Star Ceilings... Painted or Fiber optics? - Page 12 - AVS Forum
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post #331 of 779 Old 04-22-2011, 03:58 PM
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With a tripod, that camera should take some excellent images. Like was mentioned earlier - you will want a wide angle lens if you can get it - the 18mm wide that you can get with standard lenses will work for some rooms, but there will be others that will have you doing everything you can to fit a little bit more into the image.

Still, use a tripod, long exposure, and a remote trigger and you should produce beautiful pictures of some beautiful murals.

On a different subject, I found a site that claims that the key wavelengths for the UV reactive paints is in the 365-368 nm range. With most UV LEDs coming in at 385nm+ it was deemed the reason for poor performance compared to flourescents. I know 365nm is available for LEDs - that seems to be the frequency used by the ID checking flashlights.

Of course, it has my curiosity piqued. Is there anybody who has access to both who could check that claim out? I like the idea of the mural lit with LEDs, although it will be some time before I am ready to put one in.
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post #332 of 779 Old 04-22-2011, 11:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi JC...

I need to see if I can get a remote trigger for the camera. I'll look into that over the weekend after I get back home.

As for the LED lights, I have tried different ones, a LED supplier has tried different ones, and the design company for the home I just finished painting today has tried many different LED lights and everyone has found that black lights, or regular fluorescents work the best to charge the paint.

And, I can say this.... if the people working for my customer (who's name I am not even allowed mention) can't find any LED lights that will work, then I am pretty sure that they do not exist (yet).

My head is still reeling from the past two days working on that house. I have NEVER seen such luxury. It blew my mind. BTW, they went with white fluorescent tubes to charge the murals in that house.

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Originally Posted by jcthornton View Post

With a tripod, that camera should take some excellent images. Like was mentioned earlier - you will want a wide angle lens if you can get it - the 18mm wide that you can get with standard lenses will work for some rooms, but there will be others that will have you doing everything you can to fit a little bit more into the image.

Still, use a tripod, long exposure, and a remote trigger and you should produce beautiful pictures of some beautiful murals.

On a different subject, I found a site that claims that the key wavelengths for the UV reactive paints is in the 365-368 nm range. With most UV LEDs coming in at 385nm+ it was deemed the reason for poor performance compared to flourescents. I know 365nm is available for LEDs - that seems to be the frequency used by the ID checking flashlights.

Of course, it has my curiosity piqued. Is there anybody who has access to both who could check that claim out? I like the idea of the mural lit with LEDs, although it will be some time before I am ready to put one in.


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post #333 of 779 Old 04-28-2011, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
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For those of you who have emailed me asking about the murals being painted on wood, here's an answer. I just finished a job in the Seattle area for a customer (I wish I could tell you guys who) who had wood ceilings. It was a light wood that had wood grain painted on it to look something like a light maple. There were lights that were about 6 inches below the ceiling with skinny, fluorescent tubes in it that connected together.

I painted the mural on the wood and then turned on the lights to check it out (for invisibility) and to charge up the paint and noticed that the larger stars were visible if you were looking for them. Unlike a white or other light colored sheet rocked ceiling where the mural is virtually invisible, the light wood did show some of the stars. But, it wasn't as bad as I'd expected it to be. And, when the "very high-dollar" Interior Decorator said that he didn't think it was too visible... I relaxed some. I like the murals to not be there in the light... so when a few stars show up in the light (as they do on dark colored ceilings also) I get a little frustrated. BUt, everyone was happy and the mural turned out very nicely.

So, my answer is.... on fairly dark colored ceilings and on wood ceilings, you will probably see a handful of stars when the lights are on in the room.

By the way, I may be flying back out to do other murals for the "wood ceiling" customer in a couple of months.

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post #334 of 779 Old 04-28-2011, 03:16 PM
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Dang, wish I had known that you were in the seattle area. I would have tried to schedule something in.
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post #335 of 779 Old 04-28-2011, 08:15 PM
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Thought I'd go ahead and post my pics up in here too. This is my night sky mural, painted using NightSkyMurals glow-in-the-dark paint (with fluorescence)...

