F0NIX

Lighting your Lego City?

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Ok, this was an old post I just had to update :)

First of all, the LED I mounted in the first post has been shining all the time since the first picture. There are no visible discoloring in any of the Trans Clear minifigheads. They have all been fed with 12v for over a year now. So heat is no problem. And kzv I know the way I was calculating the heat was wrong, but it shows that even if all energy was going as heat it was still not much to worries about.

The only heat I got is from the 470ohm resistor when feeding the lights with 12v.

We are planing a display here in my town from 30/3 - 9/4 where we are setting up a town layout. The plan was to have this lights in the street in the layout. I will take some pictures when the layout is finished.

Here is some pictures of the lights I have made so far.

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What an impressive potential i that collection of lightposts. Really looking forward to see some pictures of your town layout, even though it's obvious that the real WAUW-effect must be seeing such a lit up town in real life.

Inspiring :sweet:

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Looks wonderful 'F0NIX', reading your second to last post....470 Ohm resistor would have to be a minimum 1/4W type, though I would push for 1/2W.

Brick On Light On 'F0NIX' ! :classic:

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I have been looking at the old 12v idea books and they show a few Lego Cities with lights. So I am wondering how would you light your cities today with the PF system? Also do any of your towns and layouts have Lighting for the houses to streets?

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I suggest the cheapest and efficient way: you can buy the LEDs on ebay (No. 50 white LEDs 5mm cost about 5 euro) and use them to light up your city! :classic:

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Do they come in any other colors? Like maybe a more yellow light , like a incondensent light bulb?

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^ you can probably use filters or Lego trans- tiles/plates as filters for an LED.

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Do they come in any other colors? Like maybe a more yellow light , like a incondensent light bulb?

LEDs are actually cheaper in Yellow, Red and Green then they are in Blue/White. Straight yellow will work for incandescent lighting, a red/yellow mix for firelight.

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I like to put in some lights in my models and city landscape. Here are a few examples:

8603739446_52f87c3e54.jpg

This is from the event "Build the change 2013" in my town Tromsø (norway), where we vere a few guys from Brikkelauget with a small layout. I have made some lamp posts with LED and it gave a nice effect to the city streets. They are bright enough to be seen even when the lights in the room is on full strength.

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I even have lights inside some of the buildings. Here is one with a LED strip in the roof on the two lowest floors.

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This building has 5 of the same LED as in the lamp posts in just one floor. Two in the livingroom, 1 in the kitchen, 1 in the office behind the livingroom and one in the staircase room/entrance. Here on this picture you are looking into the livingroom and on the window to the right you are seeing part of the kitchen trough the livingroom door.

With this type of light effects, people can see the interior of the building even if it is bright outside. I may put in some lights in the other floors as well, since there are interiors there too...

8603748290_6d6c65933f.jpg

I even tried to light up the inside of my model of the "Artic Cathedral" (Tromsdalen church / Ishavskatedralen). But it did not come out too well on this picture. There is a large glass mosaic in the rear that you can't see on this picture, but you can see the diffrent colors of lights scattering on the building behind it. This was just a temporary light setup done for the first time at this event.

I also had put in some lights in the Grand Emporium and some vehicle. I do not like the LEGO PF LED because I think the light is too weak and to much bluish in color.

Edited by F0NIX

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Hey Fonix, I really like the colour of your leds. I've made the same lamp posts but my LED are too much "blue" even it was specified as "white". Where did you get your LEDs? Do you have any references or link? Thnaks in advance!

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I would still like to try with the PF sytem or use these LED I saw at BrickFair last year I think it was Life Lights. I had some for maybe a week before my cat got a hold of them...

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I like to put in some lights in my models and city landscape. Here are a few examples:

This is from the event "Build the change 2013" in my town Tromsø (norway), where we vere a few guys from Brikkelauget with a small layout. I have made some lamp posts with LED and it gave a nice effect to the city streets. They are bright enough to be seen even when the lights in the room is on full strength.

I even have lights inside some of the buildings. Here is one with a LED strip in the roof on the two lowest floors.

This building has 5 of the same LED as in the lamp posts in just one floor. Two in the livingroom, 1 in the kitchen, 1 in the office behind the livingroom and one in the staircase room/entrance. Here on this picture you are looking into the livingroom and on the window to the right you are seeing part of the kitchen trough the livingroom door.

With this type of light effects, people can see the interior of the building even if it is bright outside. I may put in some lights in the other floors as well, since there are interiors there too...

I even tried to light up the inside of my model of the "Artic Cathedral" (Tromsdalen church / Ishavskatedralen). But it did not come out too well on this picture. There is a large glass mosaic in the rear that you can't see on this picture, but you can see the diffrent colors of lights scattering on the building behind it. This was just a temporary light setup done for the first time at this event.

I also had put in some lights in the Grand Emporium and some vehicle. I do not like the LEGO PF LED because I think the light is too weak and to much bluish in color.

In-cred-ible.... Wow. That looks GREAT! Any chance of you doing a little tutorial write up for those of us who are electronically challenged??? Please?!?

