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Hey Guys,

I have my separate power districts wired from  my tracks to my control box.  The top of the box has a diagram of the layout, with simple on/off toggle switches in the diagram itself (in the middle of the track markings), for turning the power blocks on and off.

Problem is, when looking down at the face of the control box, it ain't so easy, at least at my age, to see whether the toggle is the on or off position, especially when you are distracted by the running trains.    I could put those "clamp on" power stations (with the attached green lights) in each track district on the layout itself, to show when the power is on, but those things aren't especially cheap, and I have enough lights out there as it is with the switch lanterns etc.

Has anybody put cheap, low voltage, LED strip lights, on your control diagram itself, that light up when you turn on the power district.   If the toggle switch for track power is a two pole switch, it could be used to turn the lights on when you flip the power to On.

Any ideas or experience with this?    Low voltage DC lights would be fine.   But, the strips would have to be such that you could cut them to different lengths, to place them on the diagram.

Thanks for all info.


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I researched the LED light strips.  They come in white, and multi-color.   When you buy one, say 48 inches long, it comes with one long strip, which you can cut to any length.  BUT, it only comes with one wire and plug to attach to it. Once you cut the strip, and attach the power plug to it, there is not way to hook up the remainder of the  strip.  Since one strip, with and wire set and plug, is about $15 bucks, it would take a good deal of money to buy enough sets for 8 or 9 power districts.   Plus, you would end of with 50 feet or so of unusable light strips.

M annyrock

Also, if you're only using one color,  you only need to solder 2 wires - the common plus the lead to the color you want R,G or B.

If you get white LEDS decide if you want warm white (like a regular light bulb) or cool white (bluish white)... also only 2 wires to solder to each length.

Some LEDs can be cut at each one... the strips are marked at the points where they can be cut (where you see tabs connecting each segment)

They also make aluminum strips that you can put the LEDs into.  They have a frosted snap on cover and give a less harsh light than a strip of bare LEDs.

The RGB or white LED strips are commonly 12V DC or 5V DC.

And finally.....  they don't dim well by lowering the voltage.  You use a cheap (about $5) LED pwm dimmer to adjust the brightness.  One dimmer can control the whole panel's brightness.   Link here:

I prefer 12V and the dimmers are readily available.

GRJ: Liquid Tape is great stuff and I use it all the time. The cost of connector is minor. Connector is epoxied to the strip and double heat shrink. My projects all live in harsh environments. (Saltwater boats, swamp buggies, motorcycles, wheel wells). drifting off topic.

Mannyrock: you could also install a single LED so it lights when toggle is turned on.

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