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Help! I took on the wiring of my Fairfield dollhouse. The problem is with where to put the wires on the lights & the tapewires. I have looked at the house over & over. I just can’t figure out a way to make it work!

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Is the house already assembled?

Here's how I electrified my Fairfield: http://www.emilymorganti.com/blog/?p=8830

The third floor has floor lamps (not shown in those pics) and the other floors have ceiling lamps with the wires attached to the tape in the room above. The entry has a sconce with the wires pulled through to the kitchen.

 

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Dear Pam...….I must admit that I have never installed tape wire in a house that had all four finished sides, however, I have done some extensive reading on the subject.  Take note of the wiring method in my album.  What ever you take photos with a ruler so you know where your tape is.  You can make a right or left turn by using a folded corner.  Make sure all your brad fastened joints are double bradded or if using small eyelets, use double.  You may want to run your upper tape under the flooring. Keep in mind you may be able to make your flooring so it can be slid out to make repairs. Tape wire can be run under wallpaper, however, you would be well served to run it near an outside edge where it could be hidden by trim or at least where you could replace a narrow strip if required.  Bradded intersections are a real trouble area. Less is best.  I whish I could be of better assistance. Take your time when planning your wiring and take lots of photos.  Search on line for alterative intersection connections.

Silver Dollar Out 

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The Lily is kind of the same odd opening layout.  Like Kathie said,  ceiling lights on first floor with the tape on floor of second floor.  Then from those you can make runs up the walls or around baseboards for 2nd floor lighting 

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7 hours ago, Sable said:

I really learned a lot from this video. She placed the tape toward the front instead of along the walls: 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VaswR0TcQRE

Excellent video, thanks Sable. Despite having electrified a few houses, I learned a lot. I took notes and am inspired to do the electric in the Beacon Hill as the next step. For some reason, I've been shying away from doing any more construction.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/19/2018, 11:21:48, Sable said:

I really learned a lot from this video. She placed the tape toward the front instead of along the walls: 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VaswR0TcQRE

This is exactly what I needed! Thank you so much Sable! I am finally ready to tackle the lighting. I think I will start it under the bay window of the living room. She made it so easy to add ceiling lights. Thank you for posting this!

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  • 1 month later...

Ok...I officially hate this dollhouse!!  I have spent 2 months & HUNDREDS of dollars & today another light broke. I was trying to super glue it back together & my lights quit working all together. I used the tester & there is no power going to the dollhouse at all. I have spent 12-hour days trying to finish this house. I had the wiring in, ceilings finished, wallpaper & mopboard on, stucco, outside windows painted & glued on. I started putting on asphalt shingles, which is a major pain. I was just waiting for a new light to arrive - which is the second light that has burned out. I can’t find replacement bulbs & I have to buy the tiny little lights from England or Canada! I can’t put down the flooring in some of the rooms until I replace the lights & the little pin in my awl broke. This dollhouse is costing a small fortune! I hate the 1/24 scale furniture (tried one of the Greenleaf dining room kits & hate that). I’m sorry to be so hateful but I’m almost in tears! I can’t believe I can’t finish this after all this time & money spent on it. Anyone have any advice or sympathy? Thanks!

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47 minutes ago, Gramma Pam said:

Anyone have any advice or sympathy? Thanks!

I can sympathize!!! I am fairly new to building and the electrical is the bane of my existence......Here is my most recent Blog post https://livingtheminiaturelife.blogspot.com/2018/07/the-tale-of-two-lights.html

PLEASE check the Junction Splice . Most of my issues are from that Godforsaken thing! Just remove it and then reattach it in a different spot....that is a good trouble shoot, then if that is not the culprit, go back to the last light, or eyelet, or whatever you did last. I have put in a new fixture and the whole house wouldn't work until I remove it and redid it. Don't give up on your house, you are not the only one feels this way. (((HUGS))))

P.S. Sometimes if you threaten the house with a lit match, it becomes more cooperative.....then walk away and do something little.

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2 minutes ago, Mid-life madness said:

 

I can sympathize!!! I am fairly new to building and the electrical is the bane of my existence......Here is my most recent Blog post https://livingtheminiaturelife.blogspot.com/2018/07/the-tale-of-two-lights.html

PLEASE check the Junction Splice . Most of my issues are from that Godforsaken thing! Just remove it and then reattach it in a different spot....that is a good trouble shoot, then if that is not the culprit, go back to the last light, or eyelet, or whatever you did last. I have put in a new fixture and the whole house wouldn't work until I remove it and redid it. Don't give up on your house, you are not the only one feels this way. (((HUGS))))

P.S. Sometimes if you threaten the house with a lit match, it becomes more cooperative.....then walk away and do something little.

Thank you so much for understanding! I thought about what you said & went back to the light that broke. I took out the eyelets & the lights came on again. I guess the house can live another day but I’m keeping the torch close! Now to order another light, some lightbulbs (that may or may not work) & a new pin for my awl. Thanks again!

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I sympathize as well. I admit I didn't even try to electrify my Fairfield. It has battery lights now. I also agree the junction splice may well be the problem. I hate those #$&&_# things. Please, please don't give up. I don't know what shipping would be to where you are, but Mini Etchers has some nice kits for Victorian furniture that are quite reasonable. I also really like Jane Harrop in the UK.

