Monday, May 2, 2011

Lighting the Aoshima Apartments

Quinntopia is one of the N Scale blogs I follow and has some great tutorial posts on LED lighting for buildings including this model and is worth taking a look at if you are considering some building lighting.

I decided on my building to fully light the stairwells and just a few of the apartments.  There was a small indent on each floor that seemed perfect for a porch light. I drilled a small hole to one side of each of those and pushed the wires of pre-wired surface mount (SMD) LED's through with a bit of Walthers Goo on the backside of the LED to hold it in place.

In the past I have not had too much experience or luck working with the small wires that are attached to these small LEDs.  I thought the best way would be to land them on a PC board so I cut out a small section that would fit into one of the apartment sections.  I wired  2.2K ohm resistors on the board for each LED for a total of 10.

To light the apartments I used bright white LED boards that came from Atlas engines that I installed had DCC decoders in.  These boards already have a current limiting resistor.  After experimenting  I got the best results by attaching the board to the ceiling and bending the LED down as shown in this photo.

This photo shows an overall view of all the wiring and other electronic parts that are now inside the building before the walls go on. 

Styrene view blocks were added so the wiring won't be seen from the other side of the building which is going to face outward on the module.

Here is this building with the sides and roof added and the lights on.  The porch lights are partly blocked by the stairs but the stairs are illuminated which is the effect I was after.  5 apartments are lights with LEDs of various shades.


  1. Hey! I just found you! (Noticed the traffic form your site so i thought I would check it out!).

    You are doing a fantastic job on the Aoshima! Your lighting is going to look amazing! I didn't quite have the patience to put an LED on each floor of the stairway as you have done...that's going to look outstanding! Good work!

  2. Agreed! Grand work.
    Lighting is my enemy. :) I see posts like this and - while not EASY, necessarily - it looks like something I could do. Then I get into wiring basics and toss the whole of it across the room! :)
    Loving this.