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Home cinema ceiling ideas

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Building DIY' started by RemotecUK, Dec 6, 2004.

  1. RemotecUK

    RemotecUK
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    Hi,

    Ive already get my HC system installed but would like to improve the "cinema" room. Ive got a few ideas including new blinds etc. However, my showpeice project is as follows:

    What I would like to do is create a false ceiling around 2 inches lower than the current ceiling. The idea is to leave a slight (2") gap from the wall which will leave a recess. Around the edges of the suspended section I want to place some sort of dimable lighting which will illuminate through the gap. Additional lighting will be provided by dimmable halogen spot lights.

    Does anyone have any ideas on how to do such a thing. Im looking for ideas on what materials to use for the suspended ceiling and any ideas on what type of lighting I can use to go around the edges. Perhaps one idea is to make the ceiling out of wood or plasterboard and use neon for the edge lights. Dimming is a requirement however.

    If anyone has any pictures of a similar DIY setup Id be interested in seeing them.

    Thanks in advance,
     
  2. Rickyj @ Kalibrate

    Rickyj @ Kalibrate
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    Would also be interested in doing something like this, but would like the suspended ceiling to add to the soundproofing of the room, as I live in a ground floor flat. My idea at present is to use a wooden frame attached to the exisiting joists with added rockwool, and finished with plaster board to reduce the amount of sound that passes through. Any help would be greatly appreciated though.

    As for the light around the edge, have a search for Mark Caroline, he used rope lights around the edge, above a border, I believe, to great effect.

    If you do undertake this project RemotecUK, perhaps you could post some pics, as I would be interested in seeing the result.

    Ricky
     
  3. digisocialist

    digisocialist
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    Look at these:

    http://www.crescent.co.uk/frm_home.htm - look at the Crescent CL and 'B' Light, I think this is the kind of thing you are after. I would suggest contacting several companies and asking them for their product recommendations for the application you wish and then asking for prices. I spent some weeks doing this and Crescent even sent me a Demo Light for me to install and check out with a return cut-off point i.e. if I didn't want it I return with no charge (except for postage). It's also worth asking companies for 'Ex-Demo' Kit as you can often get this for a lot cheaper. Crescent sent me a £550 Fibre Optic kit for my 'Well' (that's right, a dry stone well in my house) and said as it was Ex Dem if I decided I wanted it I could have it for £200. In the end it didn't give me what I wanted and I ended up putting a fixed IP67 rated 'Mini LED Walkover' light in my well sourced from http://www.mrlighting.com which turned out a hell of a lot cheaper (small family firm and I got my light for £50 all in).

    You can get fibre optic cables which light up along their entire length (not just through the ends). Look at the SIDE LIT BRIGHTPAK III PMMA under the Fibre Optic section at Crescents website, then go to Optical Cables. This will give you an idea of the types of things that are in the market place. I will add however that you should shop around. Fibre Optic is not cheap and there maybe other companies offering it cheaper OR alternative solutions like LED.

    B&Q do sets of 12 Mini LED's for about £45. I'm not sure if these are dimmable but they can be colour changed which would suggest there is a degree of control. If they are dimmable, you could go for a row of these around the recess. I suspect however that they are not going to give you the light output you want and something like the Fibre Optic will be more powerful - These are expensive though!

    Some others to give you ideas:
    http://www.universal-fibre-optics.com/flash.html (Click Product Range / Harnesses and Check out the Side Glow)
    http://www.jacksons-camping.co.uk/swimming/underwat.htm

    As for the ceiling I imagine there are two options. 1) is to buy a suspended ceiling kit and install it. These often come with dodgy foam tiles though which don't look too pleasing to the eye. 2) is to effictively build a stud partition wall but on the ceiling (if that's possible). I can't see why you can't screw 2x4 joists to the existing ceiling joists but leaving a gap around the room and then covering the thing with plaster board. My approach would be to get a builder in for a quote, ask him what the best suggestion is, then do it yourself.

    :)
     
  4. Neil Fellows

    Neil Fellows
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    Just to chip in here, I have the B&Q ones, and they are not dimmable. They don't give off much light, either. They look cool in my kitchen skirting board though!
     
  5. RemotecUK

    RemotecUK
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    Looks like I may have to come up with another solution then.
    Not sure what though - Im open to suggestions.
    Spoke to a freind of mine who has set up a similar thing and he spent around £900 on the neon light to go around it. Its very effective but unfortunately its a little out of my price range. Perhaps a cheaper solution is to fot some sort of dimmable incandescent light but this is going to give off a lot of heat in an enclosed area.
     
  6. digisocialist

    digisocialist
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    OK - slightly bizzare suggestion... but.... put coloured LED lights OR Halogens if you want it quite bright in the 'real ceiling' as you would when normally fitting ceiling lights. Say, 8, 3 down each side of the ceiling and one in the middle at either end (but about 3-6 inches within the imaginary rectangle that your new suspended ceiling will cover). Then build your false ceiling and put normal ceiling lights in that how you want them. Operate both sets from different dimmers. Voila, you should get a glow from the lighting in the real ceiling emitting from the gap between it and the false one. One way to try is to put some lights in the real ceiling and hold up a plaster board and see how much light emitts; if it works, go for it.
     
  7. RemotecUK

    RemotecUK
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    Good idea. The only thing I am concerned about is heat. The heat build up could be imense especially with the spots on the false ceiling running as well. How bright are the LED lights and are they dimmable?

    Ive just found this actually...

    http://www.superbrightleds.com/light_bars.htm

    ... looks like a possible solution. The supplier is in amercia however and I'd be interested to see how much light they give off.
     
  8. RemotecUK

    RemotecUK
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    Gave Crescent a call earlier and they are sending out the information on the B light. Sounds like it could be just the job. However its expensive. I asked for a rough price and she say a 1m strip with transformer was around £100. I imagine that the relative price will reduce with length. The only other solution thats looking good is dimmable flourescent. Most of the dimming systems are what are known as "switch dim" however. This means you press the switch a variable amount of time to actual dimming and on/off features.

    Just to add - these normally work by push to make switches (similar to a door bell). Is it possible to program a Futronix dimmer to only actuate when a button on the remote control is pressed? A bit like a doorbell style function.

    Cheers,
     

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