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New lighting recommendations for garage layout

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Need to replace the old fluorescent lights in my 22ft sq garage, looking at LED battern tube lights any recommendations?

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I would prefer to add to them rather than replace them. If you want something more daylight, then you can get replacement tubes, but not from an everyday DIY store.

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1 hour ago, dube said:

Need to replace the old fluorescent lights in my 22ft sq garage, looking at LED battern tube lights any recommendations?

If your existing fittings have the older type starter switch, you can get plug in replacent LEDs.  Be aware that not all lengths are available in all colour temperatures though.

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Replaced all mine with new 4' LED battens from Screwfix.  Only regret was not doing it five years ago. 

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Go all in and get yourself some smart lighting.  Phillips Hue.  A LOT up front, but so many possibilities. 

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57 minutes ago, Ouroborus said:

Go all in and get yourself some smart lighting.  Phillips Hue.  A LOT up front, but so many possibilities. 

Possibly overkill for the garage on cost grounds alone, but I do use a hue smart socket in the shed so that I can turn the lights on before I get there. 

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36 minutes ago, Kris said:

Possibly overkill for the garage on cost grounds alone, but I do use a hue smart socket in the shed so that I can turn the lights on before I get there. 

But you don't have to get dressed and go out at 11:30pm when you realise that you have left them on!

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Think carefully about the colour temperature. A lot of LED fittings have very high colour temperatures, ie "cold" lighting. If you change the colour temperature all your model colours will look different. And if you intend taking your layout to exhibitions (assuming they happen again one day) you do not want lighting which is very different from that in the hall.

And a word of advice based on painful experience. Avoid fittings with integral, non-replaceable, LEDs or control gear. We made that mistake in one room, a nice expensive ceiling fitting. The control gear failed after two years, and none of it is replaceable. We are now looking for a replacement which has replaceable control gear and separate LED lamps. The lives quoted are "statistical averages" and not guaranteed.

By the way, a quirk of LEDs is that they are more efficient when cooler, rather than the other way round. I once saw a spectacular demonstration when one was placed in liquid CO2. Spectacular.

Jonathan

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8 hours ago, dube said:

Need to replace the old fluorescent lights in my 22ft sq garage, looking at LED battern tube lights any recommendations?

LED battens are excellent.  I have Screwfix ones in my garage.

 

For the layout room I have these; https://www.ledsupplyandfit.co.uk/shop/led-commercial-lighting/led-dimmable-batten-light-5ft

 

Not only are they dimmable but you can change the "colour" of the light.  Ultra bright, daylight or warm light.  All by remote control!  I have it set on a warm light for running sessions or switch it to ultra bright if I'm using the workbench or laying track etc.

 

Quite expensive, but when you consider you never need to buy replacement fluorescent tube and starters it's worth it and much less hassle.  Very to easy to wire up too,

 

Best bit of lighting kit I ever bought.

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"you never need to buy replacement fluorescent tube and starters"

Re my comment above. If they fail prematurely (but after the guarantee period of course!) it is an expensive time. And they do not last for ever.

Also LEDs slowly get less efficient over time though more slowly than fluorescent tubes.

Jonathan

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I’d certainly want rid of any old florry tybes if it were me; the buzz and flicker get on my nerves.  Daylight led strips are the way to go for room lighting; avoid ‘energy savers’ that take ages to develop full light; you need to see where you are straight away  If you can afford smart, so much the better.  
 

Layout lighting is more intricate and depends on your requirements.  I don’t like spotlights for this, because they create multiple shadows.  My advice is to aim for a diffuse lighting, with shaded floods rather than spots, with control over colour temperature.  My own BLT, 11’ of scenic area, is lit by 3 led anglepoise strip lights, each of which has 10 cool blue and 5 warm leds, so 3 settings, cool, warm, or mixed, at 3 levels.  Total cost £75, from Maplins but I believe similar items are available.  I had all sorts of mad ideas about hi intensity cool and warm spots diffused by cotton wool clouds hanging from a frame over the layout, but I’m happy with the anglepoises, which may be just as well...

