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Good shot, Norm, it clearly shows the difference you can get in lighting.

As for me, my layout is small and in a single room, so I have a LED overhead mount. The 'cans' are small but they cover a lot of area. I only have one small spot that isn't covered from this mount:

I love the lighting effects I get from it, as it looks just about right for mid day in the summer time, when my layout takes place. I also gives very strong shadows, just as the sun does. I've never liked 'track' or diffused lighting that many in the hobby like, as they often kill shadows you'd see in real life.

As for interior structure lights, I model the 1940s and pure white LEDs don't look right for that timeframe. I use Woodland Scenics ones with the yellow tint to light the insides of my structures. To my eye, they look great for either incandescent lights with shades or lantern lighting.

Last edited by p51
@rplst8 posted:
 I have yet to find an LED bulb ("warm-white", "2700K" or otherwise) for the lamps and light fixtures that comes anywhere near the quality of light from a standard incandescent soft-white GE bulb of yore.

For trains, the power savings is definitely a bonus - however I wish the manufacturers would avoid the cool-white LEDs.  They do not look good at all IMO, especially when mixed with incandescent bulbs.

My feelings as well. There has been a lot written about how manufacturers have spent untold millions trying to obtain an incandescent look with LEDs. They've made progress, but they're not there yet. I've had a number of instances around the house where I went from LED back to incandescent for the warmer look. Some folks can't tell the difference, probably, but it's something that's very noticable to me. I can't stand walking into a motel room and seeing that they've installed harsh white bulbs in the light fixtures. Talk about uninviting. I probably need to carry my own lightbulbs when I travel. 

Many is the time when I've looked at modern harsh, blinding white headlights on newer locomotives and wished for a warmer, more inviting tint. I've even taken a yellow, water soluble marker and tinted up the lens on some engines in an effort to warm up headlights. They're a bit less obnoxious now (using a warmer white LED, I guess) than they were when LEDs first started being used in engines. Those harsh blue white lights were awful. 

One use of LEDs that truly set me back:

20200815114836_IMG_9278

Yes, that's a pre-1900 (Rogers) locomotive, under steam with an LED headlight. Now, you could see it coming from a very log way off, way more so than an incandescent bulb, but the look of it really looked off to me.

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Last edited by p51

The challenge with LED's and color temperature in most residential and model settings is they are typically standard white LEDs coated with phosphorus to give them the "warm" look.  In commercial applications LED lighting consists of red, green, and blue LEDs and the color temperature is controlled by the LED driver and can be adjusted to any color with the right control system.   However those drivers are a little to large to put inside an individual car.

As was mentioned above, painting the LED yellow may help with giving more of that warm feeling we are used to in a typical incandescent lamp.  I personally like the LEDs since I can run prototype length mainline passenger trains.  Also depending the period you are modeling, fluorescent light lighting was used in streamlined cars and they tended to run 3500 degrees to 4500 degrees.  Headlights are of course a different situation. 

@GG1 4877 posted:

As was mentioned above, painting the LED yellow may help with giving more of that warm feeling we are used to in a typical incandescent lamp.  I personally like the LEDs since I can run prototype length mainline passenger trains.  Also depending the period you are modeling, fluorescent light lighting was used in streamlined cars and they tended to run 3500 degrees to 4500 degrees.  Headlights are of course a different situation. 

You can buy component or strip LEDs with color temperatures all over the color scale, no need to be painting LEDs.  I have thousands of LED's of different sized and colors, it's rare I can't find a suitable size and color for a specific use.

  If you can't find suitable LED's for virtually any lighting job around the layout, you aren't really trying IMO.

For starters:

43??P direct fit lamps that don't have the LED bullseye

12/19?P with G3.5 globe

19 frosted G3.5 globe

55 lamp for the smoking caboose

51 lamp in the 193 Water Tower

363 for the 455 Oil Derick 

 Yes I am aware of auto illumination Town & country hobbies and similar offerings but nothing comes close to the real charm of incandescent bulbs for me so if you've got something that's easy straightforward and a direct fit I'm all ears

Last edited by bmoran4

There are no incandescent lamps in our home or our motor home. We converted to all LEDs years ago.

The key is color temperature. If you want the warm look of old incandescent lamps, you need 2,700 degree K color temperature.

Here’s The Lovely and Gracious Linda’s curio cabinet where she keeps her cut glass trinkets. The LED lamp is a tubular bulb with a long “filament” of LED material that generates light at 2,700 K. It looks exactly like an old incandescent, but never gets hot. This lamp has been on for months...we use it as a night light in the dining room. Uses 10% of the power that the old incandescent bulb did.

