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The Night Scene

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  • Member since
    December 2003
  • From: Anaheim, CA Bayfield, CO
  • 1,829 posts
Posted by Southwest Chief on Sunday, December 28, 2014 5:52 PM

Been adding some lights to the layout:

Matt from Anaheim, CA and Bayfield, CO
Click Here for my model train photo website

  • Member since
    September 2003
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Posted by mlehman on Sunday, December 28, 2014 8:56 PM

Matt,

Nice work!Yes

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

  • Member since
    October 2014
  • 273 posts
Posted by LOCO_GUY on Friday, January 2, 2015 7:30 PM

Is the SantaFe sign a pre-made sign or something you made?

I tried making signs with electrolumiecent wiring but the results were okay at best.

Your lighting on this scene is VERY realistic - but I was blown away by a lot of your work.

Chris.

Loco Guy - is a state of mind - not an affinity to locomotives.

Sit back and enjoy your track...

  • Member since
    September 2003
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Posted by mlehman on Friday, January 2, 2015 10:14 PM

Chris,

I think you mean this pic of Matt's. I'll try reposting the link, as the pic is not coming through here on my machine now...

 http://southwestchief.deviantart.com/art/HO-Layout-Night-1-502192119

The Santa Fe sign may be by Blair Line. They offer it in two sizes, 1.2" long for $9.95 (184-1511) and 2" long for 11.95 (184-2511).

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

  • Member since
    October 2002
  • From: gig harbor, wa
  • 193 posts
Posted by GGOOLER on Tuesday, January 6, 2015 8:34 PM

i finally got around to putting some lights in my rolling mill building. i cut a section of 3 leds from the roll. covering the two end ones with elec. tape. so its a single led doing the work. and its a warm white led.

the pic was taken with f/8 ISO-100 4 sec.

 

auto settings

 

 

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Posted by mlehman on Wednesday, January 7, 2015 1:25 AM

GGOOLER,

Very nice, atmospheric pics!Thumbs UpYes

I'm curious about taping over the other 2 of the 3 LEDs. Was it too bright? Better to add more resistance, as having all three running gives a more even lighting effect. You can't hurt them, the worst that can happen if they get dim or go out -- then just take some of the ohmmage back out. They'll be fine.

I've used as much as 120,000 ohm on a 3-LED segment. That will give you really dim. This was for what was supposed to be a RPO interior with  something like 24 volt bulbs running off a genset or batteries, so needed to be low.

What I haven't done yet is sliced a segment up into individual LEDs. These should work out to pretty much the standard 4.5 volts or less that individual LEDS often take as about the top end voltage (many are less closer to to 3 volts, so be sure to match specs ). But the fact is each one of those is actually 3 smaller LEDs behind a diffuser and that requires more power. The trick will be to figure which leads supply each single segment.

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 10,526 posts
Posted by mlehman on Wednesday, July 27, 2016 11:42 AM

Been awhile since I updated here, but a heads up in case you're thinking about a conversion to LED lighting. Menards put a group of "LED Tape Light" products in "white" (daylight) and "warm white" (the yellowish white) on the shelf in their electronics section of the electrical dept in our local store. These look to be separate from the Patriot Lighting light strips I typically use (located with all the other LED lighting, alos in the electrical dept.)

These are branded as LEDlightingemperor.com inside the box. Outside in tiny print they say "Intertek." These come in the familiar 6' and 13' lengths, but also longer, up to 45'! Better yet, they are all priced at about $1/foot or less! In other words, they are about 1/5 the cost of the Patriot brand stuff I have been using. The warranty is only 1 year, where the Patriot is 5 years. However, the build quality seems at least as good, if not better. Plus they are about 20% higher lumen/light output than the Patriot ones.

There has never been a better time to go LED than right now. For about $100, I had 150' of the most intense LEDs I've yet used, enough to make another complete pass throughout the layout. Here are some before and after pics of this addition.

Animas Forks Before

Animas Forks After

Durango Before

Durango After

Silverton Before

Silverton After

Items in this part of the store change constantly, so best to go in search of them asap as they may not stay on the shelves long at these prices -- the 45'9' long ones are just $25!

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

  • Member since
    September 2003
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Posted by mlehman on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 3:13 AM

It's time to update some product info and introduce a new lighting item that is good to know about. Menards discontinued the LED strip lights I wrote up using extensively in several earlier comments in this thread earlier this year. They now sell a wide selection of the more conventional strip lighting that requires a separate transformer.

Menards is offering a new product in their Patriot house brand lighting that doesn't directly replace strip lighting, but instead provides a way to usefully supplement it. It's called LED Neon Lighting.

The Neon lighting appears to be a LED strip light embedded inside a translucent plastic tube which diffuses the light to generally direct the light underneath over ~180 degrees from horizon to horizon. This contrasts with the old strip lights, which tended to be more directional and could be rotated and aimed to illuminate as needed.

The Neon lighting contains no neon,  it just looks like it, and is available in warm and cool white. The cool white ones match the daylight strip lighting well at around 5000k color temp. Pricing is around $35/13', although they have been on sale for around $30 recently.

