Starfield Installation Guide

Installing a starfield is very easy but it can be time consuming.  You will need the following: an illuminator, the cable, a drill with .75mm, 1mm and 1.5mm drill bits and any type of glue that will give you about 20 minutes of “work time”.  You also MUST have access to the ceiling from the top and bottom to install the cable.   The first thing you will have to do is measure how large the starfield will be and where the illuminator will be locate; you will have to service the illuminator eventually. These two things are critical for a successful project! An average starfield will have 4 or so “stars” per square foot. You can go higher or lower than this, but remember that you will probably want to double, or even triple, some of the strands to create a true night sky effect.   If you have any trouble with how many stars (how much cable) you want, just contact us and we’ll be happy to help you.

After it’s been determined how many stars you want, you can figure out how long the cable needs to be. Remember that the cable is the most expensive part of a starfield and try to keep the runs to a minimum. Example: For a 10-foot by 10-foot square starfield we would want about 400-450 stars. We can go with six runs of cable, four 8-foot pieces of 75-strand, one 6-foot piece and one 4-foot piece.  You have to add a service loop to the illuminator for each length of cable.

Working with two people, one below the ceiling and one above, you can now start the installation.  You will have to strip the cable jacket from the strands of cable near where you will want to install the stars.  You don’t have to strip the entire run of cable. The person below the ceiling will drill a hole where he/she feels a star should go, the person above will shove one, two or three strands (depending on the size hole drilled) of cable through the ceiling – about 3 inches is fine. Put a small amount of glue (Elmers is OK, but NOT Tite Bond) on the cable to hold it in place. Do not snip the cable at this time.  Go to the next one and repeat.  Try to leave a few strands from each cable free so that you can fill in any bare spots.  Also, try and leave a path for you to work from and start from the furthest point of your starfield – leaving an exit for yourself. The illuminator may be placed in a ventilated attic but it will reduce the lamp life and the illuminator could get hot.

After you have completed the starfield, you may now paint the ceiling or prepare it in any way you wish. After this has been done, snip the strands with a scissors about ¼ inch from the ceiling.  This will allow you to paint the ceiling again at a later date.

If you have a drop down ceiling, remove on of the ceiling tiles and work on an adjacent one. If you are working with sheetrock that hasn’t been installed yet, place the strands in the sheetrock like you would a regular ceiling, leaving a place for the mud to go. Leave strands for later when you can fill in these empty places.

IMPORTANT  Leave an 18 Inch loop of cable at the end of the illuminator in case you need to service it.
IMPORTANT  You must polish the cable end that goes into the illuminator. If you don’t, the light output will be weak and you could actually melt the cable (one good reason to have a service loop in the cable!).  Also, if the cable ends are not trimmed before you insert the harness, you could damage or destroy the twinkle wheel!

For a professional system the DEL75W-2LC can handle up to 300 square feet and it can dim as well.  You will need end emitting fiber optic cable of various lengths to cover your ceiling.  Just give us a call and we’ll be happy to help design your system.

 There are other systems that can be used for a simulated starfield; take a look at the DIY page.

To see another example of a starfield, click here.

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    Del Lighting, Inc.
    5331 Brewster
    San Antonio, TX  78233

    (210) 590-5196  FAX: (210) 590-4957
    sales@del-lighting.com

Updated 09/14/10

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