LED staging Lighting Project

Here was the problem.  The original lighting for staging was provided by using Christmas tree or bush net lights.  The did OK at first but then lots of failures started occuring, especially when we had to reach into staging to move or rerail cars.  LED's will last for a long, long time, but the wiring that supports the LED's is much more fragile.  The lighting was kind of marginal to begin with, but as can be seen in this photo almost half of the lights are not working.  Reaching in to work on wiring on the layout was also a challenge because of the LED net wiring structure.

This was the result of the LED upgrade.  Bill Schoonmaker and Steve Studley, helped guide me in creating a lighting environment that provided much better lighting and cleaned up the wiring mess under the layout.  It is now much easier reaching in to the layout, not that we have to do that very often.  The light is brighter and also more even throughout the staging area.

Here is the first light installed just inside the fascia on staging.  The light fixtures are made from a special aluminum channel with a 45 degree angle to aim the light down and out from the fixture.  It then has a white diffuser to manage all of the many LED's inside the fixture.  It looks like a fluorescent light here, but that is just because it is so bright. 

This is a close up of the light that shows a metal clip provided to mount the fixtures.  Note how the fixture is above the inside of the fascia which really cleaned up the underside of the layout that is above staging.

The aluminum channel used for the mounting of the LED's came in 39" lengths which were too long to fit between my layout deck supports, so I had to cut the aluminum channel to fit and then make some of my own fixture mounts.  These are zip ties with a hole above the zip tie function.  They were perfect for this situation and were almost easier to use than the clips.

A close up of the fixture with the zip tie and the light turned off.

I finally added a Dimmer which actually modulates the LED's to reduce their light for times when I would like a more subtle lighting effect.

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