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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?”

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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:


  • 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.

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