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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those of you that have done indoor lighting for a building that stays outdoors (huh?!), where is the best placement for the bulb? This is for a building about 2/3rds the size of a shoebox, w/ a window on each peaked end. Is it best on the underside of the roof in the middle? On one or both sidewalls above the window(s)? What about access if the buld needs to be replaced? I'm using a tiny incandescent bulb rated at 16V, but will be using 12V to power it. This gives it an old, sort of yellow'ish tint as in the days of old. If I were to use an LED, to get the same effect, what size/ voltage would work?

Thanks, tbug
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Jim. Your 12V outdoor lighting thread brought up some valid points I overlooked. It leads me to believe what I am intending to use is too light-duty even though it will be 'indoors'. Think I'll look into those peel-and-stick lights, and what else is offered in 12V outdoor lighting. I intend to do as you did which is to use a 12V transformer w/ photocell for on/ off.

tbug
 

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Tbug,

The method Jim uses works very well and is about as simple as you can get. You can however use much smaller bulbs outdoors successfully as well if you wish. Your choice.

I use only small 12v. bulbs in all of my structures. Rather than just one bulb though I use multiple bulbs. I run a single 12v. feed into the building and solder the ends to two long bare wires that I use as bus bars and usually install in the attic. I drill press fit holes into the ceiling and poke the tips of the bulbs through and solder the leads to the bus bar.


The loops at the ends of the busbars above is where the feed line was later soldered. It was fed up through a hole drilled in the floor of the undetailed baggage section.

 

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Here is an example of how I have put Christmas tree lights into several buildings, both scratchbuilt & plastic kits:




The lamps are wired in series and powered by a 12V garden lighting transformer. They are lit from dusk to dawn 7 days a week, and the bulbs last a year or more. The roof lifts off so it is easy to access the bulbs

-- Bob Mills
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Richard, where did you get the gooseneck lights near the doors? I need some for a future project. Would use one here if I had it, but not critical. Too late now anyway - the building is sealed.

What I eneded updoing is running two small brass tubes through the floor, upward along the walls, to just below the roofline. Each tube has two 14V incandescent bulbs w/ the wires running through to hold them in place. Of the four bulbs total, two at a time will be for use, two are for future use when the first two burn out. Behind the bulbs on the sidewall, and above on the underside of the roof, I installed aluminum flashing to bounce the light back into the room. As stated, the building is sealed since access to further change bulbs, etc would be difficult at best. If or when all bulbs burn out I will likely use a 12V outdoor wedge base w/ bulb poked through the back sidewall and covered up w/ something ot other.

The project has taken a lot of time, but is nearing the end. Last up is roofing. I am now trying copper corrugated roofing made using the Fiskar's paper roller/ crimper. Not sure if I will stay w/ this or look into wet-dry sandpaper or doll-house type shingles. This will stay outdoors in all-weather/ seasons, so I need something that will hold up well. Oh - re the paper roller/ crimper - the rool of .004 copper works well. The copper is soft enough to form, yet seems fairly sturdy once crimped. Plus, it is easily worked by fingers to flatten it out some while still retaining the corrugated look. I can sort of manipulate it into square by doing so, and especialy after cutting it to size.

Yah, yah, yah- pic's! I have lots, just have not taken the time to get them on the laptop and here. I will though. Same w/ the Water Tank. Posted some finished pic's of the tank, but not 'in progress' pic's. This may sound odd, but once I get back to work in the next week or so, I'll have more time to catch up on stuff using the computer. Long story there.

tbug
 

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It's not too difficult to make your own outside lights. A shade from Plastruct, a G-O-W bulb and some #14 sold wire and some fiddling and you're done. If you have a tubing bender, so much the better. If you look for my lumberyard post here a few months ago you'll see how mine come out.

Based on experience, I'd avoid LEDs in buildings. They just don't provide enough light.
 

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Tbug,

Ouote:"Richard, where did you get the gooseneck lights near the doors? I need some for a future project."