This pic has been Photoshoped. I took a pic with the lights on and one with them off, cut and pasted them together. This picture has me wishing I'd gone with a black base color instead of a cloudy sky mural, it really looks like the ceiling/roof just disappeared...



And here is one after I messed with the (minimal available) shutter speed adjustment feature of my camera. No Photoshop on this one...



Looking at the two photos side by side, I guess there is a noticable difference with the shutter speed lowered.
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post #336 of 779 Old 04-29-2011, 12:30 AM - Thread Starter
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That would have been fun! Man.. what great weather you guys had last week!!! I loved it. I lived up there a while back and loved the summers, and last week was beautiful.

I may be back up there in June, if you want to think about it. I also need to get up above you guys to Canada. I have some people waiting there too.

I was in Lakewood and also in another, undisclosed location. :-) Had a great time. But, like I said, I may be back up soon. We'll see.

But, now it's hopefully off to California and then NJ, NY, OH, MO, KS and NE, or in other words... Tornado Alley (not too sure about this).





QUOTE=timbreb;20370396]Dang, wish I had known that you were in the seattle area. I would have tried to schedule something in.[/quote]

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post #337 of 779 Old 04-29-2011, 12:37 AM - Thread Starter
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I love the pictures... and love the way that it came out. That stencil really came out nice. Basic, but pretty darn nice. The extra stars that I add in will add a little to the mural, but you did a nice job as it is now.

The pictures are nice too. I like what you did in photoshop. I played around with my camera last night and an getting the hang of it. We can use it to take whatever pictures you want of your room. Hopefully you know a little more about the camera than I do... but I am trying to learn fast.

I like my Ribeye medium. :-)

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post #338 of 779 Old 04-29-2011, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcthornton View Post

On a different subject, I found a site that claims that the key wavelengths for the UV reactive paints is in the 365-368 nm range. With most UV LEDs coming in at 385nm+ it was deemed the reason for poor performance compared to flourescents. I know 365nm is available for LEDs - that seems to be the frequency used by the ID checking flashlights.

Most UV LED floods or spots are going to be 385nm-410nm skirting right to the edge of visible light. When you start going below 365nm you are getting into the range where safety has to be considered due to the damage short wave UV rays can cause. I haven't found any commercial LED flood lights that sit entirely between 365nm and 385nm which would be optimal for use in a home theater since it would be outside the visible wavelengths and not interfere with movie watching.

I imagine even if they exist they would be poor for charging the paint, but would be fine for viewing.

As a side note I have tested a 365nm flashlight, typically used to hunt scorpions, and it does just fine reflecting off of the mural. In fact it gives off a brighter glow, less green and more blue.

I have found a lot of researchers into plant genetics and mutations use short wave UV bulbs in their labs. My thought is that they must be using LEDs since they can directly specify which wavelength the diode emits at, and thus give them the most accurate test results. Now the trick is to figure out exactly what they're using and obtain one.
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post #339 of 779 Old 04-29-2011, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightSkyMurals View Post

I love the pictures... and love the way that it came out. That stencil really came out nice. Basic, but pretty darn nice. The extra stars that I add in will add a little to the mural, but you did a nice job as it is now.

The pictures are nice too. I like what you did in photoshop. I played around with my camera last night and an getting the hang of it. We can use it to take whatever pictures you want of your room. Hopefully you know a little more about the camera than I do... but I am trying to learn fast.

I like my Ribeye medium. :-)

Thanks Jeff. I have one more to post up... I think its already posted in my build thread. It came out beautiiful... Close to what it looks like in real life. With your camera, I bet we'll get some AMAZING shots. Haven't messed with a high quality camera since the non-digital days.

As far as your Ribeye... Your in for quite a treat, my wife has a mean marinade recipe.

Here is the best shot I've made so far...

