Author Topic: Opinions on streetlamps  (Read 1013 times)

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primavw

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Opinions on streetlamps
« on: July 10, 2014, 07:34:34 PM »
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There is a seller on eBay selling streetlamps at 10 for $6 shipped. Not a bad price. They even include resisters and are claimed to work on a 16v system (haven't tested them yet). They are also described as being N scale. Upon receiving them in the mail today they looked a bit off. Upon measuring, they are 75mm or about 35 scale feet tall. A little research suggests most streetlights are mounted at about 25-30 feet from the road.

I figured I would post a pic to compare them because I am on the fence about them



One thing I will add is when I compare them to a Rix bridge kit they look massive. I should probably trust my eyes on this, but I am just not sure. So what do you think? Are they just a smidge out of scale or do they look right? I was thinking of maybe painting one black to see if it helps... but if I send them for a refund I don't think the seller would appreciate it. Thanks...
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thomasjmdavis

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Re: Opinions on streetlamps
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2014, 07:56:57 PM »
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At least one eBay seller included some (actual, not scale) size info on the streetlights in the item description, and I determined they would be too tall for what I needed.  I measured streetlights shown in photos of downtown Chicago, against things in the photos of known or guess-able height, like people and mail boxes, and found the Chicago streetlights in the 1950s to be between 20 and 25'.  I did note that the seller also had "z" scale streetlights that were somewhat smaller and was considering those, until I read a disclaimer/warning in the item description stating that if you kept the lights on for more than a half hour, you risked melting some of the parts.  That struck me as potentially dangerous.

Another consideration is the diameter of the pole, which to my eye looks rather large.  Since you have some, could you check?

All that said, the price is good, and I am tempted to buy some of the Z scale, and perhaps modify them with LEDs in hopes of solving the heat issues. 
Tom D.

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Kisatchie

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Re: Opinions on streetlamps
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2014, 07:59:53 PM »
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The streetlight definitely looks oversized to me.



Hmm... let me get my
calculator and a ruler
and a protractor...





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primavw

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Re: Opinions on streetlamps
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2014, 08:13:01 PM »
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The base measures 6mm, the thickest part of the post 4mm, and the arm which holds the light measure 26mm from post to end of the light. I would think it could be bashed a bit to make it look a bit better, possibly by shortening the post from the bottom, and shortening the arm a bit, but its a heck of a lot of work for something that should be layout-ready...
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MichaelWinicki

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Re: Opinions on streetlamps
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2014, 08:19:26 PM »
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Streetlights... both the modern kind, the less-modern kind and the old-fashioned ones are a real weak spot in N-scale– with most being way too tall or too thick or with lamp heads that are way too massive.  I've looked at a lot of them and have come away very disappointed in the offerings.

Pennsy

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Re: Opinions on streetlamps
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2014, 08:30:02 PM »
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Considering the price compared to other offerings a little extra work would seem to be an OK deal.

Jim

MichaelWinicki

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Re: Opinions on streetlamps
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2014, 08:46:05 PM »
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Considering the price compared to other offerings a little extra work would seem to be an OK deal.

Jim

I'm not sure how you're going to rework the thickness of the thing to make it prototypical.  You stand an "N" scale person next to it and it will look even more massively thick.

primavw

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Re: Opinions on streetlamps
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2014, 09:06:15 PM »
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Streetlights... both the modern kind, the less-modern kind and the old-fashioned ones are a real weak spot in N-scale– with most being way too tall or too thick or with lamp heads that are way too massive.  I've looked at a lot of them and have come away very disappointed in the offerings.

Agreed. And the ones that do look ok are over-priced. My LHS has one that is $20.00 for one!
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jimmo

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Re: Opinions on streetlamps
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2014, 09:08:12 PM »
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You have to be careful with some of these overseas vendors. Most of these model components are made for architectural purposes, so their scales are larger or smaller than 1/160. For example they might list an item as N-scale and in reality the item is 1:100 scale. Z-scale items are often 1:200 scale, etc. To me, these look more like 1:100 scale street lamps. Using the 1:200 scale lamps might be closer but might need to be made taller.

Always try to get a sample or buy small quantity before committing to a large purchase.
James R. Will

MichaelWinicki

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Re: Opinions on streetlamps
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2014, 09:50:31 PM »
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Agreed. And the ones that do look ok are over-priced. My LHS has one that is $20.00 for one!

And I don't need ones that light... And I still can't find any.

