I am in the process of building my new layout after a move.  This is my 4th layout and I'm trying to a different approach to lighting.  I've installed two sets of overhead lights with dimmer switches, 7 in each set, in a drop ceiling.  One set will be regular white LED flood light bulbs and the other will be blue flood lights to simulate, you guessed it, night time.  My question is, can you paint LED white lights blue?  I don't know, otherwise, where to buy them -- and I'm sure they'd be very pricey, so I'm wondering if it safe to just paint them?  Sams Club has great prices on white LED flood bulbs and they really work nice.  Any help would be very appreciated.

--Mike

 

Original Post

LED's could be painted since the top surface stays cool. I would go to a photography store and buy some Mylar or gel filters used for this purpose. Filtering an LED may not work as well as you hope because unlike an incandescent the emission spectra is very "spikey" and if the filter color matches one of the dips in the spectrum the light output will be dim. Blue LED's are readily available, look at superbrightleds.com as one of many sources. They are not prohibitively expensive.  The strip or tape style LED's are commonly available in blue and may be a cheaper solution.

Tom

I have LEDs in track lighting in my train room. I thought I would have to go the blue filter route as well. But just try it with dimming the LEDs. The dimmers I bought are designed for LEDs, and the bulbs are dimmable as well. But even at the lowest setting on the dimmers, they are still lit. It gives a very nice night time effect, I think. The lighted buildings and Miller Engineering signs really stand out. One thing I did which may help: The sky is painted cobalt blue, not sky blue.

 

Chris

LVHR

lehighline posted:

I have LEDs in track lighting in my train room. I thought I would have to go the blue filter route as well. But just try it with dimming the LEDs. The dimmers I bought are designed for LEDs, and the bulbs are dimmable as well. But even at the lowest setting on the dimmers, they are still lit. It gives a very nice night time effect, I think. The lighted buildings and Miller Engineering signs really stand out. One thing I did which may help: The sky is painted cobalt blue, not sky blue.

 

Chris

LVHR

I have tried dimming white LEDs.  You are right, it is a good effect.  But I REALLY like the blue light.  I like your idea of painting cobalt blue.  Is that a readily available paint color?

AmFlyer posted:

LED's could be painted since the top surface stays cool. I would go to a photography store and buy some Mylar or gel filters used for this purpose. Filtering an LED may not work as well as you hope because unlike an incandescent the emission spectra is very "spikey" and if the filter color matches one of the dips in the spectrum the light output will be dim. Blue LED's are readily available, look at superbrightleds.com as one of many sources. They are not prohibitively expensive.  The strip or tape style LED's are commonly available in blue and may be a cheaper solution.

Thanks for the tip.  I went to superbrightleds.com and didn't find standard flood light type bulbs in blue that are dimmable.  Good website, though.  I'll keep searchin'.

My search so far has lead me to Menards for standard flood light type bulbs that are dimmable.  They havce great prices and it seems the best option at this point.  I'd prefer LEDs not just for the energy saving but because they don't burn hot.  I may experiment painting white LEDs, though, as one guy above suggested (thanks, Tom!).

Aflyer posted:

Great thread, can anyone share what track lighting they used?  I see them at lowes and anything with LED is three times the price.

Thank you,

Aflyer

I have an extended part of my train room that spills out into the family room for a seasonal display (Halloween, Christmas, Summer).  I bought a simple 2 lamp outdoor flood light fixture to put above and it costs $10.  It is, at core, the simplest track type lighting.  My plan is to wire it with a dimmer switch with blue lights (sorry, ad nauseum about the blue lights).  You have to provide a square electrical box, but you need that, anyway.  Otherwise they have those little high energy track lights at Home Depot -- but they seem to be high heat/high wattage, which I do not like.

Thank you for the link to the other thread, I have read that one also.  I am hoping to learn what drives the cost of the LED fixtures up.  Or put another way can I just buy the less expensive "incandescent" fixtures and put LED bulbs in them.  Here are a couple examples of what I was seeing:

This is a three fixture LED unit for $80.00

http://www.lowes.com/pd_650135...Id=50414914&pl=1

And this is a three fixture incandescent for $30.00

http://www.lowes.com/pd_290594...p;Ns=p_product_price|0&pl=1

I am not sure why the big difference, given that the LED takes less power and generates less heat.

