A journal following the history, design, construction and operation of Bernard Kempinski's O Scale model railroad depicting the U. S. Military Railroad (USMRR) Aquia-Falmouth line in 1863, and other model railroad projects.
©Bernard Kempinski All text and images, except as noted, on this blog are copyrighted by the author and may not be used without permission.

June 17, 2021

The Mysterious Case of the Malfunctioning Lights


New LED lights provide nice even lighting 

Last month I reported on several of the florescent lights in the layout room over Potomac Creek that burned out. The lights were on separate circuits and different makes. Yet four fixtures stopped working at the same time. I removed the burned out lights and fixtures and ordered replacement LEDs, but did not have time to install  them. 

Then a few weeks ago, I noticed that another 48 inch florescent fixture had become detached from the ceiling, fell through the egg crate diffuser, and landed on the layout. Luckily, the wire trees by Weilepp's Cut absorbed the brunt of the fall. They did not suffer any damage. The opposite end of the fixture landed on a parked train and derailed several cars, but again no damage. The light fixture did hit and pulled off two insulators from the telegraph line (the scenery ones, not operational). Luckily, these are lycra line and did not break. So, all in all there was not real damage as it was a simple matter to clear the fixture and re-glue the lines back on the pole.

Today, I installed the new LED lights. These can be ganged together creating a continuous line of even lighting.  They are mounted closer to the valance thanks to their low profile. Thus the light on the layout is now more front lit than back lit, of a constant color temperature, and the lights draw less current. So all in all an improvement.

I still have a few florescent lights on the curved sections of the valance. I will order smaller fixtures and replace them too. 

You can see the new LED fixtures ganged together to create a continuous line of light. There are now
no lights above the egg crate diffusers. Note the frontal light on the Potomac Creek bridge.

I will be working on my layout expansion in the coming weeks as well as building a model for a new museum.