I experimented with several lighting configurations before I found one that I was happy with.  I ultimately settled on a combination of 4-tube fixtures directly over the layout + a 2-tube fixture mounted slightly in front of the benchwork, close to the valence.

I placed Phillips Daylight Deluxe tubes in the overhead fixtures. This gives a great ambient light source for the layout. However, the Daylight tubes alone give off a very bright but cold-looking light. I needed something to soften the light, and at the same time, shine down at an angle so as to really bring out the detail and weathering on my rolling stock. I tried track lighting with halogen fixtures, but could not eliminate "pools" of light at the front of the layout and multiple shadows to the rear. However, I found a second set of fluorescents, with cool white tubes, to be the answer. The cool whites give a beautiful, angled light to the layout, replicating a late Autumn day (my scenery will be set in November) and the daylight bulbs overhead give everything a nice, seemless punch.


I could not use the same shadowbox style lighting above the Commerce Street district due to overhead ductwork.  The ducts and utilities also eliminated any type of recessed can lights within the drop ceiling.  So, I went with pigtail fluorescents mounted in track light fixtures attached to the valence.  

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