Roof and LED lights installed
This was the best day so far. Today I got the GF involved and we installed the roof panel including the lights.
For my roof I have used a single 3mm sheet of plywood covered in Black Semi Perforated Vinyl which was sourced from MegaVanMats. Working with the vinyl was very different to the carpet I have previously glued. You need to be much more careful on the corners – it is more stretchy which in some ways makes it easier. It marks more easily which is a real pain so take great care not to get any of the spray glue on it. Last bit of advice is to mind the dots – and make sure that as you place the fabric down the dots run along the length of the panel and in line. I just didn’t think about this to start with and then realised I was completely out of line and looking a bit poor!
The lights in the roof are LED decking lights from B&Q. I originally planned to use the single LED version with a round holder but there was just not enough light to make them worthwhile. Under guidance from the GF I upgraded to 2 sets of the more expensive triple LED versions with square bases. These are somewhat brighter but to be honest would not be good enough to read or work by but they do give a really nice ambient light. Think sitting drinking champagne and relaxing watching the stars! We are going to install 3 halogen G10 up-lighters in a rear bulkhead box for reading and when we want some proper light – pictures and experience of this to come.
We spent sometime thinking about placement for the lights and still managed to make a couple of mistakes. After deciding how we wanted the roof to look we drew out all the lines and points. These lines only fit just either side of the main roof supports so you need to know where they are; how wide they are and what space you have to fit the actual lights themselves. Once you have the positions along the length you can start to think about across the width. Again you need to watch out for the roof becoming shallower near the sides (I missed this doh!) . Slight mistakes can be covered by packing under the panel with carpet and creating more of a gap but you won’t want to do this on everyone so prevention is more definitely better than a cure.
Watch out when you secure the panel into the roof – again it is very easy to drill through in some places. Have a good look before you start. I actually placed marking tape markers while the panel was out the way and I could have a good look as to where I wanted to drill.
Anyway once wired in these lights will connect to the interior light circuit and come on when we open the doors. One further point was that originally I had intended only one set of the lights to be attached to the interior light circuit but due to the lack of power coming from the LEDs I am going to connect all 19. To anyone installing LED lights take this as a warning – they really aren’t as bright as Halogens or normal bulbs – but they do look pimped!