Testing the lighting
Just like in the easy start chapter of this book, with a single technic brick you can insert an LED and a watch battery and use that to design your lighting. Just put it in place, stand back and see if you get the effect you want.
You may need to add wires in the process, such as this.
You can buy a variety of bulldog clips, plastic is ideal as if you have metal ones you’ll need to insulate the battery. This can be easily done with a square of paper.
[Bulldog clip and battery] [Pegs]
This was the first thing I did in order to see what sort of light got cast around the buildings, and also gives you a quick way of testing what colour your LEDs are as even in the same packet they can vary greatly for the same bought colour due to manufacturing tolerances.
Normal flat room lighting is the easiest. Just put an LED in the room and it’s alight.
[Model not beach hut- tree hunt?]
If you just want to take a picture of your Lego model its easy to just use the battery, clip and LED that was described in the introduction, or a collection of them in colours as you wish.
It’s quick and easy to buy a lot of LEDs from the Internet to just put lighting in your models. There are other colours you can buy too, in fact there is a rainbow of colours available depending on what you want to achieve. They all have different power requirements so a quick glance at one of the appendix’s of this book might help your buying decisions.
The Lego log style house suits an orange or yellow light for example. This model also suits the flickering style fire effect very well.
[Log Cabin Picture white]
[Log Cabin yellow]
Lanterns and Wall Lights
Several solutions exist to light up torches, lanterns and other wall lighting.
The easiest is to simply embed a light behind, above or under a coloured translucent brick. Depending on the effect required you can either make it flicker or stay on permanently.
[forest cabin light]
Other solutions are to buy custom bricks that have been embedded inside custom pieces, drill out columns of street lamps to run wires round them or wrap copper tape or wires round posts or along walls to get the power to the light.
I’m sure you’ve seen the Halloween trick of putting a torch light under your chin, making yourself look scary around the camp fire whilst you tell a spooky tale. You can use this for equal purposes or just decoration.
One trick I love is using green LEDs to light up trees.
[tower brick loot pic]
In the Animal Kingdom they have a large savannah, which you can see both from a hotel and a Safari within the park itself. They disguise the feeding troughs to look like rocks or anthills or suchlike.
This idea can be extended to your Lego models by hiding the lights within structures. You can’t hide things from every angle, but given time and thought usually three angles wouldn’t show up the lights.