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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:

    Hi.
    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?

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