Some More Lighting


Work on the layout continues slowly, but I now have the second lighting unit assembled. The wiring is still rather temporary (the orange extension cord is not a permanent feature). It is working very well, however. My software things the color of the light is around 4150K, or perhaps a bit lower. The intensity is quite good, allowing me to take photos with a fairly large depth of field. The one above was taken at f/8, at 1/50-second exposure. I could easily halve that without using a tripod, or go lower with one. There’s a large amount of glare off the top of the backdrop, apparent in the photo above. You don’t really noticed it standing in front of the layout, because the top of the backdrop is hidden by the edge of the valence.

With a tighter subject, the light level drops a bit, but none of the glare intrudes. Also, the light level and color works well with my lit subway, with photos that show both turning out well (as seen below).

Riverside Subway Station beneath the Express Line

Right now I’m using the new lighting with the old track lighting fixtures turned away from the layout to provide indirect light off the walls (track lighting units are also still used to illuminate the other parts of the layout). The light level on the layout drops about 100 lux if I turn them off altogether (from 350-550 along the back down to 280-450), but I probably don’t need the extra light unless I’m taking photographs, and maybe not then. I’m going to rig up switches so I can control the two independently.

However, I have decided that I don’t need a second bulb on each fixture. The light from one is more than sufficient.

Now that the light’s working, I have no excuse not to get back to work on the track power. In fact, I have strong motivation: my reserved E233-3000 is in transit from Japan, and right now the DC loop isn’t powered. I need to fix that so I can “test” (read “play with”) my new train when it arrives.