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Posted by a guy from michigan (Guest), on 2001-03-17 12:17:17

LEDs

NOTE: the following messages have been transferred from the original SMA.com Message Board a guy from michigan User ID: 0053014 Dec 20th 2:28 PM I'm making a miniature set and I wanted to use LEDs. How would I go about hooking them up so they bring light out? Nick H User ID: 0701364 Dec 20th 6:14 PM I'm doing some small 1:24 scale city sets at the moment, lit as nighttime, with lights in buildings and a couple of cars with headlights and taillights. For all small lights I'm getting little bulbs that use 12 volts, and wiring them to a transformer that normally powers a 12v 50 watt halogen downlight. Theres a lot of different types at electronics shops. I found LEDs didn't put out much light, ok for instrument panel maybe. They come in different voltages, but to keep it simple I stuck to 12 volts so one transformer runs the lot. A 12v 20 watt halogen globe I tried for a streetlight was too bright. I found a 3 watt one with a screw in fitting, looks like a torch globe (flashlight bulb in Americanspeak), that worked. For the cars I got little lights with a red, amber, or green plastic dome about 8 or 10mm in diameter, used them intact for taillights or turn signals on my 1:6 scale cars. For the little cars I removed the domes, inside is a bulb only 3mm in diameter. For taillights I painted them with red stain glass paint. Wires went down through a hole in the set, and as the car moved they had to be shifted to a new hole every 10 frames to keep them hidden from the camera. I put a couple of alligator clips on the wires from the transformer for quick reconnecting. I decided batteries would go flat over the long time it takes to animate, so the lights would gradually dim, then go bright if I put in new batteries, so wires were the only option. The transformer/downlight kit came from a lighting store, but you'd probably find them in the electronics store as well. You need: mains power, a transformer with cord and plug to connect it, 2 wires coming out the 12 volt end, and a little 12v LED or mini globe with 2 wires or 2 tabs to connect your 2 wires from the transformer to. One transformer can run dozens of tiny lights like this. If you want some lights to go on and off, but not others, you"ll need some little switches. You'll need a soldering iron. One of my vehicles is vacuum formed from styrene (it melts in the heat) so I have to switch its lights on to shoot a frame, then off again so the light doesn't get too hot. A bit long winded - hope the answer is in there somewhere. If not, ask again. Someone in the US can probably suggest a supplier for this stuff. a guy from michigan User ID: 0053014 Dec 20th 6:27 PM Thanks a lot for the help. :)