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Correct Power For Lights & Accessories

Kirk asks:

“I am just beginning to build a small [3′ x 7′] HO layout and I plan on having quite a few lights and accessories that will require a power source. What would be the best power source, and what voltage/ amperage would be required? I know that I may need to use resistors also. Thank you much for any suggestions you can lend.”

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2 Responses to Correct Power For Lights & Accessories

  • Dale Arendssays:

    First off, you need to look at the available lighting items. Most are LED but some require 3V and some need 6, 9 or 12V. For simplicity, if you can, select your lights to all work on the same voltage. You can then determine the amperage requirements by reading the spec sheets to see what each light will use and counting the number of lights you intend to use. Once you have that figure, double it and look for a power supply with that rating. That’s so you will have power to add more lights later.

    As for resistors, they serve two purposes. 1) to reduce the power to the LED if the voltage supply is too high, and 2) to make the LED dimmer so that all the lights aren’t the same brightness. For example, street lights should all be about the same brightness while lights in buildings should vary for realism.

  • Kevin Chingsays:

    I use an ATX computer power supply however you will need to understand the wiring system of it you can have 3,5, and 12 volts DC up to 20 odd amps the power supply will have ample for any number of lights as they will only draw the amount of current that they need. You will be able to find the wiring diagram for them on the internet

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