Bart1701

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Re: Opinions on streetlamps
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2014, 11:37:23 PM »
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If you don't need ones that light, check out JTT's Street Furniture (part of MRC) at: http://www.jttmicroscale.com/viewcategory.asp?DirID=96


They have a good variety of items. Here are some photos of one of their street lights - that measures about a scale 23 feet high.







Without hijacking the thread, I also am looking for lights that do not light. Specifically the lights you'd find along city sidewalks (Victorian lamps or lamps with a white globe at the top, for example), as well as railroad signals (Searchlight signals or the ones with separate red-yellow-green lamps).  Anyone have any leads on these?

Thanks,
Bart


mmagliaro

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Re: Opinions on streetlamps
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2014, 12:34:37 AM »
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Would you consider making your own?

It's not the height that bothers me.  It's the thickness.  That pole looks way too thick.
6mm is about 38"   Yikes.   I haven't measured one on the street, but they have to be about a foot across,
not 3 feet.   

I long ago gave up on this because of the size of so many of the commercial ones, so I made my own.
Have you considered this?

Here's some pics.  I present this here because this subject has come up on forums many many times, and
I think these are pretty easy (and very cheap to make).

These are more of the residential globe style, so making a more modern one would require soldering that arm
on there that curves over the road - not easy, I admit.
Do they have to be the overhanging "highway" type?

The point is the proportions.  The mast on mine is a .065" stainless tube from Ngineering.  That's 10.5" in N Scale.
The stainless tube has such a thin wall that it's quite easy to slip a 2-wire bulb up the tube.




The base is made from earring backs.  You can buy packages of these at Michael's Crafts.  I cut the flat
part off and rearrange things as follows:



Now, we push and epoxy the base and mast together and thread the microbulb up in there.
I think if I were doing it now, I'd use an SMD LED to avoid having to ever replace the bulb, but with a
good regulated 1.5v supply, those microbulbs last a long time (and they sure look nice)

The globe is a frosted white plastic pearl, also available at craft stores like Michael's.   You can find ones that have
no hole and just drill in from one end.  If you can only find the ones with a hole all the way through, just
plug up one end of the hole with a dab of white putty.  The holes on these little beads are very very small
and I found that it actually does not show once the putty dries and you sand it a little.






Depending on how much you juice the bulb, you can get a dimmer more yellow effect, or a brighter white.
(about 1.2v vs 1.4v on a 1.5v microbulb).









« Last Edit: July 02, 2017, 01:29:25 PM by mmagliaro »

highway70

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Re: Opinions on streetlamps
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2014, 02:37:09 AM »
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General guidelines for size of streetlights. 

Street light mounting bolts  location on base plates 11 to 13 diameter circlel.   Tapered pole diameter 8 to 9 inches at base plate tapering to 3 to 4 inches at top  of pole.  Where the light is mounted directly on top of pole 20 feet from base base plate to light.  Where light mounted on mast arm it is 30 to 35 feet base plate to light.

Dimensions based on my observation of Standard Plans:  CALTRANS, Sacramento County CA, Glendale AZ and a few others.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2014, 02:48:51 AM by highway70 »

DKS

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Re: Opinions on streetlamps
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2014, 07:45:56 AM »
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Unless you're trying to model a specific prototype (in which case you'll be scratchbuilding your lights), believe it or not it is possible to find decent generic streetlights that are not only cheap but good-looking.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/10-pcs-N-Scale-Long-Life-street-Lights-LEDs-Made-no-hot-no-melt-TD40Z-white-/400465961808?pt=Model_RR_Trains&hash=item5d3da1a350

WeHonest sounds like just another crappy Chinese source of crappy lights, but they actually make decent stuff. These lights come in a variety of sizes to suit different applications. They even provide resistors for free if you ask when ordering. I've bought dozens of them for use in N and Z scales, and I've been pleased.
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MichaelWinicki

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Re: Opinions on streetlamps
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2014, 09:16:18 AM »
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Without hijacking the thread, I also am looking for lights that do not light. Specifically the lights you'd find along city sidewalks (Victorian lamps or lamps with a white globe at the top, for example), as well as railroad signals (Searchlight signals or the ones with separate red-yellow-green lamps).  Anyone have any leads on these?

Thanks,
Bart

That's my challenge also, "Victorian Lamps" with a white globe on top.

I made some but they're kinda meh.



I did order some of the WeHonest "Garden" lights, which have a globe on top but it's one of those "You get what you pay for" sorta things... Their assembly process doesn't promote uniformity from one lamp to another plus there are some other irregularities with them.  Heck, I'd gladly pay 3X the amount that they're charging for 10 of them in order to get a set that is uniform in appearance.