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post #340 of 779 Old 04-29-2011, 09:36 PM - Thread Starter
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I love this picture too... and to think that it is just with the stencil and my paint. Nice! I now have the instructions (waaaaayyyyy too long, like most of what I write) finished that go along with the stencils and paint. I think that if someone used the stencil that you used, the instructions I wrote and my paint... that they will have a really nice mural on their ceiling. It won't be as detailed as what I do... but it won't be as expensive either.

Even if I don't add anything to your ceiling... it turned out really nice.

I'm ready for that Ribeye!!!




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Thanks Jeff. I have one more to post up... I think its already posted in my build thread. It came out beautiiful... Close to what it looks like in real life. With your camera, I bet we'll get some AMAZING shots. Haven't messed with a high quality camera since the non-digital days.

As far as your Ribeye... Your in for quite a treat, my wife has a mean marinade recipe.


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post #341 of 779 Old 04-29-2011, 11:19 PM
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I think your instructions are probably shorter than the one provided in the stencil. I glanced through it, got the basic idea, and winged it. The stencil was 12X12.5, my ceiling is more like 10X11. So I did the math and trimmed the stencil to my liking. It turned out great, so glad I bought your paint. The paint provided with the stencil was horrid. WAY TO BRIGHT YELLOW! I plan on allowing my girls to use it in their room, along with that 18" black light I bought.

I'm still anxiously awaiting your arrival... Lemme know when to fire up the grill.
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post #342 of 779 Old 05-01-2011, 12:22 PM
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Just tuned in to this thread, and would love to do one myself. How and where do i get the supplies needed, paint and the stencil. Thanks for any help.
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post #343 of 779 Old 05-01-2011, 01:06 PM
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Contact NightSkyMurals and ask to purchase his paint. The stencil can be bought at Ursa Major. Good luck and have fun.
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post #344 of 779 Old 05-02-2011, 04:47 AM
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Thanks Xzener, i think i will have some fun.
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post #345 of 779 Old 06-01-2011, 08:04 AM
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Jeff,
I learned a lot from reading all 12 pages, but still have a couple of questions. How do you deal with can lights in the middle of the ceiling? Fire sprinkler heads? My ceiling is vaulted. Roughly following the seat risers in a 2:12 pitch, what is the best way to do a soffit for the black lights? Level of parallel with ceiling? What is the best sized soffet? My theater is about 20'x18'. Definitely interested in having you paint the ceiling of my theater if you will be in N. CA in the fall. I was dead set on fiber optic before reading this thread.
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post #346 of 779 Old 06-01-2011, 06:04 PM
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Hi Mrevo,

I'm not Jeff (of course )...but I know he can paint stars on almost anything that resides on your ceiling.

For my mural, he painted stars on ceiling AC vents, a couple of decorative ceiling canopies (fabric), and even incorporated some stars on the metal and glass parts of a chandelier in the center of the room.

There may be some exceptions, but Jeff is really good at working out a plan that makes the most of your ceiling. He is capable of turning what you initially might regard as an obstruction into an interesting element in the mural. I'll bet he can help with whatever you have in mind for your project.


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post #347 of 779 Old 06-05-2011, 09:35 PM
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I also firmly believe that the stars, even on a flat surface, have a 3D effect. Stars painted on can lights, beams, sprinklers, etc. will not effect the final product.

As for black lights in soffit, I designed mine to have "line of sight" to the entire ceiling. This ensures complete star charging coverage. But also make sure the black lights are not "seen" from your point of view. Mine are not visible anywhere in my room.

I absolutely LOVE my star mural. The only thing I see wrong is the IR interference with my remote when the black lights are on. Adjusting my Harmony to turn them on and off properly seems to have resolved this issue for me.

In my opinion, I've seen both types of murals... Painted stars are by far the best.
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post #348 of 779 Old 06-06-2011, 08:17 PM
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Thank you for the response. I have been doing TONS of research on the murals and the various blacklights. Only concern now is that there will be 1-2' above the 'soffit' at the front of the room and 5-6' from the 'soffit' to the wall ceiling transition at the back of the theater (level soffit/crown molding and sloping ceiling)
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post #349 of 779 Old 06-07-2011, 11:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone... and I am so sorry for not answering your questions sooner... (I've been on the east coast painting for the past few weeks), And, I still can't now, but hope to get to them tomorrow. So sorry! But, I have some really great people following this thread who are great at answering a lot of your questions.

