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I am helping a friend with with his layout expansion. he has a few Snow Village type ceramic buildings worked  into his scenery.  We would like to get away from using the 110 volt lights that come with the buildings.  Does anyone know of a n alternative to light these structures using 12 volts AC that I use for all the other lighting?

If so, what would you suggest?

Thanks for the help,


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Don there is marine lighting that would work but you would have to change socket and the bulbs are expensive due to the number of required LEDs. We redid the boat lighting a few years ago and used them.

” Few” is relative of course depending on what “a lot” means. If 5-6, he might want to try it.

Try calling Town and Country. If anyone knows, they should. Dave at Evan Designs also might know.

The C7 replacement works well but not 12 volt.


Evans Designs,  I used led's  all run on 12v.  Started with Bright white and did not like the color it put off.  I then placed some cool white's and it was much better.   I now have a mixture of both.  I have Lemax buildings and they have a hole on the back I cut out plastic circles and painted them to match the building.  On dept 56 I believe their holes are on the bottom.   I did orientate the leds in the building and hot glued them in place.  It works great.  I have a 3v system and 12v system for led'd and you power an awful lot of led's on them.


I have used peel and stick on LED lights for several similar structures, including ceramic Lemax Christmas village items.  The ones I have run on 12-18 v AC, but you can get a DC variety as well.  Very convenient.  Available in a variety of package sizes (4, 20), from a variety of sources, including Lionel. Here's one source:

Hope this helps.


Thanks for all the replies and ideas.

I wound up using Woodland scenics Just Plug Leds.  I liked them because they are flat and have adjustable intensity.  I removed the bulb and cut the cord from the light holder clip that comes with the building.  I used a 3/8 inch square piece of wood about five inches long.  I trimmed one end so that if would fit snugly where the bulb normally screwed into and placed three LED's - one on the front side and one on each side of the stick and inserted the clip back into the building. There was plenty of extra rom around the clip for the LED leads to extend fro the bottom of the building. I wound up with much better and more even lighting of the building and by adjusting the intensity, achieved the look I was hoping for.

There are several other building on the layout that I plan to do the same thing with.

Happy railroading,


Another option ...

Dept 56 makes a low voltage lighting system -- CITY LIGHTS #56 53500. It includes a wall plug, inline transformer to 3V, a distribution strip with 12 jacks, 12 light cords of varying lengths each one with a mating plug to the strip, and bulb sockets that accept a low voltage bulb (they are different from the 110v bulb).  Works great.

I have 35 Dept 56 lighted porcelain buildings on my train layout with 3v power to bulbs provided by three distribution strips.  The low voltage bulbs illuminate the buildings just as well as the 110v AC bulbs.  The low voltage system was introduced in 2005.

NOTE: Animated Dept 56 buildings require a 110v AC light cord and bulb; 110v is needed to energize the animation.  I have several of those on the layout.

Mike Mottler    LCCA 12394

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