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Discussion Starter #1
I am installing street lighting and building lights in my HO layout. I am using grain of wheat bulbs for most of it. They are connected in 6 zones of approximately the same size. There are going to be 50 - 60 bulbs total. What is the best way to power all of these? I had planned to use an transformer from a old train set but IT is shot. The wall worts I have are all for cell phones. Just need to know what to get. I want all six zones to have the same power source, divided by switches.
 

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If you know what voltage the lights use, you can pick up new wall-wort power packs pretty cheap online. I would imagine something with 2-3 amps output would suffice, but it's hard to guess with those types of bulbs. Then just cut off the end connector and wire it up to the bus for your lights.
 

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Why not LED's? But if you really want to use the incandescent bulbs, run them at half the rated voltage or less in order to extend their life, with 60 of them you will be replacing them a lot! Also don't save wire by wiring them in series, you never figure out which one is really burnt out. And again why not LED's?
 

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I agree with Shdwdrgn that a wall wart or similar power supply would be best. You could use either AC or DC, but I would recommend that you choose DC so that you could more easily power LEDs in the future. DC will of course also work with your current grain of wheat bulbs. As said, just cut off the end connector and you'll find 2 smaller wires inside the exterior sheath to hook up to your lights. You may also want to add a small fuse inline with the power lead to protect against any accidental short in your circuits. That's what I've done on my layout.

I cringe when you talk about having 50 - 60 grain of wheat bulbs on your layout. From past experience with grain of wheat bulbs, they are just not reliable. LEDs are SO much more reliable and really just as easy to work with if you have DC power. They are worth the effort to learn about for their increased reliability. I will never touch another grain of wheat bulb again. Just my opinion, so take it as you will.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I understand the advantage of LEDs. I have several of the bulbs already including prewired street lights. Each has its own line to a terminal strip for easy replacement. Nothing is serial. I am doing with what I have as all the stores are closed. Also I like the look of the bulbs better, warm glow.

Last few weeks have been a whirlwind of improvements on the layout. I and my kids have been installing anything we have in stock since this started 6 weeks ago with a goal of buying nothing for it. This is the first purchase.
 

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tkruger, do you have an old computer lying around? That's an excellent power supply! I wound up having to buy one (cost me about $27), but it'll power all my accessories.

The video I reference in that post is pretty good!
 

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Also I like the look of the bulbs better, warm glow
You can get any color temperature with LED's, I typically use 2700K-2800K LEDs for steam headlights, they run cool and look better than the incandescent bulbs ever did.

541389
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I would have used an old pc power supply but when I moved a few years back anything not in use of with a planned use was let go of. 15+ years of stuff sorted through.

I purchased a power supply from Amazon. Adjustable voltage and under $20. I agree the LEDs are better but our goal is to buy as little as possible to get this going. Each light goes back to a terminal strip and can be changed out quickly when the time come. Teaching my son's to wire properly.
 
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