Author Topic: Super Cheap LED Structure Lighting  (Read 1374 times)

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Roger Holmes

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Super Cheap LED Structure Lighting
« on: January 25, 2015, 06:31:07 PM »
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I just finished my kitbash of a church from the top two modules of the CMR Fyfe Building which is a laser cut acrylic kit and posted photos in Weekend Update.  My structure begged for stained glass which I captured on the web, sized and printed on clear stock.  The only problem was without a light source the windows just looked dark.



We were grocery shopping at Meijer (a regional Target-like store) and I wandered into the hardware department looking for something like those round stick-up lights.  Instead I found a two pack of rectangular stick up LED lights.  The good news:  $8.00 for the two pack.  The bad news: at 7 inches long they were too long for my church.  The OK news: at $4.00 each I wasn't afraid to take it apart and start hacking it up.



A few minutes of work with screwdriver and rail nippers got it down to a usable size.



Testing showed a nice even light if I hung it from the ceiling except that the LED closest to the stained glass over the front doors looked too hot.  I first colored it with an orange marker which helped with intensity but created a weird orange glow.
Instead I bent the LED away from the window and scraped and sanded off the orange tint which resulted in a frosted LED with the right intensity and no weird color.






I needed a way to hang the unit from the ceiling while still having access to the backside to change the three AAA batteries when the time came.  The solution was to install  Evergreen strip supports and lay the unit on top.  I have left the top of the building loose so that I can get to the on-off switch and the battery compartments.





A couple closeups of the windows.





Not elegant engineering but cheap and effective.
Best regards,

Roger

There are 10 kinds of people in the world.  Those who understand the binary system and those who don't.

victor miranda

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Re: Super Cheap LED Structure Lighting
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2015, 06:41:59 PM »
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that is good looking.

you make it look easy.

milw156

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Re: Super Cheap LED Structure Lighting
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2015, 06:52:44 PM »
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You done good Roger, Very Good!!!!
Rick

mmagliaro

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Re: Super Cheap LED Structure Lighting
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2015, 08:15:48 PM »
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Roger,
I like the idea, the brightness, and the "wow" effect of the whole thing.   But I do have a nitpick.
I think that overall, the light coming out of the building is just too blue.  I know you tried a marker.
Perhaps yellow instead of orange?

Joetrain59

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Re: Super Cheap LED Structure Lighting
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2015, 09:22:01 PM »
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I agree with Max, color temp is too high. Try Tamiya Clear Tint in yellow and some orange too.
 Joe D

Philip H

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Re: Super Cheap LED Structure Lighting
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2015, 09:25:32 PM »
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Any idea what the actual power draw is?  3 AA batteries is not a lot of juice, but may not sustain them for any length of time either.

A goo wall-wart on the other hand . . . .
Philip H.
Chief Everything Officer
Baton Rouge Southern RR - Mount Rainier Division.

"Yes there are somethings that are "off;" but hey, so what." ~ Wyatt

"I'm trying to have less cranial rectal inversion with this." - Ed K.

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carmelmodelrr

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Re: Super Cheap LED Structure Lighting
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2015, 09:27:08 PM »
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That really looks good.  We're vacationing in Ft Myers so I visited Metro Hobbies on Thursday. (Great store with great people).  I was interested in adding LED lighting to my layout so I asked one of the owners about it.  He showed me a video of a new Woodland Scenics LED lighting system that's just been released.  He expected it in his store within a week.  The possibilities of the system seem almost infinite.  But the system can be pricey--and the end results probably couldn't top the great look of the church-at a fraction of the price.

Carmelmodelrr
Dick Wroblewski

tom mann

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Re: Super Cheap LED Structure Lighting
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2015, 10:07:42 PM »
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Nice idea, Roger!

Catt

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Re: Super Cheap LED Structure Lighting
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2015, 11:52:15 PM »
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Going to Meijers tomorrow (I think) I will have to see if they have them here in West Michigan.Nice job Roger.
Johnathan (Catt) Edwards
Sole owner of the
Grande Valley Railway
100% Michigan made

Kentuckian

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Re: Super Cheap LED Structure Lighting
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2015, 10:13:28 AM »
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Very nice project, thanks for sharing.  I like the self-contained lighting, and the KISS aspect of it.
Modeling the C&O in Kentucky.

“Nature does not know extinction; all it knows is transformation. ... Everything science has taught me-and continues to teach me-strengthens my belief in the continuity of our spiritual existence after death. Nothing disappears without a trace.” Wernher von Braun

Roger Holmes

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Re: Super Cheap LED Structure Lighting
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2015, 01:59:06 PM »
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Thanks for the kind comments, gents.  Max and Joe-- I am going to try a few experiments regarding the LED color.  I'd like to try some colored film before tinting the LEDs themselves.  To the naked eye the LEDs are very white but particularly in the photos  (and to a lesser degree in person) the windows are reading blue.

I'll keep you posted.
Best regards,

Roger

There are 10 kinds of people in the world.  Those who understand the binary system and those who don't.

Cajonpassfan

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Re: Super Cheap LED Structure Lighting
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2015, 03:38:34 PM »
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Roger, that church with its lighted  stained glass windows is an attention getter for sure. Now you need to find a way to pipe in some congregation-appropriate music  :D
Otto K.