Jim adds lights to his N scale building yard


Attached are photos of yard lights I have built for my n scale layout.

They started as a 100 light xmas set regular price 12.99 on sale for 75% off on looking at it they are 3.5 volt led lights.

After taking the lights apart I get 3mm 3.5 volt leds, as my power is 11.79 volts dc I calculated that if I put 4 lights in series that would be a max of 14 volt draw and they worked good on my 11.79 volt system.

I then put a power wire on to the positive leg and attached the negative to the positive of the 2nd bulb using a cocktail stick and 1/8 heat tube I pulled the wires and cocktail stick through the heat tube and painted the bulbs sides black.

I then made a 2nd one and by attaching the positive on it to the negative of the first set and then attaching the wires to my power supply they worked fine.

Being retired and on a fixed income they became a good alternative at a much lower price than store bought lights.


n scale lights

model railroad n scale lights

model railway led lights

led lights for N scale

N scale led lights night scene

A big thanks to Jim.

Here are the videos he’s asked for:

Here’s the viaduct ‘how-to’.

And here’s all of ’em.

And as people are still asking for it, I’ll keep the sale open for a few more days. The ‘silly sale is here‘.

Now on to Hall of Fame member, Bill:

“Hi Al!

I am safe and doing well in home isolation 😀

With everything crazy going on I had a little fun with my railroad. I made a short video that both side of the big puddle can have fun with lol



Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

That’s all for this time.

I’ve had the first building in for the scratch building competition, by the way. At the mo it’s a one horse race, but I’m sure that will change in the next week or so.

Hope you’re all keeping well and doing your best to dodge the plague. I know I am.

Stay safe. Stay sane. Keep busy. The Beginner’s Guide is here.



11 Responses to Jim adds lights to his N scale building yard

  1. Peter Jones says:

    Great little scenario Bill and trust Thomas to lens a hand, he sure is a really useful engine, thanks again for making me smile whilst working from home in Sunderland, England.

    Stay safe everyone and please follow your country’s guidance.


  2. Malcolm hodgson says:

    You can’t draw 14V from a 11.79V supply. If the LEDS work then they are less than 3.5V each. The forward drop on an LED is the minimum voltage required to produce forward current. Without a current limiting resistor you may get variable results in terms of brightness using this ‘series’ stringing technique. Everything from dimly lit or not at all to so bright the LEDs will fail shortly after.

    I would advise against this technique if you value long term reliability

    North Wales

  3. DAVID BACK says:

    Loved the tank engine workover. Had to show my granddaughter.
    Nicely done!

  4. NJ Mark says:

    This may be a warning more than a tip about adding LEDs to the inside of structures. I found out late in the game that light can emanate through walls and roofs making the whole lighting effect terrible. I wound up painting the insides of my buildings with black paint. Painting joints are especially important if they are not glued properly; light will escape. So now, any new model building I get is pre-painted on the inside before assembly. Take this for what its worth. Cheers! NJ Mark

  5. Gloria says:

    I am enjoying your trains from Orlando, on our 24th day of isolation. All good so far. Catching up on TV shows and movies. Loved the engine repair story. Of course, I am easily amused by now, but I felt the dramatic tension in this daring tale of railroading. Thank you, Al, for bringing us these happy moments every day. Thank you to those of you who make these wonderful videos. Stay safe.

  6. Try focusing your closeups!

  7. mickey bevens says:

    a word for Mal, you can not “draw” voltage from any thing, voltage is electrical pressure. Perhaps you have been reading a back issue of Model Railroader, they did an article awhile back to CLEAR UP CONFUSION ABOUT VOLTAGE AND AMPERAGE. Then they explained the two exactly backwards. The next issue they corrected them selves in small print in the corrections section which most folks never read anyway. That was a chicken poop way to do things. Talk about a complete lack of journalistic integrity!

  8. Mike Richardson Alabama says:

    Hey Bill, I really enjoyed your video about the little tanker wreck. Very neat idea.
    Mike from Alabama

  9. Gary Manganiello says:

    For Bill…… what is that Pennsylvania electric engine that you used to push the little engine back to the repair shot. Who is the manufacturer of that engine? Are they still available.?

    Please let me know?

    Gary M from Long Island

  10. AJ Romano says:

    Fun stuff as usual. Please everyone stay safe. Stay home and PLAY WITH YOUR TRAINS!!!

  11. Bill in Virginia says:

    Gary – that little engine was made by Roundhouse and is a Boxcab diesel. You can still find them on EBay and I’ve seen a few at hobby shops that have older stock. It’s a noisy little engine but runs great 😀

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