I will do my best to get on here tomorrow (Actually, a little later today now) and get them answered. But real quickly... the different heights for the soffit at the front and the back (for the mural at least) will not make a difference. Both are at nice distances from the ceiling. I would maybe angle the inside a little, though, to have the light aimed
towards the middle of the room.

Had a GREAT time back east, met great people and ate great food. NY and NJ... you have great pizza! Philly.... you've got great Philly Cheesesteaks. But, man, do you guys have to charge for every road a person needs to drive on????? That can get expensive! (Over $200 in tolls during my trip)

Back later today with some answers.

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post #350 of 779 Old 06-08-2011, 01:54 PM
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Nightskymurals and others you guys are truly awesome! I don't have a dedicated HT but if I did that would be something I'd like to do. I'd do the entire house if I could. The sample pictures that I've seen are truly breathtaking and I can only imagine how much more so it would be in person.
I'm still waiting for the lottery train to hit me and then I'll come looking for you! Hopefully before you retire!
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post #351 of 779 Old 06-08-2011, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the comment.

Lottery? You'd better win two of 'em! :-) Seriously, hopefully, they aren't too expensive. I know that the better painted murals are up there, and fiber optics are even more. But, you could find someone locally, possibly, who could paint one for you. But, again, you need to be careful as to who you choose to paint for you. I have seen some decent murals painted and then wouldn't cost you an arm and a leg. Probably more like just an arm... or maybe even just a hand.

Anyway, it is nice to relax under a night sky, either in your own bed or, at least, while in your own house. Still, as good as I try to get the murals to turn out... there is nothing like a real night sky far, far from light pollution. I try to do a lot of my driving at night (when there is little traffic on the roads) and it is so fun to stop in the middle of nowhere, on a moonless night, and get out and just stare up into the heavens. I try to get close to that.... but there is nothing like the real thing. Wow!

Check around to see what a room would cost to have one painted, or to have fiber's run. You may be pleasantly surprised (or not). :-) But, at least you can start to at least plan with a number in your files.

Good luck...

Jeff


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Nightskymurals and others you guys are truly awesome! I don't have a dedicated HT but if I did that would be something I'd like to do. I'd do the entire house if I could. The sample pictures that I've seen are truly breathtaking and I can only imagine how much more so it would be in person.
I'm still waiting for the lottery train to hit me and then I'll come looking for you! Hopefully before you retire!


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post #352 of 779 Old 06-08-2011, 05:17 PM - Thread Starter
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xzener.... The instructions that I have now to go with the stencils are pretty long. I'd started out with the idea to write only a page or two... but as is obvious from my posts on here, I can't keep things short. I over-explain everything. I think that the instructions that I send out with the paint are something like 8 pages long. I think that when I was helping you with yours, I just emailed you what I thought you needed (since you'd painted before). Anyway, they maybe can be trimmed down a bit, but for now they're long. But, I think that a person can come out with a really nice looking mural with the help of the instructions.

BTW... I am still working on getting out to Cal. I want to get out there so badly. I need to get to the Kansas City area first... but please be patient and don't touch that mural. I really want to do some fun things to it. Then we can get some good pictures of it. I am finally getting used to the camera and I think that we can get some nice pictures.

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I think your instructions are probably shorter than the one provided in the stencil. I glanced through it, got the basic idea, and winged it.


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post #353 of 779 Old 06-08-2011, 05:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again Xzener for your help. When I travel and for a few days after I return from a trip.... it is hard for me to answer people. You, Tom Hilton and LawDog have been great at answering questions.

