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Lighting

The search for perfect layout lighting seems to be a never ending process. I have tried everything from fluorescent to incandescent in all shapes and sizes trying to find that perfect light. A few years ago Rod Loder called and said he had found the solution, dimmable fluorescent that use standard dimmer switches and screw into inexpensive porcelain fixtures. A few days later a sample case showed up at the door step and they were quickly dispatched to the basement for a trial run. Wow! what a difference from the 60 watt incandescent bulbs I had in both look and heat generation. There are 96 porcelain fixtures above the layout and those 60 watt bulbs generated plenty of heat. Seven large floor fans were needed to help dissipate the heat. Well it didn't take long to make the change and the heat has been reduced by 2/3 and I really like the color of the light.

They are rated at 23 watts produce the equivalent of a 90 watt incandescent bulb with a life rating of 10,000 hrs. I run them at about 75% capacity so they should last for a long time. The lamps take several seconds each to warm up to full brightness. I have seen these available at Home Depot, if you can't find them there try an electrical supply house, that's where I got mine. They cost around $18 per lamp which is pricey but worth it in my opinion. I've had them in since 1998 with 6 failures to date.

They are spaced between 30" to 36" apart and with a low basement ceiling are between 18" to 24" above the layout. They are located behind a 8" metal valance that follows the edge of the layout. It is painted black on the aisle side and white on the layout side which matches the rest of the layout room. The facia, valance, exterior walls below the layout, and ceiling are all painted black giving the layout a shadow box affect and the lighting really sets it off.

Dimmable Earth Light by Philips
Porcelain Lamp Socket

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