How would you wire lights?

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by csxengineer, Dec 1, 2008.

  1. csxengineer

    csxengineer Member

    A. Run a set of wires through each town and have all the house lights, street lights and such on 1 circuit with an on off for each town

    B. Run a set of wires through whole layout for just houses. A set for just street lights. and a set for misc lights?

    C. set up mini control panels with push button switches for each individual house, street light, etc, so that visitors can turn on and off what ever light they want to?

    D. other
  2. VunderBob

    VunderBob Member

    It's a mishmash of A, B, and C. I'd run a power bus through the entire layout, with taps as appropriate for each town or building. The individual items would have plugs of some kind, and depending on the item(s), there'd be a switch to control 1 or several.

    Of course this is based on my mid-sized layout to be; for a large layout, you should consider multiple power buses based on electrical load and geography.
  3. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    None of the above.
    Street lights are on all night, so that would be one circuit. Factories and businesses that are open all night would be another circuit. And then each house would have its own switch.

  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Depending on how many houses you have in each location, you might not have a switch dedicated for each house. The idea is that house lights should go on and off at different times, but if two houses 10 feet apart on the layout go on or off together, it is not likely that it will be noticed because you can't see them both at the same time anyway. If you have a lot of houses and would rather operate trains than turn lights on and off, you can wire in time delay circuits to turn on or shut off lights in a random pattern automatically when you throw one switch.
  5. boppa

    boppa Member

    I'm a bit of an electronics buff and what I did (when I still had an actual layout as opposed to lots of stuff in boxes- grr) was to actually make small cardboard `window boxes' each with its own led and use a 555 timer and a decade counter to `randomly' switch lights on and off in each window (actually it was a repeating pattern, but it looked good if left long enough so the pattern wasnt easily noticed)

    another trick was chimneys had 2 or 3 flashing leds in it- so that you could see the `fireplace' was on at night

    there are some really easy circuits that can do some great animations for next to no cost and with the new surface mount leds being so small almost anything can be lit up
    (I'm currently making some operating traffic lights and streetlights- total cost is about 10-15 bucks for the traffic lights and about 40 cents each for the streetlights in materials)

Share This Page