Cheap lighting for passenger cars: I had kitbashed an LGB No. 3080 passenger car into an observation car and wanted to add interior lighting. Instead of track-powered lighting, I opted to install battery-powered light emitting diodes (LEDs). For around $20 in supplies, you can have flicker-free lighting in your car too.
I cut the roof (on the interior) to hold the battery case (2 AAA batteries). The case is held in place by friction. I then added a tiny slide switch with connectors most commonly used in radio-controlled cars to the clerestory section. I cut a piece of Evergreen plastic tubing (size #257) to fit on the roof’s underside, then drilled several holes. In the holes, I installed 10mm cool white LEDs. I also drilled holes for small screws, so I could easily attach the tubing to the top of the roof interior.
I added a yellow LED to car’s exterior. I also added a lit drumhead. I used AWG 32 wire for the project.
On the back of the plastic tubing, I ran a length of copper soldering tape down each side (used for making stained-glass windows), then soldered the positive LED leads to one side and the negative leads to the other, along with the attendant power wires. I attach the plastic tubing to the underside of the roof with two small screws.
After soldering everything together, I now have nice, non-flickering lighting in my car. I’ve since converted other cars to this type of lighting and they all work great.
Cheap lighting for passenger cars supply list:
Drill with drill bit
10 mm LED lights
Evergreen rectangular plastic tubing, size #257
MPX Maxx #1470 microswitch harness
2 AAA battery holder
32 gauge wire
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