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!

Make Your Own Scale Model Wild West Town – Very Realistic!

How to Light Up a Building

This question comes from online Train Model Club Member Nicholas:

“I want to light up some buildings. What size/type of bulbs and electrical supply do I need?”

The ASK A QUESTION link is under every post if you have a question you would like published.

7 Responses to How to Light Up a Building

  • Kevin Chingsays:

    Hi Nicholas
    This depends on what lighting effect that you want you can use grain of wheat bulbs that are available in two voltages 6 and 12 volt this is ok if you want an incandescence look or use LED’s and dropping resistor if you want a different effect however LED’s are available in bright white for modern or soft white or yellow for older style light. you can also get a flickering LED for old oil lamp effect. You can get a circuit that makes the LED’s start up as a florescent style lamp you can run these off 3 volt or 12 volt depending on the size of resister used your local electronic parts shop should be able to tell you the size of the resistor for what voltage.

  • Jim Johnstonsays:

    Kevin, that’s the best reply possible.

  • Henry Niersays:

    I agree with above. LED’s last a long time. I have been using them for years. I use a company called Jameco electronics. Their website is Jameco.com. order free catalogue.

  • Skip Duldsays:

    I ordered LED’S FROM AMOZON FOR EVERYTHING 20 BUCKS.

  • Louis van Zylsays:

    When designing a light system keep to a single voltage, say 12V. When you connect any lights to it like LED;s or bulbs that are not 12V use a limiting resistor in line. It makes live much easier when vault finding if there is a single voltage and not two or three different voltages. It also prevents accidental connection of a lower voltage bulb to a higher voltage that will cause it to blow.

  • Timothy Morloksays:

    I agree with the other comments. Any type of incandescent bulb will generate a lot of heat and draw more current than LED’s. Lower current = more lights per circuit.

  • Jstrainssays:

    I use less from a christmas string. I clip off an led and put a 1k, 1/4 watt resistor in series, then power with 12 svc. It works great and cheap. I bought a string of 100 that will last me a while.

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Your email address will not be published.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)

Model Train Help Ebook

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.

Download Your Free Catalog



















Model Railroad Building House Plans

rail yard buildings

N Scale Track Plans

Watch Video

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.

SUBMIT YOUR QUESTION

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

Scenery & Layout Ideas

NEW TO MODEL TRAINS?

Model Train DCC HELP

HO TRACK PLANS

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

Model Railroading Blog Archive

Reader Poll

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.