I have a couple unused Lionel 135Watt Powerhouses.

I was thinking of using them for various lighting fixtures around the layout, such as the Lionel Floodlights, various accessory lighting, and so forth.

Any issue going direct from the Powerhouse, through a rheostat or dimmer, then to the lights?

Music, trains, boneless chicken farming

Original Post
A dimmer will not work on the secondary side and is really not designed for the primary side (120 VAC in) though it may work. A rheostat would be very expensive that could handle the wattage.

You could take 2, 6 amp diodes and make 2 circuits equivalent to about 9 volts each. Each circuit would be pulsed DC and could run lights at an acceptable level. This would use very little wattage cutting the voltage about in half. You could also make a full voltage dropper out of diodes but for large loads they would waste some wattage. Dropping voltage with diodes is explained here


Dale H

Another fine product of the Cleveland Public School system.

A nice site to visit is J&C Studios.

I'd look for a cheap transformer that puts out the correct voltage and forget the rheostat, like Dale says, that's not a really good option.

An old transformer like a 1033 is good for controlling lighting with variable voltage, you might consider one of those.
Thank guys!

I actually do have some old transformers. An old Type V (veee, not 5 Smile), and an old VW. Both in excellent condition with new power cords I installed.

I've used the Type V before. I'll use it again for my lighting.

I was just wondering about the Powerhouses since they're currently sitting unused. I'll save them for when I expand my yard area Smile

Thanks again

Music, trains, boneless chicken farming

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