Walthers HO street lamp have problems

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Charles Smiley

The street lamps that plug into their flush mount sockets are giving me lots of problems. They become intermittent in short order. The socket contacts, I think, are cheap and what I consider to be a poor design having only one spring-contact on the center pin made of a material that loses it's springiness. Do any of you have trouble with these things?


Well-Known Member
Staff member

I can't help with the problem you are having with the Walthers Lights, however, you have probably hit the nail on the head - cheap and nasty materials used together with a poor design.

What I can tell you is that I use even cheaper Model Power Street lights and have never had a problem with them. Could be that the $ figure doesn't equate to quality in this case.


BN Modeller
I like the socket idea but any time you rely on a friction contact the connection will be hit and miss.
I've considered picking some up and hard wiring them, may be your best fix.


I agree the new lights and pricing do not mean quality. I use model power and old lifelike lights for mine and have had almost zero problems but it is more work to do but worth it. I have models from walthers that have come bent and need filling in some areas plus painting to make them correct. it is a shame that quality standards have taken a tumble good luck and really stick with the older design for all reasons mentioned. just remember that you need wires afterwards and crimp pliers and get good quality connectors, menards is not bad or home depot. check it when you give it small tugs afterwards and bend the forked connectors to switch areas for clean contacts. I also label everything with tape and abbreviations and use wire looms and bolt up strap holders with sheet metal screws and check around at harbor freight for tools it keeps your costs lower.

Charles Smiley

Really my biggest gripe is that they still use incandescent bulbs when "warm" white LEDs would last for 25,000 hours (MTBF) and the plug-in ability would be less of purpose. Euro products such as Bush, Brawa, Faller and Viessmann all seem to have adopted LEDs.

Incandescent bulbs are failure prone making the socket idea more useful. Plus, these Incandescent bulbs are way too red-shifted to look realistic. I think they are 14-volt filaments so 12 volts will not produce such a short life.


Beach Bum
Use of incandescent bulbs is definitely outmoded but these lights are what they are. I agree with Rico, that the solution is to direct wire. I would also use less than 12 volts, if possible, but your preference / experience may vary from mine.

Charles Smiley

quote: "I would also use less than 12 volts, if possible".

Lower than 12 volts really adds to the ugly red shift problem. Sticking to regulated 12 volt power is fairly OK. But the MTBF is probably under 2000 hours at best. Using the "accessories" output on a typical power pack will be a short life because it is unregulated and any increase in line voltage at the wall outlet is proportionally sent to the filament - poof!

Charles Smiley


Yes I know that too but anything that reduces the voltage to any given bulb causes an increase in the color-temperature shifting into the red colored zone and that looks bad. You never see that red shift in real life.

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