Thank you in advance for any input you can provide.

Aflyer

ACSG Carolinas Division

NASG

Looking at the two links, the LED three head track light includes 3 dimable 6.5W LED's, the incandescent version includes no bulbs for the price. Assuming the heads take standard A19 medium base bulbs (it does not specify, but it looks like that) the LED fixture is a good deal based on what the A19 profile LED's that can be dimmed cost. Keep in mind these are 120V bulbs, so each one has a built in ballast. I think, depending on how many bulbs you plan to use it would be cheaper to get a track system that uses MR16 bulbs so only one ballast is required. 

Tom

AmFlyer posted:

Looking at the two links, the LED three head track light includes 3 dimable 6.5W LED's, the incandescent version includes no bulbs for the price. Assuming the heads take standard A19 medium base bulbs (it does not specify, but it looks like that) the LED fixture is a good deal based on what the A19 profile LED's that can be dimmed cost. Keep in mind these are 120V bulbs, so each one has a built in ballast. I think, depending on how many bulbs you plan to use it would be cheaper to get a track system that uses MR16 bulbs so only one ballast is required. 

Tom, thank you for that information. I was forgetting that the LED bulbs are pricey, and was trying to figure out why the fixture was so much higher.  I didn't mention it, but the Dimmers for LED's seem to be more than ones for incandescent also.

Good tip on the multiple ballast's, I will keep looking.  I basically have a 12 X 18 layout, and was thinking about 2 tracks, 3 lights on the short leg, and 4 on the longer one.  See attached plan.New Track Plan

Thank you again,

Aflyer

ACSG Carolinas Division

NASG

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After reading all of these replies I am leaning toward removing the dimmer switch on my blue light ceiling cans.  That way when I just run the "night" switch the whole room will be blue and I can use those wonderful blue LEDS at Home Depot that are not dimmable.  They cost about 8 bucks each and, with 7,  I can fill my new layout room with blue light for under $60 in bulbs that will last a long time and not emit UVs or much heat and are low cost to run.  When I just run the daylight LED ceiling lights its daytime,  dusk or dawn with the dimmer adjusted.  And with the daylight LEDs a full throttle, I'll have plenty of light to build the layout.

Thanks for all of your help!

Mike

 

Eric,

That's about the same square footage as my room.  2 bulbs?  Nice.  I will have to experiment with that -- maybe I'm overkilling the blue light effect.  I have train layout videos of blue lights and have seen them in this magazine and others and I really like the effect -- it gives it a cool night scene look.  On my last layout I suspended a blue light over certain scenes just to see what it could do and it really changed the look -- but I had no way to attach new fixtures over that layout.  So this time I am determined to have a blue lights set up before I start building the tables. 

Thanks for the input.

 

Mike

 

 

 

That is a really nice layout design you posted. 

There is no need to remove the dimmer unless you need it somewhere else. Just keep it at the maximum setting. A little bit of blue goes a long way. I would not use more than 3 bulbs to get a nighttime moonlight effect. Two may be enough. 

Tom

I bought my track lighting at HD. Unfortunately, the particular model is now a discontinued item. But they did market a replacement, so go in and look.

The cobalt blue paint for the sky is easy, as they mix it for you right there in the store. I blended my sky with white as I got closer to the horizon. Its a little tricky to get right, but you can always paint over it if you don't like your efforts.

Here is another thought: Blue Christmas LED strings. Put them down low behind your buildings and give yourself a gap between the back/sides of the layout and the wall to hide them just below the tops of the hills. Kill the main lights in the room and light the strings for a neat night effect. Buy a string or 2 as a trial. If you do not like it, use them next Christmas on the house!

 

Chris

LVHRA0266670IMG_0527

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lehighline posted:

I bought my track lighting at HD. Unfortunately, the particular model is now a discontinued item. But they did market a replacement, so go in and look.

The cobalt blue paint for the sky is easy, as they mix it for you right there in the store. I blended my sky with white as I got closer to the horizon. Its a little tricky to get right, but you can always paint over it if you don't like your efforts.

Here is another thought: Blue Christmas LED strings. Put them down low behind your buildings and give yourself a gap between the back/sides of the layout and the wall to hide them just below the tops of the hills. Kill the main lights in the room and light the strings for a neat night effect. Buy a string or 2 as a trial. If you do not like it, use them next Christmas on the house!

