Yeah, I got hit when buying plywood for the fabric frames. I had budgeted $15/sheet but wound up paying almost $23.
On a bright note, I should have a star ceiling by the end of the day. I haven't purchased black lights yet, so I won't be able to post any pics for a week or two. I'm excited to cross that off the list however.
EDIT: Found a cheap black light at Wally World. See post below. Edited by Spaceman - 11/30/12 at 10:21pm
Jeff with Night Sky Murals stopped by today for 5 hours and cranked out a star ceiling for me. I only have one 2' black light at the moment so the light levels in these pics aren't the best. Plus I've never shot pictures in the dark before, so bear with me.
One of the 4 small coffers
Same coffer with closeup of the moon
A tad overexposed (4 of the 6 coffers)
Without black light
Same shot with black light. Once I have lights on the sides, the shadow line between the vertical and horizontal faces of the coffer should disappear.
Without black light
Same shot with black light
The light used is a 24" 17W black light from Lights of America (model 7020 E-BL), picked up at Walmart for $10.97. Unfortunately, they only had 1 and I need at least 6. Haven't quite decided how many sides of each coffer need a light. Edited by Spaceman - 11/30/12 at 10:22pm
You are truly living up to your namesake Spaceman! Jeff always does nice work and you have to be really stoked. That ceiling is going to be light's out (pun intended) once you get all the black lights installed.
I'd like opinions on the light pattern in the picture above. For this picture, only one side of the light tray contains a black light. The other 3 sides are empty. By itself, a single light does a fairly good job of charging the stars to the point where I can turn the black light off and have the light level of the stars appear uniform across the coffer (at least on the 3'x3' coffers). I'm struggling with the best approach for when I want to leave the black lights on. Having just 1 fixture in a coffer leaves some funny shadow patterns, especially where vertical drywall meets horizontal drywall.
Being the cheapskate that I am, I'd like to get by with as few lights as possible. One thought I had was to go with a single bulb in each coffer, placed at the back edge so the light would be visible when entering the front of the room but be behind you when sitting facing the screen. So the pic above would have been taken facing the back wall, with the screen at your back.
Bulb layout would look something like this (6 fixtures, $65.82, 102W). Purple lines represent 2' fixtures up in the tray. My concern with this option is I don't think a single bulb would do a sufficient job on the two 3'x5' coffers.
This pic would be a coffer from Option 1, taken facing the screen.
Option 2 would move the bulbs from the back of each coffer to the sides, allowing me to light the long sides of the 3'x5' coffers. (16 fixtures, $175.52, 272W)
Option 3 pays no attention to my wallet and fills the entire perimeter of each coffer with fixtures. (28 fixtures, $307.16, 476W)
I guess I could order 5 more fixtures and see how option 1 looks. As mentioned before, I don't like the shadow line where vertical meets horizontal, but that won't be noticeable once you're sitting down. I do however, like the way it fades to black as you move away from the light source. A concern I have with Option 3 is there will be so much light, it's just going to look like a big blue box. There will be no fading to black.
As always, thoughts would be appreciated. Edited by Spaceman - 11/30/12 at 10:36pm
Spaceman, where did you get your L/C/R speakers? Have a link?
I bought them directly from Atlantic Technology when they used to sell their B-Stock on their website. I have a feeling this was cutting into their dealer sales, as I no longer see that as a purchasing option on their website. I also think they discontinued the 727 closed box in-walls. I only see open back in-wall options now. If they don't offer a closed-back model, I'd look at Triad. I went with their in-wall bronze surrounds, which I got from Mike Garrett with AV Science.
AV Science Sales 5
I thought of a 4th option, where the black lights are placed only in the sides of each coffer that are immediately adjacent to the walls. This puts the glow along the edge of the room and lets everything fade to black as you get closer to the center, like a more traditional tray ceiling. Fixture layout would look like this (12 fixtures, $131.64, 204W)
It's tempting. Once carpet is in, it's going to be hard not to just rehang the fabric panels that are done, hang the screen & pj, and call it a day. Who cares if I still have 15 panels to make and the shelves aren't built for the equipment. I will try my best to stay focused.
I made a 7am run to 2 of the area Walmarts and grabbed 8 more black lights. I'm going to hit the 3rd store after the boy's basketball games. I was hoping to just order them online, but they are out of stock.
