Lighting the Peninsula

Lighting the peninsula
Lighting the peninsula

When we were finishing the basement, I negotiated a portion for my train room. I think my wife accepted that there was going to be a train room in this house.. she knows me.

We had drop ceilings installed with recessed lighting. This is handy as the lights can be directed, so I can point them to illuminate portions of the layout rather than lighting the floor. They aren’t 100% pointable but it’s better than nothing.

Unfortunately, the train room has a plenum for the air conditioner running across the room. Our contractor built a box around the plenum and we were unable to recess any lights in this area. My Cargill grain elevator peninsula runs under the plenum and it had a dark patch in the middle where none of the ceiling lights could reach. This has bothered me, but not any more!

I spotted these puck lights at Costco and knew I wanted to give them a try.

Puck Lights
Puck Lights

There are six in the package, and they use AAA batteries so there is no wiring involved. I used 3M Command sticky pads to attach them to the ceiling to avoid any marks.

Puck lights in place
Puck lights in place
Capstone remote
Capstone remote

They come with a handy-dandy remote to turn them on and off. There are a lot of functions on this remote!

I really only use two – the big green ON button and the big red OFF button. You can vary the intensity but I want them full power. You can also set a sleep timer using the bottom four buttons, which could be handy to avoid leaving them on all the time and draining the batteries.

The remote is quite small and I’m concerned that I will lose it. So far I’ve been leaving it on the layout but I’m going to glue a tether onto it so I can hang it somewhere for safekeeping.

They aren’t as bright as I would like, and they are a bit blueish, but they are better than what I had. I used just those lights for photographing my Switching Cargill post. These puck lights will do for now.

 

Model Railroad Wiring

Railroadman posted a great post about his model railroad wiring recently.

Wiring can be intimidating but it is necessary. The most important thing to do is PLAN AHEAD. Don’t add just enough wires for what you need right now. Plan ahead for what you think you will need. Don’t hang them by the most direct route. Plan the routing and make things neat. Have a wiring diagram. Try to colour-code the wires if possible.

All that being said, I don’t have a wiring diagram for my layout yet. However, I haven’t done any permanent wiring yet either. I have soldered drops from the rails and strung some temporary bus wiring to get trains running, but I have nothing permanent. So far my colour standard is red for one rail and green for the other.

The first thing I need to do is figure out where the blocks should be. 🙂