Help needed to wire up a row of street lamps to my G scale layout

B

bronco

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I am hoping to purchase 8. G gauge street lamps [ old gas type lamps ] Not sure where to get them from and no idea how to wire them .I know there are series and another way to wire them up but I don't know which is which or how to do the job,,I was hoping to use a 6 volt or a 12 volt battery from my old dissabilty scooter, or can they be wired to the transformer that came with a 100 years number 1 loco set from LGB,... Hope you may be able to help on this one.. Alan
 
ntpntpntp

ntpntpntp

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24 Oct 2009
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It's difficult to give accurate advice unless you know more details about the lamps you will buy - for example their voltage and current requirements? Are they suited to AC or DC (or either)?

Typically they may well be designed for 12-15 volts., but you need to check. If they use incandescent bulbs then those will certainly work on either AC or DC. If they are LEDs then again they should work OK on AC (though possibly flicker a little), and on DC they'd need to be wired with the correct polarity.

Whether you can wire them in series or parallel depends on the design voltage and the power supply you will use? For example if they are 6 volt lamps then you can drive two of them in series from 12 volts, and have multiple strings of two lamps in parallel. If they are 12 volt lamps then you would wire them in parallel across a 12 volt supply. You would need to be aware of the total current load of each parallel lamp (or string of lamps) and ensure your power supply can output that much current?
 
Ralphmp

Ralphmp

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The link below shows some lamps that are available from Garden Railway Specialists (and other suppliers no doubt). I've been using them for a while now and they've been pretty good. One thing I have done is swap the supplied bulbs for an identically sized LED lamp as I'm hoping the LEDs will last longer. No doubt you could swap the supplied bulbs for ones that work to your liking on 6v or 12v if you use your battery. As supplied, the lamps worked fine when I connected them to track power on my layout; as I run DCC the voltage will be around 20V.

Busch Gas Street Lamps Brown - pairColour: Size: £20.90
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
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Hello Alan,

Probably better to wait until you get your lamps?
Then, knowing whether they are LED or filament lamps, we can advise you.

Either of your solutions will work.

PhilP.
 
trammayo

trammayo

Interested in vintage commercial vehicle, trams, t
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I use the Busch lamps - wired in parallel - running off a 12v battery. I haven't changed the bulbs yet but they work fine ....

No ambient light ((trailer closed up) ....
133300_1d0965ea3579a12ab50eb9e0a01b426a.jpg


..... and with trailer shutters open.

133302_16521d86394548151428f69e3c00e717.jpg
 
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Paul M

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Try reading the instructions with the lights
 
stevedenver

stevedenver

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I bought the wall sconce version. milk glass colored panes. from ebay when I searched for g scale lights.
mine are 3 v. I loved the price and size (1/24 at best)) and the lovely long lead wires. Much better size than theold huge model power coach lantern sconces from about the 1990 era.
the Chinese black plastic lamps are flimsy but fine, and are glued shut, so I am unsure if they are led, but I think they are from the color temp of the light.

I might wire them in series, down to 1.5, as they are more atmospheric, ie on the sides or door /entry of a building
this allows for a 2xAA or larger batter holder, which will last months
 
B

bronco

Registered
8 Sep 2019
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1
85
lincs
I bought the wall sconce version. milk glass colored panes. from ebay when I searched for g scale lights.
mine are 3 v. I loved the price and size (1/24 at best)) and the lovely long lead wires. Much better size than theold huge model power coach lantern sconces from about the 1990 era.
the Chinese black plastic lamps are flimsy but fine, and are glued shut, so I am unsure if they are led, but I think they are from the color temp of the light.

I might wire them in series, down to 1.5, as they are more atmospheric, ie on the sides or door /entry of a building
this allows for a 2xAA or larger batter holder, which will last months
Thanks steve, but how do I wire up in series, sorry to be so thick but at 85 things like this are a bit over my head
 
GAP

GAP

G Scale trains, Lawn Bowls.
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Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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If you intend to run them at reduced voltage, the chance of burning one out is greatly reduced.

My advice is determine if bulbs or LEDs first, then you can determine what to do to make them dimmer (it matters).

After that, you can decide the wiring and power supply.

Greg
 
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stevedenver

stevedenver

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24 Oct 2009
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Thanks steve, but how do I wire up in series, sorry to be so thick but at 85 things like this are a bit over my head
First , assuming they are leds, and as such, have a positive and negative lead. Hooked properly , it will light. Reverse the leads , it will not. So, note the colors of the wires, if any, and determine the correct hook up/ polarity. If wrong, simply reverse the polarity of the power source.

Then, for example, if theres a red and black wire,(or whatever colors, brown and yellow, etc, coming out of the lamp) the red wire of the first lamp is attached to the red of the power source, then, one would series by attaching the black lead of the first to the red of the second light. The black lead of the second would be attached to the black of the power source.
This chain can be repeated until you notice too little light brightness.

If not led, and simple incandescent, simply chain one lead to the power source, the other to any lead of the next light, and the remaing lead to the power source.
This can be done with as many lights as you can power. With each added lamp, the brightness will be cut in about half.

So, if you have a 12v bulb, and a 12v power source, adding the second 12v bulb in series will make the 2 light at 6 v. If you put 3 12v bulbs in series, they would light at 4 volts, I believe. If you increase the source voltage, say to 16 volts, they will burn more brightly..

