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I'm am looking for some low level lighting for my pits and pitlane and came up with the idea of having some LED's wired in parallel. I have two purely scenic pit garages and I'm thinking of 6 lights, one in each garage, one over each pit area in front of the garage and one each in the pit wall awnings. All I want is low level lighting as my track isn't too huge so lights that are too powerful would light up other parts of the track which I want to keep dark.

So my questions are:
1) Are LED's going to provide enough light, I think they will judging by the light emmitted form LED's used as headlights?
2) Is it best to wire in parallel so if one light goes the others will still work?
3) what kind of power source will they use? Will a battery or two be enough? or should I wire it up to something more substantial?
4) Can you get white LED's?

If it works out well I might well end up lighting my paddock in a similar fashion.

Here's a couple of pics of my pit area to give you an idea of what it looks like.



Thanks for any help you can offer.

David

edited for spelling
 

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It's exactly the same thing I want to do...
And it is possible! White LED's are easy to find in electronic shops! I recently bought some for different uses!

About the wiring... that interests me too...
So if anybody knows...
 

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You will very rarely get an LED fail just like that. They normally go dim over a long period of time so its hardly noticable until they finally go out.

If you wire them in parallel they will draw twice as much current from your power supply, so batteries may be a bit of an issue. I personnally would wire them in series and even add a resistor to limit the current drain (and light level if you think they are too bright) LED fully on with 3V 10mA, so to run from a PP3 (9V) battery I would use something like 6K ohms resistor in series with your LEDs, just to limit the amount of current they draw.
 

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Thanks for that Daleq.

Just to check is that 1 resistor for the whole circuit (if they run in series) or 1 resistor in front of each led in the circuit (ie 6 leds and 6 resistors).

I'm thinking the first one is that right? It makes sense to me but then electricity and me don't mix, I managed to knock out all of the lights in my house a while back just by changing a rose
 

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@dhmotorsport good effort on the lights, Ive not managed that one yet!! You are right in thinking that you use 1 resistor before the LEDs, no need for more as they are current limiting devices, if you add more resistors your LEDs will get dimmer and dimmer further down the chain
 

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If I remember correctly (I should check the data sheet but I think I won't be wrong by much) most white LEDs have a forward voltage drop of 4.7V so you will need at least that to turn them on i.e. 3V will not work.

You can use 6V with a 100 Ohm resistor in series, it should let approx 10mA (13 when the batteries are 6V, and if the 4.7 V data is correct) flow through the LED itself which will preserve the LED and make it bright enough.

Best regards

Maurizio
 

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White LEDs are expensive arent they!!!!

Had a look on RS website White LEDs

These run on 3.4V at 20mA, so a 6K8 resistor should do nicely
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
...And then there was light.

Thanks to Gunther (I nicked his idea for xmas lights from Petit Spa) I have now added pit, paddock and building lights to Darling Park.


Pit and Paddock complex inside the final turn.


Support race paddock fully illuminated so you can work on your car late into the night...(been there, done that
)


Merc DTM sits in the Parc Ferme after his race has finished


Main pit buildings, lit from the inside with the media suites above lit to allow the sponsors late night parties


David
 

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YOU CHEATED!!!!


But it looks very good I have to admit......................
 

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Looks really good David! Your christmas lights give nice strong light!

Do you have pictures of how you've placed them too?

Another thingy... If you make little slots (just big enough for the guides of the cars to fit in) in your paddock and park ferme, the cars would be able to stand on their wheels... wich looks much better I think, so much more realistic... Then paint the slots black inside... and you allmost don't see them anymore when there are no cars above it...
(This is absolutely no criticism, just a tip)

Cheers

gunther
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I prefer to think of it as 'lateral thinking to a time effective solution', cheating is such an ugly word...


TDI: for now they are just intertwined around the paddock posts. I started off by securing the building lights (held in place by insulation tape) then started to see how many lights I would need to remove by placing the others roughly around the paddock...then it got dark and I got all excited and took the pics


By a stroke of preplanned genius (luck) the remaining lights on the roll went all the way around the paddock! As I say, for now they are just wrapped round the fence posts but what I shall be doing (hopefully today) is running all the lights along the top of the fence held in place with wire. The lights will lay flat along the top of the fence to hopefully downlight the paddock. It might look rubbish when I've finished but I'll give it a go and see.

As for the groves in the paddock, I've thought of that too but I haven't got round to figuring out the best way to do it yet as the paddock is made of a couple of layers of hardboard which can damage easily
 

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Hello David,

if you want a really professional light system on your track you should have a look here.

Klaus
OVERDRIVE Slotservice


 
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