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If your old enough to remember the first fluorescent lights were the same as the early LEDs. White! Our lighting grips called them "dead peoples light" because they had no color. Like Rich, we had all incandescent lights when we moved into our house and the electric bill to prove it. We have the highest electric rate in the country here. We tried a few LEDs but didn't like the look at all. Finally when they came out with warmer LEDs we switched. We went from about $550 to about $300 a month. There were ten 100 watt can bulbs in our kitchen alone. My early small LEDs for the layout were white and I simple added a warm gel to the windows. Don

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Last edited by Rich Melvin

All incandescent bulbs (lamps) have the same color temperature. Like Henry Ford said ; you can have any color you want as long as it is black. LEDs give you a choice. I've settled on 3000K for my train room and house. It's more uplifting on dreary days and not as harsh as florescent. I imagine there is a lot of trial and error selecting suitable LEDs for model trains and accessories. But lighting your train room isn't that complicated. If you like yellow, then get 2700K LED bulbs.

Don you have seen the Phillips LEDs that we have. They can be adjusted easily and development has continued. Price is horrible but we have been pleased with the results. Problem is that we are building instead of running trains and have not worked out the lighting.

Dave at Evan Designs has been a tremendous help for small lighting. We light the interior of all of our buildings and have few that are commercially produced. Structures that we have built probably have 750-1,000 LEDs. They were not out when you visited. Now they are and all work as we have recently gone thru each one after removing them from storage. Surprisingly, 95%+ worked when attached to power. Most that did not were ones done early on when we were learning what to do.

Miller fluorescents do a good job in situations where you want the brighter white fluorescent look.

John Will knows his stuff and appears to have an incredible Inventory of LED products and knows how to be cost effective. I would ask him to assist.

Hope that you are doing well.

Bill

@GG1 4877 posted:

The challenge with LED's and color temperature in most residential and model settings is they are typically standard white LEDs coated with phosphorus to give them the "warm" look.  In commercial applications LED lighting consists of red, green, and blue LEDs and the color temperature is controlled by the LED driver and can be adjusted to any color with the right control system.   However those drivers are a little to large to put inside an individual car.

I have a few of the RGB color mixing bulbs in my house.  Over $100 when I bought them.  Still, no where near incandescent warmth, or dispersion for that matter. 

Last edited by rplst8

...and when the whole house is LED-equipped, you notice a significant difference in your electric bill.

I often hear this repeated by many LED proponents but I fail to see how it makes a big difference.

At 15c/kWh it costs about $10 to run a 100 watt bulb day and night for an entire month.  Couple that with the fact that most bulbs sold are 60W or less, they rarely run for more than a few hours per day, (more in winter, but less in summer) and should be needed only in the room you are in, I can’t see how it would cost much more than $3-5/mo for a few bulbs to be on at a time.  

Add that to the fact that during the months where the indoor temp is lower than the outdoor temp, the incandescent bulbs are lowering your heat bill.

So one of three things is possible, either the electric company is ripping people off, people have no windows and leave the lights on in their house all day long, or they don’t turn off the lights when they leave a room.  Another possibility is that the people that notice the most difference live in southern states, use A/C year round, and use a lot of lights, as it costs about 1.5 times the energy to run a light bulb in A/C.

Refrigerators, dryers, A/C, and other electronics use far, far more energy than incandescent light bulbs.

If we wanted to reduce our energy use by a significant amount, they should design refrigeration that vents the heat outside in summer and uses outside air in an air-to-air intercooler in the winter.

Last edited by rplst8
@rplst8 posted:

At 15c/kWh it costs about $10 to run a 100 watt bulb day and night for an entire month.  Couple that with the fact that most bulbs sold are 60W or less, they rarely run for more than a few hours per day, (more in winter, but less in summer) and should be needed only in the room you are in, I can’t see how it would cost much more than $3-5/mo for a few bulbs to be on at a time. 

Yes, they "should" only be needed in the room that you're in, however reality is some people (who shall remain nameless in my house) don't understand the two positions of a light switch!  It's not unusual for me to see lights in many rooms that don't need to be on.  With LED's, I don't have to be nearly as much of a PITA running around turning them all off.

@rplst8 posted:

Add that to the fact that during the months where the indoor temp is lower than the outdoor temp, the incandescent bulbs are lowering your heat bill.

So one of three things is possible, either the electric company is ripping people off, people have no windows and leave the lights on in their house all day long, or they don’t turn off the lights when they leave a room.  Another possibility is that the people that notice the most difference live in southern states, use A/C year round, and use a lot of lights, as it costs about 1.5 times the energy to run a light bulb in A/C.

