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I have a Lionel Frisco B/W caboose, 2126260, which has the brightest interior illumination of any caboose I’ve seen. It has an on/off switch, but that’s taking it to the other extreme. Anyone dimmed down one of these cabooses, and can offer a solution? Thanks for reading.




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Thats LED lighting. Best if you add a lot of resistance. On super bright LEDs I can add 3K ohms and its still brighter than any incandescent or standard LED with 400 ohms.

Its not a linear relationship with voltage vs lumens with LEDs like it is with incandescents.

Maybe add a 5K pot so you adjust to taste without having to swap out a few resistors.

like Arthur says a buck board is cheap and offers adjustability.


Last edited by Norton

Mark,  This is not out of your wheelhouse.  Please take gunrunnerjohn's advice and purchase the boards.  It is not difficult and adds so much more enjoyment to the hobby. A pot and a capacitor make all the difference.  You will need a soldering iron. Soon your rolling operating room will be a distant memory rather than a distraction every time you operate the layout.

LED lights are not always the best way to go and many need a warmer light color.  Replace the to bright and blueish LED light with a 12v, very low wattage, incandescent mini Christmas tree bulb.  If you are running constant 18 volts you may have to wire two in series.   Mini Christmas tree junked strings made a good source of bulb holders and pigtails.

After all almost all cabooses had incandescent bulbs in their time or kerosene lanterns earlier.


LED lights are not always the best way to go and many need a warmer light color.

LED's come in every color and shade imaginable.  I have used used everything from bright white, warm white, amber, or yellow in passenger cars, depending on the era and the effect I was looking for.  By the same token, I stock white, warm white, and amber single LED's for upgrades, again depending on the specific situation.

@SIRT posted:

Never could understand why there are lights inside a caboose anyway. Guess folks like the flickering effect?

And there you have it! In the real world of prototype railroading, back when there actually were cabooses in service, the crew never had the interior lights on at night (it drastically hinders ones night vision). I seem to remember that Lionel produced a truly fantastic scale model of the UP CA series couple caboose. However there were no marker lights, but did have interior lighting. Go figure.

  Why not just paint the existing LED's clear orange to tone them down. It worked for me in some passenger cars.

I think the easiest way to cut light output is a method I've used, which is to use some high temperature black paint (a spray can from Home Depot), and with a small brush paint over a portion of the bulbs, and cut the light output down to your taste.

I've done this with incandescent interior bulbs. With LEDs, regular black paint might be OK. Quick, simple, cheap, and no soldering required!

Last edited by breezinup

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