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More thoughts on lighting, layout room LED Ceiling Lights

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More thoughts on lighting, layout room LED Ceiling Lights
Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, April 26, 2019 1:45 PM

It's getting close to time to install the drop ceiling soon so will need to be ordering lights.

Two considerations.  

1) How many 2x2 flat panel LED lights will be sufficient for fairly even coverage lighting the layout.  (I've drawn in approximate proposed locations based on the ceiling structure).  Not dashed line approximate location of scene divide on track plan.

2) Ideal color temp. (I tried 5k and it was a little to white and washed out) so looking at 4k temp this time.  Some fixtures come in 3k too but that may be a little too yellow.

Here is a scale drawing with layout room walls, ceiling beams in green rectangles and approximate 2x2 light locations.

Click on picture for large version.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by mbinsewi on Friday, April 26, 2019 2:45 PM

I'm certainly not a lighting expert, but your lay out looks good to me, I'd probably do it the same way.

Are those the same lights that Mark P is using on his?  He has a few up, maybe he'll give some insight.

The drop ceiling will be flush with the bottom of the beams? or really close to it?

Mike.

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Posted by York1 on Friday, April 26, 2019 3:10 PM

riogrande5761
How many 2x2 flat panel LED lights will be sufficient for fairly even coverage lighting the layout.

The nice thing about the flat panel LEDs is that the ceiling can be very close to the ceiling joists.

I think your plan looks good.

Saints Fan John

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Posted by carl425 on Friday, April 26, 2019 3:37 PM

The good news is you'll have plenty of light with the number of fixtures you have planned.  At 100 lumens per square foot, your 500 sqft room will require 12.5 panels of 4,000 lumens each.  If I counted right, you have 13.

The bad news IMO, is that I think you'll have a problem with shadows the way you have them spaced out.  You'll have telephone poles between the fixtures casting shadows in multiple directions.  Unfortunately, since you've planned plenty of lighting, this effect will be exaggerated. Have you considered using a valance over the layout with LED strings and area lighting over the aisles?

If you don't want to build the valance, I'd try to put a continuous row of panels over the aisles.  Maybe with a combination of 1x4, 1x2 and 1x1 panels. 

PM me your email address and I'll send you a good lighting document I found a while back.

I have the right to remain silent.  By posting here I have given up that right and accept that anything I say can and will be used as evidence to critique me.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, April 26, 2019 6:28 PM

My phone is glitching and won't let me pm right now.

Any comments or opinions on color temp?

Do you mean the ceiling beams when you mention telephone poles?

There is only one vertical support pole and it is located lower middle right.  The dashed lines of the backdrop run through it.

The ceiling beams are about 84" above the floor.  The drop ceiling will about 92" above the floor.  

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by carl425 on Friday, April 26, 2019 10:00 PM

riogrande5761
Do you mean the ceiling beams when you mention telephone poles?

I meant HO scale telephone poles on the layout.

riogrande5761
Any comments or opinions on color temp?

I'm inclined to stick with the often recommended 5000k, but I'm modeling West Virginia.  Assuming that you're doing your desert scenery again I can understand why 4000k might look better to you.  Isn't it curious how often what we like clashes with what's "right" in this hobby.

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Posted by BATMAN on Friday, April 26, 2019 11:19 PM

Shadows dive me crazy and I have learned a lot for my next layout. I like the panel light idea. Can you also put track lights along the beams so you can point individual lights to take care of any shadows that may crop up?

Are those panel lights dimmable? That is a must for me. I like being able to have it dark enough to appreciate coach lighting as well as other layout lighting but have it bright enough to see what I am doing.

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Saturday, April 27, 2019 6:36 AM

Yes, the panel lights I am planning to order are dimmable.  Main goal is for fairly even room lighting and if necessary, supplimental.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by Doughless on Saturday, April 27, 2019 8:40 AM

I would think that if the lighting panels are evenly spaced, and unobstructed by beams in one direction, they would tend to cancel each other out in terms of casting shadows.

- Douglas

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Posted by dante on Sunday, April 28, 2019 6:11 PM

I would not put lighting over the aisles-people in the aisles will then cast shadows over the layout.

To verify your spacing, try to obtain-probably available online-the diagrams indicating the spread and footcandle levels at different elevations for the intended fixtures.

Dante

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, April 28, 2019 6:30 PM

 That's why I am having lighting valances over the actual track areas (well, the upper deck forms the valance for the lower deck, but then I am putting a valance over the upper deck as well). That's where the actual layout lighting will be. I will be putting similar panels in the aisle spaces, but that's just for general room lighting, such as during construction and when moving around the room for purposes other than running trains. 

 Even 2 layouts ago where I had none of that, I did hang some 4 foot fluorescent fixtures over each side of the layout (it was made up of 4x 8 foot long sections arranged as an 8x12 donut). There was little general room lighting in that basement so the 4 fixtures right over the layout provided plenty of light and little shadow as they were centered (font to back) over each side, and to operate it you stood either on the outside or the inside, so the light was always in front of a person standing at the layout.

 The situation was less than idea on my previous layout, in a spare bedroom. I had only the room light, in the center of the room, to work with. I never got much firther with any scenery but I had planned to mount single tube plug in fixtures along the wall side all around the room. I had one I experimented with oon the sloped ceiling side, and it worked well, at least for its area. The 3 other walls were going to be more complicated, and I hadn't quite figured that out yet. The central room light was actually a ceiling fan with 4 individual aimable lights on it, so other than blocking it with your body, it wasn't too bad.

