This is my original setup for directional lighting on my 4x8 layout. I want an appearance of shadows and bright central California sun. I wanted a minimum of wattages to minimize the heat from the lighting system. I found 150 watt equivalent fluorescent twisty bulbs but have went to the smaller 100 watt equivs.
The large bulbs required these large 10" clamp-on reflectors. They also needed a modulator as explained in my first article. The large 10" reflectors worked well with my new choice of the smaller "100 watt" twisties. The smaller bulbs fit up inside the reflector and cause no backlight and don't need modulators.
These are the twistys used now. They are cheaper and more readily available. 4 are used per 8 foot of layout.
A longitudinal member is used to mount the reflectors instead of my original cross members. This gives more flexibility in light positioning. The 2x3 light bar is 16 inches form the outside and is 28 inches above the layout surface. The layout is two feet deep.
Two power strips are needed and will be plugged into the light circuit added to the basement wiring. Sections of layout will be daisy chained with the power strips. This places the layout lighting separate from the house causing less code problems.
The lighting produces a sunny with shadow effect without excessive wattage. The reflectors are flexible and can be moved to highlight areas of interest.
The lighting system is setup to clear the ducting which makes the ceiling here 82 inches.
The shadow box idea produces a problem. Objects at the edge are too dark.
Several light systems were tried to illuminate the equipment at the edge. Shop lights produced too much of the wrong light and required too much wattage. One "100 watt" twisty worked well but produced a glare in the aisle. Several paper baffles were tried and were lacking. I tried a small lamp shade and it solved all the problems.
The aisle light eliminated the harsh shadow on this side of the equipment and only one was needed per 8 feet. It is difficult of get a photograph to show it well.
The aisle light is placed 18 inches form the layout edge in the center of the eight foot layout section. This close-up shows the improvement while maintaining shadows and backlighting.
A leftover small clamp light was used for the aisle light. There are light fixture components available to duplicate this setup. A small lamp shade is used. It is attached to a 1x4.
I use this plastic sheeting to make the front valance. It has a fold that is used to mount the plastic to the fascia piece on the light frame.
Map pins are used to mount the valance. I find they make changes easier and still hold the sheeting in place.
The plastic sheeting is easily trimmed with scissors.
A piece of sheeting was used to cover the space between the layout backboard and the light frame so the lights on the other side of the peninsula would be blocked.
This is the layout with the new lighting. The four lights per 8 foot section adds flexibility in highlighting. The aisle light does a good job of lighting the foreground equipment. The twistys light an 8 foot section with only 130 watts of power.
The soft white gives the impression of sunshine and there are enough directional shadowing to look like there is a sun somewhere in the sky.