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Hardware, Layout, Project Progress

LED lighting for the layout

LED_Strip_PackPast week the RGB LED strip with remote control that I had ordered came in. The idea was to light the layout with it.

Click any picture to see a larger version.

LED_RemoteThis is the one I got. (I see the price has changed, I paid €18,20). It has a fancy RF remote, the advantage over IR being that the controller can be hidden anywhere, there’s no need for a direct line of sight or pointing the remote somewhere.

LED strips come in many variants, different types of LED’s, different amount of LED’s per meter, single color, or RGB. With the RGB types many light colors can be created with a remote control to simulate different ‘moods’ or periods of the day.

Some RGB strips have separate R G B LED’s, alternating on the strip. They are often somewhat cheaper, but the drawback is there are less LED’s of one color on the strip and it is hard to create pure white, cause the different colors are separated, they are 1.5 cm apart  on the strip.

LED_RGB_505Then there are the strips that have multicolor LED’s. They can generate pure white cause with these every LED has RGB and if all three are on the result is an even white. Also the light output generally is higher, all 300 LED’s generate all three colors, in stead of with the previous mentioned strip just 100.

There are also strips available that have a white LED alternated with a colored or an RGB LED. These are sort of a combined white- and RGB strip in one. Can be nice, but again the amount of colored LED’s is half of the normal amount so the color light output is less. An alternative can be to use an RGB strip and a separate white strip for higher light output and to create more gentle subdued colors.

Prices at Aliexpress vary from $5 to $35, dependent on package content and LED specifications.

LED_FrameA wooden frame is mounted over the layout. Admittedly this does not look super, but it doesn’t look that bad either. The LED strip is placed on top of the frame and it lights the ceiling. This way the layout is lighted indirectly. This gives a nice even subdued lighting and I don’t get blinded from looking into the LED’s.

White of course gives the best color representation (Note that the walls are a shade of green/grey, so that does not look white, but the first attempt for some polystyrene station platforms are white). Quite a few other colors are possible and also the light intensity can be adjusted. Not that these saturated colors are useful in any way … but it is possible to play with different softer shades of blue or red to simulate evenings or mornings.



About RudyB



3 thoughts on “LED lighting for the layout

  1. Hi Rudy

    I wonder whether you can help me

    On 27th November 2015 I posted the following on the Train Controller forum and I have not had any replies to my post

    “Setting Time Table date
    Is there any way to select a date to start a Time Table (TT)?
    I have created several TT with different dates and start times
    For example TT “A” —1st May 0600hrs —TT “B”—5th May 0800hrs
    When I start TT “A” I have set clock to start at 0558hr and the TT starts correctly at 0600 provided I have set the date to 1st May
    However if later that day I want to start TT “B” I have to remember to change the date to 5th May
    I cannot find how to do this change of date so that when I select TT “A” the date is automatically set to 1st May and when I select TT “B” the date is automatically set to 5th May”

    I am using Gold V8.0 E2 Windows XP Roco Z21
    Roco 10785– 10787 and GBM-8 – 10775 and Multimaus

    I hope you can help

    Many thanks

    John Moss


    Posted by John Moss | January 10, 2016, 17:37
    • The manual says “Schedules can be started daily, on specific days of the week or at a specific date, as desired. The latter feature enables creation of up to 365 different timetables. In this case
      the valid timetable is selected by setting the date of the Clock.”

      A timetable does not itself change the date of the clock, it is the other way around, the date of the clock decides which of a possible max 365 timetables will run.

      I have not checked if there may be a ‘sneaky’ way to change the date in the clock somehow? If there is, then that could maybe be executed via a macro under the press of a button?


      Posted by RudyB | January 10, 2016, 18:51
  2. it’s interesting how you set up the frame over the center of the layout, since the layout is up against the wall on 2 sides. At 1st I would expect the frame to be along each edge of the layout. But that’s a lot of lights and again it’s against the wall on 2 sides so the effect there would be different. You way makes more sense.


    Posted by John Zajdler | January 10, 2016, 16:27

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