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I've used a couple of 5ft LED battens that I have suspended on chains so I can alter the height if necessary to prevent shadows over the layout.

 

LAY002.JPG.0f9c34b95713f5f8e6ac71b1fc8ff96a.JPG

 

 

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Do these battens have replaceable lamps?

The lighting profession is getting concerned  about the plethora of fittings with integrated lamps and control gear which have to be replaced completely when they fail. Not environmentally friendly or a long term economy. But many of these fittings are made by newcomers to the lighting world which do not seem to be aware of the issue. There was an article in a recent issue of the Society of Light and Lighting newsletter.

Jonathan

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On 03/08/2020 at 09:01, dhjgreen said:

If your existing fittings have the older type starter switch, you can get plug in replacent LEDs.  Be aware that not all lengths are available in all colour temperatures though.

 

27 minutes ago, corneliuslundie said:

Do these battens have replaceable lamps?

The lighting profession is getting concerned  about the plethora of fittings with integrated lamps and control gear which have to be replaced completely when they fail. Not environmentally friendly or a long term economy. But many of these fittings are made by newcomers to the lighting world which do not seem to be aware of the issue. There was an article in a recent issue of the Society of Light and Lighting newsletter.

Jonathan

 

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Thanks. I have now looked at the website for the 4 ft one, and yes the LED tube is separate. Not all of them are, though, especially the under-worktop type, though they are usually smaller.

BTW one thing to be aware of is that incandescent lighting has a continuous spectrum, whereas most discharge sources and do not and for LEDs it will depend on the coating used to change the colour of the discharge to what you see, so there may be gaps which can affect how individual colours look even if the colour temperature is the same. So always paint your models under the light source you will use for the layout.

Jonathan

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Posted (edited)
On 05/08/2020 at 05:50, corneliuslundie said:

 

BTW one thing to be aware of is that incandescent lighting has a continuous spectrum, whereas most discharge sources and do not and for LEDs it will depend on the coating used to change the colour of the discharge to what you see, so there may be gaps which can affect how individual colours look even if the colour temperature is the same. So always paint your models under the light source you will use for the layout.

Jonathan

Can I endorse the last recommendation. My layout is in a separate room, fully enclosed, lined and insulated, at the rear of an outbuilding on our property.  The major part of the building is my general purpose workshop which includes a modelling bench under a large west facing window.

 

Before I partitioned off the layout room from the rest of the building, I removed the fluorescent tubes which the original owner had fitted and replaced them with 6 incandescent, wide beam spotlights focused on the layout. Unsurprisingly, these proved too hot in the enclosed room in the Southern Hemisphere  summer so I replaced them with equivalent led spots. These were the wrong colour temperature and some of the scenic work already completed looked, well, dreadful.  I now have a mix of warm and cold lamps but the colour balance is still not quite right.

 

As Jonathan said, only some colours were adversely affected, most were fine or at least acceptable.

 

Recently I've been painting a four storey industrial building in weathered brick with stone trim, working, as usual, at the bench under the window.  When I achieved a result that I thought looked pretty good I took it into the railway room to place on the layout.  As soon as I walked under the leds the building changed colour and looked a mess. I'll do some more experimenting with different bulbs but this trial and error is getting expensive as the stockpile of redundant led lamps grows.

 

My conclusions if using leds are, first, to get a colour balance in your lighting as near as possible to natural light so your models are not, effectively, prisoners of one lighting environment; and, second, to take the time to get this right at an early stage to save cash and annoyance later.

 

And I fully agree with Jonathan's earlier comments and concerns about integrated, non-replaceable led lamps. 

 

Mike 

Edited by MikeCW
Clarification
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Or as I posted early, smart bulbs where the colour output can be changed

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Yes,  but smart bulbs will not necessarily match daylight in any combination because, as I said, the spectrum  may not be continuous and even if it is the shape of the spectrum may not be the same. Hence my recommendation to use the same lighting for the modelling bench and the layout.

