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"NEW TRAINROOM LIGHTING IDEAS"

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  • Member since
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  • From: west of Portland Oreg.( the city of Roses
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"NEW TRAINROOM LIGHTING IDEAS"
Posted by TrainsRMe1 on Sunday, August 18, 2019 6:26 PM

Hi MRRDERS"!                                                                                                         My wife and I have moved into our new home, and were loving it, still can't believe that we were able to do it, but here we are, and WOW!! we still have some "crap" in our old house to get rid of, but we are almost done "WHEW",                            Anyway, the plans for the new trainroom are looking great, I'm having a shed built in the back yard, that will be the size I want!!! YESSSSSS!!!!  but there's one thing I'm not sure about, and that is the lighting, what kind of lighting do I want??? I'm leaning towards rescessed lighting, I think they look professional, and it would give the trainroom a showroom look, of course the lights will be LED type lighting, what do you think?? can I see some pics of the kind of lighting you guys have in your trainrooms???                                                       Hope your week is a good one, looking forward to hearing your responses,                      TrainsrmCoole1 

  • Member since
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Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, August 18, 2019 8:39 PM

A little background:

 

 

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/269457.aspx

 

 

 http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/t/273755.aspx

Some good ideas in both these threads.

Good Luck, Ed

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  • From: Chamberlain, ME
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Posted by G Paine on Sunday, August 18, 2019 10:46 PM

You might tke a look at something like this at Home Depot or Lowes. It is a low profile light that replaces a 2 tube fluroescent fixture

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Hampton-Bay-4-ft-Rectangular-White-128-Watt-Equivalent-Integrated-LED-Flush-Mount-Puff-Light-4000K-Bright-White-5500-Lumens-54645141/206355250

 

George In Midcoast Maine, 'bout halfway up the Rockland branch 

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Posted by dstarr on Monday, August 19, 2019 12:00 AM

A couple of things.  You want two levels of lighting in a trainroom.  When working on the layout, you want all the light you can get, everywhere.  You want to see little things dropped on the floor.  When showing off the layout to visitors you want the overall room light not so bright, and light on the layout.  The traditional setup is to put the right-over-the-layout lights behind a valance, so the fixtures don't show.  It would be nice to have two lighting circuits, controled by two wall switches.  While you are at it, it is nice to have ALL the wall outlets controlled by a single switch at the door.  This way you can flip the power off all over the room when you finish working on the layout and get ready for bed, and not have to worry about a forgotten soldering iron, and it saves wear and tear on your various power supplies. 

   Color is important.  The old cool white flourescent tubes had very little red in them, they gave out mostly blue and blue white.  This was because in the old days there were no good bright red phosphors available, and to get a reasonably bright light the tubes were lined with mostly blue phosphors.  And the lack of red made things like boxcars and red brick walls, and passenger maroon look terrible.  The new skinny tube flourescents are much better in the color department.  The new tubes have a Color Rendition Index (CRI).  Some of them brag a CRI of 90, others something less.  They are all better looking than the old cool-white tubes.   I have the skinny tube fluorescents in both my train room and my shop, so I can mix paints in the shop and have the model look as good under layout lighting as it does in the shop.  And the high CRI fluorecents give good color rendition with digital cameras.  I would take a box car, a maroon passenger car, and some color chips to the lighting store and see how they look under the lamps you are considering, before you buy said lamps.  Step outside and see how they look under daylight by way of comparison.   

  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, August 19, 2019 12:21 AM

Hi TrainsRMe1,

You have a completely clean slate to work with! That's great! Lots of possibilities.

I would ask a few questions first:

1. Will you keep the entire train room lit all the time or would you prefer to have darkened aisleways with the lighting focused on the layout when you are operating? If you want the latter, you should consider two lighting systems (or circuits), one for the layout itself and the other for work lighting when you need to have the room bright. The positioning of the two lighting systems will be determined by where your valances will be located. Your lights may not end up being placed evenly around the room. You may want one set of fixtures that follows the outline of the layout, and a second set that follows the aisles. Try to avoid having large gaps between the fixtures over the layout. That will result in shadows and uneven lighting.

2. Do you want to have special lighting effects like sunsets and sunrises? Those can be done very effectively with some lighting behind the scenery shining up onto the backdrop. Or, do you want to have moonlight if you are running at night? You can easily add in blue LED strips for moonlight.

