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Thread: Lighting Question

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    Default Lighting Question

    So, I have this Schmidt Beer sign in front of Finch's Pub...



    ...and clearly it is crying out for internal illumination -



    Any suggestions as far as how I might accomplish that? I'm pretty behind the times when it comes to electronic gadgetry and really have no idea what might be out there.

    Thanks!
    -Mark

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spookshow View Post
    So, I have this Schmidt Beer sign in front of Finch's Pub...

    Any suggestions as far as how I might accomplish that?
    Sure, just follow my new project (link below) and you might find that useful - I'm lighting up a sign myself!


    https://www.nscale.net/forums/showth...663#post553663

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    Mark,
    Could one simply make a thin frame out of styrene, mount some small surface mount LED's (warm or yellow'ish) to the inside top and bottom of said frame, then glue some clear plastic to the frame and glue the printed signs to the clear plastic? You'd have to really dial back the LED's to give it an incandescent glow.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen H. View Post
    Mark,
    Could one simply make a thin frame out of styrene, mount some small surface mount LED's (warm or yellow'ish) to the inside top and bottom of said frame, then glue some clear plastic to the frame and glue the printed signs to the clear plastic? You'd have to really dial back the LED's to give it an incandescent glow.
    Maybe if you used thin white styrene instead of clear that would dim down the LED's enough .
    As long as I can model in N-scale, I know I'm not old

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nskale View Post
    Sure, just follow my new project (link below) and you might find that useful - I'm lighting up a sign myself!


    https://www.nscale.net/forums/showth...663#post553663
    Thanks, but I don't think that's quite what I'm after. A billboard would have external spots shining on the sign from the outside, whereas the kind of sign I want would be lit from within (thus making the whole thing glow).

    -Mark

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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen H. View Post
    Mark,
    Could one simply make a thin frame out of styrene, mount some small surface mount LED's (warm or yellow'ish) to the inside top and bottom of said frame, then glue some clear plastic to the frame and glue the printed signs to the clear plastic? You'd have to really dial back the LED's to give it an incandescent glow.
    Yeah, something like that would probably work. Maybe there's an easier way?

    -Mark

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spookshow View Post
    Yeah, something like that would probably work. Maybe there's an easier way?

    -Mark
    Easier? Come on Mark, with what you've done so far, this shouldn't present much of a challenge for you?


    OK, so how about this.
    Start with one of these:
    https://www.picclickimg.com/d/l400/p...on-Lighted.jpg
    Modify it and mount it on a post like what you have and then see how bright it is and then adjust the original paint or take it off and place your sign over it?

    Just throwing out ideas...
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    Here's the "old school way"

    I maybe remembering this wrong but in the old MR project layout "Burlington Northern in a Room" there was a tavern with a back lit sign. I believe they had taken two 35mm slides (remember those?) and placed a tiny light bulb in between. The slides were the bread on the sandwich and the light bulb was the meat in between. I'm not sure how they dialed down the voltage or kept the slide film from being melted by the heat of the bulb. Obviously, they had a picture of the original sign that filled the photo, then filled the 35mm slide when it was copied.

    Just another way it could be done.
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    I'm assuming the sign you currently have is solid plastic. One way would be to take a piece of clear plexiglass the thickness of the sign. Shape it and paint/decal to match what you have. The LEDs would be side mounted. It's called edge lighting. You'd have to paint the 3 sides with a reflective paint first, to keep the light inside the sign. Other way would be to actually build the sign from very thin plexiglass keeping the inside hollow. Insert an LED or two and you have an illuminated sign.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen H. View Post



    Start with one of these:
    https://www.picclickimg.com/d/l400/p...on-Lighted.jpg
    Modify it and mount it on a post like what you have and then see how bright it is and then adjust the original paint or take it off and place your sign over it?

    Just throwing out ideas...
    That seems easier, although I'm guessing that anything from Model Power is going to be grossly oversized. Still, at $9 what do I have to lose by checking it out (well, apart from the $9)?

    -Mark

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    I'll think I'll just take this one step at a time. I ordered up some WS nano lights, so that'll take care of the actual LED and wiring portion of things. Then I'll look at making a pole, and then finally the "light box" (whatever that turns out to be).

    Thanks,
    -Mark

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    Could experiment: small sheet of 1/8" or so plexiglass or clear acrylic, frost both sides by sanding with 400 grit, mount LEDs along an edge and see how much the frosted sides light up.

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    This might work but might require a new sign/decal https://www.microstru.com/Experimenter-Kits.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by MRLdave View Post
    This might work but might require a new sign/decal https://www.microstru.com/Experimenter-Kits.html
    Maybe? I dunno, I bought one of ME's animated signs many years ago and the electronics made such an annoying high frequency whine that I finally had to disconnect it. Haven't bothered looking at any of their stuff since. Anyway, for now I'm content to just try rolling my own and see where that gets me.

    I'm actually a bit surprised that Woodland Scenics hasn't come out with a "blank illuminated business sign on a pole" type of thing yet. Throw in a bunch of decal options and it seems like it'd be right up their "Just Plug" alley. But maybe they think that decals would be too much work for their intended audience, lol.

    -Mark

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