If you combine different rated bulbs, ie 2v,6v,12v in series, the 2v would burn so brightly as to burn out, and the others would be very dim, until the burn out, at which time, the chain is broken (due to the burned out 2v filament)and all go off. It can be done, but it depends on what you’re trying to achieve.

I hope this is understandable and helps.

If i were you, i would experiment using a train throttle, using the track output. You can gently increase voltage to avoid burn outs, and, reverse polarity using the direction switch. Always return to zero voltage before changing polarity.

Obviously, if you can then measure the output voltage, (voltage meter) you know about what amount of voltage your lamps /leds can take without burnout, or, being nuclear brightness. Remember, if running incandescent, running less than rated increases life, and about 75% of rated voltage hugely increases bulb life. It also changes brightness and color temperature.. You may want white hot for a headlight, but the more yellow orange of lower voltage for houses, etc.
 
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B

bronco

Registered
8 Sep 2019
25
1
85
lincs
First , assuming they are leds, and as such, have a positive and negative lead. Hooked properly , it will light. Reverse the leads , it will not. So, note the colors of the wires, if any, and determine the correct hook up/ polarity. If wrong, simply reverse the polarity of the power source.

Then, for example, if theres a red and black wire,(or whatever colors, brown and yellow, etc, coming out of the lamp) the red wire of the first lamp is attached to the red of the power source, then, one would series by attaching the black lead of the first to the red of the second light. The black lead of the second would be attached to the black of the power source.
This chain can be repeated until you notice too little light brightness.

If not led, and simple incandescent, simply chain one lead to the power source, the other to any lead of the next light, and the remaing lead to the power source.
This can be done with as many lights as you can power. With each added lamp, the brightness will be cut in about half.

So, if you have a 12v bulb, and a 12v power source, adding the second 12v bulb in series will make the 2 light at 6 v. If you put 3 12v bulbs in series, they would light at 4 volts, I believe. If you increase the source voltage, say to 16 volts, they will burn more brightly..

If you combine different rated bulbs, ie 2v,6v,12v in series, the 2v would burn so brightly as to burn out, and the others would be very dim, until the burn out, at which time, the chain is broken (due to the burned out 2v filament)and all go off. It can be done, but it depends on what you’re trying to achieve.

I hope this is understandable and helps.

If i were you, i would experiment using a train throttle, using the track output. You can gently increase voltage to avoid burn outs, and, reverse polarity using the direction switch. Always return to zero voltage before changing polarity.

Obviously, if you can then measure the output voltage, (voltage meter) you know about what amount of voltage your lamps /leds can take without burnout, or, being nuclear brightness. Remember, if running incandescent, running less than rated increases life, and about 75% of rated voltage hugely increases bulb life. It also changes brightness and color temperature.. You may want white hot for a headlight, but the more yellow orange of lower voltage for houses, etc.
Thanks lads but still to confusing for me ,What I need is a diagram . or flighting and have a overhead light off the mainsorget
 
B

bronco

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I think I will admit defeat and use candles Alan
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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First, do not hook a LED up to a power supply without a properly calculated dropping resistor. Google is your friend here, google "LED current limiting resistor calculator".

Second, what you are asking Alan is the fundamentals of an electrical class in school... you don't realize how many questions you are asking and how many variables there are in what you are asking.

There are 2 possible paths from there (that I see are worth pursuing)

first, you learn about LEDs, incandescent lamps, ohms law, the basic theory of electricity, and series and parallel circuits. I think it is safe to say you do not want to put the effort forth to do this. It's ok, your choice. This does mean when you get to the next issue you will be lost again though.

The second is that for everyone to keep their sanity, instead of explaining EVERY possible scenario for EVERY type of light and for EVERY different power supply, we NARROW it down to just what is needed, and thus will not have to give the entire history of science for every answer.

So, as I suggested before, we start with pictures.

Please post a picture of the lamp you have with the wires coming out.

Also, you MUST have a voltmeter and some batteries, D cells or AA would be fine, and some wire and some tape, like blue painters tape.

If you agree and do these things I will help you, and you will probably also wind up being much more comfortable around these gadgets... it's not rocket science, but it is indeed science.

Greg
 
trammayo

trammayo

Interested in vintage commercial vehicle, trams, t
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I think I will admit defeat and use candles Alan
When buying the lamps - or just looking at them on line - did the seller mention the voltage range?

I too like things that are simple - if they look right, and work off a voltage that I can easily supply then that's all I want! I envy those people who understand technology! The lights on my trailer layout are usually on for six to seven hours and I go to 14 to 18 shows a year without any problems.

Are your lights going to be placed outside all-year round?
Mick
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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so if they are LEDs, the voltage does not matter as much as the current and you need a current limiting resistor... if you "simplify" the problem by leaving out important concepts all we will have is blown up lamps.

greg
 
trammayo

trammayo

Interested in vintage commercial vehicle, trams, t
24 Oct 2009
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so if they are LEDs, the voltage does not matter as much as the current and you need a current limiting resistor... if you "simplify" the problem by leaving out important concepts all we will have is blown up lamps.

greg
And that's just it Greg - I can't get my head around these things anymore!