Miniature fire effect.

This past Christmas I noticed in craft shops some artificial tea light candles that consisted of a plastic base the shape and size of a tea
light and a little plastic or rubber (?) "flame" on top with a LED inside which the package claimed flickered like a real flame. Operation is by watch battery. These were interesting but there were never any on display to see what they looked like and I wasn't interested in buying a $4 experiment. I had my doubts because the previous year I had purchased an artificial LED window Christmas candle from Lowes (at about $6) that made the same claim. The "realistic" flame didn't do anything but blink on and off.
Flash forward to yesterday at a different craft shop, and up by the counter was one of these lites out of the package and turned on. The effect is quite impressive. It actually has a random flicker just like a real candle light. I asked about it and the cashier said they had one going for about 3 months before having to change the battery. I don't know if they turned if off every night but even half that is a long time.
I thought if anyone else uses this type of light effect in their layout that it might be of interest. I saw a wired unit in a Walthers catalog that basically did the same thing (I think used for campfires or fireplace) but for a lot more money. No doubt I'm going to work these into my Halloween layout by drilling a hole in the plywood and popping the flame up through it. I'm thinking a witches cauldron over a fire out in the woods. If the tea base can be removed or made thinner I might even put one in the caboose just to light the windows up. :) Wouldn't cabooses in the old days have a pot belly stove or something inside to keep warm in the winter anyway?
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

Got a manufacturer or brand name for these things?
--

Rick Jones
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Sorry I'm a bit late in checking back in. The site that Bill gave:
http://www.coolsafetyproducts.com/site/898652/page/575590
-has variations that I've never seen at the craft shops but the basic ones seem to be the same thing, although the web site claim their's to be brighter than what the chains carry. I just purchased a 6 pack of them tonight and to be honest I wouldn't want it any brighter than it is for a campfire effect but then again I suppose they could always be toned down by putting something around the flame. Maybe pieces of colored cellophane.
These I have are called "Everlasting Tealights -battery operated tealights". No actual brand name I can find but are distributed by: The Gerson Company, 1450 Lone Elm Rd., Olathe, KS 66061 (no web site or phone noted). They use the same CR2032 batteries. Base is solid white. Flame is a milky white in appearance when off. LED is orange. The power switch is a little blue push-on, push-off button on the bottom alongside the battery access door. Price is right about $2.00 a piece. I purchased them at a large local craft store but have seen them at Michael's craft stores before (specifically at Halloween and Christmas time but surely they stock them all year). I would guess any craft chain would have them by now.
Thanks Bill for that website! The extra colors and types available open up some even greater possibilities. I wonder if the sound activated ones would come on as the train passed by if placed close to the track? And the plastic flame looks thick enough around the LED, it may be possible to drill into it and insert fiber optics to run off to other effects (I'm thinking the red ones would make nice little red eyes peeping out of the shadows of bushes or windows in a haunted house). :)
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flyingdrago replied: *** Thanks Bill for that website! The extra colors and types available open up some even greater possibilities. I wonder if the sound activated ones would come on as the train passed by if placed close to the track? And the plastic flame looks thick enough around the LED, it may be possible
to drill into it and insert fiber optics to run off to other effects (I'm thinking the red ones would make nice little red eyes peeping out of the shadows of bushes or windows in a haunted house). :) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- <<(I'm thinking the red ones would make nice little red eyes peeping out of the shadows of bushes or windows in a haunted house). :) >>
Wow! Thanks for the great idea! I like it!
Bill Bill's Railroad Empire http://www.billsrailroad.net
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flyingdrago wrote: *** I thought if anyone else uses this type of light effect in their layout that it might be of interest. *** ----------------------------------------------------------- This is good news! I use flickering lights in my theaters to simulate a movie being shown and for my haunted house. I made my own and have never been satisfied with the effect...more of a flashing light effect. These INEXPENSIVE ones are certainly something to look forward to. Thanks for sharing.
Bill Bill's Railroad Empire http://www.billsrailroad.net
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Google supplied these sites that have inexpensive flickering lights:
http://www.mrlight.com /
http://www.coolsafetyproducts.com/site/898652/page/575590
Bill Bill's Railroad Empire http://www.billsrailroad.net
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Thanks Bill! I'll get a couple to try out - I have a campfire just begging for a good light. Right now I drive an orange LED with an old radio -- it's OK, but could look better.
--
73 de KT0T
Bob Schwartz
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Bob Schwartz wrote: Thanks Bill! I'll get a couple to try out - I have a campfire just begging for a good light. Right now I drive an orange LED with an old radio -- it's OK, but could look better. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ flyingdrago brought this to 'light'. And since I'm using Google Groups to access rec.models.railroad at the moment, they supplied the links. I'm simply a messenger.
I tried to use a radio as you did but without much success. I discovered that idea from an article by Paul Templer in Model Railroading magazine a few years ago. There are a number of things one can do with these. I have a factory building that I want to use a flickering light to simulate welding.
Bill Bill's Railroad Empire http://www.billsrailroad.net
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------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bill, I use one of Iron Penguin's Arc Welder board for the arc welder in my gas station shop. It is almost too bright to look at and has a nice randomness to the flashing. I turn it on with the PC and/or with a fascia mounted push button for the kids to operate. Works well! $19.95 http://www.ironpeng.com/ipe/fxindx.html
--
73 de KT0T
Bob Schwartz
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Bob Schwartz wrote: Bill, I use one of Iron Penguin's Arc Welder board for the arc welder in my gas station shop. It is almost too bright to look at and has a nice randomness to the flashing. I turn it on with the PC and/or with a fascia mounted push button for the kids to operate. Works well! $19.95 http://www.ironpeng.com/ipe/fxindx.html --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thanks, Bob. I'd almost forgotton about Mike Tennant's excellent products. I'll visit his site.
Bill Bill's Railroad Empire http://www.billsrailroad.net
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I've been looking for someway to model a burning building and this might be the ticket. Does "Hobby Lobby" sound like a store that might carry these? And if so, what would I ask the clerk for, a "flickering tea light"?
tks
Mike
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Hi Mike, I'm going to order a couple from this outfit - shipping will probably be more that the cost of two lights, but they should be cheaper than Hobby Lobby (if we even have one here in Minnesota). http://www.coolsafetyproducts.com/site/898652/product/AL-06130 Then I'll add a regulated output to my power bus to power them so I don't have to worry about changing batteries.
Come to think of it, I recall someone saying that Michaels had the same thing. I'll look there first. Just checked their web site and couldn't find them...
--
73 de KT0T
Bob Schwartz
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