Large Scale Central

Structure Lighting Project

Lou Luczu said:

Lookin’ good, John. I always enjoy night shots.

Me to. And with a model, the advantage is that all the 1:1 background noise is generally hidden by the darkness. Thinking of trying to find a used electronic flash unit to simulate Lumidyne lighting. Any Winston O. Link book will give you tons of inspiration.

Lighting looks fantastic, Jon…


Great job John, Love seeing the finished Mik projects in their intended home on the layout. Going to save this so when time comes I can do my stuff like this. And Like David said we like pictures, the more the merrier, and keep them coming.

If the leds are too bright, then get some finger nail polish and then tint them. Try orange to make a different colored glow.

Also, when wiring leds you do not need big wire. I would use outdoor telephone wire. 3 of the 5mm leds in series on 12 volts that I use only draw 20ma.

So one would need 50 sets of these to get a 1 amp current flow.

Thanks Dan. The wire I used for feeders is definitely over kill, but I had it made up left over from track power days. The modules I am using are 12V and draw 400MA each. 18ga wire is what I would use if not repurposing old stuff.

How many lumens are those lights?

Thanks, Greg

Very inspiring John, beautiful work!

You got me thinking though. I’ve got a 10A DCC system, and haven’t yet put in any lighting bus for building lighting. My locos are all small, and maybe I’ll run 2 at one time. I’d give up an amp or two for building lighting…

So why not do what you did John, in tapping off the rails and using those modules? But just add a cheap bridge rectifier for each building’s circuit?

Any thoughts, Greg? Dan?


I tap off the rails for about 30 turnout solenoids and accessory decoders.

But his lights take a lot of current, that’s why I asked about the lumen output.

Also at 12 volts, you should be able to run 3 LEDs in series, so I would think a lot less current than 0.4 amps


Greg Elmassian said:

How many lumens are those lights?

Thanks, Greg

Spec sheet says 6500K color, 28LM output at 0 to 120°

It wouldn’t be difficult to get similar output with less current draw. But these and a couple hundred more were free

you said 400 ma, perhaps you meant 40 ma?

at 4 tenths of an amp you can get hundreds of lumens…

That’s why I was asking…

I looked up some typical wide angle leds, 20 ma gave 73 lumens… that is for one led, you have 3, in series should be… so 12v should give you over 200 lumens at 20 ma… your have 28 lumens for 400 ma… even in parallel something is not right.


Does it matter Greg?

I have many things hooked up to track power and besides I have 30 turnout solenoids and accessory decoders hooked up to a kill switch if needed.

-knock it off, Rooz

" Rooster " said:

… I have 30 turnout solenoids and accessory decoders hooked up to a kill switch if needed.

You’re my favorite gallinaceous fowl.

I was looking at the unit and thought it was nice, but was wondering about power consumption, and looked at the size of the wires and was wondering why everything was so heavy gauge.

Not harassing the good doctor, just something does not add up.


The lighting looks great Jon. I think I need to start looking at adding lights to my buildings. You give me some ideas now.

Jon, that’s a great project! Your lighting and detail really show the enjoyment of the hobby. As others have said, inspiring.

Really beautiful John, I love the overhead lights in the station.

Thanks for the comments guys.

@Greg - Checked the spec sheet again. Power consumption of one module is letsed as 35MA or 400MW - Looks like I transposed the units earlier. On wire size: Again; I used what I had, not what I needed.

Thanks Herr Doctor!

That makes a lot more sense. Actually over a distance a few volts drop can make a difference on low voltage stuff, so “overbuilt” is good, and when it’s on hand, even better.

Looks like your LED supply was sort of a windfall, good deal for you.

Regards, Greg

FWIW, I’ve been using LED tape on a several work-related projects over the last couple years, and plan on using it for my mine building. Here’s an example.

You cut the stuff as needed, and solder the lengths via the solder pads. Approximately 2.5" is the cutting / soldering opportunity. It’s heavily potted with silicon, and seems quite waterproof (from the exterior side). However, it is therefore a small pain to expose the solder pads: you have to cut away the silicone. No huge pain though.

For securing it, don’t rely on the adhesive backing. It isn’t reliable in the long run. I use 3M VHB tape to secure the stuff, which is very tenacious.

Bottom line, I think it’s very usable and a great deal. I haven’t seen specs on current draw per foot, but if someone cares I’ll measure a sample.