1.  Attach to the bottom of the layout for under table illumination.

2.  If you can't get a string to work, strip out the wire with no bulbs attached.   I just did one and got about 40 feet of small gauge wire that can be used for hooking up accessories.

If you don't have a bad set, wait till after the holidays when the stores practically give them away.


Former member -Ocean County Society of Model Railroaders

 

Meets at:

Lakewood Historical Museum
500 Country Club Drive
Lakewood Pine Park

Lakewood NJ (732) 363-7799

Meet every Tuesday nite, 7:00 - ~10:00 PM

www.ocsmr.com

 

Now a Tarheel.

Original Post

I use standard mini Christmas tree lights all over the layout and have for over 40 years.  I get old strings of lights of any voltage at the curb or trash or garage sales and cut them up to get the light bulb sockets and the bulb holders with six inch pigtails for mounting.  Strings of 10 bulbs have 12 v light bulbs and strings of 20 bulbs have 7 volt bulbs.  Color does not matter as the color can be scraped off to give clear.  For longer strings with 2 volt bulbs,  I buy replacement packs of 12 volt or 7 volt bulbs.  These replacement bulbs used to appear around  Christmas at Walmart, etc. at $1 for six bulbs before Christmas and 50 cents after but are rare now.  I have many spares for years ago purchases post Christmas.  They are available on eBay now and you may find strings of 10- 12v or 20- 7v bulbs at garage sales or thrifts.

I prefer mine Christmas lights for building lights and car lights as they draw much less current than the bigger bulbs use in post war Lionel cars and buildings. 

I use them for all my building lights which run off a 12 volt ac transformer or a cheap small ac train transformer.  The light pig tail wires are mounted in the ceiling of the building and hooked to the 12v light circuit with wire nuts for easy removal of the buildings as for years I had a portable layout.  Now I mount them the same way to easily change out Plasticville buildings as wanted.  If two lights are needed for a building or rail car I use two 7 volt bulbs in series.

I use the bulbs to add lights to passenger cars, cabooses or any car I want to light and use 12 volt bulbs and sockets for easy replacement.  I run conventional control and 12 v works for my cars but if you are modern, with constant 18 v track power, you may have to wire two 12 volt bulbs in series or add a resistor.

I use the bulbs for track power indicator lights for my hidden track section.  They are in a homemade signal that can be seen from the control board to show if the hidden track sections are occupied  and they show the progress of the train in the hidden tunnel.

The mini Christmas tree 12v flashers light bulbs work great on water towers, microwave towers and other towers to be air craft warning lights.  If the flasher light is clear not red or the needed color I use colored Sharpie pens or thin colored paint to color them.

I use one 12v mini Christmas tree light wired across my re-setable circuit breakers to indicate when tripped.  When the breaker is tripped all the transformer current goes to light the bulb.  I mount them below a hole cut in the control panel that is covered with red clear plastic sheet.

Charlie

 

 

Choo Choo Charlie posted:

I use standard mini Christmas tree lights all over the layout and have for over 40 years.  I get old strings of lights of any voltage at the curb or trash or garage sales and cut them up to get the light bulb sockets and the bulb holders with six inch pigtails for mounting.  Strings of 10 bulbs have 12 v light bulbs and strings of 20 bulbs have 7 volt bulbs.  Color does not matter as the color can be scraped off to give clear.  For longer strings with 2 volt bulbs,  I buy replacement packs of 12 volt or 7 volt bulbs.  These replacement bulbs used to appear around  Christmas at Walmart, etc. at $1 for six bulbs before Christmas and 50 cents after but are rare now.  I have many spares for years ago purchases post Christmas.  The are available on eBay now.

I prefer mine Christmas lights for building lights and car lights as they draw much less current than the bigger bulbs use in post war Lionel cars and buildings. 

I use them for all my building lights which run off a 12 volt ac transformer or a cheap small ac train transformer.  The light pig tail wires are mounted in the ceiling of the building and hooked to the 12v light circuit with wire nuts for easy removal of the buildings as for years I had a portable layout.  Now I mount them the same way to easily change out Plasticville buildings as wanted.  If two lights are needed for a building or rail car I use two 7 volt bulbs in series.

I use the bulbs to add lights to passenger cars, cabooses or any car I want to light and use 12 volt bulbs and sockets for easy replacement.  I run conventional control and 12 v works for my cars but if you are modern, with constant 18 v track power, you may have to wire two 12 volt bulbs in series or add a resistor.

