Model spotlights

Western Valley RR May 8, 2002

  1. Western Valley RR

    Western Valley RR TrainBoard Member

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    My current project is one of electrical rather then plastic. I have seen christmas lights since I was born, and never even thought of the idea until just recently. I cut the lights off the string, leaving a small length of wire on each end. I then cut a piece of styrene to create a cowl with a diameter at the small end just large enough to wrap around the base of the christmas light, I then glued a piece of aluminum foil inside the cowl to reflect the light as much as possible. All that was left was glueing(JB Welding) the cowl to the light and rewiring it to the plug....presto instant spotlight, just add some sort of base to it (I used sticky tac) and I can move it, angle it, and point it just about anywhere. I'm acually trying this for my layout right now. It brings out detailed pieces far better then the average lights do, is small enough for any scale, and is cheap to build...you can also use colored lights for special effects such as shining them in special places on a white backdrop to create a sun set...Just use yellows, reds, and blues....by moving the lights around you could probably come up with some really wicked effects...I found out the narrower the cowl the more concentrated the light is against an object...just something I thought I would share
     
  2. rsn48

    rsn48 TrainBoard Member

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    What size Xmas lights? Do the cowl's heat up too much?
     
  3. Western Valley RR

    Western Valley RR TrainBoard Member

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    Indoor clear or white tree lights work the best, and the aluminum foil keeps the heat out...you could also JB weld an aluminum cowl out of a pop can. The tree lights don't give off as much heat. You could also use all the christmas light colors in different situations bringing more blue/green/red into your scene. This is really good when it comes to taking photos of your layout...what better way to highlight a certain area then with a miniature spotlight
     
  4. Robin Matthysen

    Robin Matthysen Passed Away October 17, 2005 In Memoriam

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    Great idea Ed. Post a picture or two of them if you can.
     
  5. 7600EM_1

    7600EM_1 Permanently dispatched

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    I buy the small 1.5 volt Christmas light sets for building lumination! 2 bulbs per building does a really good interior lighting spectacle and is relatively cheap in cost. Just do not forget about them at Christmas time and buy clear replacement bulbs! Or you won't have no lighting durring the summer months when the bulbs blow....

    I normally buy 35 to 50 light sets of clear for this, cut each socket and bulb out with each wire having a 3 inch lead and wire 6 to 7 bulbs in a circut and then to the transformer and make sure each light is independant! Not in a string! being if one bulb blows they all go out!

    A simple wiring diagram of this:

    ------------------------------------ <--positive wire
    | | | | | | | | <--bulbs w/ leads
    ------------------------------------ <--negative wire

    All bulbs have their attached sockets and the leads are soldered to each power supply cord, that leads to the power pack, or to a switch then to the bulbs to control each bulb to turn on or turn off, and normally connected to the dail side "track power" on a separate power pack from the one running the trains for dimming reasons!
     
  6. JCater

    JCater TrainBoard Member

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    This sounds like a great idea!! I have also used small white Christmas lights in hidden places around the layout to "highlight" certain scenes. No one ever noticed them, but they drew the attention I wanted to get at the scene.
    John
     

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