… Well, kind of. I’m in the process of building my home theater and one of the things I want in there is a star ceiling. Building a retractable roof a) isn’t cost effective b) not practical, because the theater is in the basement surrounded in a sound proof room and an open roof wouldn’t be sound proof.
There are a lot of ways to achieve a star ceiling… you can go to your local Arts and Crafts store and buy glow-in-the-dark stickers or paint on stars randomly. Both of those options are pretty ghetto and look cheap and cheesy. Plus, they only glow for 15-20 mins after you turn on the lights for a few minutes — not an option for a home theater. Design-wise, I’m hoping the theater will be very classy and I don’t want it to feel gaudy or over the top cheesy, like I tried to hard. So even considering a star ceiling was pushing it to the gaudy side. The solution, I contacted FOSI, they do all the Rainforest Cafe star features and they are the only source for DIY accurate star placements. I choose a September sky because that’s my birth month and most of the constellations I like are in this month. The star area is 11′ x 12′ and it’s surrounded by a couple of soffits that will be lit (see photo below).
FOSI uses fiber optic strands that are lit by a 35 watt Metal Halide Illuminator for all the constellations and a nice feature about their templates is that they also include the Milky Way (blue dots on the template to the right), which is dimmer using ND filters… just like the real sky!
I ordered a template for $125, which is nicely marked and easy to layout and drill. After all the holes are drilled, I will pull all the fibers (about 800 of them) from the light unit to the star and let them hang out a few inches. Then once I paint the ceiling in a dark midnight blue/purple, I will push the fibers in a couple inches bit and cut the ends to clean the paint. The light unit is pricey, about $900 (with twinkle and ND filters) but hundreds of thousands cheaper than putting in a retractable roof. I’ll post more photos as I work on the process.