Thursday 14 November 2013

Researching Lighting

LED Technology for Lighting

Now that I have installed all the Fluro light fittings that I have on the layout, I now need to find an economical way to light the rest of the layout.

I have been watching the LED technology come along in leaps and bounds over the last few years and have found that with the new 5050 type LED (5mm x 5mm) in white can effectively light the layout. These 5050 type LED's come in 5 meter lengths with 300 LED's per the 5 meters.

I found a number of options on eBay and ordered a warm white with a colour temperature of 2800K to 3000K and a Cool white with a colour temperature of 6300K to 7000K.

After I received them I did some testing (See pictures) and found that the "warm white" to be too yellow and the "Cool white" to be far too blue.

After a heap of research and a heap of help from Ron McFarlane on the subject.
Ron sent me these pictures to show the colour temperature ranges.

The Fluro's that I have in the room have a colour temp of 4000K so could be a bit yellow but look OK to me (at present.)

After doing some more research I found a LED supplier that has what he calls "Pure white" 5050 LED's in the same 5 meter strip and he suggests that they have a colour temperature of 5500K.

I have now arranged to get a 5 meter length from that supplier and will do more testing. The advantage of using the local supplier, all be it slightly more expensive, is that if I don't like what I get from him I can return them. Where as, purchasing from eBay from Hong Kong, the return process is not so easy and the guarantee of the colour temperature is also hit and miss..

I will do some more testing over the next 24 hours with the 5500K LED's and see how that goes.

There is a significant cost advantage in using the 5m LED strips as 5 meters of LED including a power supply is about the same price and 1 x 1.2 meter fluro fixture. Not to mention the cost to run them is far cheaper.

Stay tuned for more updates.

Thursday 7 November 2013

Dark ceiling and light

Let there be light!

Last week I set to painting the ceiling where the walk ways are from sky blue to black.
Now the valance is installed and the walk way ceiling is painted the room is starting to look really nice.!

Now that the valance is done and the painting is done, it is time to start installing or reinstalling the lights.

As I set the lights close to the wall to enable the main part of the construction to be completed, they were going to be in the wrong place (aka to close to the wall and not near the back of the valance). I then removed all the lights that had been installed and set about installing the lights just behind the valance. This will ensure that any trains near the front of the layout have adequate light and wont cast shadows.

As I only have enough fluro's for about 1/3rd of the room, I set to installing them up to a natural dividing point. The rest of the layout room will be bathed in light from 5 meter LED strips.

The LED strips have 300 x 5050 type cool white LED's within the 5 meter length. These new LED's are fantastic. They really light up the part of the layout nicely. As I only have a test 5m roll that is warm white (I goofed when I ordered it) I temporarily clipped it up under the valance. I'm very confident that I only need 1 line of these LED strips behind the valance around the rest of the layout and for $20 per 5m strip they are significantly cheaper than fluro lights.

Here are a few progress pics of the lights (fluro's) that are installed now.
I have ordered some cool white LED strips via eBay and am eagerly waiting for them to arrive..

Soon it will be time to start on the staging.. Im looking forward to that!...

Stay tunned for more updates.