And all summer long you're paying that efficiency back by running the A/C more to get rid of that incandescent heat, so that's not a gain.  Add to the fact that my heating costs using natural gas in PA are far lower than my A/C costs using expensive PECO electricity, I lose out.

@rplst8 posted:
Refrigerators, dryers, A/C, and other electronics use far, far more energy than incandescent light bulbs.

 However, driers don't run nearly as much as light bulbs.  Also, my drier is gas heated, much cheaper.

My TV's are all LED models that use 50-60 watts when they're on, so that's not an issue.  Even my computer and monitors use less than 100 watts.  However, a single 60W bulb left on for 12 hours a day will cost me around $3.24/mo.   Change that to an 8 watt LED, and it costs me 42 cents for that same month.

@rplst8 posted:

If we wanted to reduce our energy use by a significant amount, they should design refrigeration that vents the heat outside in summer and uses outside air in an air-to-air intercooler in the winter.

 I suspect there's a good reason that hasn't happened.  The costs would be astronomical!  The return on investment for the difference in price of the fridge would probably be around one hundred years.  Of course, I won't be here, and the fridge wouldn't last that long, two major problems with that idea.

In addition, the fridge doesn't use as much as you think, this is one of many recent quotes on what a modern fridge costs to run.

ENERGY STAR Refrigerator (side by side) 21 cu. ft.     51 kWh per month     $ 6.63 per month

In my case, probably more like $8/mo, that assumes 13 cents/KW.  So, it's not much more than a couple of incandescent bulbs.

Last edited by gunrunnerjohn

Yes, they "should" only be needed in the room that you're in, however reality is some people (who shall remain nameless in my house) don't understand the two positions of a light switch!  It's not unusual for me to see lights in many rooms that don't need to be on.  With LED's, I don't have to be nearly as much of a PITA running around turning them all off.

For me the only other person here is my wife and she is thankfully pretty light switch conscious, but it’s a fair point... maybe LEDs are the path of least resistance.  No pun intended.

In addition, the fridge doesn't use as much as you think, this is one of many recent quotes on what a modern fridge costs to run.

ENERGY STAR Refrigerator (side by side) 21 cu. ft.     51 kWh per month     $ 6.63 per month

In my case, probably more like $8/mo, that assumes 13 cents/KW.  So, it's not much more than a couple of incandescent bulbs.

Hmm.  Maybe it’s time for a new fridge.

@bmoran4 posted:

For starters:

43??P direct fit lamps that don't have the LED bullseye

12/19?P with G3.5 globe

19 frosted G3.5 globe

55 lamp for the smoking caboose

51 lamp in the 193 Water Tower

363 for the 455 Oil Derick 

 Yes I am aware of auto illumination Town & country hobbies and similar offerings but nothing comes close to the real charm of incandescent bulbs for me so if you've got something that's easy straightforward and a direct fit I'm all ears

Don't forget the L452W bulb for the Lionel No. 64 lamp post. Good luck finding an LED replacement for that one!

But when it comes to the 193 water tower - I actually did a really nice job replacing the 51 bulb with an LED. I purchased a 5mm red "breathing" LED. It fit nice and tight into the hollow bottom of the No. 252-11 red lense cap. I'd say it looks brighter, better and now has a more prototypical breathing action

 

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@Rich Melvin posted:

The key is color temperature. If you want the warm look of old incandescent lamps, you need 2,700 degree K color temperature.

As I referred to previously, LEDs still can't compare to incandescent bulbs for warmth. For those who can't see the difference, that's fine, but it's very evident to me. Below are an incandescent bulb and a 2,700 degree K LED, side-by-side (same wattage). The LED bulb is the top one (obviously, to me at least), very noticeably whiter than the warmer incandescent bulb below it.

Just my opinion, of course.

 

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Last edited by breezinup

I'd say it's not a 2700K bulb.  Here's an actual 2700K led next to a 60ma 6V incandescent (MTH PS/2 bulb at 6V).  If anything, the incandescent looks a little more white than the LED.  FWIW, I'm running the LED on 2 milliamps as it totally overpowers the incandescent at it's rated 20ma current.  Even at 20ma, it's using 1/6 the energy of the incandescent, but boy is it pumping out the light.

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@breezinup posted:

As I referred to previously, LEDs still can't compare to incandescent bulbs for warmth...Below are an incandescent bulb and a 2,700 degree K LED, side-by-side (same wattage)

Color temperature is color temperature. It does not matter what is generating the light. A 2,700 K LED and an incandescent bulb rated at 2,700K will emit the exact same color of light.

