PC&N Mini Layout – Lighting Experiment

There will be a number of face structures along the edge of the mini layout.  The PC&N will have many more.  One issue that needs to be addressed is how these structures will be lighted.  While I am capable of fabricating LED circuits this layout has a significant number of projects.  A turn key solution is welcome as long as it is cost effective.  Woodland Scenics has released structure lighting system they call their Just Plug system.  Here is a schematic.

Woodland Just Plug Schematic

I’m going to experiment with the Get Started system on the left.  Assuming the experiment goes well, the system used on the PC&N will be some form of the Expand system in the right.

The system can be powered with track power or with a power block.  Because the PC&N is likely to be radio control battery power, the power block will be used on both the mini-layout and the PC&N.  One power block can support up to 50 LEDs.

Wpoodland Power Supply

The power supply plugs into either a Light Hub or an Expansion Hub.  An Expansion Hub supports up to four Light Hubs.  Expansion Hubs can also be ganged if more than four Light Hubs are needed.

Woodland Expansion Hub


The Light Hubs support up to four LEDs which can be dimmed individually.  This version included two LED Stick-On lights.

Woodland LED Stick-On

The LED Stick-On lights are normally used to provide lights to structures.  They are available in multiple colors.

Woodland LED Nano

LED Nano lights simulate individual points of light like in street lamps or automobile lights.  They also are available in multiple colors.

You might notice at the top left of both the Light Hub and Expansion Hub there is a jumper.  That jumper can be replaced with an Auxiliary Switch which can turn of all the power to the LEDs supported by that unit.

Woodland Aux Switch


There are two additional components.  One is Light Diffusing Window Film.  The other is a Light Blocking Kit that kills light leaks.  The following image shows a structure without the window film on the lift and with the film on the right.

Woodlands Light Difusing

Experimental System Components

I ordered the following:

  • One Power Supply
  • One Light Hub with two Stick-On Lights
  • Two Nano-Lights
  • One Auxiliary Switch

Bashing Just Plug

It is likely that any switch could be substituted for the Just Plug switch, allowing lights to be operated from a control panel.  In addition, they claim to be DCC compatible but fail to elaborate.  I suspect a stationary decoder could be used to switch lights on and off as long as the decoder has adequate power handling capability.

Could you fabricate your own lighting extensions from a Light Hub?  The answer to that question remains to be seen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>