Introduction: Fiber Optic Star Ceiling Panel With Day Time Stars

Picture of Fiber Optic Star Ceiling Panel With Day Time Stars

I wanted to create a star ceiling, but since we are currently renting, I didn't want to drill into the actual ceiling. So here's how to create a portable star ceiling you can take with you. The total cost of this project is around USD $100

Step 1: Purchase Fiber Optic Driver and Cable

Picture of Purchase Fiber Optic Driver and Cable

I purchased this 150 light set off of ebay for around $60. This one came with a remote control and 16 colors to choose from. In addition, it's low profile driver will be perfect to fit in the frame.

Step 2: Purchase a Poster Board

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I wanted something that was going to be sturdy enough to drill holes through, hold all the cables behind it, and look stylish. I came across this at Target for around $25.

Step 3: Remove the Cardboard Poster Backing

Picture of Remove the Cardboard Poster Backing

I removed the plastic cover from the poster to leave just the cardboard frame.

Step 4: Paint It Black

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Next I grabbed some MATTE black spray paint and gave a good solid coating over the back of the poster board

Step 5: (Optional) Day Time Stars

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I didn't want my star ceiling to look like a solid black tile during the daytime, so using some white GLOSS spray paint I added some daytime stars. To do this, simply press down very gently on the top nozzle of the spray paint, till it sputters. It should look like it spitting. Then quickly aim it at your black background. It should only take a few spits to create the desired look

Step 6: Place the Backboard in the Frame

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Step 7: Drill Holes for Starfeild

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I highly recommend you drill holes where the daytime stars appear. This is because they will already have a very nice distribution across the entire surface of the board. I tried to make my own pattern instead and in looks very contrived instead of natural looking.

Step 8: Light Shining Through

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Make sure all of your holes are clean and you patch up any unsightly looking spots on the front.

Step 9: Set Your Fiber Optic Driver Foundation

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Place your fiber optic driver in a place off to the side of the frame. Then secure with zip ties.

Step 10: Place Fiber Optic Lights Through Pre-drilled Holes

Picture of Place Fiber Optic Lights Through Pre-drilled Holes

Grabbing groups of lights at a time, start running the cables through your holes. You'll want to keep these group somewhat organized, so I used more zip-ties. The group simply helps you lay the cables flat as you prepare to mount to ceiling. Don't worry about the cables peaking through the front, we'll trim those back later.

Step 11: Glue It Good

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Once you've got all of your cables placed in the holes, you can start gluing to keep them in place. I used Elmers Clear Glue liberally on every singly hole.

Step 12: Allow 12 Hours for Glue to Dry

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Step 13: Trim Back the Ends

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After the glue has dried, you'll have a lot of cables sticking through the front. I used fingernail clippers to trim these flush with the board.

Step 14: Mount It

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That's pretty much it for building the star panel. Now you can mount the panel in way you light and enjoy your new star field!

Comments

DonnH1 (author)2015-04-21

I think that's a neat idea. I'd like to try that too but on maybe a bigger scale. Here's the way my thought is running. I like the beautiful night sky but live in the city with a lot of incident light. I'd like to take my camera out of town to some fairly dark place, aim it up and get a photo image of the sky with stars and planets. Then I'd put that image into a bit of computer software I have (free) called Irfan View. Use that to flip the image, then use a multimedia projector, I have, and project it onto the rear of a piece of hardboard about 4' X 6" and do pretty much what the instructions say for this project. Of course for Mars and Venus and large magnitude stars I would probably drill bigger holes and bunch up two or three fibres to may brighter spots as someone else suggested. Then I would have a representation of aa night sky in one moment in time. Maybe someone could come up with a more elaborate plan to make the pattern revolve around the North Star and so be more like a planetarium view. But then I'm getting too complicated. How to make the planets orbit in the right timing and direction. Hmmmm.....

