Teeny LEDs with wire leads

WM183 Aug 8, 2018

  1. WM183

    WM183 TrainBoard Member

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    Hello all.

    I am modifying a locomotive and one of the modifications is relocating the headlight. I need to move it from the smokebox front to the pilot deck. I have a housing for a light that has a hole in it about 3 mm in diameter; are LEDs that size made, with wire leads so I can solder them to the original press in circuit board, that would work for my application here? I know a lot about electronics and wiring, just not so much about LEDs for teeny N scale trains.

    Thanks much!
     
  2. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    You're in luck. 3mm (aka T-1 size) is common and you'll likely be able to find an EU source. I'm guessing that the circuit board has a dropping resistor on it? You'll need one to reduce the voltage to the LED. Polarity counts as you know.

    https://www.allelectronics.com/category/340300/leds/standard-3mm-t-1/1.html

    If you choose a White LED, you may wish to attempt to color its lens with a slight yellow/amber tint to give it an authentic look.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  3. Hatt

    Hatt TrainBoard Member

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    Try searching for wired "0402" LEDs. Plenty available on eBay in a variety of colours. They are surprisingly bright for something that is only 1.0 mm x 0.5 mm x 0.45 mm (L x W x H). I put one on the back of an N-scale Bethgon Coalporter as a FRED and had to build it up in size. 8)
     
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  4. SP_fan_1951

    SP_fan_1951 TrainBoard Member

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    Warm white LED's give a better representation of incandescent bulbs. The lower the color temperature, the less blue in the light. I have seen Tamiya transparent paint used to tint LED's, and want to try the craft product "Gallery Glass".
     
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  5. RCMan

    RCMan TrainBoard Member

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    Kids nail polish works also. You will have to experiment with colors. May take 2 coats. I have used Cool White LED's and recolored them to Green, Red and Yellow. Also you might want to reduce the intensity of the LED by using a higher value of resistor, like a 2200 ohms. Today's LED's are getting very very bright.
     
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  6. WM183

    WM183 TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you guys! I will be sure to keep that resistor in series, and if needed, i'll bump it to 2200 ohm. This place is the best!

    Amanda
     
  7. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    That's a great tip RCMan. I've even found that different colors glow with different intensities, so am experimenting with different resistor values in my layout's control panel. I verified that red color LEDs require the least current, so glow brighter than yellow or green. It's quite noticeable when reds are placed adjacent to yellow and green.
     
  8. RCMan

    RCMan TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, that is true, the color of the polish in the bottle is only a reference. I have not had success trying to take a basis RED/Green/Yellow etc and try to modify the color shade, only used cool whites or warm whites.
     
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