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Creating a Bright Future For Your Model Trains Scenery

When building a model trains scenery, many people will stop when they have created one that looks good in the daytime. However, sometimes the magic of creating a model train scenery really comes alive after the sun goes down and more importantly, when the lights come on.

Now just imagine how great it would look if you're model railway layout came to life at night time, with lights in the houses, lit up signs in shop windows and street lamps lighting the way along the roads to name just a few things. I'm sure you can think of a whole lot more cool lighting effects you could add too?

Below are some handy hints and tricks that you can use to create great looking functioning lights, along with a few tips of how to get around some of the problems you may encounter when installing these extra features to your model railway.

As an electrician, it seems like a good place to start would be some electrical advice, so the first tip I want to share with you is to wire the lights in your circuits in parallel, not series. In a series circuit the bulbs are all connected along a single path, so the same current flows through all of them. This is like old Christmas lights, where if one bulb went, none worked and you had trouble working out where the problem was.

However, circuits connected in parallel are wired so the same voltage is applied to each bulb. By connecting them in parallel, it means that if one burns out they don't all stop working which is far better, even if it does mean more wiring! Another note on the electrical side is to set the voltage below the maximum, so if using 12 volts, set it at around 10 volts as the bulbs will last longer and you won't have to replace them as often. This means disturbing your set up less too.

Finally on the electric tips front, is to make sure you calculate the number of amps required by your circuits bulbs and to make sure this doesn't exceed what your power supply is capable of. This will make sure it doesn't cause any problems from an excessive load being put on it. It will also make sure that the lights all work properly.

Electrics lesson over, the following is another great tip I picked up that will help to solve some of the new problems that adding lights causes. Now, your buildings may not be designed for being lit up and this can cause problems with light shining out from around the edges, or glowing out the walls or roofs, but how do you get round this?

There's no need to worry. The trick to solve this is to cover the inside of the house with black matte cardboard. This will absorb the light and stop it from appearing where you don't want it to. Don't forget to make the holes for the windows though!

Adding lighting to my model railways really has brought them to life and given them a whole different feeling when the sun goes down. It really is like a new world, with the feeling of night and day. You can even add adjustable lights to simulate the sun going down and play with colours filters to create sunrise and sunset. As I say, the possibilities for you model railway are endless!

Hopefully this has given you some more great ideas for your own model railway designs though and will help to give your model railroading dreams a bright future! For more information creating a realistic model trains scenery, including tips for building backdrops and bridges, visit my website by clicking the links below.