                                      --Randy

 


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Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, April 28, 2019 7:31 PM

I recently placed some new 2 x 2 flat panel LEDs in parts of my layout room. I had installed some a few years ago as well. These latest ones are thinner and are sold as "Edge-Lit LED" and I have noticed more beam spread from these fixtures. The earlier ones had the LED modules (PCB) facing down through a diffuser.

The edge-lit units are thinner, but there is still a power supply box that adds about 2.5 inches. This can nest between joists if clearance is necessary. The older flat panel LEDs were about 3" deep.

The latest edge lit ones seem to have more "glare" since you are actually looking right into the LEDs around the perimiter. I've gotten used to it but it is still noticeable. Still, they are considerably brighter than the fluorescents that I've gradually phased out over the years.

 IMG_8608 by Edmund, on Flickr

2 x 4 four-tube fluorescent in the foreground and a 2 x 2 LED "old style" in the back.

 IMG_8609 by Edmund, on Flickr

A mix of 2 x 2 LED panels and "converted" 2 x 4, former fluorescent fixtures retrofitted with LED tubes, eliminating the ballasts.

I basically have the flat panels lit for "work sessions" and LED track lights and recessed mini-can lights for "operating", the latter on dimmers. Unlike incandescent lamps, the LEDs have a dimming range only down to about 30% or so, which is OK but when I had halogen lamps in them I could really go down to almost a candle-light.

 IMG_8610 by Edmund, on Flickr

 IMG_1488 by Edmund, on Flickr

Left is the former 50W halogen. The LED is in the fixture. These are MR-16, GU-10 7 watt LEDs.

 IMG_1487 by Edmund, on Flickr

 

 IMG_6174 by Edmund, on Flickr

I suspended a 2 x 2 edge-lit LED panel over my work bench. It was nice even light but the side glare was too much. I wound up painting an "egg-crate" panel flat black and clamping it over the fixture. That made a huge improvement. Mind you, the panel was suspended over my bench so it was almost at eye level when standing.

[edit]

When I take light measurements I use one of these:

 GE_Footcandle by Edmund, on Flickr

Good Luck, Ed

 

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, April 29, 2019 6:02 AM

dante

I would not put lighting over the aisles-people in the aisles will then cast shadows over the layout.

Hopefully that will minimize shadow casting.  I could always add a few supplimental lights if need be.

The "hill and valley" nature of the ceiling (3 beams running across) make valences much more complicated to add.

To verify your spacing, try to obtain-probably available online-the diagrams indicating the spread and footcandle levels at different elevations for the intended fixtures.

Dante

The manufacturer of one type of 2x2 LED flat panel light states that 4 foot distance is typical between the lights in either directions.

 

Any thoughts on color temperature.  My last set of lights in my previous layout were 5k but they seemed a bit white and the desert colors were a bit washed out.  I had some tan paint I used on the yard and it had a greenish hue under those lights.

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, April 29, 2019 6:59 AM

 That's probably a factor of poor CRI rather than color temperature. CRI is where the money is. Cheap LEDs (and cheap fluorescents) usually have a realtively low CEI number, the quality phosphors cost money. The higher the CRI, the more accurately the colors will appear.

                                  --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 riogrande5761 on Monday, April 29, 2019 7:40 AM

rrinker

 That's probably a factor of poor CRI rather than color temperature. CRI is where the money is. Cheap LEDs (and cheap fluorescents) usually have a realtively low CEI number, the quality phosphors cost money. The higher the CRI, the more accurately the colors will appear.

                                  --Randy

Those LED lights were listed as having CRI 90, which is what most recommended you have 90 or better.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by carl425 on Monday, April 29, 2019 8:34 AM

riogrande5761
The "hill and valley" nature of the ceiling (3 beams running across) make valences much more complicated to add.

You want your valence down around 24"-36" above the layout surface with the lower front edge just below eye level.

I have the right to remain silent.  By posting here I have given up that right and accept that anything I say can and will be used as evidence to critique me.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, April 30, 2019 5:35 AM

Reviewing the light placement, I may go with a few more, two more at the top of the plan and another at the bottome where the helix is.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, June 4, 2019 7:51 AM

Last lighting layout plan had 13 flat panel lights.  I've upped it to 16 and done a draft layout sketch.

The runners are 2 feet apart from let to right but the T-bar cross pieces can be cut for custom sizes.  I have 3 foot tiles between 3 rows of lights to space them out over the layout area for example.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, June 4, 2019 9:14 AM

I'm not a lighting expert, but your new arrangement looks like it should give plenty of light.

I was just watching Marks lay out up date video, and I thought his lighting seemed good, but yours seems like it should certainly light everything up great.

Just my thoughts.

Mike.

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Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, June 4, 2019 12:59 PM

This may not directly apply to Jim's situation, but with my last layout I placed tube lighting along a valance over my head to where it was between me and the tracks.  IOW. My benchwork was 21 inches deep from the wall, so I put the light 24 inches deep from the wall.  That way the lights would cast shadows onto the backside of the train and buildings, but my big noggin wouldn't be in the way to cast its shadow onto the train. 

If I put the lighting at, say, 12 inches, it would cast a shadow to the ailse side of the train.  If it was more than 36 inches away, my head would be in the way.

Not sure how these angles can be accounted for with drop ceiling panel lighting.  Again, i think if you had plenty of them, the shadows would cancel each other out.

- Douglas

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