Djandco (author)DonnH12015-05-06

I stripped down an old Christmas tree and added a micro controller to fade the lights at random times, I also used another intructable as inspiration

https://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-Star-Map/

kreture73 (author)DonnH12015-04-22

he, DonnH1 for the planets use small lenses from broken binoculars or other optical style stuff just glued to the outside of the holes with the optics. This way you don't have to drill bigger holes and you get the right distribution of light through the lenses

eruger (author)2015-04-24

Very nice work on the job and the Instructable!

dusza (author)2015-04-24

check this out ... LIGHTING CEMENT COUNTERS WITH FIBER-OPTICS

http://www.concretenetwork.com/countertops-fiber-optics/guide.html

kreture73 (author)2015-04-21

Hey from Texas, I'm going to add this to my sons room. I painted a daytime sky with clouds in his sister's room. He wanted the night. Semi-gloss black base as background, next glossy white applied in small intervals with two different forms of brushes to paint your stars (one has to be a small broom for large paint spatter the other one I used was an old dish-scub with shorter but hard brissles for smaller paint splatter) Do random splatters exchanging brushes and areas to avoid creating patterns. Honestly, you can stop here and be very satisfied. My son and I kept on adding with small solar systems, a comet and a moon painted with glow in the dark paints.The perimeter of his ceiling is mounted with a set of halloween purple rope-lights connected to a extension cord with a on/off switch.

schabanow (author)2015-04-21

Stretch it thoroughly across the ceiling. )) Properly sized plasma panel would be the best choice. ))

ps: Nice i'ble but observable stars' sizes are different and vary very much. Fiber clusters (a bundle of fibers in the same "star-hole") are the possible solution.

Leathaldose (author)2015-04-21

this is awesome. I walk past these fiber optic things almost every week at fry's and always wonder what can i do with that. now i know.

alcurb (author)2015-04-21

"My god, full of stars it is"

After Yoda sees the monolyth.

newbeatle (author)2015-04-21

this is exactly the method i did for a gift i made once for my girlfriend, but i design and made the control circuit... if i have a spare time i put a instructable about how i made it , seems so good your creation !!

bo'leary3 (author)2015-04-21

absolutely wonderful this is.. ?

PropagandaPanda (author)2015-04-21

Very cool ible.

I'd thoguht of doing something similar, now I think I'll go through with it.

Only thing is I'd suggest closing off the back so you don't get all the bleed. Use some thick black cloth so you don't add any real way to the thing. Or just wrap the driver and fibers bundles up to the point where they split.

ashleyjlong (author)2015-04-20

Really cool! Is the frame hanging away from the ceiling a bit? It's hard to see in the final photo, but in step 12 it does look like the driver sticks out above the frame height and you'd have to.

redsunsoft (author)ashleyjlong2015-04-20

Yes, the frame is about 1.5" away from the ceiling

Ashurii (author)2015-04-19

Im going to build this definitely for my new york styled bedroom!

yuyaash1ee (author)2015-04-19

haha nice plan

tmueller5 (author)2015-04-18

How did you mount it?

redsunsoft (author)tmueller52015-04-19

I drilled holes in each of the 4 corners and used very long, black drywall screws. I also predrilled holes in the drywall and used anchors to secure.

botdfmiw (author)2015-04-18

You can even add your own little galaxy type paint instead omg i have got to do this!

RandomCrafter (author)2015-04-18

This is amazing! Can't wait to try making it myself.

vcall (author)2015-04-18

It's also good to trim the fiber optic strings not flush, but leaving about 1/4" poking through to prevent any "glow" on the backboard.

jqcoburn (author)2015-04-18

What size drill bit did you use for drilling holes?

redsunsoft (author)jqcoburn2015-04-18

It depends on the fiber optic you buy. I went with a size slightly larger than my fiber.

Wolfbane221 (author)2015-04-18

this is really cool!

redsunsoft (author)Wolfbane2212015-04-18

Thanks!

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