 

As far as the type of lighting, I don't think that there is much question these days that LEDs are the way to go. They are cheaper, have a much longer life (I would be wary of super cheap Chinese stuff), and they don't generate heat in most cases. They also won't fade your scenery like fluorescents will.

You may want to consider some options like having the LEDs dimmable. You will also want to do some research about the actual colour of the light. Some LEDs are described as 'warm white', some are 'cool white' and some are 'daylight'. The light colour is measured on the Kelvin scale so for example, very warm white LEDs will be somewhere around 2700k, cool white LEDs will measure around 4500k and 'daylight' LEDs are 6000k+. Personally, I prefer something in the 4000k - 5000k range. The lower value colours can look quite yellow and the daylight colours can look a bit blue.

We just installed some LED twin tube 4' fixtures in the clubhouse to add to the old fluorescent lighting. They made a huge difference! Now the old fluorescents look pretty dim so we will replace those sometime soon too.

My 2 Cents

Dave

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Posted by BigDaddy on Monday, August 19, 2019 8:07 PM

I'm not sure what I am doing either.  There are other threads about LED lighting. You should know about CRI

https://tinyurl.com/y6h8g29v

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 5:52 AM

I have not finished with my experiments with layout lighting on my test section, but flexible LED sections seem to have the most promise with what I have tried.

.

-Kevin

.

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by rrebell on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 10:45 AM

Cheapest are track lighting. Buy only the track at the big box stores and order the cans online, I have paid as little as $1.36 a can. They work well with LED's or CFL's.

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Posted by Pruitt on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 6:10 PM

Try these:

1X4 LED panels from Lightup.com for $40 a pop. They have several different color temperatures to choose from. I'm using 5000 Kelvin ones.

They also sell a mounting kit for nearly the same price, but I just use large mirror mounting clips that come eight to a pack from Home Despot for about $4. Those work fine with my 5mm plywood panels ceiling.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 6:24 PM

In a similar vein, I'm going with 2x2 flat panel LED's.  4K temp.  They were about $34 ea from greenledzone.com

I took the time to install a drop ceiling grid to give the basement ceiling a finished look.  Marks train room above could really benefit from a drop ceiling.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by BATMAN on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 6:39 PM

You have been a busy man Jim! Lookin good.

Brent

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

https://www.youtube.com/user/BATTRAIN1

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 9:10 PM

Many trips up and down the ladder but worth it!  Wife just finished installing tile on the basement bathroom shower floor, curb and walls today.  Part of getting basement finished.  I get to take over finishing mudding and painting then wife to tile bathroom floor and finally basement floor last major chore.  Big job as diy but didn't want to build a layout in an unfinished room. 

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 11:36 PM

riogrande5761
I took the time to install a drop ceiling grid to give the basement ceiling a finished look.

Ditto on the drop ceiling.

 IMG_0759 by Edmund, on Flickr

I have lay in troffer LED panels also converted fluorescent fixtures using LED tubes. General bright room lighting for cleanup and work sessions. Dimmable LED recessed cans for operating atmosphere.

 IMG_8609_fix by Edmund, on Flickr

 IMG_8624_fix by Edmund, on Flickr

Very versatile. 

Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by Medina1128 on Thursday, August 22, 2019 10:00 AM

Because my train room is in a semi-finished basement, the rafters are exposed. When I installed fluorescent fixtures, I hung them over the layout, which caused shadows. I moved the fixtures over the aisle, which eliminated the shadows.

 

Before

 

After

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Posted by kasskaboose on Thursday, August 22, 2019 1:06 PM

I've been in a similar situation with my current house--we had to completely finish a large storage area (most of which is my train room).  For lights, we installed track lighting.  That provides ample coverage.

One thing I've not seen mentioned is color of the floor an walls.  That will greatly matter on how much light you get.  Picking light colors can really have a certain appeal over a dark place.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, August 22, 2019 2:20 PM

riogrande5761
I took the time to install a drop ceiling grid to give the basement ceiling a finished look.....

riogrande5761
Big job as diy but didn't want to build a layout in an unfinished room.

I agree!  In my opinion, a drop ceiling's the best choice for a basement, as all the pipes, wiring, and ductwork remain accessible, and it helps to make the room look finished.
Building (and operating) a layout in a finished room is a lot nicer and easier than doing so in an unfinished area (basement or not) and then trying to make the room look decent.

Nice job on the work, Jim, and it sounds as if your wife is as competent and as particular as you.  Thumbs UpThumbs Up

Wayne

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