A recent enquiry from Myanmar recently saw me describing a starfield ceiling for home theater in detail, so what exactly is it?
A starfield ceiling is a ceiling design featuring lights using hundreds (thousands) of tiny fibre optic lights embedded into the ceiling to simulate the effect of looking up at stars at night. These are the very same fibre optics threads that are used for network telecomms and even that SPdif (Optical) cable for your old surround sound systems.
These fibres are threaded individually through the ceiling, ideally to a specific design based on the actual sky, back to a light engine or light box - which is basically a powerful light that can be dimmed and change colour for nice effects or even twinkling. This will then need to be controlled somehow so that users can easily turn the lights on and off, dim and change the colour of the 'stars'.
As with many things if the starfield ceiling is done properly it can be absolutely stunning and add a real feeling of height and luxury to a home cinema, if it's done badly then unfortunately it will more than likely end up looking cheap and tacky.
The hardware itself isn't particularly expensive, although the fibre threads aren't cheap by any means, however it is very manpower intensive to run the threads (and each one needs gluing and trimming correctly) and it must be designed properly. Personally I think the effect looks great, especially on ceilings with domed or arched ceilings or ceilings that are quite low.