Electricifying my layout

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New Member
I have an extensive HO layout and I am considering adding lighting to several buildings and structures on the layout. I am looking for advice on what type of lights I should use. I am interest to know how people do their electric portion of their layout. I am thinking about using LED strip lighting but I have a couple of smaller layouts adjacent to the main layout that may require a seperate battery operated power source. In regards to a seperate power source, has anyone used a battery powered source?

D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
I experimented with battery power for building lights long ago. I knew I would have to switch it off at the end of an op session, but on occasion I would forget and the batteries would drain.
Best to stick with wall warts type power so it's all turned off with your layout power control.


New Member
Thanks for the input. I may have to use a battery sourced power source as I have a couple of ancillary layouts on wheels that using a wall based source would leave significant cords on floor. For my main layout I can do the wall source but for the other mobile layouts I am thinking battery power possibility. Where did you get the battery sourced power supply?


New Member
What is the specific name of the D cell battery holder? I went to Home Depot and typed title in surf engine and didn't find it.


Well-Known Member
Look at my thread Getting Stuff Lit. It's how I lit my entire layout for a small amount of money.


Red Oak & Western

Active Member
First, let me say that I am electrically adept. I've spent more years than I want to remember in jobs dealing with it. I use several of these:

They are inexpensive and come in a wide range of voltage and current outputs.


Well-Known Member
What is the specific name of the D cell battery holder?
It is simply called a D cell battery holder. You can get them from Amazon, Radio Shack, All Electronics, Parts Express, even Wal-Mart, but you will have to order online. Below is an example. Do a Google search for more sources.

- Jeff



It's worth noting, that you can also use a standard computer power supply for this sort of thing. The standard ones will give you from 3.3v to 12v which should work just fine. Depending upon the actual lights you use, you may not even need resistors.

Used ones can be had for practically nothing, but whatever you do, it's a wise idea to make it easy for you to replace the power connector later on. That way, if you decide that you no longer want to deal with the batteries, you can quickly substitute in a power source with similar electrical properties.

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