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Just wondering if anyone has tried using these LED pad lights (my term) over the layout.

A couple advantages I see. You can get them in 6500K Daylight color range. You can, to a certain degree, aim them around by moving the pads at different angles. They plug in like a normal 💡. They are pretty cheap, like $20 each.

I was thinking to make the layout more like at dusk, I could paint the led pad.

A final advantage is for people who forgot to plan lighting before they built the layout, these might save the day.

Here is one of many examples.



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You might find the 6500k a bit too bright for your liking? I tried some fluorescents at 6500k, didn't like them at all.  Forum member Dave Hikel recommended 5000k in a thread I was reading here, that was much better light to my eyes so that's what used. Over the last few years, I've been converting those to 4' LEDs (still using 5000k) as they go bad. Also, 5000k is still too bright for many folks, some much prefer the 3000k to 4000k range.

FWIW, just something you might check before deciding on your lighting.

Last edited by rtr12
@Mike CT posted:

LED flat panels, also available.  Click on the underlined phrase to link.  Dim-able LED fixtures are usually marked.  If  not marked, it is probably not dim-able.  Dim-able LED fixtures require dimmers, marked for LED use.

I used the 2ft x 4ft LED panels in my former layout room and thought they were great,  if we stayed there I would have installed more of them - my flat black 7ft high ceiling just seemed to "soak-up" the light.

Rich in SD

Thanks for all the help. I’m really glad I posted this.

The LED flat panels are really cool and I may have some other uses for them. For the layout I would have a hard time installing them over the layout. I should have done lighting first.

I found these that I think will do the trick. They are dimmable for one. You can also select the color range from 3000-6500. When I work on the layout I can set the dim to 100% and the color to 6500k. When I run trains I can set the dim to say 50% and the color to 3000k.

All the settings can be done by a remote or an app on your phone.

The panels themselves are aluminum so can be adjusted to any degree you want. Your are not at just 0-45-90 degree angles.

They are more expensive but I think will be worth it. My wife tells me to spend more money on the trains. We’ll see how this plays out in practice when she see’s the $120 bill for light bulbs. 😂😂😂

Thanks again for the guidance. Much appreciated. I’ll show before and after pictures in a couple days.



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...A couple advantages I see. You can get them in 6500K Daylight color range.

To my eyes, that is definitely not an advantage. The "Daylight" LEDs in the 6000+ K range are too blue and get hard on the eyes after a while.

@rtr12 posted:

You might find the 6500k a bit too bright for your liking?

It's not that they are too bright, they are too blue. That's what makes it seem too "bright" and tires the eyes.

Jim Barrett did a Backshop about LED Lighting in Run 311. I produced this image  for him to use as the lead photo in the column:

If you want to duplicate the inviting, warm glow of an incandescent lamp, you need LEDs in the 2,700 to 3,000 K range.


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Here are the results of 2 lights that I bought. Spoiler Alert, I like these a lot.

Each LED pad swings up and down allowing you to set the pad at whatever angle you want. Being aluminum allows this capability and it felt very solid doing so. The other lights all seemed to be plastic so the angles were fixed at 0-45-90 degrees.

You can see in the picture below that the left pad is aimed at the middle of the layout. The right one goes out a little to hit the edge of the layout. The other two point in a little to avoid light running off the table. Cool feature.


The color is configurable from 3000K to 6500k. 3000k is a nice light while running trains or working on the layout. 6500K is considered “daylight”. It’s very blue and harsh. It would only be daylight if my townspeople were getting attacked with lasers from alien spacecraft.

With the color at 3000k, you can set the dim from 10% to 100% (no dim). 100% is a sunny day and 10% is dusk. You can run trains starting at noon and ending at dusk.

Daytime Pics




Dusk Pics



There are remotes that come with the lights. I downloaded an app so I can run them on my phone. Syncing was fast and easy. From downloading the app to syncing the lights took 3 minutes.

The app allows you to set the color and dimming with either a gradiant component to fine tune it (4300K @ 72% dim) or push button settings, 3000k, 5000k or 6500k.


All in all this was a nice upgrade and well worth the $60. Plus my wife agrees! 😀 Thanks for everyones guidance on figurimg this out.


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Last edited by ChiTown Steve

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