This pic shows the lighting tube and end connector with the power off. The connector is unique to this series of lights, allowing connection of up to 12 of the 13' long sections. The U-shaped holding clip supplied with the lighting is also shown. It attaches with two screws and the tube assembly is pushed into it to hold the tube in place.

With the deep/tall scenes on the layout well-illuminated by multiple passes through them by the strip lighting, I used the Neon lighting generally to illuminate the front edge of the layout. Here's how this follows along the front edge of the layout in parallel with the aisle, with the other white lighting strips turned off.

I've always had issues lighting the mountains that surround Animas Forks, but adding a Neon second run that followed the peaks helped that a lot. I started off with about 3 of the plastic U-clips, then because of where it needed to be, I used ty-wraps through the gridwork of the overhead lighting leaving them loose until all was in position worked well as seen here.

The unwinding coil of Neon rests conveniently on the covered turntable here as I work it past the delicate tramway buckets.

With most photography done in automated mode, it can be hard to capture exactly the right scenic improvement offered by the new lighting, although this pic manages to show the more even illumination pretty well.

A longer view.

While the exact results are hard to depict here, the lighting improvement is well worth it in person.

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: North Dakota
  • 8,691 posts
Posted by BroadwayLion on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 2:26 PM

 

 

 

 

 

.

 

 

ROARING!

 

ROAR

The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

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    September 2003
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Posted by mlehman on Monday, July 29, 2019 1:45 AM

In honor of the September 2019 issue of Model Railroader's focus on "Railroading after dark" I'm giving my Night Scene thread a bump to make it easy to find. There's a lot of useful tips and tricks to lighting your layout here. While some covers daytime lighting, you'll find plenty to think about when contemplating the darkness coming alive with a few - or even a lot of -- LEDs.

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 14,688 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, July 30, 2019 10:10 AM

I like those flexible neon strips from Menard's.

.

I will certainly look for those when I make my annual trip to Indianapolis in October.

.

-Kevin

.

Happily modeling in HO scale. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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    November 2007
  • From: California
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Posted by HO-Velo on Sunday, August 4, 2019 1:28 PM

mlehman
In honor of the September 2019 issue of Model Railroader's focus on "Railroading after dark" I'm giving my Night Scene thread a bump to make it easy to find. There's a lot of useful tips and tricks to lighting your layout here.

Thanks again Mike, definitely a thread that keeps on giving.  Over the years knowledge gained from this thread has been applied to my layout scene lighting.

thanks to all the contributors.  Regards, Peter

  • Member since
    September 2003
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Posted by mlehman on Tuesday, August 6, 2019 8:34 PM

Peter,

Thanks for the appreciation. I gain inspiration from every one of your scenes.

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Farmington, NM
  • 367 posts
Posted by -E-C-Mills on Wednesday, August 7, 2019 8:58 PM

Well done Mike!

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    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 12,381 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, August 8, 2019 10:09 PM

While I enjoy seeing photos of night scenes by others, I opted out of doing night scenes on my own layouts many years ago.
Here's a LINK to some others which also impressed me. 

(They're spread over several pages, and not all views are night scenes, but impressive modelling nevertheless.)

Wayne

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    September 2003
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Posted by mlehman on Sunday, August 11, 2019 8:47 PM

EC and Doctor Wayne,

Thanks so much for your kind comments! They are especially meaningful to me coming from you two.

Wayne,

That Magoun pier module is outstanding work, lots of intense modeling in a small space and the lighting really sets it off.

 

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 22,280 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Monday, August 12, 2019 5:19 AM

doctorwayne

While I enjoy seeing photos of night scenes by others, I opted out of doing night scenes on my own layouts many years ago.
Here's a LINK to some others which also impressed me. 

(They're spread over several pages, and not all views are night scenes, but impressive modelling nevertheless.)

Wayne

 

Impressive is a gross understatement. Look no further than the first photo in that link, and you know that you are looking at museum quality workmanship.

Rich

Alton Junction

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    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, August 12, 2019 5:21 AM

mlehman

EC and Doctor Wayne,

Thanks so much for your kind comments! They are especially meaningful to me coming from you two.

Mike, the reason that you don't hear from the rest of us is that your work leaves us speechless.  BowBowBow

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    September 2003
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Posted by mlehman on Monday, August 26, 2019 4:36 AM

mlehman
Menards is offering a new product in their Patriot house brand lighting that doesn't directly replace strip lighting, but instead provides a way to usefully supplement it. It's called LED Neon Lighting.

I wanted to update this info with a problem that came up for me and a solution for that. Here's the Problem:

I know that "sagging" is the in thing with young folks nowadays, but this is ridiculously unfashionable on my RR. Here's the culprit:

Many/most of the plastic mounting clips have developed middle-aged spread and started dropping the Neon Liights onto the secnery below. Some sort of QC issue, I suppose. There is a quick and easy answer to this issue. Drill a couple of holes near the top of the U-clip, then run a small tywrap through.

A view looking at what will be the bottom once clip is mounted on the ceiling.

The next pic is kind of cruddy, but my iPhone's camera interacts with the pulse it sees when looking at the lighting LEDs and reacts badly. The pic shows the LED Neon Strip installed and held fast by my mode.

Now my sagging problem is fixed.

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

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