Fall Foliage Workshop – More lighting with LEDs

A0805The 2013 Foliage Sale (Sept 28) was delightful!  We had great weather, good fall color, and lots of friends from near and far: old friends who have become regulars at our get-togethers, and new friends who have just discovered this event.  I can see from looking at the shelves that this year folks came for the deals on design prototypes and samples, but I didn’t get to see much of the sales floor, I was pretty much full-time helping folks with their building and wiring questions, and with the Workshop.

Creative uses of LED lighting: For several years we have been promoting and developing product support for LED lighting to flood a display or dollhouse from the back (I have been working with one builder who will have a fantastic display at the Philadelphia Flower Show using indirect LED lighting, helping her with particulars of some of the hookups).  And we spent some time with hookup techniques at the WorkshopA0781  using solidwire, tapewire, eyelets, or connectors, and variations that use several elements in the same build.  I built some demos to make it easy for everyone to see the hookups being installed (there’s nothing better than putting in the last eyelet and having everyone see the Striplight come alive). 

This year’s Workshop introduced other ways to use LEDs, ways you probably have in your own real-life house, a box-light in the kitchen, valence lighting in the living room, or recessed lighting in the bathroom. 


a0859A0789Each participant got a Box-light kit (E-224) with parts to make the box for a kitchen light, and I built one for the Victoria’s Farmhouse I have been using as my test house and blog platform (see “Customizing a Victoria’s Farmhouse“).  The box is made of grooved stripwood with a plastic diffuser.  It gives space for the LED to breath, and creates a strong over-the-counter light just like I have in my Kitchen.   This Box-Light was installed over two sections of LED, one warm and one pure white.



The recessed lighting in the bathroom comes from two LED sections wired above a false ceiling.  The false ceiling is made of 1/8″ MDF, but it could be matt board or foam-core.  The frame around the holes in the false ceiling is #E-225 Recessed Lighting Frames.




A0836Ia0864I have a neighbor who has a valance around his living room with lights that shine on the ceiling and fill the room with light that has no shadows, so that was the next style of lighting we made in the Workshop. 

This Valance Light (E-226) goes on over the wallpaper and eyelets into tapewire run 3/4 on center below the ceiling.


I get so excited when I am talking about new techniques in dollhouse building that I lose track of time, and that happened here again.  I am told I talked for over an hour, then took questions for a long time after that, but no-one left until the show was over, so I guess folks were interested in the same thing that gets me going. 

I was billed as a “Dollhouse Wizard”… Huumph!  A lot of  incantations and hand waving nonsense… 

A013 A012 A011 A010

… Ooh!

So, there you have it… spells and all

I’ve got work to do

6 Responses to “Fall Foliage Workshop – More lighting with LEDs”

  1. Pamela Says:

    Some day before I die I want to come see you’all. This would have been really helpful for me. Gary is a girls best friend! He is always so helpful. I Still have alot to learn! Gary keep up the great work!

  2. Cindi Barbeau Says:

    Fabulous demonstration. I learned so much! Definitely will be adding led lights to my next project. Thank you Gary!

  3. Marjie O. Says:

    Enjoyed the demo. Was about to quit attempting wiring and you’ve given me renewed hope. Thanks.

  4. gary_r Says:

    I am so glad!
    I had forgotten to mention several of the new innovations that take the mystery and luck out of dollhouse wiring, and makes it predictable. Things like the EL66 electrification tool and the E247 Jack and Plug. But mostly, it’s knowing that the Real Good Toys crew is here to help.
    Thanks for coming and spending the day with us!

  5. gary_r Says:

    Thank you!
    I do love LEDs and have really enjoyed figuring out ways to incorporate them in traditional dollhouses. I can’t wait to see what you come up with ;^)

  6. gary_r Says:

    We have a wonderful time at these workshops and the questions and answers session brings ideas to the table from everyone, and that builds the body of knowledge that we all dip into. I hope you can come again and again!