LED layout lighting

For a while now I’ve been thinking of how to illuminate the layout for exhibition purposes.

I’ve deliberately not coloured most of the work I’ve done yet, as it’s important to colour the scenery under the lights you’ll use to display the layout.  This will make sure the colours are represented properly at the correct colour temperature – i.e. not too yellow, or too blue.

Ages ago I bought a short 300mm section of flexible strip which contained some LEDs that run on a 12v electricity supply.  A brief test showed how much light was emitted from them, and the results were favourable.  Now the layout has progressed about as far as it can scenically without having the lighting sorted, so I ordered a 5m reel of LEDs.

‘3258’ flexible LED lighting strip – around £7 for a 5m reel.

To see what height above track level was best to mount the LEDs at I clamped some stripwood to the backscene to replicate one of the brackets that I’ll make to support the LEDS.  It was set at around 700mm above the rails.

Crudely rigged up lighting rig showing how much light the LEDs give off in a pitch black room.

In a pitch black room the LEDs give off a pleasing amount of light and illuminate the layout well, even with only one strip.  The plan is to ultimately have three strips running the length of the scenic section of the layout.  This will obviously give off more light and therefore have more impact on how the layout is lit at exhibitions during daylight.

An example of the level of lighting provided by one strip of LEDs in a pitch black room.

I now have the stripwood to construct the lighting brackets and strips to support the LEDs.  I’m hoping to make some progress at the weekend… more to follow.

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