Really Really need help with the lighting for the windows

Started by qsp, Jun 28, 2010, 08:27 pm

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This is my first post so hello to you all :)

I really really need some help here, I am building a Matt Smith box for a show but the problem is the windows, front pull to open sign and the public call box top sign need to light up.
Now Ive seen all kinds of ways to light the top sign and some to light the windows but there is only one way that I can do it for this project.
There is a product out there by a company called ceelite and they make bendy plastic 1mm think light up panels in many sizes, the problem is though that it costs an arm a leg and and the other two to buy it. I need 9 panels about 17" by 15" for this project. Does anyone know a place that I can buy these panels from?
The one they use on TV uses the same kind of stuff to light Matts box.
If you know of anywhere that I can get those panels what ever the price is, could you send me the websites so I can check them out.

Thanks to you all



I think your best bet is to google "el sheet" and start looking for prices.


The problem is that I don't think there is such a thing as cheap EL sheet right now, no matter where you look.
Average price seems to be about $75 for a single window sized piece.


Quote from: qsp on Jun 28, 2010, 08:27 pm
Does anyone know a place that I can buy these panels from?

Though it's not what you asked for, maybe glow in the dark paint would do the trick, should the EL sheet prove to be outside of your budget.


Yeah, thanks everyone for your help :) I shal keep looking, if I find anything cheap at any stage which is looking unlikely I will post here and let you all know.
Thanks again  ;)


Jun 29, 2010, 05:09 am #5 Last Edit: Jun 29, 2010, 05:26 am by galacticprobe
Have you thought about using frosted plexi (perspex, glass, etc.) and some inexpensive fluorescent lights, like the small kinds you usually find under kitchen counter tops or shelves, or even under some office desk shelves? I've seen a few people (on this forum, I think) who have done similar lighting techniques, placing one light fixture above or below (and behind) the frosted "glass" to get that light effect. (It also lights the inside of the box in case you want to sneak inside for a quiet lunch.)

Some of those small light fixtures are available at home improvement stores, like Home Depot or Lowes in the US. They have sizes in the 12-inch range, which would be a good fit for a TARDIS window, and some are even battery powered. (And of you have trouble finding frosted plexi et al, they sell 'peel-n-stick' film that can do, or like several people on here have done, careful application of a jitterbug (electric hand sander) to clear plexi will frost it sufficiently.

And since the possibility of glow-in-the-dark materials was brought up, might I suggest one better? (Well, maybe better; I'll suggest, the forum shall judge.) Those same light fixtures I mentioned above also come with black light tubes. So, if you were to use clear plexi or such, to avoid the hassle of the frosting process (film or sanding), hang some "curtains" made from white cotton (like undershirt material) over the windows. You can use old shirts, sheets, or you can pick up new at a fabric store for not much at all.

That fabric glows blinding blue-white (think Millennium Falcon engines) when in close proximity to black light. That will give your windows a similar glow to the 9th/10th Doctor TARDIS windows. It would also keep the inside rather dark so no one could really see what's going on in there when you sneak in and out (that quiet lunch thing, just mind the UV with your eyes if you do that, but if you position the fixtures right you shouldn't have any direct UV light on the inside; the fixtures's reflectors should direct most of it against the windows and fabric). Then, when the black lights are turned off, all you've got from the outside are quietly dull whitish windows.

Hope this helps.
"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"


ooooo, black light that is quite an interesting idea there Dino


Jun 30, 2010, 12:52 am #7 Last Edit: Jun 30, 2010, 12:54 am by galacticprobe
Thanks, Paul. I actually came up with that idea (blue-glowing cotton and black light) some years ago when I thought it would make a good effect for the glowing part of a warp nacelle for a Federation starship. Needless to say I scrapped that idea; nacelles don't do well with military movers. (NOTHING does well with military movers: lowest bidders and all that. "Just a bunch of stupid apes..." - the 9th Doctor.)

And then it just hit me while reading this thread: that look - glowing on or off - would be perfect for TARDIS windows!

"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"


why don't you make a shadow box arrangement from the back of the window, light it with simple light (LED, tube, etc and line the inside of the box with silver foil to achieve even reflection. :)