There is no denying that adding light to a Lego model improves its design; it brings it to life by refining lines, lightening shadows, and emphasizing elements that might otherwise go unnoticed.
During at least fifty years, LEGO has provided illumination, first in the form of a light brick with the choice of a filter, and more later in the form of power functions, which provide a pair of LED lights. In later sets, we have also seen self-contained light blocks.
The systems employed range from basic "bulb and battery" methods to specialized solutions for specific LEGO sets.
There are also advanced, microcomputer options on the market that provide hard wired lighting patterns. LEDs have shrunk in size to the point that they can now be included into LEGO creations with minimal rewiring.
I don't like to show you a handful of inexpensive and simple lighting methods that will help you improve your models. I will show you some instances of other, more complicated lighting schemes in the future.
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LED is an electroluminescent circuit, which means that when a current is applied across, light is produced. LED that creates red light were first developed by using a Gallium-Arsenic semiconductor, initially generating infrared light.
Bright LED that emits usable amounts of light did not become commercially available until the 1990s, with white LED arriving in the early twenty-first century. White LED are typically inherently blue, with a yellow coating that fluoresces when combined with the LED blue light.
Quick LED lightning:
Usually, the LED is taped to the battery and attached to the roof of a Lego with equivalent. An electronic tealight candle can be used to create a similar effect. The tealight assembly must be disassembled and the LED and battery extracted. This type of light is usually bright enough to use for about 12 hours, however the brightness may fade over time.
This is great for a day or two of illumination at a public exhibition or a few of picture shoots, but the battery will quickly drain over the duration of a multiday event, necessitating daily replenishment.
Connections between LEGO systems:
A 5mm LED can be tucked into a tube, such as the base of a transparent brick, or a hole that accepts a rivet style technic connector, such as a beam. However, the flange on the base prevents it from totally flowing through the hole. A 3.2mm hole, such as that found in brick or similar, will allow the 3mm LED to pass through, but not through.
A little sandpaper might be able to help things out a little more. A 3mm LED can be inserted inside a brick with studs on the side, and a transparent plate can be used as a diffuser, with some creative lead bending.
The Lego light set, which fits into a small-scale structure built, is a great supply of tan and sand green and light stone-grey bricks. The tree, walls, and brick-built figures all add complexity to the building's location on the street.
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