Ted here are some pictures of my some of lighted cars and other uses for mini Christmas lights I have made.
I put together a set of Lionel 027, 2400 passenger cars (11” long) from finding bodies and buying roofs, domes and window with silhouettes.
I make the base frames from sheet metal and added wheels and couplings making the electric pick - ups. I cut the couplings off the short trucks and bolted the coupling to the body as I did not have the extended passenger couplings. I have made two Lionel series 2400 sets. I used pig tails and two 7 v mini Christmas tree lights in each car. The lights are mounted in the top of the car on the U frame from the base of the car I made. The bulbs are in series and one end is grounded to the frame and the other end is hooked up to the homemade pick up (shown below) that runs on the center rail for power. Each car has its own pickup in most cases. Some times I use the pickup from one car to run lights in two car with a wire running between the cars for the power from center rail on the pickup.
Here are two strings of mini Christmas lights lighting up a hidden track in a tunnel I have. The lights are used to provide light in the tunnel to allow my homemade TV camera car (using a X-10 security camera) to take pictures of staged train wrecks with the swinging picture of the F3 engine on the card of an F3. It swings away when hit by the camera car. We can see the wreck in live action on a 12 inch TV under the edge of the layout and on a 55" flat screen TV on the wall.
Here are my mini lights on a signal to show the location of a train in the hidden tunnel. The light shows a train in the first part of the tunnel. There are three lights that show the position as the train progresses through the tunnel and indicates if the track is occupied as it is hidden
This mircowave tower was made from a junker Lionel microwave tower structure without the top part. It was painted red and white. The housing was made from the cover of an old ac relay.
A 3v mini Christmas flasher light was painted red and two 3v white mini lights were placed in the antennas and one 3v bulb was put in the housing. The four 3v mini bulbs were wired in series to add up to 12v which matches my lighting voltage. The antennas were from some plastic toy.
Here is a flood light made with 12v mini Xmas light bulb. The shaft is from a hollow plastic balloon stick, heated and bent and the shade is from some cheap plastic bells sold around Christmas. I have two of the lights on the side of most all operating accessories for night operation.
You can see mine Christmas lights play a big part in my layout especially allowing night operation.
Check out my 6 page post here on OGR where I got these pictures from and which describes how I built my layout including $10 turntable and other homemade cars and accessories, etc. Link below.