Layout Lighting Types

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Gary S., Jan 4, 2006.

  1. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    The "train room" has three 4 foot florescent fixtures down the center of the room, but since this is a shelf layout, I know it isn't enough around the perimeter. The room is 27 x 21 feet. What kind of lighting would y'all suggest?

    I suppose at some point I will want to take some nice photos, but photography is definitely not one of the reasons I am building the layout.

    More 4 foot florescents?

    Track lighting with incandescents?

    Track lighting with the new "screw-in" florescents?
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I would put florescents behind a valance to keep heat under control. If you want to do photography, I would plan to set up my lighting with stand alone flood lights rather than relying on layout lighting. That way you can get lamps that will be compatible with the film you are shooting.
  3. Brian

    Brian Member

    In my hobby/train layout room I have a regular screw in bulb light fixture in the center of the room.......then I also have an 8 foot section of track lighting with 5 or 6 small floodlights with low wattage bulbs....AND I also have clear christmas lights strung around the entire room at the top of the wall.

    Each of the lighting systems I have produce different grades of lighting......I usually prefer to have my floodlights on though.

    Also, one thing to keep in mind...flourescent lighting can/will yellow plastic over time. ;)
  4. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    The fluorescents are probably the best choice as far as operating costs are concerned and they'll cut down on the heat build-up associated with incandescent lighting. The downside is the light "temperatures" available, as most fluorescents tend to photograph with a greenish cast to the subject. You can buy tubes with the proper temperature for film photography, but there will be some decrease in the lumens, or light output, available. If you're using a digital camera, they seem to correct the colour normally associated with fluorescent lights.
    My layout room, while a very odd shape, is equivalent to a 22'x25' room. I am using 15 four foot double fixtures mounted above a suspended ceiling, and generally over my around-the-room layout. Part of the layout will be double-decked, and I plan to add another 6 to 8 similar fixtures to light the lower level. I am using Cool White tubes: while I prefer the Warm White or Daylight tubes as far as light colour goes, I felt that the decreased light out put was not worth the trade-off. If there was no one upstairs complaining about "the cost of electricity", I'd double the amount of fixtures. One other drawback (or benefit, depending on your point of view), is that the fluorescent light is very "flat", so some of the fine details on your models tend to disappear. I hope this is of some assistance.

  5. kadidle

    kadidle Member

    I'll be going with incandescent lights for one reason, dimmer switches. I like to set the tone of the session with lights, however I never turn them totaly off. Below the layout I intend to use small fluorescents (4 footers every 8-10 feet) to prevent tripping. One thing I'm doing different is both types of lights are not 120volt, rather they are 12v/24v. This way I can run them direct from our battery bank, and even in a power failure, I can still see where I'm going. (BTW, I'm thinking of powering my DCC with the AE system as well, since it's configured for 24v operation, I simply need a regulator and I get some very smooth power!)

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