Lighting in buildings

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David Thorpe
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Lighting in buildings

Postby David Thorpe » Sat Nov 07, 2015 9:44 am

I've managed to get to the stage in my layout where I can no longer put off making some buildings, a fairly novel step for me. Anyway, I thought I'd install some interior lighting, but it seems that grain of wheat bulbs have largely given way to LEDs, and I have been advised that LED strips are the answer as they last longer, can be cut into sections, and run off 12v without requiring resistors and other electrical complications. I wonder if anyone has any experience of these and any tips for usage or indeed source - most of the LED strips on ebay, for example, seem to be more concerned with cars than 4mm models!

DT

JFS
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Re: Lighting in buildings

Postby JFS » Sat Nov 07, 2015 9:56 am

Try somewhere like this:-


http://www.ledhut.co.uk/led-strip-light ... -ip20.html

They have as big a range as any - including transformers etc if you need them.

Cheers,

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Lighting in buildings

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:22 am

I have used these LED strips for layout lighting, they are designed to give good light from 12V and I think it would be to bright for building lights. And, while they can be cut into sections the minimum is usually 3 LEDs which is not going to suit many buildings where 1 per room is more appropriate. I think you would do much better to use standard LEDs then you can adjust the brightness by choosing a suitable resistor in series with the LED. Operation of 12V is normal (the LED strips just have the resistors built in).
Regards

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David B
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Re: Lighting in buildings

Postby David B » Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:44 am

Whilst it was aimed at lighting signals, Chris Langdon wrote an article, very readable, in the first issue of Finescale Review where he talked of scaling down the brightness of LEDs. They do tend to be too bright.

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David Thorpe
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Re: Lighting in buildings

Postby David Thorpe » Sat Nov 07, 2015 4:38 pm

grovenor-2685 wrote:I think you would do much better to use standard LEDs then you can adjust the brightness by choosing a suitable resistor in series with the LED.


Thanks for this, Keith. Unfortunately my knowledge of things electrical, eg resistors, is minimal. If, for example, I want to use, say, 7 LED lights in one building, does each need a resistor and, assuming that they are all controlled to go on and off at the same time, should they all be wired up parallel or in series? I have, incidentally, seen some lights on ebay that may be suitable as they seem to include what I assume are suitable (1K Ohm) resistors - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Warm-White-1- ... 1164104952 - although I assume that the resistors are merely supplied with the lights and are not integral to them.

DT

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steve howe
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Re: Lighting in buildings

Postby steve howe » Sat Nov 07, 2015 4:55 pm

You might like to consider the quality of the light David, LEDs will undoubtedly give brilliant clear light but as Keith says could well be too bright and I think could look too 'electronic' (unless your buildings are modern and lit by fluorescent tubes!). The system used at Pendon and to my knowledge still is, is to create shafts about 10 - 15mm square in card extending below the baseboard and taken up into the appropriate rooms either in a discreet corner where they can't be seen or via an aperture in the ceiling. The shafts can be made lightproof with aluminium foil. Then a standard 1.5v torch bulb in a suitable holder is inserted into the shaft, by adjusting the height of the bulb, the intensity of the light can be controlled, giving a warm glow typical of lamplight - but perhaps that's too 'old hat' and I suspect we won't be able to get torchbulbs much longer :cry:

Steve

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David Thorpe
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Re: Lighting in buildings

Postby David Thorpe » Sat Nov 07, 2015 8:16 pm

I'd specifically go for Warm White, Steve, which I have been led to believe gives a more appropriate light. I don't support you can dim LEDs by reducing the number of volts they receive?

DT

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Lighting in buildings

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:01 am

the LEDs have a pretty constant forward voltage, for the white ones just over 3 volts, altering the series resistance changes the current rather than the voltage, increasing the resistance reduces the current and does have a dimming effect, however it is non linear and most of the effect is in a small range of current just before it goes out. You need to do some trial and error.
With a white LED try a 1k series resistor and another 10k variable resistor also in series then you can turn the variable resistor up and down and see the effect, when its to your liking measure the resistance and get appropriate fixed resistors.
With a 12V supply you can run up to three white LEDs in series with a common resistor (which is why the tapes are arranged in groups of 3).
Regards

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David Thorpe
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Re: Lighting in buildings

Postby David Thorpe » Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:14 am

Thanks Keith, that's very helpful.

DT

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Jol Wilkinson
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Re: Lighting in buildings

Postby Jol Wilkinson » Sun Nov 08, 2015 9:39 am

David,

what period is the model?

There is a view that incandescent (filament) bulbs are better for older period models as they give a more yellow light. In particular this is seems appropriate for the Victorian/Edwardian period when gas lamps were the norm. They are also voltage adjustable for intensity/colour.

DCC Concepts do a range of lighting accessories which may be of interest.

http://www.dccconcepts.com/catalogue/la ... ng-signals

Jol

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David Thorpe
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Re: Lighting in buildings

Postby David Thorpe » Sun Nov 08, 2015 10:13 am

Mid 1950s, Jol, so the building interiors would have had electrical lighting.

I have ordered some "warm white" leds with resistors and will see how I get on with them. They're not expensive so even if they turn out to be unsuitable it won't break the bank.

DT


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