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Pamela, do NOT take your lighting frustrations out on the poor little Fairfield.  I do not electrify any of my builds, and I enjoy playing with them just fine without.

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Many times small bits of the clear tape on top of the tapewire gets pushed into the hole where the copper is trying to make the connection to the eyelet. I peel away as much of the clear tape to expose more copper so the eyelet has a full connection. Basically, I cut a small square of the clear tape off where the eyelet will be inserted. This had prevented all problems.

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Take a deep breath! Everyone who has ever electrified a dollhouse has felt like this at some point!

From what you described it sounds like your broken light may have caused a short circuit. It's good that you removed it. I had a similar experience recently but the wires (which were underneath the house, so I didn't see them) actually started burning up. I was lucky I unplugged it when I did, or it could have caused a lot of damage.

If you continue to have problems with the lights all going out, the junction splice is very likely the culprit. As I was fixing the electricity on my house (after those wires burned up) I sometimes had to jiggle the junction splice to make them work. I've also sunk hundreds of dollars and a lot of time into the electricity on this house and have promised myself I will never electrify another dollhouse, but I felt like I couldn't leave this one halfway done. I recently had to replace the lights in two rooms where the opposite rooms were already finished, so I couldn't run the wires through the wall/floor. I got creative and used a "false ceiling" for one of them, and in the other I found a way to hide the lights behind my staircase. There are always creative solutions for these sorts of problems -- and it sucks when the electricity doesn't work, but coming up with a genius fix can be so satisfying! And turning on the lights and finally seeing them all work is such a great feeling. It'll be worth it. :)

What type of bulbs are you looking for? Half scale lights with replaceable bulbs usually use the bi-pin "micro bulbs":

https://www.miniatures.com/Four-Bi-Pin-Micro-Grain-of-Rice-Bulbs-P19331.aspx

https://www.miniatures.com/Four-Bi-Pin-Micro-Candle-Flame-Bulbs-P19332.aspx

If you're using 1:12 lights with screw-in bulbs, Miniatures.com carries several styles of those as well.

There are a lot of great options for half scale furniture, both kits and already finished, you just have to look a little harder to find them. Here are some good sites:

http://sdkminiatures.com/

http://atriflesmall.co.uk/

https://www.mountainminiatures.com/

Also this seller has a good selection of 1:24 Bespaq up on eBay right now: https://www.ebay.com/str/fjdebbie/1-2-SCALE/_i.html?_storecat=10344219017

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/19/2018, 11:21:48, Sable said:

I really learned a lot from this video. She placed the tape toward the front instead of along the walls: 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VaswR0TcQRE

This is exactly what I needed! Thank you so much Sable! I am finally ready to tackle the lighting. I think I will start it under the bay window of the living room. She made it so easy to add ceiling lights. Thank you for posting this!

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Thank you so much everyone for the support, encouragement, advice & links! I finished the house (but want to replace the paper flooring.)

the problem was a burned-out bulb. I had to replace several (which took HOURS) but then the lights came back on. I still have a burned-out bulb in the entry & I’m not sure how I’m going to get to it to replace it! 

The next thing that happened was a tree limb broke off in a storm & landed on the main power line. They had to shut off my power to get the limb off & then replace the mast where the power lines connect to the house. The only damage was to my transformer. I replaced it & now everything is good! I think the next dollhouse will be a 1:12! Thanks again!!

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52 minutes ago, Gramma Pam said:

I still have a burned-out bulb in the entry & I’m not sure how I’m going to get to it to replace it! 

You could just leave it out. When do we ever turn on ALL of the lights in our real house at the same time?  

As an aside, the 2-1/2 year old has figured out how to turn on the lights in the real house. She can finally reach the switches. She goes around turning them on, and Grandpa follows behind, turning them off. Then she starts all over again. Keeps them entertained for obscenely long periods of time. :D 

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  • 2 months later...
On 7/19/2018, 4:01:58, Debsrand56 said:

I sympathize as well. I admit I didn't even try to electrify my Fairfield. It has battery lights now. I also agree the junction splice may well be the problem. I hate those #$&&_# things. Please, please don't give up. I don't know what shipping would be to where you are, but Mini Etchers has some nice kits for Victorian furniture that are quite reasonable. I also really like Jane Harrop in the UK.

Can I ask where you found battery lights small enough for the Fairfield? I've been searching, as I have no interest in trying to electrify mine, but feel like having no lights at all will be disappointing, an seem to only be able to find battery lights in 1:12 scale. 

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4 hours ago, LeFemmeFatale said:

Can I ask where you found battery lights small enough for the Fairfield? I've been searching, as I have no interest in trying to electrify mine, but feel like having no lights at all will be disappointing, an seem to only be able to find battery lights in 1:12 scale. 

It’s because the coin batteries are out of scale.

EDIT: oops  I was wrong. There are just a few here with coin batteries;

https://www.miniatures.com/124-Scale-Lighting-C387.aspx?s=AverageReview%20DESC&c=387&ps=12&p=1

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