In your example you aren't necessarily comparing apples to apples. The incandescent lamp may be rated at something other than 2,700K. Incandescent bulbs are available in color temperatures ranging from 2,700K up to 3,400K. The only incandescent lamps I've ever seen with specific color temperate ratings were those rated at 3,200K for indoor "tungsten" setting photography. Lamps sold for home use had no specific color temperature spec and could be all over the map between 2,700K and 3,400K.

 

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(snip)ENERGY STAR Refrigerator (side by side) 21 cu. ft.     51 kWh per month     $ 6.63 per month

In my case, probably more like $8/mo, that assumes 13 cents/KW.  So, it's not much more than a couple of incandescent bulbs.

When I bought my current house 26 years ago, it came with a green avocado frost-free refrigerator, 1965 vintage. To make a long story short, I started to analyze the electric bill and figured out that the refrigerator was costing $1 a day to run. I decided to buy a new refrigerator. Everyone thought I was crazy to fuss about $1 a day.

The "new" refrigerator draws 140 watts when it is running. It runs about half the time, which works out to about 42 cents a day at today's rates.

Over the years, I have changed all the appliances, A/C, heating, gone to LED or compact fluorescent lamps, new TVs and computer monitors (not all at once!) My electric bill now, in dollars, is within a few percent of what it was in 1994.

Energy savings can be real. 

 

Yep, I suspect I'm saving a ton of money every month with all LED lighting.  When I bought this house, my trainroom had ten 75W hi-hats, now it has ten 9W hi-hats.  I'm down here a lot lately, so at a savings of around 10 cents an hour, probably at least $1.00/day, I have paid for the $60 in LED bulbs in the first couple of months, and now I'm $365/yr richer by doing nothing.

I have a couple of the Kill A Watt meters, I've checked power consumption on things at times, very surprising.  My first flat-screen TV was a 50" plasma.  Great picture, but it consumed about 450 watts when running!  Currently I have a 65" Samsung LED model, it's consuming 65 watts when running.

@bmoran4 posted:

There is more to it than just Color Temperature - there is also Color Rendering Index which measures how faithful the light source is able to reflect colors and related to how even the light is through the color spectrum.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_rendering_index

From that reference it appears that LED's do pretty well.  In any case, the LED I showed "renders" better on my eyeballs than any incandescent bulb. 

John, Yikes, I love our 65 inch plasma. Have not seen anything that looks as good and natural. Can't get rid of it. We only use it for movies so I guess it's not using that much power. Our other two TVs are Led. No air or heating in the house as we get trade winds to cool us down. Big cost are the pool pumps that I will trade out if they stop.

 Rich did you ever use the LED bi-color panels ? You can power them with batteries. I would set them little on the warm side. Just like the look. Don

Last edited by scale rail

If that is true, why do you need to specify both color temperature and tint when adjusting white balance in photography?

I think the answer is that it's not entirely the truth.  Tungsten filaments act like black body radiators, and there is a specific spectrum associated with it at a given temperature.  LEDs are not black body radiators and have weird peaks at different frequencies.

Last edited by rplst8
@rplst8 posted:

I think the answer is that it's not entirely the truth.  Tungsten filaments act like black body radiators, and there is a specific spectrum associated with it at a given temperature.  LEDs are not black body radiators and have weird peaks at different frequencies.

The Color Range Index addresses exactly this.

@bmoran4 posted:

There is more to it than just Color Temperature - there is also Color Rendering Index which measures how faithful the light source is able to reflect colors and related to how even the light is through the color spectrum.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_rendering_index

From that reference it appears that LED's do pretty well.  

As @gunrunnerjohn noted, good LED assemblies can get very close to an incandescent (some of the inexpensive ones are lacking in this).

Tint?

I’ve been working professionally in both video and still photography for over 40 years. I worked in film until the digital revolution took place. All digital since then. In all that time, in both the analog and digital worlds, I have never seen an adjustment for “tint” in the context of setting white balance. You might be able to set a “tint” to artificially tint a photo away from a neutral white balance, but that is not part of the white balance process.

If an illumination device - ANY illumination device - is rated to produce light at a given color temperature, that’s exactly what it does. There is no difference in the color of the light emitted by a 2,700K LED or a 2,700K incandescent light bulb.

Change is challenging .  For reading and aging eyes, the bright white of LED bulbs make reading much less of a strain.  The power savings have been mentioned and they are real, socially valuable and environmentally sound.  As for trains, doesn't seem to matter to me one way or the other, except for illuminated rolling stock and passenger cars, where melted roofs due to command control voltages were real with incandescent bulbs.

Last edited by Landsteiner

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