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Problem Using LED Strip Lights in Passenger Cars

Cyril asks readers:

“This old dog put some modern LED strips in 2 passenger cars. I thought I was really clever, but they flicker so don’t look so good. My track is clean and can’t figure the cause. Any ideas? Thanks.”

9 Responses to Problem Using LED Strip Lights in Passenger Cars

  • Juergen heselssays:

    Flicker as in a 50 Hz flicker. If you operate DCC and have the LED directly at the AC voltage then they light only on one phase. you would be helped with a small 1 UISD item that converts your AC into DC inside the car.

    If you operate DC and they flicker then may be you put a condensator in front of the strip that will buffer the voltage variations.
    In case you have both issues after the AC to DC converter you can add a condensator.

  • Nicholas Owensays:

    Put 4 diodes in (in a bridge recerfier format). You may also need a capacitor to even out any ripple. Other option is to use a decoder so you can turn the lights on and off.
    Ifor your track is a dc track see above

  • David Broadsays:

    I have LED lighting in a set of compartment coaches, and an Auto trailer. I use DC and have a small bridge rectifier and resistors to drop the voltage and the the biggest electrolytic capacitors, (UK terminology also called Condensers for UK cars) I could squeeze in parallel with the LEDs to smooth the current. On anything but filthy track they hardly flicker at all though they get brighter with speed

  • Bill Allensays:

    I agree with Juergen, wire a micro rectifier in line with the DCC coming from the wheels. The output can go directly to the LED’s, however make sure add a resistor (around 470 ohms) to either side of the LED strip. As Juergen says, if they still flicker, put a an electrolytic capacitor across the LED terminals. Pay attention to the polarity. I use a 1000 microfarad capacitor in my setup.
    good luck.

  • David Stokessays:

    Try insertin.g a “stay alive” or DC capacitor in the lighting circuit to smooth things out over rough or dirty track,. The other suggestions are equally valid

  • Dan U.P Misays:

    Vary nice and generous, Thank you vary much, and I hope your Christmas was excptional God Bless & amen

  • Brian Bodemannsays:

    I had researched passenger car lights before I bought anything and in my research came across “Volt Scooter” and here is the link.http://voltscooter.com/?page_id=2
    Mr. Ken Harstien is the builder of these and they are great. The light boards come with the ability to adjust the brightness and there has been no “light flickering” and he does use capacitors to store the power. I have since bought 8 of them from him as they are very reasonably priced in relation to the other brands out there. I hope this helps and thank you. Brian

  • Bill Dittussays:

    I too am using 12 LED strip lighting, the trick is to attach several small 100 uf capacitors in the junction area when you see the scissors indicator, I also use a small bridge rectifier to steer the correct polarity to the lights regardless which direction the car travels

  • Paul Listsays:

    I needed to thank you for all your efforts on this website. you have helped me more then you can imagine. I’m reacquainting myself with modeling after several decades of employment that had me traveling around the world for multinational companies. when here in the states I worked with BSA for many years. Recently I did a program for a handful of teens. After building and using the General Store download I used it to teach them many lessons. Lessons not just about modeling but real building trade requirements and letting their imaginations free to add on or modify to the store. they have had a really good time with it and one of them has really caught on to the idea, That is a success. Thanks again for everything.

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