Fiber Optic Star Ceiling Illuminators LED - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 55 Old 09-29-2010, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
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I haven't seen anything recent on Fiber Optic Star Ceiling Illuminators.

What is the recommended illuminator for a 500-600 star ceiling? Of course I am looking for a low cost solution. I see that there is the Cool Sky Illuminator and a couple of others that are in the 130-160 price range.

I guess star designer has closed up shop so there is nothing similar to that anymore it seems. I already have spools of fiber. I'm just looking for an illuminator. I was hoping there would be an illumnator out there with multiple ports that you could use. Hey, I might just make my own. Seems easy enough.


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post #2 of 55 Old 10-01-2010, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
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I just ordered two of the Cool Sky Units. I really couldn't find anything else in that range. I only really care about twinkling stars and it seems to do that just fine. I'm going to plug it into a zwave lamp switch module so I can possibly dim it.


Seems like the overall experience with the cool sky has been ok.


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post #3 of 55 Old 10-02-2010, 05:14 PM
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I have the Cool Sky and it runs cool and can't beat the price. You can always use two units. They are about the size of a pack of smokes.

Randy


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post #4 of 55 Old 10-04-2010, 09:07 AM
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I use 2 of the CoolSky also and work well. I don't thing your are going to beable to dim them with a dimmer switch though. They are pluged in through a transformer not direct to the out let. But you never know, let us know if it works.


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post #5 of 55 Old 10-04-2010, 09:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mopar_Mudder View Post

I use 2 of the CoolSky also and work well. I don't thing your are going to beable to dim them with a dimmer switch though. They are pluged in through a transformer not direct to the out let. But you never know, let us know if it works.

Actually I've been using your Star Build as a general guideline for mine and its also why I went with the Coolsky.
I'll see what happens but it sounds like it won't be dimmable.


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post #6 of 55 Old 10-05-2010, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonjovi View Post

Actually I've been using your Star Build as a general guideline for mine and its also why I went with the Coolsky.
I'll see what happens but it sounds like it won't be dimmable.

If it does happen to work I will change mine to a dimmer switch, I just never even tried. I have the brightness on the CoolSky set all the way to the dimmest setting now I think.


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post #7 of 55 Old 10-05-2010, 07:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Cool. I'll let you know. How is the twinkle effect? I've seen instances on youtube where it looks downright horrible but those are different units. It looks more like flashing. I was looking for a really really slow twinkle.


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post #8 of 55 Old 10-05-2010, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonjovi View Post

Cool. I'll let you know. How is the twinkle effect? I've seen instances on youtube where it looks downright horrible but those are different units. It looks more like flashing. I was looking for a really really slow twinkle.

It is pretty good, you have lots of options to make it look different, just takes a long time to try all the different combinations to see what you like. The only nice thing would be if they had a different button for each of the three settings (pattern, speed, brightness) the single button works just a little more confussing to do.


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post #9 of 55 Old 10-07-2010, 12:11 PM - Thread Starter
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I just got the illuminators today but probably won't start my build until next week.

Two questions:
When you did your ceiling I noticed that you drilled the holes first and put the fabric afterwards? Is it safe to assume that the fibers make their way through the velvet easily? I guess I should get the stretch velvet.

Also, if I wanted to use my ceiling as sound treatment, do you think I can use some fiberglass rigid panels like Owens Corning 703 attached to a thin sheet of particle board? I understand velvet is not a suitable sound treatment.


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post #10 of 55 Old 10-07-2010, 12:23 PM
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No such luck on poking fiber through the velvet. I had to take a pin and poke through the velvet first, then cut your fiber at an angle so it has a sharp point to stick through the hole.

I don't see why you couldn't use the 703 behind the velvet. But I don't know how well velvet works to let sound through to the 703 or how hard it would be to try and glue velvet to the 703 to get it nice and flat.


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post #11 of 55 Old 10-07-2010, 03:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mopar_Mudder View Post

No such luck on poking fiber through the velvet. I had to take a pin and poke through the velvet first, then cut your fiber at an angle so it has a sharp point to stick through the hole.

Wow. Sounds like an extremely long process!

The Zwave dimmers I have require a minimum wattage of 40W so I'm not quite sure how to get around that. My small LED rope light doesn't dim either but the incandescent one does. The light just stays on regardless of its position. I guess I need to upgrade my switch or perhaps get an incandescent rope light that uses 40 watts.