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A tutorial on how to make it work in a clean way would be amazing. I would love to do this to my town set up but I dont want a bunch of exposed wires all over the place. Any guidance would be great.

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Well I made a thread about it some time ago: http://www.eurobrick...showtopic=47675

The short version is;

Bore up the LEGO Lamp post (part 2039) with a 2-2,5mm hole from top to bottom (the hard and scary part of this work).

Then I bought some 3mm Warm White LED - 20 Degree Clear 12000mcd BUWWC224W20BA12 from Besthongkong.com (well actually it was BUWWC224W20BA11 I bought but are later been replaced by the BA12). But you can probably find LED other places too. The important thing was 3mm size to fit into the inside a stud and the color has to be Warm White and as bright as possible. 12000mcd is good enough for me, for as soon as you put the trans clear minifig head on you dim the light some.

I also soldered a 470ohm resistor in series with the LED just for safety and ease of use. Then I cut one LEGO "Electric, Wire with Brick 2 x 2 x 2/3 Pair" (part 5306) in two parts and used one connector for each lamp post. I also made sure I connected all the LED's the same way. I used the LEGO 9v connector because it is easy to stack many of them on top of each other and I can use a standard LEGO battery box or power supply if I like. For wires between LED and this connector I used some 0.8mm thick flexible insulated wires that you can buy in different colors.

I use a Mascot 12v DC/3A power supply and have connected the same 9v-connector to it, so it is very easy to set up on events by just using some long LEGO 9v wires...

Inside that yellow building (Verdensteateret) I bught some Flexible SMD LED Strip 50cm - Warm White from Besthongkong.com that comes in 50cm and 500cm length. They are very flexible and has Self Adhesive back side so it is easy to fasten them to any LEGO bricks. They come with built in resistors ready to plug into 12v DC power supply.I just soldered some wires and a LEGO 9v-connector

Heat is no problem with LED, they almost don't emit any heat at all compared to normal glowing bulbs. The downside is that you can blow up a LED if you connect it the wrong way (I have had no problem with that). With normal bulbs that is not a problem at all as they will light up whatever way you connect them. And LED's can be a bit more expensive if you want the warm white color.The upside is power usage on a LED is so low that you can run a lot of LEDs on one small 9v battery for a loooong time with no problem :)

Hope this lights up your mind :)

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Thanks a lot for sharing your tips Fonix!

I took a look on ebay this afternoon and saw many warm white LEDs packages (even pre-wired)!

I'm planning to replace all my "cold-white" LEDs... I think it'll be a good thing!

In my case, I power my LEDs via the 9v train speed regulator with a little PCB to connect all LED wires with connecting blocks!

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Hey I just realized I could light up my city a little more easy with PF+filter... So when you guys enter the building for the EsCo town make sure you have a way to connect the PF lights! Hint Hint some one enter a house soon? Does anyone else know of a Light system that doesnt need sodering or drilling lego's, I simply don't have that ability.

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Hey I just realized I could light up my city a little more easy with PF+filter... So when you guys enter the building for the EsCo town make sure you have a way to connect the PF lights! Hint Hint some one enter a house soon? Does anyone else know of a Light system that doesnt need sodering or drilling lego's, I simply don't have that ability.

Well there is an easy way: buy some lamp post from Brickforge, as they come in two parts (at least they did before) and are hollow.

http://www.brickforge.com/store/search.php?mode=search&page=1

Then you buy some lights from Lifelites. They come attached with cables and plug:

http://lifelites.com/products/261

I'm not sure how bright those Lifelites LED are since there are no data on them on the webpage.

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Well there is an easy way: buy some lamp post from Brickforge, as they come in two parts (at least they did before) and are hollow.

http://www.brickforge.com/store/search.php?mode=search&page=1

Then you buy some lights from Lifelites. They come attached with cables and plug:

http://lifelites.com/products/261

I'm not sure how bright those Lifelites LED are since there are no data on them on the webpage.

I bought some of those lamp posts and LEDs some time ago, but was not really impressed by them. Due to the 2-part construction of the lamp posts, their clutch power is weak and they tend to fall over all the time. Also, the LED lamp post cables are either too short or too long: the connectors cannot be placed outside of he lamp posts (too short), neither can you tuck them in (too long). On the positive side, they *do* work :)

Your modified LEGO lamp posts certainly look great! Now where did I leave that 2,5 mm drill...

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I have lit up buildings with battery powered christmas light sets. I remove the coloured covers from the white leds. You can cut or lengthen the wires to reach your buildings. The are really cheap to buy at the after christmas sales.

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Great stuff! I always enjoy the discussion topics about lighting the most. I love seeing the creative methods people have used to light up their creations. There are many great products on the market as everyone has said, and people have also done amazing things with the do-it-yourself approach. I'm writing to share another option folks might want to consider. Full disclosure-- this is my company, and I'm pleased to finally launch these products after 18 months of development. Take a look and let me know what you think.

https://www.tindie.com/stores/brickstuff/

I also posted a how-to guide today-- hopefully people will find this helpful, regardless of the lighting system they use.

http://bit.ly/brickguide1

Happy lighting!

--Rob

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This topic was inspiring. I will without doubt start a "lightning" project of my own town plan :)

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