Starry Ceiling LED Lights

This article describes in detail how to make yourself a ceiling starry led. There are boards, LEDs and a few DIY tools to cut wood and solder the wires.


  1. cleats of starry led ceiling

The goal is to cover the whole surface of the ceiling with planks where there will be LED. Can be found in supermarkets to DIY boards of medium thickness 5mm to the 2.50 m x 1.25 m format.

A free space of 1 cm approximately must exist between the original ceiling and the new ceiling (with LED) to let the son. Strips must first be attached to the ceiling.

Cleats to attach to the original ceiling

A space of 60 to 80cm between 2 cleats is a good compromise. With a greater distance, the medium might bend over time.

Cleats for the ceiling star led

Cleats for the ceiling star led

If possible, it should fix the cleats in the ceiling beams. A good knowledge of the ceiling is recommended. Several “tests” by drilling a hole in the ceiling to “probe” where are the beams…

Attention do not Pierce in pipes or wires!

2 cutting planks of the ceiling star led

Cut to size the planks circular saw according to the location of the cleats. The connection between 2 boards must be done on a cleat and not between. The finest cutting lines are placed in the Center. The less beautiful will be less visible on the edges.

fitting on a strip

Bad connection

The boards will be well adjusted (ugly result) if their edges are not fixed together on a cleat.

  1. drilling of the stars of the boards

It’s the artistic part of the achievement! To restore the constellations, we can find easily with Google images of maps of the sky.

Constellations of summer in the northern hemisphere

“In front of an open window, he stopped and realized the night. (…) She was wearing the life in its flanks.”

(Night flight, Saint Exupéry)

Once the sky portion selected, mark the main stars on stage (on the side that will be visible!). When you look at the ceiling, you’ll head to the top, as when you look at the sky. There is no symmetry to do.

Caution: there must not be stars where there is the cleats. We can identify the “no-go” areas by taking 1 cm margin in the vicinity of the cleats. For the final visual rendering, you should not be able to identify the cleats in the constellations…

Marking the prohibited areas (presence of cleats)

The forest must have the diameter of LED (3mm, 5mm, etc.).

The boards plan and tracking of the stars (only a part is presented)

  1. paint the boards

After drilling, paint in 2-layer boards of medium. You can use acrylic paint (clean tools with water).

Painting the starry ceiling boards: white acrylic

If paint partially fills the holes, remove the paint once dried to free the hole. We can press a turn screw in the hole.

  1. choice of LED to the ceiling

There are the led don’t emit light in a small angle (40-60 °) and others that shed light on a wide angle, according to anylistintheus. A starry ceiling, to prefer them.

For example, LEDs “Flat top” (flat top) illuminate on opening 140 °.

“Flat top” LED 5mm fits the starry ceiling

You can choose various colors to choose from. To avoid the “Christmas lights” effect, only white and warm White were selected.

6 circuit and connection of the LED

Each LED is to insert back into his hole.

Each must have his resistance LED series to limit the current. The value of the resistance, the current in the LED varies, and so its intensity. A large resistance value generates a low light and vice versa. Often, the maximum current is 20mA.

For the calculation of the resistance, see this article:

For a power supply 12V (continuous), the resistance must be at least:

R = (12-3.4) / 0.02 = 430 Ohms

The easiest wiring involves connecting in parallel together LED + resistance.

In practice, we choose the standard value of 470 Ohms as the minimum value (maximum intensity). Any value of 470 Ohms to 100kOhms will do:

470 – 1 k: very bright star LED

1 k – 10 k: average star LED

10 k and more: LED little bright distant star

Diagram of the ceiling star led

Practical the starry led ceiling fixture

Welding wires

There will be a length of wires (+ and -) free to connect the Board to its neighbors and to food.

Soldering of a wire with a leg of LED

7 fixing the ceiling boards

To attach the planks of the starry ceiling, there being two (hold the Board + the first screw). The Board of 5mm medium is flexible enough and should be well adjusted on the central strip of the House or room.

First quarter of the installed ceiling

For the test, we can feed the surfboard ceiling by a 9V battery. Pay attention to the polarity: the manufacturer indicates that the LED support no more than 5V in reverse voltage.

First quarter of the installed ceiling

For the test, we can feed the surfboard ceiling by a 9V battery. Pay attention to the polarity: the manufacturer indicates that the LED support no more than 5V in reverse voltage.

8 ceiling starry led: the result

A continuous 12V power supplies all of the LEDs in the ceiling. Consumption is about 500mA. Each LED has its brightness, which brings realism to the ceiling. The connections between the boards are slightly visible.

Ceiling starry led lit

The orange color is due to the the Central lamp shade. In the night, here is the rendering:

Ceiling starry led lit only

We recognize the warm white LED and white LED.

Constellation of the Crown

The Big Dipper constellation

“I was born near the sourceEt I saw the great OurseAu my house”(paroles de Billy, Céline Dion) sky

9 light dimmer

If you want to vary the overall brightness of the ceiling, you can add this little inverter of voltage. It is based on a bridge (between P1 and R1) voltage divider. R1 serves to reduce the deadband of the potentiometer. Indeed, it takes approximately 3V for the LED begin to glow, which equals about 4.2V at the base of Q1. Q1 is a Darlington which amplifies current. It must be mounted on a small radiator (a small plate aluminum 2x4cm aside for example).

Inverter voltage 2V – 12V for ceiling led

The Darlington Q1 can be replaced by any other Darlington. The constraints is to support at least 12V and 0.5 a.

10 atmosphere of twilight under the stars

Starry led ceiling does not create the atmosphere of twilight… but we can contemplate it:

Twilight (photomontages urban setting / Twilights seen from 20km altitude)

Twilight observed in the vicinity of Strasbourg in September around 8 p.m.

  1. final words

Must be good handyman to make this ceiling starry led but the realization is worth it. The choice of light intensity for each star brings a touch of realism. In addition, a dimmer allows to realize all the atmospheres, full fire until nightfall black and deep.