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Freight House - Interior Lighting

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Freight House - Interior Lighting
Posted by richhotrain on Friday, September 08, 2017 5:01 PM

If you have been following my recent thread, I am building a large freight house. The 1-story portion is 24" x 6", and the 2-story portion is 16" x 6".

I am considering installing interior lighting, but I am not sure what to use. I tried a small 12 volt incandescent bulb and was totally unimpressed.

Should I use LEDs?  How many? Do you string them from the interior ceiling?

I am looking for suggestions and ideas.

Rich

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Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, September 08, 2017 5:17 PM

I'm not sure how much light you need in a freight house.  There are cheap LED strips on ebay, 12 and 110v. (no need for 110v as you know)  You can cut the strip and daisy chain as many lights as you need per section of your freight house.  I would say you would need to experiment for your layout and tastes.  They come in warm or bright white.

http://tinyurl.com/y8gonype

You can also buy clip on connectors if you don't want to do delicate soldering

http://tinyurl.com/yaoelkd9

I used these to illuminate a g*n safe.  The adhesive isn't trustworthy.  It's from China after all.

 
 
 

Henry

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Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, September 08, 2017 5:26 PM

The strips can be divided every 3 lights and still connect to another strip.  The x at just to the left of 6 o'clock is the division point.

 

Henry

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Posted by gmpullman on Friday, September 08, 2017 8:38 PM

I agree with Big Daddy!

I posted a thread about those, Oh My! Four years ago!

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/225078.aspx

 

I use them in many places, including passenger car interiors. Just today, in fact, I replaced the incandescent lamps in a Kato business car I am re-working using two, three-gang LES strips.

Sometimes I reduce their brightness with a resistor. I also have several sheets of tinted mylar that I sometimes glue over the LED to give it a color temperature closer to yellow-ish incandescents.

I also use LED "string" lighting which are SMD LEDs encased in a clear epoxy along a copper wire. They are spaced about 4" apart along the wire.

I don't use the supplied wall-wart. It outputs 4.5 volts DC though, just right for Miller Engineering signs.

I simply cut the number of lamps I need, strip and tin the leads then use a test power supply to determine which lead is positive, then determine a good value for a resistor to give me the brightness I'm looking for.

I used them here to illuminate the catwalk along this pipe corridor:

I bought them several years ago but they are similar to these:

https://www.amazon.com/Gorgeous-Soothing-Christmas-Waterproof-LEDs/dp/B016CUZ7VS/ref=pd_sbs_86_4?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=SAW46Z12EQES2DEA01G1

 

Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, September 08, 2017 8:58 PM

Thanks, Henry and Ed. Good info and excellent link.

Rich

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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, September 10, 2017 5:39 AM

Amazon carries a number of the flexible LED lighting strips in various shades of white, including Warm White and Daylight Light.

Is Warm White my best option?

Rich

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Posted by BigDaddy on Sunday, September 10, 2017 6:59 AM

I would think for an old warehouse you would want warm.  Daylight seems to be the highest color temperature.

https://www.usa.philips.com/c-m-li/led-lights/warm-led-light

I believe mine were "bright white" which is fine inside an otherwise dark safe, but not what you want.

I believe Howmus is the expert on color temperature around here.

 

Henry

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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, September 10, 2017 10:21 AM

Thanks, Henry.  I think that is the way to go for freight house lighting.

Rich

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Posted by zstripe on Monday, September 11, 2017 3:12 AM

Rich,

You have to give some thought to the era of the freight house...obiviously they would not have LED's or any bright light well into the 80's +. They were pretty dim lit working area's...usually one light bulb with shade every 15ft.....hence the use of a lot of windows and the dock area was Not heated.

For My Transload building I went with Miniatronics bulbs 1.7mm with added brass lamp shade that was suspended from the ceiling and strung through Plastruct trusses and soldered to 1/16'' brass rod that was slide through the trusses.....no need to glue. The roofs rest on the trusses and are removeable. The vents on the roof are screwed in place, not glued to make it easier to get at. Only two wires are needed to supply power to all the lights in the building, LED and incandesants. Two 1/8'' brass tubes through the floor with wires inside that are soldered to the 1/16'' brass rod.

You can see the trusses in the above pic'

In this last pic' You can see the differance between the Led's and incandesants.

It may be more work then You want to do.....but It works for Me and no unsitely wires.

Take Care! Big Smile

Frank

 

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, September 11, 2017 3:52 AM

Nicely done Frank! The lighting colours are just right.

Dave

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, September 11, 2017 5:33 AM

zstripe

Rich,

You have to give some thought to the era of the freight house...obiviously they would not have LED's or any bright light well into the 80's +. They were pretty dim lit working area's...usually one light bulb with shade every 15ft.....hence the use of a lot of windows and the dock area was Not heated.

Frank, that's a great point about the era.  I claim (LOL) that I model the early 50s, although strict era modeling would require that I eliminate some rolling stock. All of my passenger locos and cars conform, as well as the steam engines, but I do have some later built freight diesels and box cars, etc.

I better give serious consideration to incandescents.

Rich

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, September 11, 2017 6:47 AM

 If using LEDs, make sure to use warm white types to model incandescents, and go well above the 'typical' 1K resistor for 12V power source. That's the only downside of the LED strips - the resistors are fixed. You can change them if you don;t mind surface mount desoldering and soldering - and the strips aren't the kind sealed in a coating for outdoor use.

