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Like most people in our part of the metropolis, we live in a Victorian house which has been converted into two flats. We share a hallway with the downstairs flat, and a separate door takes us up a boxed in set of stairs into our flat.

Putting lighting into our entry stairs has proven rather, err, problematic. I haven't managed to electrocute myself trying to fit traditional lights, but it can only be a matter of time...

Of course, something different could come along and change things.

That happened yesterday. marypcb and I are planning on putting in a new set of office shelves, and went along to Ikea to buy one section to try out. It was sale time, and they were clearing out some of the Christmas lighting.

That's when we saw it. Several metres of electroluminescent wire (with mains transformer) for a crazy price - only £1.99. I had no idea what I would do with it, but it was the shiny. I had to have it.

Back home, we played with the two battery powered short lengths we picked up at the same time, and realised just how bright it got. We plugged in the mains-powered section, and found it glowed with an intense blue-white light. It truly was the shiny at work.

marypcb had a brainwave - use the wire to light the stairs...

So, armed with that long length of mains-powered electroluminescent wire, a nearby plug and a gap in the floorboards, we set to work. All it took was an hour with a hammer and some cable grips (and the help of a tall downstairs neighbour for the final fitting).

We now have a rather attractive and rather different lighting source for the stairs. Not so bright as to dazzle, but more than enough to stop people from killing themselves on their way out of the house.



( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 15th, 2006 12:47 pm (UTC)
That's really cool, actually! I like it.
Jan. 15th, 2006 01:04 pm (UTC)

When will you be demonstrating the emergency exits and the oxygen masks?

Jan. 15th, 2006 01:13 pm (UTC)
Jan. 15th, 2006 10:14 pm (UTC)
Ooooooh teh shiny
Jan. 15th, 2006 10:46 pm (UTC)
Oooh, clever! And shiny!
Jan. 17th, 2006 01:46 am (UTC)
El wire
Great deal on the el wire. There's all sorts of fun stuff (http://flickr.com/photos/caffeineslinger/368803/) you can do with it.
Jan. 17th, 2006 01:57 pm (UTC)
Did you say this was powered by battery or electrical plug? I would imagine most emergencies are associated with a loss of power...unless you are thinking of the late-night sandwich emergencies.....

Jan. 17th, 2006 07:57 pm (UTC)
Re: lighting..
It's more that it looks like emergency lighting - tho' we do have a dodgy light that takes out the lighting circuit breaker occasionally - so the stair lighting comes in useful for that...
Jan. 17th, 2006 09:54 pm (UTC)
We have a similar problem in the garage-not with finding steps, but finding the doors. I'll have to look for something like that. Because, surprise!, the Ikea in the Twin Cities didn't have that product, even before Christmas.
Jan. 18th, 2006 04:35 am (UTC)
if you also did he other side of the steps and also the bit where it dopas drowns and meets the step below it = i\even more safer :)

|*the joining bit there
Jan. 20th, 2006 08:56 am (UTC)
You truly are a master of The Shiny. I salute you.
Aug. 20th, 2006 06:22 pm (UTC)
from Drew B
Good idea! And I'm now subscribing to Ikea hacks.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )