Bulb and Wiring Help and Advice Wanted PLEASE!!!

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So last month I bought some mini light bulbs from this place called Jackson Electric Supply, I bought their 7219R red bulbs. And this is what they look like
7219R and 2162R Light Bulbs.png

The 7219R is the small bulb on the left, the other one on the right is just a 2162R, just ignore that one! https://www.jacksonelectricsupply.com/7219R-Red-Miniature-Bulb-Wire-Terminal-Base-p/7219r.htm

But do you see the bare wires on these bulbs, well, leads actually? This is where I need the advice. One, how do I insulate them and other bare wires, I mean what do/should I use to make these insulated? I was told that I cannot let these wires touch something or else they'd cause a short out and it already happened to one of my flasher units! This is what I was told by Circuitron "since those lamps have bare wire leads, you need to make sure they never touch each other or you will have a short that will take out the output transistor on the FL-2. That may be what happened."

Something else I want to know, if I want to expand these wires, basically add wires to these and make them stick, do I need to solder them? I ask because I never soldered anything before. Am wondering if I will need a soldering iron and what else I need. I'm very new to much of this!

If I cannot insulate the bare wire leads, I'll probably have to cut them shorter. Hopefully I WON'T need to but that's what I'm considering doing!

I asked someone at Jackson Electric Supply but the person I contacted told me this " I would check on a forum for model trains to get the best way to insulate the wires and make them longer. I know and understand the bulbs and how they function, but I am not versed in how to insulate or extend them." And so that's what I'm doing now, asking the model train forums about this.

As for wires, I need ultra thin wires but insulated wires and wires I can easily peel with blades, like a pair of scissors. Should I use 30 gauge or something a little higher? I want something thin but not too thin (a few days ago when trying to wire and light up crossing gates with a very thin wire the wire I used melted and there was smoke and the wire sticked. I know "sticked" is not a word but I'm using that to help you understand what I'm saying. I don't know if that was a 30 gauge wire I used or what but maybe that was too thin, but I need something more than 20 gauge, and wires that are discreet. Like I said I am planning to light up crossing gate arms so they can be lit along with the crossbuck signal lights.)

As for adding wires to the bulbs and making them flash alternately like the crossing signal lights, not sure this is a good idea but what I do is I take two of the 7219 bulbs, take one wire lead each and connect them to each other. Then I take three loose wires, put one wire on one isolated lead on each bulb and put the third wire on the jointed leads. The leads that are not jointed together get wired to the L and R terminals on the flasher unit to flash, while the jointed wire, the Common Ground wire, gets wired to the Out terminal to the lights can blink and flash alternately. I know I should just wire each terminal individually but I think I found a more efficient way to do so so that I don't have too many wires showing and running down the gate arm. But if you have better advice on that, please tell me.

As for the tip light on the gate that lights steadily (stays on,) I already know what to do about that, I wire that separately and wire that directly to the power source, not to the L and R terminals!

Let me show you exactly what I'm doing or trying to do using photos
Crossing Gate with three (3) 7219R Bulbs.png

Okay here are the 7219R bulbs on the gate, which I made myself. Since the leads are long I wrapped them around the gate arm to try to keep them in place as you can see. And as you can also see, they weren't wired yet!

Crossing Gate with three (3) 7219R Bulbs Lit 3.png
Crossing Gate with three (3) 7219R Bulbs Lit 4.png

Now I have the gate lights wired and I have them lighted and flashing like I want them to. The wires are not permanently connected to the bulbs, they're just wrapped around, but I plan to permanently wire them, which is why I ask if I need to solder them. I also need to know how to insulate them if I can.

Like I said, the flashing gate lights are jointly wired together, I took one lead on each two bulbs and connected them but left the remaining leads alone. Then I wired the two lone leads with one wire each and wired the jointed leads both to a third wire (if I have to I'll use four wires but I figured this would be more efficient if I could just use three wires!)

I'm also going to need longer wires for the gates because look at this:
NJI 1190 Cantilever Signals and Gate Light Display.png

Although the crossing set up looks how I want it to and the lights are functioning the way I want them to although the gate lights are on a different flasher unit than the signal lights, in other words the gate lights are not interconnected with the signal lights, but see how the wires are all over the place? This is not what a railroad crossing is supposed to look like and how can a train and crossing cars get through this??? The wires are too short and need to be longer so that I can bury them under the track and grade crossing. I also couldn't lower the gates, they wouldn't stay down and the wires kept getting undone, getting loose from the gate lights and from the flasher unit. I have an idea what to do, I need longer wires and they need to be so that they're not blocking the crossing way for neither trains nor automobiles, but I need to know exactly what wires to use. The wires again have to be discreet but easier to peel and they have to not burn and melt so easily!

And again, I need to know how to insulate the bare wire leads on the bulbs or if I should just cut them. Either way I still need to know how to add wires to them and if I should solder them or not.

Sorry this got too long, I'm not very good at expressing myself, but I need help with this and anything (hopefully kind please) helps!

Thanks for reading and looking!
Last edited:


Loveably weird
You will have to solder the wires to the leads and use heat shrink tubing to insulate them. Don't stress out! It's not a big deal. If you're going to be involved in this hobby, sooner or later you need to learn how to solder.


Well-Known Member
You will have to solder the wires to the leads and use heat shrink tubing to insulate them. Don't stress out! It's not a big deal. If you're going to be involved in this hobby, sooner or later you need to learn how to solder.
What he said.
You will have to solder the wires to the leads and use heat shrink tubing to insulate them. Don't stress out! It's not a big deal. If you're going to be involved in this hobby, sooner or later you need to learn how to solder.
I meant to get back to reply hours earlier.

Thank you both. I am sorry if I seemed like I was freaking out! Some of this is stuff is new to me and I'm trying to learn what I can about all this, what I need to do and what I don't need to do and I've been looking on Google for materials and equipment and searching one site after another for what I need or what might be appropriate for me.

I basically just want to get this right, I don't want to buy the wrong equipment and have to wait along time to buy the right stuff, not to mention be unable to return wrong or unwanted equipment or get refunded for it. I also want to have as little setbacks as I can like stuff not working anymore and having to replace them. I mean yes things are gonna stop working but I mean I don't want them to break sooner than they're supposed to, I already have to repair one of my flasher units and I'm waiting to do that!

Anyway, now I just have to find and buy the soldering equipment, and learn how to use them. Like I said I'm new to some of this! I'm also autistic, a slow learner, think differently, and get very very anxious about things, although this is something I REALLY want to do!

One more thing I'm planning to obtain and work with are LEDs, mainly surface mount LEDs and prewired, something else I've been on the hunt for, and I found some on Wish.com and was referred by another user on this forum to Model Modz (in the U.K.) and I ordered two LEDs from them early last month and I'm STILL waiting for them! Thankfully they're now shipped and on their way! These are the LEDs I ordered.

I did want the Dialight Surface Mount LEDs sold by DigiKey (was told they make great 4" gate lights with their domed tops) but they don't come pre wired. I asked DigiKey and they said they don't know who to recommend to get them professionally wired. I'm probably just gonna stick to ModelModz and maybe try Wish, at least they prewire their LEDs and ModelModz LEDs come with pre wired resistors and I need the resistors!

The thing about ModelModz and by someone else's experience with Wish, the person at DigiKey, they're orders take a month, so you won't get your stuff till a month or longer after ordering. I thought it was just a ModelModz thing but I guess it's anybody that sells prewired LEDs. But DigiKey told me they have LEDs you can get right away, but again they don't come pre wired. I don't know how to wire LEDs and I don't know who to ask to do so.

If I have to choose between getting unwired LEDs quickly that I need to wire myself and waiting a month or more to get pre wired LEDs, I'll just wait for the prewired LEDs! But like I was told "sooner or later you have to learn how to solder" and maybe someday I'll decide to do so, I mean, to wire LEDs myself! But for now I just want prewired LEDs.

In case you're interested here's the email I got from DigiKey:

Hello William,

Well, to start us off, it sounds like you are having an issue with your LEDs burning up quickly. LEDs actually have a very long lifetime, if used within the correct parameters, so I worry that perhaps you are using too high of a voltage with them.
5973006507F for example as a forward voltage of 2V and a forward current of 20mA. If you apply more than that, the lifetime will decrease. Luckily, we do also have a tool on our site to let you know what size resistor to use to prevent that damage. LED series resistor calculator.

Speaking from personal experience with Wish, you will also have quite the wait time from them as well. Usually around a month, though that is a general estimate. On the other hand, we have 5973006507F in stock and ready to ship out right away.

As for your main question, who to send your LEDs to in order to get them wired. Unfortunately, I do not have any recommendations. That is not a section of the industry that Digi-Key works with currently, but is likely looking into. Sorry that I cannot provide much help on that end.

Check out Digi-Key’s TechForum for assistance anytime!

Jonathan Rixen
Electronics Technician
Digi-Key Electronics

701 Brooks Ave S
Thief River Falls, MN 56701 USA
+1 800 344 4539 x 11325

Applications Engineering Terms of Service

And this is what I plan to do with the LEDs, I plan to mount them on my NJ International crossing gates and wire them to my Busch crossing signals
Busch Signals and NJI Crossing Gates April 9, 2021 1.png

Busch Signals and NJI Crossing Gates April 9, 2021 2 (on LifeLike Crossing).png
Busch Signals and NJI Crossing Gates April 9, 2021 3 (on LifeLike Crossing).png
Busch Signals and NJI Crossing Gates April 9, 2021 5 (on LifeLike Crossing).png

Like how I mounted my crossing signals and crossing gates?

So yeah, I am planning to remove those ugly fake lights off the gate arms and replace them with actual flashing lights, using SMD LEDs. And my plan is to wire the flashing gate lights to the flasher unit, the same one used as the Busch signals unless you recommend otherwise, and wire the tip lights directly to the power source (with resistors of course!)

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