It is now easy to find on eBay many products from Asian manufacturers at a low price. We have bought several models of streetlights since several years. The quality of the products has constantly improved. To get an idea, you can find on the following site a whole series of products available: http://stores.ebay.com/everydaygoodz. This is one address among others, without any preference on our part. We would like to share with you our experience on these items.
Plastic lamp posts
The scale shown on the ads is not suitable. It is best to install N-scale floor lamps on a HO layout. In the pictures below, you can get an idea with the size of the people whose scales are indicated. These lampposts are available with bulbs or LED’s. The purchase of street lights with LED’s is preferable (Quality of lighting and lifetime of the LED). In all cases, the white plastic allows the light to pass. It is therefore necessary to repaint the plastic parts. These lampposts are the cheapest, but not very detailed. We do not use them anymore
Metallic lamp posts
The new products are made with metal tubes. Depending on the models, they are very aesthetic. The masts of certain lamp posts are made of folded tube. We prefer masts made of not folded tubes, for aesthetic reasons. There is no more scale problem. For the same model, the reflectors are all the same regardless of the scale. It is sufficient to position the tube at the adapted height according to the scale of the layout. These lamps are available with bulbs or LED’s. The purchase of street lights with LED’s is preferable (Quality of lighting and lifetime of the LED). LEDs are often “pure white” colour. One can soften the colour with a yellow varnish for example. Do not forget to feed each lamppost by interposing a resistance between the power supply (12V DC preferably) and the lamppost. The luminous intensity of the LEDs is easily adjusted by installing a resistance of suitable value (between 470 Ω min and 5 kΩ depending on the luminous intensity sought)
Wall lanterns and spotlights
All products are oversized compared to the advertised scale. For example, a Z-scale wall lantern is too large, even for the N scale. Always choose the model sold for the smaller scale is a good choice. It is better for these products to choose equipped products from LED’s.