I have 4 woodland scenic buildings and 3 mth buildings running off the 14 volt outlet of my z1000. I keep blowing the fuse so I am wondering if there  are too many lights running of this transformer aux power supply. It is also powering half of my layout. 

 My question is can I run my building lights off a Lionel 4045 transformer that is from a starter set that I got as a kid 40 years ago. If I can would I need a fuse in line with the buildings?  Or is there a better way to power the lights in my buildings?

Original Post

People will jump in and tell you to change to led in the nth buildings.  I for one, can't replicate nostalgic warmth of incandescent lights.

Having said that, best to get lighting off you running (track power).  Lights don't draw much, but if your fuse blows, you might be close on track power requirements.  FYI, a great number of users will also recommending powering switches with track power.


TCA 18-73717

I’m not sure what you mean by powering half of your layout but, if your are blowing the fuse (circuit breaker), you are over the limit.

You can use the 4045 to power the lights.  It is rated at 45 watts so you have somewhere between 35-40 watts, or around 2.5 amps, to work with.  Definitely use a fuse of no more than 2.5 amps.  A small incandescent lamp will draw about 1/5 of an amp at 14 volts so you could connect about 12 bulbs.  Many of these buildings have more than 1 bulb in them, so you need to count bulbs, not buildings.

So many people recommend LED’s because the power requirements are less than half of that for incandescent lighting.


You can get a PW ZW at a train show for 100 bucks. You can run a he77 of a lot of lights with it. Nick

No such thing as over kill-do it RIGHT.                                                                                                                             

One option is to use DC to power your lights.  While there are some O-gauge operating accessories that require AC, I don't think there are many, if any, lighted buildings that require AC.

In this recycled photo from a previous OGR thread, I contrast the 100 Watt Z-1000 AC-output brick with a 90 Watt DC-output brick used for laptop charging.

ac dc brick comparison with inset

Of course your out-of-pocket for the Lionel 4045 is zero, but the compact DC brick shown can be had for less than $10 on eBay including shipping from a U.S. seller.  This one can be set to 12V, 15V, 16V, 18V, and a few other voltages.  It doesn't have 14V but perhaps there are others that do, or 12V or 15V might be suitable for your application.

90 watt DC brick wall wart less than 10 bucks shipped

If you go with DC, it could/should facilitate easier migration to LED lighting if that's in the cards.

And while I realize you have Woodland Scenics and MTH now, there seems to be a trend toward lower voltage DC lighted buildings and signs such as from Menards, Lemax, Miller, and others which seem to have settled on 4.5V DC.  If you already have, say, 12V DC on the layout it is straightforward to convert this down to 4.5V DC using 99 cent DC-to-DC voltage regulator module from eBay.  There have been many OGR threads about this technique.




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Thanks for the replies. What I meant by half the layout is I halve the Z4000 powering one side of my layout and a Lionel Power House powering the other half divided into two power districts. I think I will get under the layout and just connect each building one at a time to so if there is a short in only one. I will get a separate transformer just for lights. I am looking at getting the woodland scenics Just Plug system for the three woodland scenic buildings. And maybe another Z1000 for the rest.


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