Jonathan

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3 hours ago, corneliuslundie said:

Yes,  but smart bulbs will not necessarily match daylight in any combination because, as I said, the spectrum  may not be continuous and even if it is the shape of the spectrum may not be the same. Hence my recommendation to use the same lighting for the modelling bench and the layout.

Jonathan

I'm afraid you've lost me.  What do you mean by continuous spectrum/spectrum shape? 

 

It's a genuine question, I don't understand.

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The radiation from the sun has emissions in every wavelength from the infra-red to the ultra-violet. The amount varies with the wavelength. See the first diagram attached.

Traditional incandescent lamps have similar spectra though the shape is somewhat different. As a result what is known as the colour temperature is about 2700K against 6000K for daylight, though this varies with weather, and the light looks warm.

Discharge lamps such as fluorescent tubes traditionally also had a continuous spectrum because of the phosphors used to turn the radiation produced into useful light, but more modern lamps have phosphors which turn the discharge into light made up of three narrow bands of colour in the red, green and blue, though for most purposes the eye sees this as white light. See the second diagram.

LEDs produce light of a single colour, often blue, which is then turned into a "white" light using similar phosphors. I have been retired a few years now so I don't know the latest phosphor developments, but the same issue arises, that the spectrum (the shape of the curve) will vary between LED types depending on the phosphors used and may well be the "three spike" type.

In modelling terms, if you have used a colour of paint which falls into a gap not covered adequately by the phosphors creating the light source, it will not show up well, whereas it will show up well under daylight.

If you always use the same light source the issue will not arise because you will adjust your paints to give the right appearance.

This is a good reason, incidentally, for having your own layout lighting if it is taken to exhibitions, as you cannot know what lighting they will be using.

I hope this is clear. If not, please ask again and I'll try to help.

Jonathan

Visible-spectrum-2-.jpg

Triphosphor lamp spectrum.png

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Many thanks for this detailed explanation.  I have a question from this.  If the paint chosen does not fall into a gap not well covered, can the lamp(s) not be adjusted until it is?    Like all the things, I guess it would depend on the quality of the bulbs.

 

I fear the OP simply thought that my suggestion for smart bulbs was simply to have them turn on and off.  This was not the case and I should have made it clearer.   My suggestion for smart bulbs was to enable colours and intensity to be blended from the app which could then be used to simulate various times of the day on command.   It would take effort to get it 'right', but once done, it's just a button press/voice command to call it up.

 

Not all bulbs have this versitality, even within the Hue range, but the more expensive bulbs are all but infinitely adjustable

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14 minutes ago, Ouroborus said:

Many thanks for this detailed explanation.  I have a question from this.  If the paint chosen does not fall into a gap not well covered, can the lamp(s) not be adjusted until it is?    Like all the things, I guess it would depend on the quality of the bulbs.

 

 

Referring to the above spectrum diagram, if you want orange light, you may combine red & yellow to make it. You won't actually have orange light.

 

Explaining why gets a bit detailed, but here goes:

Light is created by giving an atom some energy. This is absorbed by an electron which will then emit the energy as light. The electron can only exist at certain energy levels & disappears between the two (at least our limited understanding of atoms does not allow us to understand this any further), so the emitted light is always exactly the same.

Light sources typically use red, green & blue light. They vary the colour by adjusting the intensity of each. The only way to adjust the pure colours is to use different elements, which cannot be done by the turn of a switch.

 

How do these threads wander so much? A simple question about lighting seems to have turned into atomic physics!

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Haha, yes but I'm a little wiser now!

 

I don't wish to come over as a Hue fan boy, but when I set the lights, I do blend them, ie, some may show red, some orange, some white, some warm white, some cold in order to get the condition that I want. (See pic).  And that condition is set by the press of a button.    I can change the condition to suit whatever time of day or feature I want to model and the bulb output may become more blue, more red etc.  Whatever I want.  At £50 per bulb, it's not a cheap option though!

 

Screenshot_20200808-214727.png

Edited by Ouroborus

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Hi , as per reply from doilum. Replaced my loft tubes with Screwfix LED battens. Wished i'd done it sooner! will possibly get more.

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