What Color Is My Light?

CFL BW 4200 - 1649

Lighting the layout isn’t something I’d expected to spend a lot of time on. I had existing lights that worked on my old layout, and I planned to continue using them. Initial experiences, and some problems with color accuracy in photographs, led me to do more investigation, and to ultimately change my plans. You can read all the details on the Lighting the Railroad page.

In summary: I can’t easily use tube fluorescents due to some room restrictions, and limited experimentation showed that even the better ones weren’t doing a good job of accurately reproducing colors. I found my best colors using halogen lights, but these provided an irregular illumination of wide scenes. In the end, I went with a specific Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) designed for the screw-in fixtures (R20 track lighting, to be precise) that I’d used previously. They aren’t perfect, but the color errors were less of an issue than the irregular lighting of the halogens, once I’d found the right combination of bulb type and camera settings.