Lighting up structures

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Wyomingite, Sep 16, 2002.

  1. Wyomingite

    Wyomingite Member

    Hi There Guys,

    In the very near future I will be needing a bunch of lights for my buildings. I think what I'm looking for are 16 V wheat bulbs? Does anyone know where I can find them in bulk as by the three pack I think I paid all but six dollars. Any help would be greatly appricated. Ron :)
  2. Gavin Miller

    Gavin Miller Member


    If you have quite a few buildings to light up, I suggest you use lower voltage bulbs in "series" rather than 16V globes in "parallel".

    For example, a series "string" of 12 1.5-volt g-o-w bulbs "daisy-chained" together will draw approx the same current from your power pack as one 16-volt g-o-w bulb.

    If the supply is 16-volts, each globe in the chain will receive 1/12th of 16 volts, ie 1.3 volts and will glow below full brightness (for extended life). You could add more globes to the chain to drop their brightness still further (and further extend their service lives).

    If you use 16-volt globes, you have to run each one separately off the power supply (ie in parallel) and each will draw (rule of thumb) approx 1/12th amp off the power pack. Therefore, 12 lamps = 1 amp (the rating of many train power packs).

    Instead, you could have 12 "strings" of 1.5-volt globes (lighting many more structures) using exactly the same amount of current.


    One globe "blows", all the others in the string go out as well. (Y'know, like Christmas tree lights...)
    One switch controls ALL the lights in the string.

    Just a suggestion.

  3. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hi Ron, Try this

    2 for $1.00...Cheap!!! Part #LP-10 12V Grain of Wheat Bulb

    35 Cents apiece if you buy 100 or more.

    Real Cheap!!!!:D :D :D:D

    The 16V GOW's are 3 for $1.00 part #LP-16
  4. Edavillenut

    Edavillenut Member

    i have been using christmass tree light with shunts in them. if the filement breaks there is a peice of wire at the base that keeps the others burning.
  5. Wyomingite

    Wyomingite Member

    Gavin, Vic and Shawn,

    Thanks for all your input. Right now I'm going to be lighting about thirty five structures. Gavin you had me convinced right up to the downside. I recently bought four new power pacts so will use my older ones for lighting up the structures,switches etc. I'm going with Vics suggestion of the 12V bulbs as I hate running down the one varmit that caused all the rest to go out.

    Vic do the 12V bulbs wire up the same as the 16V ones? I also need to thank you for saving me a bunch of dollars as like I mentioned I paid over six dollars for three. I'm going to order a hundred as that many will keep me in stock for a long time. All you guys are great helpers sharing your advice and knowledge of this great hobby. Thanks again, Ron :D
  6. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hi Ron, Yes the 12v lamps wire the same way as the others. Since you will be using your old power packs to work your lights might I suggest that you wire them to the variable dc ouput. That way you can control the brightness for better realism and also extend the life of the lamps by using a lower voltage. The AC side of a power pack is usually around 18 Volts which would be too high for the lamps we're talking about. Since the lamps are rated at 50ma each wired in parallel you will be able to use 20 lamps for each amp of of power pack rating. In other words a 1 amp pack will light 20 lamps, a 2 amp pack will light 40 lamps and so on.

    Glad that I could be of some help:)
  7. Bill Pontin

    Bill Pontin Member

    Ron I echo Shawn's suggestion in using Christmas tree lights. I use a door bell transformer and series the 2.5 volt tree lights to vary the brightness.

  8. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    You can also try wiring the 12V lamps in series of two. That lets you use up to 18V but there's only 2 bulbs to check if one blows. Also, should last longer. Check before you start that they're bright enough at 6 or 9V.

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