Yes, please PM me and I will answer your questions on the paint and instructions. The link to the Ursa Major stencil is where I would send you. LEt me mention that they are the better of what I have seen on the market now... but they are very basic. I will try to help you go from where the stencil takes you to a much better place. But, even if you stop with just doing the stencil... it will be much better than plastic stars or nothing at all. And, it will be about like most fiber optic night skies will be, as far as the number of stars go. I believe that on a 10 x 12 ceiling there are something like 400 stars. My instructions would take you to around 1000 stars and I would paint roughly 2500 stars. But, any and all options are nice. With the fiber optics, though, you just need to flip a switch to see them (even with light on on the room) where the painted murals need a nice dark room and some type of fluorescent light to charge it up.


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Contact NightSkyMurals and ask to purchase his paint. The stencil can be bought at Ursa Major. Good luck and have fun.


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post #354 of 779 Old 06-08-2011, 05:34 PM - Thread Starter
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The soffits are at a perfect height for the murals. If you get the 4 foot black lights (or at least some powerful smaller ones) then they will be perfect to charge up your paint fairly quickly. If you get less expensive ones... then they may take a little longer to charge the paint, but I would still think that 15 minutes would be plenty of time to charge the paint, even with lower watt bulbs.

About the soffets, let me say this. I got a call from one of the Better Builders of theater rooms (from this forum) and they were asking about soffits and the lights needed to charge the paint. They made it sound as though the closer the soffit was to the ceiling the better for acoustics. Now, I don't know about acoustics so realize that when I say that 2' to 6' from the ceiling is perfect.... I am talking about for charging the paint with lights in them.

I will also say that I have painted many, many murals with soffits lower than 8 inches (or whatever height they suggest) in theater rooms and people seem to have no problems with acoustics.

So.... I just wanted to point out what I got from a conversation with that builder. And, if you are going for every decibel of sound that you can get and also going for pitch perfect... then you may want to look into soffit height and width.

For the murals, and from what I have seen done... 2' to 6' are nice.

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Thank you for the response. I have been doing TONS of research on the murals and the various blacklights. Only concern now is that there will be 1-2' above the 'soffit' at the front of the room and 5-6' from the 'soffit' to the wall ceiling transition at the back of the theater (level soffit/crown molding and sloping ceiling)


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post #355 of 779 Old 06-08-2011, 05:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Great questions - Hopefully, helpful answers...

Can lights are no problem. Just add a few stars inside, on the sides and not the bulbs, and the cans will disappear into the mural as if they weren't even there.

Same thing with the fire sprinklers. Just add a couple stars here and there and your eyes will fill in the rest. It's amazing what your eyes will do to create illusions. Kind of fun.

I think that the soffit would be better to be level all the way around, but I'd see what others think. If, though, you make them level all the way around... then you will probably have a better chance at charging all of the stars. If you follow the slope of the ceiling, then you might miss some lower stars. Just try to build a little 45 degree angle into the soffit so that the light will project outward toward the center of the ceiling.

Hope that helps.

Oh, and as for N. Cal... never a problem. I grew up in Cal and I love going back out there. Northern Cal is beautiful, Central Cal is where we get out food and oil from and Southern is, well... like totally awesome! Plus, the Dodgers are there. :-) So... no problem.

Jeff




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Originally Posted by mrevo2u View Post

Jeff,
I learned a lot from reading all 12 pages, but still have a couple of questions. How do you deal with can lights in the middle of the ceiling? Fire sprinkler heads? My ceiling is vaulted. Roughly following the seat risers in a 2:12 pitch, what is the best way to do a soffit for the black lights? Level of parallel with ceiling? What is the best sized soffet? My theater is about 20'x18'. Definitely interested in having you paint the ceiling of my theater if you will be in N. CA in the fall. I was dead set on fiber optic before reading this thread.


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post #356 of 779 Old 06-08-2011, 05:49 PM
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I finally finished building the raceway that I placed my blacklights in. I now have six 48" and two 24" blacklights facing at a 45 degree angle, 10" from the ceiling. The stars shine wonderfully now and I am able to see them while movies play. The effect is fantastic and a real pleasure for me and my guests.
Here is a picture of the raceway:


Sky Field with added lights and raceway:
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post #357 of 779 Old 06-08-2011, 06:07 PM - Thread Starter
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For the record... Tom does not work for me, nor do I pay him to say such nice things about me. He is just a really, really nice guy who loves the night sky and I had the honor of meeting him and his wife a year or so ago. Go Cowboys!

