolls house lighting, the following brief guide may be helpful:-
Dolls house lighting systems are low voltage, usually 12 volts and require a transformer for their operation. The two basic methods for doll house wiring are copper tape and twin core wire and socket strip. Both have their advantages, but we do recommend the twin core wire method if you haven't attempted it before, as it simpler to install and easier to identify any faults in the system.
Briefly the two methods can be summarised as follows:-
|Dolls House Wiring using Double Copper Tape
||Dolls House Wiring using Twin Core Wire|
This method uses copper tape to conduct electricity in and around your dolls house. We suggest that you use only good quality double conductor self adhesive copper tape, this is supplied on rolls with a peel off backing and the two conductors are different colours, making identification for connections easy. The upper surface is covered with an insulating film.
To use this method you would run the copper tape around your dolls house to the various points requiring a power supply, connections between separate pieces of tape being made with either brass pins or small eyelets, or for the expert by soldering. The normal method for attaching the wires from your lights to the copper tape is to solder them, but plug in adaptors are available to enable direct connection of the light to the tape.
It is possible to combine the copper tape and twin core wiring methods, this is particularly suited to front opening dolls houses. To do so you would run a circuit of tape on the back of your house only. Attaching the wires from each light to the copper tape is then either by soldering, or by inserting large eyelets into the tape, which will accept the plug supplied with the light. You only need to drill 1.5mm holes to pass the wire through to the back of the house, as the plugs can be removed from the wire and easily be refitted if you are going to plug them into the tape rather than soldering.
The transformer is connected to a convenient point on the copper tape circuit
This method uses the wires, and plugs which come fitted to most lights and a socket strip to connect them to the power supply. It is easier for the beginner to install and modify than the copper tape method and fault finding is simple. The wires on your lights can be extended if necessary to reach your socket strip, but in most cases the wire already attached to your light should be long enough.
Dolls house lights normally come with 24" (60cm) of wire, with a standard sized plug on the end. For front opening dolls houses it is usual to mount the socket strip on the back of the house. The back of the socket strip is self adhesive to make this easy. The plugs are removed from the lights and the wires are then run by the most convenient route to the rear wall of the house, passed through a small hole and with the plug refitted, plugged into the socket strip.
The socket strip is fitted with an on/off switch and a fuse and has a lead to connect it to a transformer, which in turn plugs into a domestic socket outlet to supply your house with electricity.
Socket strips are available to accept either six or twelve lights and extensions are also available with three additional connections. Providing that you do not overload your transformer, more than one socket strip can be connected to it. If you have a large number of lights you may wish to use two transformers to feed two separate circuits.
Transformers reduce the voltage of the domestic power supply to a safe voltage for use in the dolls house, this is normally 12 volts. It is important to remember that the number of bulbs which a transformer is suitable for depends on it's rating. You will normally find a sticker on the transformer body detailing input and output voltages and rating in milliamps. The rating determines the number of bulbs which it is safe to operate, remember it is the number of bulbs and not the number of lights. Dolls house light bulbs vary, depending on the type, normally they are between 30 and 50 milliamps.
Unless you know know for sure, your dolls house light supplier should be able to tell you, always err on the safe side and assume that the bulbs in your lights are 50 milliamps. This way you will not overload your transformer. If you are tempted to use a transformer you have had for some other purpose, make sure that you know it's specification and that it is suitable for use with your dolls house. Using the wrong transformer can be costly as you can easily damage your lights.
As a guide the following table gives the safe number of bulbs you can operate from various sizes of transformer.
1000 milliamps = 1 amp
| 0.3 Amp
|| 0.5 Amp
|| 1.0 Amp
|| 1.5 Amp
|| 2.0 Amp
|| 4.0 Amp|
| 6 bulbs
|| 10 bulbs
|| 20 bulbs
|| 30 bulbs
|| 40 bulbs
|| 80 bulbs|
Are you tempted, if so take a look at the wide range of lights, lighting components and accessories to be
found in our shop, where you will find everything you need to light your dolls house.