 

Chris

LVHRA0266670IMG_0527

Chris,

That is a great paint job, and you have some pretty nice scenery to go with it.

Aflyer

ACSG Carolinas Division

NASG

I'm considering overhead layout lighting using 5000k PAR 38 dimmable LED flood lamps.  I'm thinking about spacing them roughly 3 1/2 feet apart, mounted at ceiling level.   There seem to be different types such as Phillips model # 435016 with multiple, small diodes contained within the face of the bulb in contrast to others such as Sylvania, Hyperikon and Energy Star with a single, large diode in the center.  Also seem to be significant variations in beam angle from 30-something degrees up to 110 degrees.  Many of these are sold in 4-packs only and all are pricey so it's a bit impractical to just buy various and try them out.

I'd appreciate thoughts/experiences from any who have used these  types of bulbs.

Bill

I have Philips PAR38 screw in replacement bulbs in our master bath. The ceiling height is 12'. They have 7 emitters and are 18 W bulbs. 150W incandescent equivalent. The color temperature is 3100 deg and the color accuracy (or CRI) is 91%. We are totally happy with these lights. We renovated two homes over the past 3 years and converted to  90% LED and 10% tubular fluorescent. Our goal was to create a lighting environment that was indistinguishable from incandescent/halogen. We chose Philips, Sylvania and Halco bulbs. These are 5W and 8W single emitter bulbs. We also have some 3 emitter 5W LED's that work fine. Other brands may also be just as good but we did not test them. The Halco LED's are used outdoors for the Architectural accent lighting and they precisely match all the other LED's.

I have no personal experience with 5000deg bulbs. Keep in mind the color temperature and color accuracy are at 100% brightness; as they are dimmed these values change. We have quite a few MR16 LED spots for highlighting artwork. I can see the color shift as I dim them down to around 40%. i should have used a lower wattage LED for this application.

Our trainroom has 3100deg 8W LED floods (120deg beam spread) on 8' centers in  an 8' high ceiling. They are mounted in recessed can fixtures. They provide good general lighting. we are adding 24V LED strip lights that are infinitely color variable to add to the layout environment. They are much more cost effective than individual fixtures. 24V are better than 12V strip lights since the current is half, allowing more LED's between power feeds. I feel layout lighting is critical and cheap LED's with poor color accuracy are just not worth it.

If you are recess mounting the lights I recommend 4' centers since the ceiling joists are on 16" centers. Hopefully this helps. There is no single correct solution for lighting once we go away from incandescent.

Tom

Here is a link to my lighting thread: https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/t...he-train-room?page=1

I tried track lighting with undesirable results.  I think it would be OK for highlighting certain areas but not for general lighting.  The LED units I used are dimmable and produce nice even lighting.  I hardwired mine into remodel cans and I am very happy with the results.  As you can see from the first photo in the thread, the light is bright but not overbearing which ends in results that have too much color saturation.

 

I hope this helps.

75 wattblue bulbsceiling sound controlled blue

I also have installed LEDs in ceiling "cans".  I believe one added benefit of LEDs is you can run insulation right up to the cans because they don't produce heat; whereas incandescent bulbs can burn out prematurely unless you use the cans that allow insulation (which I did not because I did not think of it).  So if you are planning to sound proof your ceiling to keep the beautiful noise of trains from driving your family nuts, you may want to consider this. 

[Ceiling insulation might make another good topic because mine isn't finished yet and I'm leaning toward Roxul insulation for sound.  I prefer the insulation against the bottom of the upstairs flooring so that I have access to pipes and wires in my ceiling  -- so I am going to probably put in 1 x 1 inch wood strips about the ceiling to contain the insulation above the wires and plumbing.   (see photo) But I digress...]

I am running dimmable LEDS (make sure they say that on the pack) and blue incandescent 75 watt flood bulbs side by side with dimmer switches.  That way I can get variable white light and then variable blue light when I want the layout to be a nighttime scene.

I noticed on your Ebay link you show blue and colored LEDS.  I bought dimmable white LEDs in 2 packs at Sams Club which work great and are priced right.  After experimenting, I've decided to run 75 watt flood incandescent blue bulbs for a nightime effect.  I tried blue LEDS and the lighting was awful -- made buildings and such look like they were under a black light -- too intense (photo). 

Mike

 

 

 

 

 

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