Tom... Thanks again for helping me reply. There are a few of you who will jump in and I think that when you guys answer questions, it is nicer for the forum. I can say whatever I think people want to hear. But, when they come from all of you then I think it's great and carries more weight.

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Hi Mrevo,

I'm not Jeff (of course )...but I know he can paint stars on almost anything that resides on your ceiling.

For my mural, he painted stars on ceiling AC vents, a couple of decorative ceiling canopies (fabric), and even incorporated some stars on the metal and glass parts of a chandelier in the center of the room.

There may be some exceptions, but Jeff is really good at working out a plan that makes the most of your ceiling. He is capable of turning what you initially might regard as an obstruction into an interesting element in the mural. I'll bet he can help with whatever you have in mind for your project.

Tom


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post #358 of 779 Old 06-08-2011, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
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I totally missed your post when I was answering. That turned out really nicely with the "racetrack" around the outside! Thanks for also mentioning that you can see the mural while the movie is playing too. With the special "theater room" paint that I use... it will glow nicely under a black light and just as easily as fiber optics too, IF... they do what you did and put in an edge around the outside for black lights. Actually, it will even work without the soffit, but they'd have to have a black light placed somewhere on the floor or hung on a wall. With the soffit and a flip of a switch.... you have instant starfield during the movie. Nice work!

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I finally finished building the raceway that I placed my blacklights in. I now have six 48" and two 24" blacklights facing at a 45 degree angle, 10" from the ceiling. The stars shine wonderfully now and I am able to see them while movies play. The effect is fantastic and a real pleasure for me and my guests.


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post #359 of 779 Old 06-09-2011, 01:49 PM
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Gtarrant, that is a beautiful mural you have there. Nice job on the raceway. I can also enjoy my mural during movies and video games.

Jeff!! Welcome back, I was about to send out a search team. You must be SUPER busy. Glad to have been a service to you, answering questions while you were away.

Still "very much so" enjoying my star mural. I can atest to Ursa Majors stencil. It may not have a BILLION stars, but looks great. I envy those who have had the pleasure of Jeff painting his masterpieces on your ceilings.
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post #360 of 779 Old 06-09-2011, 03:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Xzener...

Don't worry, I will help you get your mural a little closer to the real thing. Thanks for being patient.

Now, if I remember right you bought some black lights. Or, anyone else who has gotten some. Where did you get them if you got them online? And, how are they working out for you?

I always suggest 4 foot shop lights from Home Depot or Lowes... but I know that some of you have ordered them online. I have some customers who are asking about where else to get lights... so I thought I would propose the question here.

What about lights for those who don't have a soffit ((or racetrack) around the outside edge? Have any of you gotten lights that you really like?

I bought an American DJ, 4 light, 160 watt panel light from a customer who had a soffit built for black lights (after using the panel light in the beginning) and it works great. But, what else have any of you found to work for you?

I know that at the "top secret" MANSION job, in an undisclosed state in the Pacific Northwest, the builders added some skinny white fluorescent lights around the edge into a soffit that they'd built especially for the lights. They worked fine... but I like black lights because your eyes aren't as affected by them and you can see the mural sooner.

Those little skinny white fluorescent lights were nice... and they looked like the 4 skinny black lights that are in the Amer. DJ panel that I have. I might have to search again for high power, thin black lights.

Anyway... let us know what is working for you guys.

Jeff




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Originally Posted by xzener View Post
Gtarrant, that is a beautiful mural you have there. Nice job on the raceway. I can also enjoy my mural during movies and video games.

Jeff!! Welcome back, I was about to send out a search team. You must be SUPER busy. Glad to have been a service to you, answering questions while you were away.

Still "very much so" enjoying my star mural. I can atest to Ursa Majors stencil. It may not have a BILLION stars, but looks great. I envy those who have had the pleasure of Jeff painting his masterpieces on your ceilings.

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