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post #12 of 55 Old 10-07-2010, 06:18 PM
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Oh another tip. When you drill the holes make sure you mark them with a majic marker as you go, you will NOT beable to find them other wise, been their and done that. In my case I was using 3 different sizes of fiber so I used a different color marker for each size of fiber.

I have a LED rope light on a dimmer but it is about 50' long, couldn't tell you the watts of it but it is made to be dimmed. Also I only have a cheap slider dimmer running it. I need to find a good souce for remote dimmers....


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post #13 of 55 Old 10-08-2010, 04:28 PM
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http://www.fosi.com/
What do you people think of think of them.
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post #14 of 55 Old 10-09-2010, 05:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnbr View Post

http://www.fosi.com/
What do you people think of think of them.

It looks like a good product from what I've seen and heard but I think its a little bit on the pricey side.
I suspect that it probably has more features as far as the illuminators are concerned and it uses Metal Halide instead of LED's for illumination but I think the cheapest one was around 650 bucks. I would expect it to perform a lot better than the $100 CoolSky but I don't know if I need one that is better than the Coolsky.
I also bought the fiber in bulk rather than in these smaller quantities. I figured whatever I have left over can go to ebay.


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post #15 of 55 Old 10-09-2010, 06:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnbr View Post

http://www.fosi.com/
What do you people think of think of them.

I got a quote from them and I think they do have a quality product that is probably worth the money if you have it, well I was trying to do on the cheap.

To compare I had $600 into illuminators and fiber, I could have done with one illuminator but I used two. Fosi was $1,300 for the stuff to do the same thing.


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post #16 of 55 Old 10-17-2010, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, I got all the fiber and the illuminators.
I plan on getting started on my star ceiling pretty soon. I just can't figure out whether the velvet is going to negate the sound treatment effects of my Owens Corning 703 board? Should I even bother? It's a heck of a lot cheaper to use a thin peice of particle board covered in velvet than a bunch of 703 mounted together. The two ceiling sizes will be 13X6 and 13X8.
The ceiling is double sheetrocked with green glue in between.


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post #17 of 55 Old 10-18-2010, 07:36 AM
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I think that stretched velvet is ok for sound treatments but you better check in one of the sound threads to make sure.

I would think it would be a real PITA to try and feed the fiber though the 703 and get it to line up with a hole in the velvet?

Also trying to hide the joints in the 703 could be a challange. The thin velvet isn't going to hide them very well, you might see them.


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post #18 of 55 Old 10-18-2010, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mopar_Mudder View Post

I think that stretched velvet is ok for sound treatments but you better check in one of the sound threads to make sure.

I would think it would be a real PITA to try and feed the fiber though the 703 and get it to line up with a hole in the velvet?

Also trying to hide the joints in the 703 could be a challange. The thin velvet isn't going to hide them very well, you might see them.

Hmmm.... any other options that come to mind? The ceiling is double sheet rocked but because of the two soffits, I'm afraid of the sound bouncing around up there.



The speakers will be pointed slightly downward and there is a thick carpet with padding. Maybe its not that critical. I sure would like to just throw some thin OSB or plywood and call it a day.

I will check the sound treatment threads and see what they say.

I didn't think about the 703 and lining up the holes in the fibers. Unless that velvet is stuck on with glue, I'm gonna have issues. Then again, it will be a heck of lot easier to drill holes in 703 than wood!

I think I'm going to end up leaving the 703 out and just go with the plywood covered in velvet. Ever since the carpet arrived and the room started filling up the sound has become a lot better.
I plan on having wall panels in key areas (need them for my drum set anyway).


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post #19 of 55 Old 10-18-2010, 10:46 AM
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Wall treatement will be much more critical then ceiling treatement I would think. Do to needing to have access to my ceiling I have no treatement on the ceiling. I used MDO sign board for the star ceiling, has a nice smooth paper face to put the velvet on.


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post #20 of 55 Old 10-18-2010, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Where did you pick up that MDO Sign board from? About how much? Can't seem to find it at HD/Lowes/Michaels. I see why you chose that material, from what I have read that looks perfect.

Thanks for all of your help. I thought I knew what I was doing but its obvious that I can use all the help I can get.


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post #21 of 55 Old 10-19-2010, 07:00 AM
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Well actually I own a retail lumber yard so I kind of have an in on finding stuff like that. You probably aren't going to find it at a big box store, you need to go to your smaller local lumber yards that are more into specailty materials or atleast are willing to order and get it for you. Second option would be a sign shop. For a 4x8-1/2" single sided you should expect to pay around $40.00 or a little more.