I was able to round up 11 more black lights today. So with the 1 I bought yesterday, there are a total of (12) 24" fixtures up in the trays. They all went in per placement option 4, with the exception of the two coffers closest to the screen wall. Each of those coffers contains 2 fixtures. One runs along the tray closest to the side walls. The 2nd fixture was moved from the tray closest to the screen to the back side of the coffer. Hopefully this will help keep the front two coffers from appearing too bright and becoming a distraction when facing the screen.
Here are a few more shots.
Previous shot under normal lighting conditions
Shot towards screen wall. The fade to black is much more gradual under regular viewing. It gets magnified when photographed.
Shot towards back wall.
Another view towards the back wall, with black lights on.
View towards back wall with black lights off. This picture was taken right after the black lights were turned off, so everything is fully charged. I find the fully charged version to be a little much but the view gets even better as some of the stars start to fade back, creating more of a 3D effect.
Here's a shot of the fixture sitting up in the tray. I'll try to get a better one tomorrow showing the recessed receptacle. Edited by Spaceman - 12/1/12 at 8:13pm
Finally caught up with your build...looks fantastic!
Originally Posted by dengland
Looks like I missed a few good days....
I personally like option 4. I think mostly since it frames the coffers as a single unit rather than several smaller units. Jeff did a great job.
I picked option 4 for the same reason. I liked that it accented the perimeter of the entire ceiling rather than the perimeter of each coffer. I've lived with it for a few days and am still not 100% sure that's the way I'll keep it. I do have some uneven lighting that would benefit from some tweaking. For those using black lights on their ceilings, I'd like to know if you are able to use them during movies or does the screen take on a purple glow like every other white object in the room? Unfortunately, I currently have only one functioning light switch in the room, so I haven't had the opportunity to see how things look with both black lights and can lights on at the same time, or how the black light looks while an image is being projected. I've only seen the black light in a pitch black room, which as we all know, gives every white object in the room a nice purple glow (unpainted walls, primer splatter, t-shirts, etc. My 7 year old proudly dropped trou to show me that his Clone Wars undies glow in the dark). I'm a little concerned about the big white object I'll be hanging in the front of the room and whether it will look purple if the black lights are on during movies, or if the pj and other accent lighting found below soffit level keep the black light from effecting image quality.
If I need to turn the black lights off during movies, I will go ahead and reconfigure the fixtures in the front two coffers so they run along the outside perimeter like the other coffers.
It's been a while since I've been in your thread and boy is your room looking fantastic.
Jeff did a great job on your ceiling.
I personally like your Option 4 as well. I think it will definitly make the night sky look realistic.
I leave my black lights on during movies even when watching them by myself.
I haven't noticed the screen changing hues due to the black lights on. But the true test is when you get your screen in to turn them on without turning on the projector. I think you'll be OK leaving them on.
It allows you to enjoy the ceilind during movies.
Spaceman, your ceiling and the lighting effect is turning out great. The two tone brown colors with the regular lights on is a rich look as well.
Thanks, Dale. The stars definitely got the wife and kids excited and are a good motivator to wrap this project up so we can all start enjoying it.
Originally Posted by GWCR
Ceiling looks great Spaceman! The star ceiling might be one of my first upgrades. That assumes I get to a "finished" state in the near future...
It really adds a lot to the room. Going the mural route is a pretty easy upgrade compared to fiber optics, assuming you have a place to hide the black lights.
I'll be mounting the pj as soon as carpet is in. I have a Chief mount with the CM101 ceiling plate (picture below).
Have you guys found black lag screws to use with your mounting hardware or did you paint them black? I need (4) 5/16" x 2-1/2" lag screws to secure the plate to the blocking in my ceiling. Ideally, I'd like to find screws already finished in black so I don't have to paint the heads. Painting is easy enough, but I think the paint would chip off as I ratchet them into the ceiling. Anyone know if black ones can easily be found at HD or Lowe's or should I start looking at some of the specialty fastener places online? I was also thinking of placing a flat washer between the screw head and plate, depending on the size of the hex head. If anyone has a good source for black lag screws, I'd appreciate it. It would save me from running all over town.