Lighting Tips for Model Builders

After months of hard work, your model version of downtown New York (complete with a subway underneath) is almost complete! The last piece you need is to insert lights to give it that true New York feel.

But no matter how hard you try, the lights are too big for the models, or the lighting feels too inauthentic and artificial. What can you do to help alleviate these problems?

Well, we’re glad you asked. It’s time to take a look at our guide to the top 5 lighting tips for model builders!

But enough buildup, right? Let’s get into the good stuff!

1. Need Lighting Tips for Model Builders? Think About Color

Before you place any lights inside your model, stop and think about the color of your model against the color of the lights you want to use. Understanding basic color theory is vital to creating a visually appealing model, and a great way to start is pairing complementary colors with one another (like yellow and blue). Sticking to a single color palette with slight deviations can also prove worthwhile.

If you mix and match colors without care, you risk them bleeding together and creating an unappealing look for your model.

2. Establish Location Beforehand

Another great lighting tip is considering where you want to put your lights before you make your model. Without this forethought, you could end up building something you’re super proud of…but no longer has space for the lights you picked out for it.

One great way to establish these positions is to make tiny marks on the insides of the models while you’re making them to designate where the lights will go.

3. Diffusion is Key

You know how filmmakers will place covers around their lights to achieve different effects with the lighting? These are called diffusers and diffusing your model lighting will give your lights a less broad and flat feeling.

Try moving the lights back a little more or placing a translucent plastic sheet over the light. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even swap up the color of the plastic sheets to affect the hue of the light.

4. Test Before You Place

Make sure to test all your LED’s before you go sticking them in your models. Getting this out of the way early saves you from having to pick the lights apart and test them all one-by-one if they are clumped together and fail.

5. Think Outside the Box

Finally, apply a little creativity to how you apply your model lighting with miniature LED’s. You can purchase motion detectors to signal certain lights to turn on or write simple programs for your LED lights to blink or fade on a set timer.  In some cases, you can even throw in sounds through tiny speakers to add to the full sensory experience!

A New Horizon for Hobbyists

And there you have it! Now that you have our top 5 lighting tips for model builders, you’re ready to get out there and make the best model possible! And for more tips on hobby crafting, make sure to check out the other articles on our blog!

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