My Stockbroker house came complete with the old wires, wire boxes and light fittings. The light fittings will stay, as I'm not fundamentally changing the house, however all the wires were no good, so had to be removed.
So how to light it? This was quite a big learning curve. I've installed lighting in a new newer doll house and I copper-wired a huge doll house before with around 80 lights.
I decided not to go down the copper wiring route. It would mean a lot of sticking and soldering around the back and I wanted to avoid that.
Below is my guidance for rewiring however it is only meant as a summary of my steps. Please take all precautions before embarking on any work with electricity!
What I needed for this project:
- A transformer
- Four 3V / 0.3A light bulbs
- A 12 socket Power Strip (fewer sockets would have been fine)
- Thin double wire
- Four doll house 2-prong plugs
The house already had adequate fitments for the bulbs, however I spotted that they are easily available, along with the materials above, on online dolls house shops. I used Bromley Crafts, Melody Jane and Amazon. Finally I used some tools including a small screwdriver, tweezers, plyers and scissors.
I learned that the voltage of the lightbulbs must be the same voltage as the transformer. So, because I chose 3V bulbs, I needed a 3V transformer. Adjustable transformers, with a little dial to choose the required voltage - are very handy.
I also checked the amperage of the light bulbs and the transformer, using advice from the forum on the marvellous Dolls Houses Past and Present website.
The total bulb amperage must not exceed the transformer amperage.
My lightbulbs were each 0.3A and I wanted to use 4 of them - one per main room. This would mean a total amperage of 1.2A. My transformer amperage is 2.1A so that's all good.
Fitting the wires
The wires break into two at each end. I attached one end to a plug and the other end to my light fitment. For the plug, I removed both prongs with plyers, inserted one of the wires and reinserted the prong. It's very fiddly. For the light fitments I made sure the wire had exited the house through an appropriate hole first, then unscrewed the light fitment screws two places and applied each of the wires separately. I knew to make sure they do not touch each other or they will fuse.
Somewhat sadly I had to drill a 0.5mm hole in the back of each room so that the wire could fit through. I made sure that it was as near to the ceiling/wall join as possible.
And so my very old 1930s stockbroker house was complete with lighting again. It was a lovely moment. I'm now considering adding lights to the bathroom and the side porch.