No. 83: Lighting Up – Lights on the Ackley Layout

The final light fixtures for the Ackley layout were installed last weekend.


You may recall that the layout is built at sit-down height under a sloped ceiling.  I placed LED lights in a triangular-shaped valance and installed the fixture on the sloped wall above the layout.  Then I installed a 4-1/2-inch Masonite fascia in front of the valance to clean everything up.  I still want to paint the fascia green to match the rest of the layout fascia and will get to that as time permits.

Looks like I’ve got a little bit of “mission creep” above the fascia on the valance at left.  


Below.  I went to out neighborhood Lowes-look-alike, called Obi, and bought a thin piece of Masonite and had them cut it into 4-1/2-inch slices.  No muss, no fuss, and no charge for all the cuts.  They were happy to do it.  Gotta love that about Germany.


Below.  The valance for the center section of the visible layout is seen below.  I made a triangular-shaped fixture and screwed it into the wall, installed the LED light inside, and ran the wires down the sloped ceiling with conduit.  This center section of the layout is hidden behind a chimney and it’s very dark back there without lighting.


Below.  Here is the valance with the new 4-1/2-inch fascia installed.  It looks a lot better.  I decided to run the fascia all the way to the skylight window at left.  I did not install lighting across the window opening, however, hoping that enough ambient light will get in from outside to keep everything well-lit.


Then I installed the last fixture, below, on the left side of the layout.  The south side staging yard is to the left.


Below.  Here’s a general view as you enter the room.  I get a little extra light during the day.  I get a whole lot of extra light during the summer months.  We’re up at 52 degree Latitude and the sun comes up at 0400 hrs and goes down after 2200.


Below.  This is a whole-layout view from the other end of the room.  You can see the entire visible layout, the chimney (which I have surrounded by cabinets) the lighting valance, and my workbench at far right. 

As a reminder the sloped wall is 21-1/2 feet long and the “visible” or scenicked portion of the layout is exactly 16 feet.  At each end of the layout is a 2-1/2-foot “curve module” that is covered by fascia; the main track curves behind each of the curve modules to reach a small staging yard on each end.


I did not intend to run the fascia all the way to the wall–just to the edge of the visible layout.  However, I ran it all the way to the wall on the left side and I think it looks pretty good.  So now I have to run it all the way to the right wall as well to satisfy my OCD.

Below.  This is the South Staging Yard.  There’s about 12 feet of wall space here, and I’m thinking of installing a small city-themed layout above it.  I’m thinking of a British-style traveling layout with a valance on each side, just small enough to fit into the family van.  More to follow on that later.  Right now I’m thinking of an industrial layout…somewhere in St. Louis…


I spent the rest of the week working on freight cars and made some significant progress and finished three cars and got a few other weathered.  Here’s a photo of my P48 WP car, below, which just needs Dullcote and couplers to be “done”.  I’ll cover all this as soon as I can get some computer time.

Looks like I need to re-install the grab under the placard area before we’re ready for Prime Time…


Hope you all have a blessed week.  – John G


2 thoughts on “No. 83: Lighting Up – Lights on the Ackley Layout

    • Hi Chuck, Yes, I did buy them at the local hardware store here in Germany. They are a German brand with a German plug, and 220 volts. That’s the “bad”. The “good” is they are LEDs and were 22 bucks each. They’re 4800s and give out plenty of light. They are not 5500-6500 as most guys recommend but they’re good. What are you using, or what do you plan to use? John G


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