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post #22 of 55 Old 10-20-2010, 06:30 AM
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I did mine with OC703 inserts to cover first reflections and then covered with velvet. You can't see where they are...
LL
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post #23 of 55 Old 10-20-2010, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davey_fl View Post

I did mine with OC703 inserts to cover first reflections and then covered with velvet. You can't see where they are...

Davey,
Got any more pics or a build thread? I would love to see how it laid out together.

I'm thinking I should set my speakers up and listen to see what kind of reflections I'm getting. It doesn't sound as bad as it did when the room was bare and no carpet. Now that there is more texture and I will start to bring some furniture down, I think it should be better.


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post #24 of 55 Old 10-20-2010, 01:08 PM
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While I have taken many pics I haven't had the time to put together a build thread. I would refer you to Moggie's build as it's well detailed:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...t+board&page=8
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post #25 of 55 Old 11-15-2010, 10:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Well i've made a little headway on this. Not sure if this should be a seperate thread but I'll just post here until someone tells me otherwise.

I decided to go with a really simple approach. My biggest issue was fastening multiple panels together. I was worried about weight, seams, etc. I decided to stop trying to be a perfectionist otherwise I won't get anything done.

So I made the individual 4 X 8 panels with furring strips.


For part one of the ceiling. I made three 4X8's and one 1X8. I'm using thin underlayment board.

I then drilled using my templates.



Next I cannected them together using a couple of different methods. Metal connecting strip on both sides. Drilling sideways through the furring strips to add some strength as well. I also added additional furring strips to make it stronger. Seems to be pretty solid. After all of the different crazy ideas I had (pulley's cables, screw eyes, etc), I'm going to end up using 6" black deck screws to install this into the joist. I have about 2 inches of furring strips to go through and double sheetrock to get to the joist. 6" ought to be idea to get it solid. It came out a little heavier than I though it would.



Next I attached the velvet (which was sewn by my Aunt to cover the entire board). Unfortunately a seam is still visible but not obvious. Since the entire ceiling is recessed I don't think it will be in issue. If you can see it, I think it will be fine. I attached the velvet using glue and staples. Unfortunately I had a tough time spraying on the glue. I think it was just two big of a peice to spray on. I had to add regular staples (like the ones you use for paper) in a couple of spots to prevent sag. I then colored over the staples with a black sharpie. I'm actually looking for those paint pens from sharpie to really black it out. I think it looks fine as is.
I already started inserting the fibers. Believe what everyone else says. This is an extremely tedious process. Especially when you don't have help. My helper just turned 3 a few days ago. And he was very helpful in pulling out about 20 star points when I turned my back before I had a chance to glue them down.

I will get more pics of this portion of the process. Is it permissable to continue in this thread or am I suppossed to start a seperate "build thread"? I want to follow the rules.


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post #26 of 55 Old 11-15-2010, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonjovi View Post

.
I already started inserting the fibers. Believe what everyone else says. This is an extremely tedious process. Especially when you don't have help. My helper just turned 3 a few days ago. And he was very helpful in pulling out about 20 star points when I turned my back before I had a chance to glue them down.


I can relate to that, mine was 2-1/2 years old


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post #27 of 55 Old 11-18-2010, 11:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Some more pics of the sloooooow progress.

Using these velcro straps to help organize the fibers.



I used tape and glue to hold down the fibers.


Using one of my mic stands to help me roll out the fiber from the spools. Two different diameters here: .75mm and 1.0mm




Used Mopar's advice and used two color markers so i don't get confused with the sizes. I also have my cheat sheet there to make sure I don't miss anything.



Here is the underside. The flash makes it look really washed out but its very dark black. I was actually able to stick the fibers through the velvet in most cases without making the holes with the pin first. I am going to cut them flush with this cheap little plastic tool that is supposed to properly cut fibers. The rough cuts where just made with a scissor since I know everything was going to recut.



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post #28 of 55 Old 11-19-2010, 07:01 AM
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Lookin good, another 6 months and you'll be done, and cross eyed


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post #29 of 55 Old 11-19-2010, 07:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Lookin good, another 6 months and you'll be done, and cross eyed
After working on it last night, I decided that its almost a waste of time to do it by yourself. There is just too much walking back and forth to the fiber spools. I don't have the multistrand bundles that would make it easier.

I have to sucker someone into helping me. Probably one of my little cousins or something and tell them they need to help me on my art project. Get them some ice cream.


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bonjovi is offline  
post #30 of 55 Old 11-19-2010, 07:34 AM
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Yea I did mine myself, it is a little smaller though 8' octagon. Wife did help cut all the fibers off to finish it up.


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