Customer project 99 - Home cinema star panel
If you're planning a home cinema and want a star ceiling then - in our humble opinion - you can't do any better than our Infinity system of prefabricated star panels. However, they're made to a specification designed for the higher end of the home cinema sector and may not suit every budget. So, if you like the look of Infinity, but can't afford it, or just prefer to go down the DIY route, you can buy the special fibre mix which we use in the Infinity panels and have a go at making your own high density star panels.
This was the option selected by customer Dean Gimbert who opted to use 5 "Infinity mix" tails so as to give himself a display of 500 stars. Now that he has his home cinema room completed, he has very kindly taken the trouble to send some feedback and photos.
We'll let Dean describe the methodology in his own words.
- I used a 3m x 1.5m x 18mm MDF sheet.
- I framed the back with 70mm x 18mm prepared timber to create space for the fibres.
- I framed the front with MDF architrave.
- I used timber trims to hide the raw edge of the MDF.
- I marked and drilled pilot holes where the joists would run for fixings later.
- I fitted small pieces of the 70mm x 18mm timber on the back of each pilot hole.
- I undercoated with MDF primer and then painted with a midnight blue emulsion.
- I spread 500 grains of rice (to correspond with 500 fibres) and once happy with the positions, marked each with a dot.
- I drilled the holes.
- I propped the board on a frame against the wall as to allow access to both sides.
- I run the fibres, added clear silicone to each on the point of entry and taped fibres into position.
- I fixed board to the ceiling (with help from 4 friends).
- I cut excess fibres as close to the board as possible.
- I filled the holes and touched the paint work in.
At this point you can see the mdf sheet has its architrave in place, holes drilled for fixing to the ceiling and a primer coat of paint applied to the front.
Here's a little trick for experimenting with distribution of your stars. Count out a number of grains of rice equivalent to the number of fibres you'll be using and then distribute them across the face of your panel(s). You should aim to create little clusters of stars, and - just as importantly - do leave some areas relatively empty, just like the real night sky. Once you're happy with the pattern you can drill your holes and then dispose of the rice. We also now have a star pattern generator on the website, courtesy of customer Seb Francis.
The rear of the panel ready to take the fibres. The timber blocks represent the locations of the fixing holes and act as spacers for the fibres between the panel and the ceiling. You can see the harness of 5 Infinity mix tails which are terminated in the common end ferrule which is the interface with the MiniLED750 light source.
In this photo you can see that the sheathing has been partly removed from the Infinity mix bundles to allow the 100 fibres in each tail to be distributed across the panel. Silicone was used to fix each fibre into its hole and then duct tape used to help manage the fibres.The 100 fibres in an Infinity mix tail are a mixture of 0.5mm, 0.75mm, 1mm and 1.5mm to give an enhanced sense of depth in the star field. You can find it in the lilac section on our optical fibre shop page.
Nearly done. The panel is fixed to the ceiling and the fibres are dangling down, ready to be trimmed flush with the surface using nail clippers or scissors.
The finished room looks great, with the star ceiling helping to create that ambience which makes watching a movie or big match a special event.