 Unless you are lighting a consumer building - like a department store. Even in the 50's, many had fluorescent lighting. I remember going to the downtown department store with the creaky hardwood flooring (this is late 60's/early 70's) with rows of ancient looking fluorescent lights. Not the modern style with 2 and 4 bulb fixtures spaced across the ceiling - long continuous rows, front to back, of single tubes. Every few feet, a new line of tubes. They certainly dated to the 50's.

                                           --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, September 11, 2017 7:02 AM

Let's say that I forget about the LED strips and simply wire a number of LEDs in a string.

Here is where I get confused. Is it better to wire in series or parallel and how do you wire in resistors using either method?

Rich

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, September 11, 2017 9:02 AM

 Series is usually recommended, the primary reason is that is makes sure each LED gets the same current (since LEDs are current devices, current is the primary control of brightness, and Kirchoff's Laws say that all loads in series share the came current). There is obiously a limit to this, as the OTHER part of Kirchoff's Laws says that loads in series add up their voltages. So unless you plan to power a string of 10x 3.5V LEDs with a 35+V power supply, you need to consider how many LEDs youw ill have on each circuit. The strips typcally run on 12V - they are made up of blocks of 3x LEDs in series, each block then in parallel (this is why they are marked to cut apart ever 3 LEDs). Assuming a 3.5V LED, that's about 10.5V per block, so you also get to use a smaller value resistor since you are only dropping 1.5V from 12V, compared to a single LED dropping 8.5V from 12V (12-3.5)

 So, for a small structure with 2 or 3 LEDs - wire in series. If you need more than 3 LEDs, make sections of 3 in series and wire each of those sections in parallel with each other for best results.

 A set of 3 LEDs in series gets 1 resistor in series with the LEDs. Calculation is the same for a single LEDs - only the voltage being dropped changed.

 If wiring individual LEDs in parallel, each LED gets it's own resistor - so you wire LED/resistor sets in parallel. The problem with just wiring everything in parallel, besides increased current consumption (loads in parallel add current, share voltage - more of that Kirchoff guy), is that electricity prefers the path of least resistance. Not only do the resistors have a toelrance and vary from the nominal value by some percentage, the LEDs also vary a bit in characteristics, especially if they are from different batches, or are from different manufacturers. So in a strictly parallel setup, it is not too difficult to end up with one LED noticeably brighter than the others. That's the one with the least resistance, so it gets a greater share of the voltage. In extreme cases (not likely to happen in the case of small low power LEDs used for model lights), the excess can exceed the limits of the LED causing thermal runaway and poof, one LED down. Now the next lowest one gets the most current and that one goes. Chain reaction until they are all dead. 

 Bottom line - series up to the voltage limit, groups of series LEDs in parallel when more are required. The series string gets 1 resistor, so each string consists of (for a 12V power supply) 3 LEDs and 1 resistor. Order of the 4 components does not matter, but of course LED polarity does matter.

--->|---<r>--->|---->|--- is the same as ---<r>-->|--->|--->|--- is the same as ---->|---->|---<r>--->|--- is the same as ---->|--->|--->|---<r>---

                            --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, September 11, 2017 9:14 AM

Randy, thank you so much for that explanation.

Wiring in series it will be!

Rich

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, September 11, 2017 12:59 PM

I went through my lamp drawer, hoping to find some incandescents or warm white LEDs.  I struck out, but I did find some Miniatronics Yeloglo White LEDs,

Frank, Randy, et al, waddya think, will Yeloglo White LEDs work in a 1950s freight house?

Rich

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, September 11, 2017 4:14 PM

 Those are what I use in my 50's locos...

                        --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    September, 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 16,567 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Monday, September 11, 2017 4:49 PM

rrinker

 Those are what I use in my 50's locos...

                        --Randy

I think what I will do is string up some Yeloglo White LEDs, snap a photo or two and see what everyone thinks.

Rich

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Posted by RR_Mel on Monday, September 11, 2017 5:37 PM

Rich
 
Nothing looks more realistic than real incandescent bulbs. Wink 
 
I use 4mm 12 volt 70ma incandescent bulbs in all of my structures where they can’t be seen by eye and 2.5ma 12 volt 35ma bulbs where they can be seen by eye.  I operate all of my incandescent bulbs at reduced voltage for longer life as well as maximum realism.
 
 
I use a DC to DC Buck Converter to reduce 12 volts to 8½ volts for my incandescent bulbs.  I use switching power supplies for better efficiency and less heat dissipation. Thumbs Up
 
The downside for realism is current draw, my 8½ volt current is 8.1 amps for about 150 bulbs. Thumbs DownSad
 
I’m currently finishing up another scratch built house with 14 bulbs that will add another .650ma to my 8½ volt power supply.
 
 
My picture taking leaves a lot to be desired, my Silver Spur Mine looks much better on my layout than it does in the picture above when it was taken in 2010.  Total of nine 2.5mm bulbs operating at 10 volts, 8½ looks much better.
 
 
Mel
 
Modeling the early to mid 1950s SP in HO scale since 1951
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
 
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Posted by MisterBeasley on Monday, September 11, 2017 5:47 PM

My freight house is a DPM kit.  It's a small building.  I created a rudimentary interior by printing the floor and walls on my computer, and adding some boxes and crates.

I found one small incandescent bulb was fine for this building.  I didn't want it to overwhelm the viewer, but rather draw him to see what was inside after I cut out the doors and installed them in the open position instead.  I mounted the light up high so it would not be seen but cast its brightness down upon the room.  The dimly-lit building is what I was looking for.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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