I use the bulbs for track power indicator lights for my hidden track section.  They are in a homemade signal that can be seen from the control board to show if the hidden track sections are occupied  and they show the progress of the train in the hidden tunnel.

The mini Christmas tree 12v flashers light bulbs work great on water towers, microwave towers and other towers to be air craft warning lights.  If the flasher light is clear not red or the needed color I use colored Sharpie pens or thin colored paint to color them.

I use one 12v mini Christmas tree light wired across my re-setable circuit breakers to indicate when tripped.  When the breaker is tripped all the transformer current goes to light the bulb.  I mount them below a hole cut in the control panel that is covered with red clear plastic sheet.

Charlie

 

 

Great info Charlie, I'm saving this one. Always wondered about the voltage for these bulbs

Choo Choo Charlie posted:

I use standard mini Christmas tree lights all over the layout and have for over 40 years.  I get old strings of lights of any voltage at the curb or trash or garage sales and cut them up to get the light bulb sockets and the bulb holders with six inch pigtails for mounting.  Strings of 10 bulbs have 12 v light bulbs and strings of 20 bulbs have 7 volt bulbs.  Color does not matter as the color can be scraped off to give clear.  For longer strings with 2 volt bulbs,  I buy replacement packs of 12 volt or 7 volt bulbs.  These replacement bulbs used to appear around  Christmas at Walmart, etc. at $1 for six bulbs before Christmas and 50 cents after but are rare now.  I have many spares for years ago purchases post Christmas.  The are available on eBay now.

I prefer mine Christmas lights for building lights and car lights as they draw much less current than the bigger bulbs use in post war Lionel cars and buildings. 

I use them for all my building lights which run off a 12 volt ac transformer or a cheap small ac train transformer.  The light pig tail wires are mounted in the ceiling of the building and hooked to the 12v light circuit with wire nuts for easy removal of the buildings as for years I had a portable layout.  Now I mount them the same way to easily change out Plasticville buildings as wanted.  If two lights are needed for a building or rail car I use two 7 volt bulbs in series.

I use the bulbs to add lights to passenger cars, cabooses or any car I want to light and use 12 volt bulbs and sockets for easy replacement.  I run conventional control and 12 v works for my cars but if you are modern, with constant 18 v track power, you may have to wire two 12 volt bulbs in series or add a resistor.

I use the bulbs for track power indicator lights for my hidden track section.  They are in a homemade signal that can be seen from the control board to show if the hidden track sections are occupied  and they show the progress of the train in the hidden tunnel.

The mini Christmas tree 12v flashers light bulbs work great on water towers, microwave towers and other towers to be air craft warning lights.  If the flasher light is clear not red or the needed color I use colored Sharpie pens or thin colored paint to color them.

I use one 12v mini Christmas tree light wired across my re-setable circuit breakers to indicate when tripped.  When the breaker is tripped all the transformer current goes to light the bulb.  I mount them below a hole cut in the control panel that is covered with red clear plastic sheet.

Charlie

 

 

👌 Great information Charlie'.  Would have a few photos of the lights in action???  Do I understand correctly, you are running some of the lights directly off of track power'....

  Ted 

 

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.   

IMG_0808

 

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.

IMG_0811

 

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.

Train addition 9-5-2016 2016-09-04 021

 

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

Train addition 9-5-2016 2016-09-04 026

 

 

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.

IMG_0187

 

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.

IMG_0745

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.

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...ra-027-layout?page=5

 

Charlie

Charlie these are very creative and certainly excellent examples of how you can enjoy this hobby and not have to spend a fortune to have interesting features on a layout. I’m sure you get great pleasure and satisfaction thinking of how to design and turn trash into treasures for all to enjoy. I know I have in the past. Great stuff!

Regards

 

Rich

TCA 82-17718

Intracoastal Model Railroad Club Member

 

Lionel Trains’s the hobby that gets better with age!!!

Rich

Thanks for the nice comments.  Yes I enjoy the building aspect of the hobby and love to re-purpose things.

I see you are a relatively new member of the OGR forum. 

My layout construction 6 page post, linked to on my above post and below, shows lots of neat ways to adapt and home make many items like a operating turntable, roundhouse, kit bash Plasticville kits into a coal mine and modified coaling tower, and a automated log loader. 

It also includes homemade cars like a Vanderbilt coal tenders, Mercury capsule car, Gold Bullion car, Aquarium car and Chicken Transport car.

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...77#66610802197486577

Charlie

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