Diorama: Model Lighting In progress

Six buildings are planned for the diorama, five of which will be lit.

LEDs will be used for all lighting. Building lights will be emulated using 3mm white LEDs. Open fires and a forge will be emulated using flickering 3mm amber LEDs. So as not to stress the microcontroller's power limits, LEDs will be switched via transistors.

Here are details of the buildings, the number of LEDs required and the progress with construction.

Building Description White LEDs Flicker LEDs Status
Twin bay shed This building was modified from a card kit. While construction of the building is still not quite completed, all LEDs and wiring are in place. So, for the purposes of this project, the building can be regarded as finished. It has 2 × 3mm white LEDs and a 3mm amber flicker LED inserted in a fireplace. The lighting LEDs are connected to magnet wire that passes down inside an internal wall and through the building's floor. The flicker LED is inserted up through a hole in the building floor. Under the floor the flicker LED's leads are soldered to single core wires. These wires and the magent wires are soldered to a piece of perfboard, with all the cathode connections commoned. Four multi-strand 7/22 cables are routed from a choc block beneath the baseboard through some trunking under the scenery, ready for passing through a hole in the foundation of the shed and soldering to the perfboard. 2 1 Completed
Barn (converted to workshop) This building is under construction from a card kit that is being modified. There is a rear lean-to that has been fitted with 2 × 3mm white LEDs, each in a different room. An office within the main building has a single 3mm white LED. The main structure will be lit with 2 × 3mm white LEDs (that will switch on and off together). There is to be a scratchbuilt forge with an associated chimney, that will be lit with a 3mm amber flicker LED. The three LEDs already fitted and connected to magent wire that is planned to be routed through the building floor in three different locations. 5 1 In progress
Lean-to shed This is a small, scratch built, lean-to building that will be set against a high wall. It has a single overhead white LED light and a flicker LED in the chimney breast. LEDs have been installed. They are connected, via single core wire to copper tapes, with cathodes commoned. This tape exits the roof at the rear and runs down the back wall and under the building. The building is complete apart from weathering and connecting the wires to the relevant circuits, but can be considered as complete for the purposes of this project. 1 1 Completed
Large shed / workshop (TBC) This building will possibly have a single light using a white LED and a stove / fireplace containing a single flicker LED. 1 1 Not started
Site office This building has been constructed from a plastic kit, modified to take LEDs. The office is lit with a single 3mm white LED and a 3mm amber flicker LED to represent the open fire. All LEDs are connected to magnet wires which are led down through a corner of the building to emerge through the bottom. The four wires are coated in heat shrink and will be passed through a hole drilled in the baseboard to a connection beneath. The building is complete apart from weathering and connecting the wires to the relevant circuits. For the purpose of this project, the building can be classed as complete. 1 1 Completed
Storage shed This is a simple scratch built shed with no windows and a single closed door. Therefore there was no need to fit any lights. 0 0 Completed
Total LEDs 10 5  


The lights are so numerous that some form of multiplexing will be required.

Wires from each building's LEDs will be passed through the diorama's baseboard and from there connected to the relevant circuits. No such circuits have yet been built.


An experiment has been conducted to try to find the optimum method to use to multiplex the LEDs.

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