Construction 41: Electric lighting

02/12/13 | ۩ |

As I told in the previous post, one of the last improvements made to the basement before the closing of the vaults it's the substitution of the wall torches. Since a while I was thinking about the installation of an electrical system wich allowed me to light the basement as if the torches were really burning.

At first it seemed to me a hard work to do, because it would have forced me to operate not only on torches but on concrete walls as well, producing more dust (the jail and the pantry were already finished).
Moreover, I needed very small bulbs to keep intact the look of my miniature cellar.

It was the middle of December (already Christmas time), an easy time to find colored bulbs with blinking lights at every corner, but that was not what I was looking for. I needed something more discrete and similar to a burning torch.
Maybe the lights used to decorate nativity scenes, so peculiar in southern Europe, could do the best on my Domus.

After verifying on the internet the existance of many kind of micro-bulbs especifically created for crèches, I've tried to look in a shop where I already bought some items (we'll see it in a later post). They're specialized in artistic miniatures, doll houses and all the stuff you need to build a Nativity scene. It's situated in Granada (Spain) inside the old alcaiceria, the bazaar of the medieval town, which preserves the ancient arabic look, although actually nothing there is older than a century. Here you can find the online shop.

I bought 4 neon lights with 4mm bulbs.
The storekeeper taught me kindly how to install them, and I was pleased to find that I don't need any timer, reducer or more contraption. Each bulb includes a little resistance and a short cable, so I can directly plug them to the main electrical system through a switch and a terminal block (mammut).
Its light is made to imitate torches, so... It couldn't be better than this!

The harder work to do was the integration of the bulbs inside the Domus. I want to place the lights immediately above the torches and to do this I need to drill the walls, something not easy to do at this point.
Another issue to resolve is the accessibility of the bulbs: I need to remove them in case of failure or desease.

I drill the first hole above the torch placed behind the columns. This prove itself to be an easy job, because that wall is the only survivor of the first concrete structure, almost totally removed after testing its low quality.
It appears solid, but it's easy to drill and dust comes out on the outside avoiding potential disasters inside the cellar.
The hole is wide enough to allow the insertion of a bulb, so I can connect all cables and carry out a first lighting test.

I like the effect, even if that bulb raising from the wall is not exactly a fine work.
But this reminds me to a tutorial found on the internet when I was looking for crèche's lights. It's a simple way to make wall torches using micro-bulbs like mine. Following this method would mean the replacing of all the torches I already made, but the result could be worthwhile...

I will operate this thime on the torches placed on the opposite side of the besement, and the drilling (as I suspected) it's really harder than on the previous wall. Suffice to say that I need to put aside the Dremel and keep working with the "real" drill.
When the drill bit comes out from the wall, some bricks fall down on the inside, but fortunally I can avoid greater damages slowing down the rotation speed.
What I just can't stop is dust!

I put the bulb inside the cup of the old torch (the hole enlarged) and reassemble the new torch, repairing the broken bricks with glue. Here is how it looks.

To remove every torch will be necessary to draw the nails from the walls, take out the cup and pull the cable from the outside.
The basement will be surrounded on two sides by the subsoil, and the cables will reach the outer surface passing through small pipes to allow their removal. For that reason, the first bulb will finally keep its horizontal position over the old torch. It would be impossible to place there a pipe at the right angle because of the underground river... but it's very soon to talk about it and I'm revealing too much!

Here are more pictures:

Now the building of the basement is really finished. It's time to close the vaults and start growing up...


2 commenti:

Phil ha detto...

Great ideas, inspired work, and beautiful result! Thanks for sharing!

werner maresta ha detto...

Thank you for reading! I hope my english is clear enough :)

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