The lights are available at http://www.bridge-masters.com/ Very nice people to do business with. At only $6.95 each for a painted brass weatherproof light complete with bulb it's hardly worth the trouble to make your own unless you need something different. There are several different lights available and all include a 12v bulb with long leads and a resistor to add that allows using an 18v power source if desired.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Richard, Bridge Masters has a great variety in what I was looking for! And you're right; considering the cost, it's not worth the time, effort, and running around to get parts to make them myself. Sometimes I find myself getting too picky/ perfectionist while building projects, but I guess that's part of learning AND enjoying the build!

Rick, thanks for the comment re LED's. Glad I stuck w/ the small incandescent bulbs.

tbug
 

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When I first looked at this thread I thought it said "LIGHTNING"


I thought you were going to make stormes on your layout.
 

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I keep meaning to take some pictures. We don't have a lot of buildings and they are mostly small. We light them with just the Malibu outdoor lights. We use 4 watt amber bulbs and when we can't find the amber bulbs we paint the clear ones. You can just put a single light in a building and the effect is quite nice if you aren't looking for too much realism. Sometimes you need to paint the inside of the building to prevent bleed-through. The amber lights are too yellow to be protoypical but they give a charming effect


I have used LEDs and the bright whit 5 mm leds give a lot of light with very low current draw. But there are two downsides--first, they give a very cold light and second they are very directional. They will light up a building if you use sme kind of diffuser/reflector, otherwise you tend to get a spotlight kind of effect. I've been experimenting with painting them--it tones down the blue some but it's still not as warm as an incandescent. I just bought a batch of "war white" leds but have not tried them yet. The yellow LEDS are too yellow.


We run our track with renote contrl, and we have a constant 20 volts on the track. I find I can run leds drectly from the track using a 1k okm resistor. I use them to light some buildings and to light passeneger cars
 

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Well I use all solar lights for the out door use. works great. Later RJD
 

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You can find 14v grain of wheat bulbs at a train store. A malibu transformer lights these beautifully.
 

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I'm using 16v, 30mA grain of rice bulbs. I'm using these because they are small enough to fit into scale (or near-scale) light fixtures. The bulbs will be wired in parallel. I'm planning to use a Malibu system to power them. 

Does anyone have experience using these kinds of bulbs with a Malibu system? What size power unit should I use? I only have a few bulbs in place now but will be adding many more as I add new buildings to the layout. Are there any issues I need to be aware of?

I know very little about electronics.
 

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It'll work them beautifully.
 

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R.J., how about a picture of one of your "solar" buildings?

Ray (I hope Cris's foot is ok!), the transformers are rated in watts, so you can divide the wattage by 16 volts to get the amps. Many are 300 watts, so that would give you about 18-19 amps. At 30 ma per bulb, you could handle close to 600 bulbs.

I think that will keep you busy for a while!

Regards, Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Found a 12V-1A power supply at a local surplus store for a few bucks. Compared a 12V-30ma incandescent bulb to a 14V-50ma bulb. The 12V was brighter/ whiter - not significantly but. Went w/ the 14V since it looks more period of the late 1800's to early 1900's.

Well, so much for agreeing w/ Richard and going w/ the built-up gooseneck lights. Not wanting to wait for a delivery, it was also at the surplus store where I also found centrifuge tubes... http://www.sciplus.com/search.cfm?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=search&utm_content=cf&utm_campaign=celsearchtest&term=centrifuge&btnHand.x=17&btnHand.y=7 , plus some brass, copper, and aluminum tubing. Cut off the cone end, shaped the tubing, epoxied together, and painted - all for about a buck-and-a-half and a couple hours time (mostly learning! See Bending brass in Model Making).

Pic's will be forthcoming - of this and the coal tipple - as I'm having too much fun building!

tbug
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
A quick preview of the lights pieced together.

Centrifuge tubes and 1/2" PVC caps...

Outside painted...

Inside 'reflector' painted...

Aluminum tubing, brass tubing epoxied in place. Smaller bulb will be used (14V-30ma)...


tbug
 
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