Everything on model trains, model railroads, model railways, locomotives, model train layouts, scenery, wiring, DCC and more. Enjoy the world's best hobby... model railroading!

Add Amazing Realism To Your Model Railroad – Best Quality Available Anywhere!

LED Lighting in Downloadable Buildings

LED building lights scale model

Bob might have spotted the LED lighting in Rich’s photos below and has this question for readers:

“What is the best way to control led light bleed in downloadable card stock buildings? Black core flute and interior walls?”

7 Responses to LED Lighting in Downloadable Buildings

  • Peter Oddysays:

    I have lots of led lighting. 12v supply in some cases is too bright. There are 3 ways that I reduce light bleed.
    1 Use a potentiometer and adjust the brightness to suit.
    2 Use a lower voltage power supply ie 7.5v or 9v.
    3 Fill the cracks and holes of the building with some decoators caulk and paint the inside of the building.

    Hope this may help.

  • Soren Lippertsays:

    Hi Bob, I would like to supplement Peter’s tips above with one about building wall material. I am at the moment scratchbuilding from different types of cardboard. Thin cardboard (I use 0.3 mm french Bristol Board 250g/m2 ~ 113 lbs) only keeps very dim light in, whereas 1.5 mm mounting board cannot be penetrated by any light. Moreover it is easier to assemble without cracks. I have not tried to paint thin card black on the inside. SorenES

  • Mikesays:

    Hi Bob,
    Some time ago I found – in my opinion – good solution for interior lighting in buildings. It’s very versatile; you can connect it to DC as well as AC source. It operates properly from 5V to ca 30V. The idea is very simple: current source with bridge rectifier. There are only 6 components (bridge rect., 3528 size LED, NPN transistor, Zener diode and 2 resistors), all SMD. Components are mounted on a very small (0.25×0.65 inch) single layer PCB, so it is possible to glue every “lamp” under the ceiling inside every room. The only condition is: all wals, outer and inner, cannnot be penetrated by light as Soren wrote above. It is possible to divide whole building into separate rooms, where there is one lamp in every room. If you will switch these lamps using a controller with random times to turn on and turn off every lamp, it will give you very natural effects. You can use LEDs any color you wish – white, cool white, warm white, yellow, red… etc., etc.; it depends on your invention and what you need. If you want to change light brightness of particular LED it’s very simple; you just change value of one resistor.

  • W Rusty Lanesays:

    I agree with all the comments above as I am using LED lighting in my buildings which are mostly plastic. Some of the plastic leaks light also. You can glue some tin foil inside the buyilding to reflect the light esp. in the corners. Painting the inside flat black also helps with light leaks. I have started building carboard downloadable buildings and have found that you need to use thick cardstock. You can check it for light penetrating before using it. It is advisable to paint the inside black to ensure no light leaks out. You can make an X out of cardboard or cardstock following the inside dimensions of the structure and make as tall as you like. You stick the X into the building and you can control the lighting in just the front of the building; or light the front and two sides; etc. You should paint the X flat black before inserting into the building. Very simple. Happy railroading!

  • Delorasays:

    I would test the cardstock, but on our plastic kit buildings, we’ve used a black permanent marker – wide tip for quicker coverage. Worked great.

  • Larrysays:

    I used the just plug system. Each light has it’s on dimmer and very easy to install. Hope this helps.

  • Sheldon Clarksays:

    If you have clear windows & lit interiors with black walls, what can people see through the windows? Black interior walls?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Add a photo or image related to your comment (JPEG only)

N Scale Track Plans

Watch Video

Rail Yard Structures – Best Value!

rail yard buildings

Use Tiny Railroad Micro Controllers

A micro controller is basically a small programmable computer device to help the model railroader “make things operate.” It is clever way to realistically replicate the movements, actions and functions you are likely to see on a full size railroad.

Watch These Club Videos

Club members access helpful new resources each month: diagrams, video tutorials, articles, track plans and more. Watch the tour videos here.

Everything DCC

Download Your Free Catalog


Submit Your Model Railroading Questions!

Before you submit your model railroading question please add some feedback, answers or comments to other postings on this model train blog. What goes around comes around... so if you can help others in the hobby, someone else may help you.

Important - Please add plenty of supporting details to any question you submit (eg. scale, solutions you have already tried etc.) , as the clearest and best questions usually get the best answers. Also, please check your spelling and punctuation as all questions need to be approved by the blog moderator prior to publication. Approved questions are normally published within a week (if not sooner).

Submit your model train questions here.

Scenery Techniques Explained



Model Train Help Ebook

Scenery & Layout Ideas

Submit Your Article

Would you like to write an article and have it published?

Preference will be given to articles that help others progress in the hobby, maybe suggesting an idea for their layout, a quick tip or two... or perhaps a little bit of good advice based on your model railroading experiences.

We are all in this hobby together, so the more we can do to share ideas and help each other, the better.

Submit Your Article Here

It’s YOUR Railroad!

Your rolling stock and locomotives might actually be the center of attention on your layout, but the scenic features that surround and envelop your layout is what's likely to make your train setup stand proud of the rest. Your selection of scenery and structures will add an element of customization that will make your railroad truly unique.

Scenery, structures, and fine detailing is a fundamental aspect of any good model railroad, particularly if it is intended to replicate a true-to-life railroading scene. How realistic or authentic you make your railroad is entirely up to you... and you alone.

Some enthusiasts like to replicate every tiny detail so as to accurately depict, in every aspect, a miniaturized version of a real life scene.

Others in this hobby adopt a more "free-style" approach and choose to mix and match accessories and features they personally prefer. Even though the purist will possibly be unimpressed with unrealistic or out of context elements, it is YOUR railroad layout so you can make it anything you personally want!

Model Railroading Blog Archive

Reader Poll

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.