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how to iluminate a station building


westonman

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Hi all

I have a Hornby Skaledale staion building and would like to install some interior lighting,my layout is dc and there is a spare 15volt AC connection on my controller.

Please can anyone advise me on how to install the lighting and what materials i will need to purchase.

Many thanks

Bob

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I would suggest using LED's as they run cooler and last longer than bulbs. You would need the LED's and appropriate resistors. These will be dependant on the LED used. Something to consider is when you are modelling. If you are modelling an older period you might want to consider if the lighting would have been oil or gas rather than electric as these tend to produce a yellower light than electric lighting.

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Maplins do a large assortment pack of red/green/yellow 3mm and 5mm LEDs. The 5mm yellow are fine for internal ' gas' or pre-modern electric lighting (e.g. single 40 watt bulb per room).

 

I stuck 1/4" copper tapes to the baseboard linked by soldered on wires back to an old controller controlled output, so I could turn down the brightness. The LEDs were soldered to the copper strips, secured to the baseboard and the building stood on top.

 

Don't forget to use an in-line 1k ohm resistor when wiring LEDs to a DC controller connection.

 

I also used them to convert Dapol platform lights as seen here ...

Robbie

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Bulbs and LED's are wired in much the same way one lead to from the power source going to the bulb and a second lead returning from the bulb to the other output of the source. With an LED there will be a resistor on the first wire from the power source.

The exact current draw will be dependant on the bulb used but no bulb uses very much.

I would still suggest using LED's. I tend to purchase mine via ebay where you can easily, and cheaply get them with the resistors that you need.

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Bulbs and LED's are wired in much the same way one lead to from the power source going to the bulb and a second lead returning from the bulb to the other output of the source. With an LED there will be a resistor on the first wire from the power source.

The exact current draw will be dependant on the bulb used but no bulb uses very much.

I would still suggest using LED's. I tend to purchase mine via ebay where you can easily, and cheaply get them with the resistors that you need.

 

Some LED's aren't keen at being driven directly off AC via a resistor, as the reverse voltage can kill them over time. I found this with a couple of LED's wired to a DCC track supply.

 

However - easy solution, wire a pair of LED's in "reverse parallel" and then feed those with AC via a resistor.

 

Cheers,

Mick

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Hi

Current wise LEDs are normally around 1/6 to 1/8th the current of each GoR or GoW filament lamp!

Typically an LED can run happily at around 10 milliamp each, but many GoW/GoR type filament lamps demand 60 to 80 milliamp each!

 

Where GoW/GoR lamps are rated at a lower voltage than the PSU, then connect several lamps in series until their total volts added together equals or exceeds a little that of the supply volts. Connecting them in series allows them to operate on the PSU voltage, but it does mean that should any one lamp in the series chain fail then all in that chain go out! Example.... 5 volt rated GoW lamps then wire 3 or 4 in series across a PSU or 3 volt rated ones then wire 5 or 6 in series across the PSU. (Actual number depends on the PSU output volts)

 

LEDs run cold or virtually cold where GoW/GoR filament lamps will run very hot, so do not allow these lamps to get near anything made of plastic as it will melt or distort.

 

Always use a series resistor with each LED, this will ensure they will always run at or below their rated voltage/current. I use typically 1K0 1/4watt as a minimum on 12 to 20 volt PSUs. Increasing the resistors OHM value will allow a dimmer illumination level.

 

LEDs on ac are best protected by wiring a inverse diode across the LED wires. A 1N4001 would be fine for this. Though a second LED can be wired in inverse if wished. :yes:

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Whilst LEDs have some advantages they also have disadvantages, ie the light output is not even, most are made to be viewed from the 'front' for usual electronic applications. Filament lamps can give quite a near 'yellowish' render if under volted and last very well. Having recently done much illuminating of my layout I found there is a 'science' to illuminating buildings. By that I mean getting the light source in the correct place not to glare directly into windows or where the bulb or led can be seen by the viewer. Hiding the bulb low down below the window line or in a corner to reflect off walls ,If no rear wall, it may be necessary to fit one. many wire ended bulbs I have fitted are soldered to telephone wire, then to 2 brass tacks in the baseboard so they can be adjusted by bending the wire to a satisfactory position, the building 'dropped' over them, and easy to lift off should maintenance be required. Houses for instance do not have all the windows illuminated at the same time, may be prudent to black out some of them for effect. If you decide to go for filament bulbs, boot sale sellers often have cheap Xmas light sets available.If mains operated then 40 light sets are 6volt lamps, 20 being 12 volt.Wall wart power supplies also usually available also. 99P stores have recently been selling bulb sets, battery operated for 'hanging on parasols', useful to strip down, the bulbs are about m.e.s. size, sometimes LED sets are available, cheaper than buying individual. If you want LEDs have a look on Ebay for a seller named 'Handsignalman', good selection at right price and a cheque accepted. Lot of trial and error to get it to look realistic but worthwhile Good Luck, Beeman.

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Yes* but at 15v they won't last long.

 

* some are only 3v or 5v rated so might just go ping when attached.

 

some come in 12v however, you're correct about a high voltage (although I have run some directly off the 16V auxiliary on my gaugemaster

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all,thanks for or your replies.

As i am not very technically skilled i have found a way to illuminate the building,very simple but quite effective.

I used an old cycle front lamp and soldered two wires to the on/off terminals and also to the bulb.

Then screwed the lamp holder to the underside of the base board and used a small terminal block to connect the wires that i pushed through a hole in the base board.

As suggested i painted the inside of the building black and taped the bulb to the top of the inside and joined the wires to the to the terminal block.

The on /off switch on the lamp body can be used to turn the light on and off.

As i said it may not be high tech but i think its quite effective.

Regards

Bob

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