How To Improve Buildings: Simple Lighting

I’ve always thought the OO Gauge resin buildings (like those in the Skaledale range) look rather splendid.


But now I’m starting to add more lighting features to my layout – like street lamps and retro fitting rolling stock with LEDs, some of those cracking looking buildings are starting to look a little left out.

To jazz them up, try this simple tip to bring your buildings to life at night!


Lift up your buildings and drill a small hole somewhere within it’s footprint. Push through a small LED or miniature filament bulb so that it sits just proud of the surface as above (hopefully you can just about make that out).


Choose your lights wisely. I have a number of street lamps and signals already hooked up to a dedicated 12V supply so I’ve chosen 12V rated bulbs to make life easier. If you want to use a lower rated bulb to that of your power supply remember to add a resistor in series with the light.


It’s then simply a case of popping the building back and hey presto! Obviously, as these buildings are usually completely hollow, and lights underneath them will light up all windows. If you want something a little more realistic, why not add some black card to either block light escaping from individual windows or even entire portions of the building. You could also experiment moving the LED or bulb to different corners of the building for different effects.


Repeat for multiple buildings. I haven’t added any card to block off windows yet, so every window is a little bright! One downside with your buildings all lit up is that you may start to notice that hollow void inside… I’m hoping with careful position of black card this will be minimised.


The Underground station looks particularly good with inside lighting.

I’ve used mini filament lamps as I had some lying around and I rather like their warmer glow. I do however have some inexpensive LED’s on order to try in other structures. This really is a cheap and cheerful way to quickly add interest to some of your buildings and a relatively decent result is dead easy to achieve.


Happy Lighting!

– Andy Carter

3 thoughts on “How To Improve Buildings: Simple Lighting

  1. Interesting post, your doing a very similar set up to me lighting wise by the looks but I am having trouble with the light bleeding through some of the resin models. On my Skaledale Coal Drop the light bleeds through the roof tiles and some of the brickwork which I dont like so trying to come up with a solution to fix that. On a previous building I had to paint several layours of black paint on the inside of it so the light couldnt travel through it which was a pain but worked quite well. I love how you have lit the underground building as well looks really realistic and well done 🙂


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