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Wiring Street Lights on a Model Railroad Layout

Daniel sent in this question:

I am installing numerous street lights on my O scale layout. How can I connect them to power/neutral wiring without soldering all of those connections. Can I use termination blocks? Or are the numerous connections unavoidable? Thanks”

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5 Responses to Wiring Street Lights on a Model Railroad Layout

  • Dale Arendssays:

    A lot depends on the size of your layout. In the past I’ve run a couple of bus wires exclusively for the lights. Sometimes I used various insulation-piercing connectors like suitcase connectors. Sometimes I used paired terminal blocks with the power on one block and the grounds on the other.

    For my next layout (whenever that will be) I plan on using the Dwarvin Enterprises Lamplighter System and skipping the wiring altogether.

  • David Stokessays:

    Dale is taking the easy way out but it is a good system. Digital and Bachmann (Europe) have plug and play systems in H0 and N which would work for O scale as the voltages for the scales are the same for street lighting. You don’t say if you are using globes or LEDs. LEDs use less power, are smaller and generate little or no heat making it easier and safer to install in cardboard and plastic fixtures and I recommend them. As for soldering, with a hot iron, a good flux , clean wires and a steady hand it “ain’t so hard”.

  • kevinsays:

    I draw the main wires for streetlights with a electrical pen then connect from the lamps using wire glue no soldering needed they work a treat and dead easy to do.

  • John Leonsays:

    What is wire glue? What are recommended brand names? Manufacturers?

  • Wes Orloffsays:

    I’ve had pretty good luck using telephone butt connectors. These have capacity for 2-4 wires of gauge 19-26 and are piercing types. Simply cut the wires to desired length, insert them in the slots and compress the button on top of the butt splice to make electric connection. The butt connectors are available in box stores like Home Depot, Lowe’s, etc. for about $5.00/25 butt connectors.

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