Author Topic: Rope Lights  (Read 2015 times)

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Rope Lights
« on: May 14, 2007, 10:25:22 AM »
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I had an idea over the weekend and I would like some advice.  I am building a new three level layout and am thinking of using rope lights for "horizon lights. The way I am planning on mounting the middle level, I can have about a 3/4" x 3/4" "pocket" between the backboard and the foam baseboard. I am thinking of running adjustable rope lighting in that pocket.  It would shine up towards the top level, and illuminate the backboard. Has anyone tried this, and what color light would be best.  It comes in various colors and I first thought clear, but maybe blue would be better.  What have you seem or done?

bobcat

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Re: Rope Lights
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2007, 10:48:54 AM »
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At my club, we have a blue rope light set up behind the fascia on top. The blue light is good for lighting a night scene.

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Rope Lights
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2007, 10:59:02 AM »
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Hmm... I'd suggest trying both and testing them, they're cheap right?


For a long time my dad used christmas lights to help illuminate his layout in the basement of our old house. He actually used multi-colored ones, but somehow it looked fine. But I was also 5 at the time.

I say go for it!

DKS

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Re: Rope Lights
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2007, 11:16:32 AM »
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I used Christmas lights as part of a day-night lighting system, and they worked great. Today I'd use blue rope lights for the twilight effect, but for the sunrise/sunset effect I made, I'd still need to use one short tree string because I rearranged the bulbs: a few yellow bulbs at the center for a bright spot, several oranges to either side of these, reds beyond these, and purples at the ends.

On my old layout, this special string accompanied all-blue strings that ran the perimiter of the layout, and also overhead. All of the strings, plus the main halogen layout lights, were controlled by a light dimmer system that created a full day/night cycle; the speed of ultra-low RPM motors, which turned standard wall dimmers, was adjustable so I could change the length of the cycle. Some stills of the layout in "twilight" appeared in the 2000 issue of GMR.

A wiring schematic of the dimmer system, plus some other tips, hints and goodies, are online here: http://whiteriverandnorthern.net/clinic_29.htm
« Last Edit: May 14, 2007, 11:30:38 AM by dks2855 »
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Re: Rope Lights
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2007, 11:33:15 AM »
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Yes, I tried this when I wrote that Photography article a while back.  It works well, but as I remember, I needed to double up the lights to avoid gaps.  The blue ones looked pretty nice.  Orange would make for a nice sunset color.

keystonecrossings

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Re: Rope Lights
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2007, 12:20:09 PM »
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I've used rope lights for years to light my staging level. Works great in that use.

However, you will likely find them too dim to really light a scenic'd level, unless you double them up.

What I am currently testing for my scenic'd level is using standard incandescent bulb sockets, but using 13 watt CPF's (compact flourescents). Initial result is very promising. And the electrician tells me I can put @ 45 of them on one 15 amp circuit. Low heat. Equivalent to 60 watt incandescents.
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TiVoPrince

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Re: Rope Lights
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2007, 05:32:25 PM »
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Tested
blue rope lights run along the bottom of upper level to give limited light to the perma-night scene planned for my lower level.  In mockup mode with kraft paper, paint bombs, cardboard and some flex and a unitrak loop it looked good.  If I was planning 'daylight' on the lower level I would look elsewhere.  I did try yellow and red along the base edge to try some sunrise/sunset effects.  The effects other than moonlight were only marginal.  The flat finished light to medium gray backdrop seemed to work best but city lights flats still need to be worked out...

I have not built anything final yet, so this is all based on mockup trials...
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outdoorsfellar

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Re: Rope Lights
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2007, 07:14:19 PM »
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Been there, done that as well. Even when I doubled 'em, they weren't bright enough. I ended up using those smaller wattage under the cabinet lights that you can add on to the next light. All depends on ones needs so good luck !   Here's how mine put out the light....




outdoorsfellar

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Re: Rope Lights
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2007, 07:17:28 PM »
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If you say you're wanting " horizon lights ", I doubt this method would work just the same.

Skip

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Re: Rope Lights
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2007, 10:34:46 AM »
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I have ordered blue and clear rope lights to experiment with.  I will post pictures of the results.  I may order other colors later.  Only $18 for 24' so the price is reasonable.