Telephone poles with street lights


I have learned so much from your readers and thought I would send you one of my pet projects. My layout is still far from being complete. Much detail to do.

But I always see layouts with street lights, but haven’t seen any with street lights on the telephone poles as in my home town.

This project is so simple and easy it is insane !!!! And you can make these up in less than 10 minutes each, once you do the first one.

1. Slide LED legs through the side braces on standard telephone poles.

2. Bend the LED slightly so you have a downward angle.

3. Solder the lead wires to the legs of the LED and bend the legs down alongside the telephone pole.

4. Cut the square base off the pole and slide a section of heat shrink tubing over the pole and wires.

5. Shrink the tubing with a hair dryer and paint the pole and tubing brown.

6. Dab a spot of silver paint to the very top of the LED, to simulate the metal dome.

You can adjust the length you want the LED to protrude from the Pole, and experiment with shrink tubing to get the proper size. Don’t worry about the solder joints touching, as the heat shrink and side arms on the pole will keep the legs of the LED just far enough apart to prevent shorting.
Hope you enjoy the photos. Looks great in rural areas too.

Keep those hints and tips coming in !!!


AL 1

AL 2

AL 3

AL 4

AL 5

AL 6


I’ve enjoyed all the tips and especially Dave’s videos. I recently moved to Wilmington, NC from Virginia. I had to tear down my layout (Bristol & Cheston). I made the decision tear it down completely and rebuild. I did save some landscaping that my wife made. I’ve gotten a lot of great ideas from the folks responding to your e-mails. I also gave a lot of thought to the economic activity to help determine the layout design. Moving goods and services between the two towns is important.

This is an attic layout that when finished will be 4 feet by 15 feet in scale. The base is made of ready to assembly cabinets. I had a need for storage of buildings, supplies, etc. The grid work is made up of 1 x 3 pine attached to the cabinet tops. I cantilevered the top over the base cabinets to get the 4 feet of width. Cabinets are only 2 feet deep. I used recycled 2 x 4 drop ceiling tiles on which to lay track and build up terrain. It is easy to handle and can be carved.

There are two towns. Cheston, the city you see the photos is partially complete. Cheston has a trolley system. There will be an industrial/commercial area to economically support the city. Future plans also call for a small resort town, Bristol, with a waterfront economic activity on the river and some local farming that will supply Cheston and Bristol with fresh veggies and meat products.

If what I am doing is of interest I will be happy to supply details of construction methods and wiring for this DC system. I thought a lot about DCC and haven’t ruled it out. A lot of my locos are not ready for conversion and it would be bloody expensive to buy all new stuff.









A big thanks to Darrell and ‘Schiffy’. I do love seeing your creations and solutions.

My latest creation is here. It seems to have taken me forever and a day. But I was helped out by the talented Arnie, Dave, Mark and Cameron.

Have a look and you’ll see what I mean.

Keep ’em coming.



7 Responses to Telephone poles with street lights

  1. Mike says:

    “Schiffy” has the “eye;” I love his streets and his impeccable sense of city clutter…and I guess just about every other aspect of his modeling. If I lived in NC, I’d be camping at his door looking for a mentor. And his wife helps! Heaven!

  2. Bill W. says:

    Shiffy great job! Would love to have the details of your wiring, as I’m starting my first build in many years, and I can see things have changed a great deal since way back when! Thanks Much & Keep up the Good Work

  3. Mark J says:

    Darrell, nice tip for the lights, ready-mades can be quite pricey. Making your own is so much more satisfying as well.
    Schify, if you do the rest of your layout the same way you’ve started it’s going to be awesome. You can already see the thought that’s gone into the planning.
    Al, you can breathe out now. After your last mail I got a horrible feeling you were thinking of stopping. Don’t worry about the new look – it’s great. Keep it up guys 🙂

  4. Tad heath says:

    That is awesome!!!!!!!! If ur running code 80 peco or atlas….I have alot of switches and track that is brand new never had a train on it at all!!!! Plus I started buying corkbed have a little over 2 boxes of that too. Let me know if anybody is interested. Can’t build my dream layout so I’m selling off what I bought and it’s all brand new.

  5. Daniel Brown says:

    re: step 5
    They actually make brown shrink tubing. That could save a little time with no painting. You can find it on ebay. Personally I would use Panduit. I have delt with them on a business level and they always treated me right. They even have assortment packs with every color in the rainbow in .25in x 6in. An old matchbook cover can be used as a heat diverter to protect the plastic near the end of the tube runs. Excellent how-to for the beginners and old heads alike (as always).
    Happy Modeling
    Dan Brown

  6. Rich says:

    Great idea for making lighted poles. As with any idea there is more than one way to skin the cat. For LEDs, a good cheap source is LED lamp strings at craft stores; after the holiday season they go on sale. As for wire use telephone cable wire or communication wire, it is a smaller gauge of wire so it is easier to hide. You can cover the solder connection and prevent shorting (insulate) the connection by covering the joint with fingernail polish, use a color to reflect the lamp support. (Also, if you stagger your connection you can prevent shorting the leads.) Remember, unless you purchase 12V rated LEDs, you will need a resistor limiter or operate the LED’s from a low voltage power supply. (the hobby lamp strings would need a series resistor, depending on the supply voltage.)

  7. Steven Steinbaum says:

    I think this is a great idea….

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