Downtown Diner # 10260

Hi all,

I am looking forward to the new modular and how to light it.  If you have not seen the new modular you can check it out here

Here are my first lighting thoughts:

1) Wonder if Rob has thought about how to simulate neon lights?  My first thought was to use the fiber strands like in the Disney Castle Fireworks.  These neon lights can be used in the Diner sign itself (after it gets rebuilt with translucent bricks) and maybe to align the inside edge of the Teal arch.

2) If there is no neon light simulator, one could wash the Diner sign with a pair of light strips up from the bottom.

3) The jukebox says it needs a LEC to have a cool lighting effect!

4) The diner set also says to me to stage the Nighthawks scene in LEGO.

5) Use 5 lighting strips to light the teal arch on the inside, including bending one to mach the top if the arch, like David Steere did in his Imperial Hotel model :)

6) A pair of pico lights for the street lamp and second floor outside lamp.

What are everyone else's thoughts?

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  • I've done some experiments with 'side glow' fiber optic strands representing neon, but they need a really bright light source in order to glow the way you'd want it to glow.  

    Of course, Brickstuff sells the 1 watt LEDs, they're crazy bright.  ;-)
     

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  • 10 hours to going on sale... yeah, slow news day here otherwise.  :)

    I pretty much adore all of Jim's suggestions, of course.  Lots of other ideas, but then trying to fit them into LEGO scale and other practical considerations (really stuck on the neon idea) somewhat takes the wind out of my sails.

    I confess I'll probably take a run at a few of the LECs with my "standard" approach, as the 8-year-old consistently wreaks havoc on wiring once she starts to play with the modulars and pop the upper floors off.

    ... not that I'm opposed - Nanjago City is my test case for wiring to the ceiling without child peril... though I'd be VERY interested in how the magnet-power-transfer gizmos are testing out. 

    9 hours 45 minutes...

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  • Paul George I was able to order it at 11:30 PM CST :)  Also waiting for a pick a brick order to be delivered to build the road and parking lot!

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  • We got our order in first thing this morning.  I'll keep everyone posted on ideas.  Having developed a custom lighting solution for the engines in the new Millennium Falcon that includes diffusers, I think the same may also work for lighting the neon areas of the Diner sign.

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  • I bought the Diner set yesterday as well.  I'm going to do some experimenting with 'side glow' fiber optic cables, if I can get a bright enough light source they might look line neon.

    I was looking at Jesse's Falcon a few days ago (the one that Rob used to create the lighting kit!), the diffusers on the engines look sooo good.

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  • John Gerlach Let us know how your work with the side-glow fiber works out.

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  • So I've started to light the Downtown Diner today, this is what I have used so far:

    8 Warm White Pico Lights

    1 Flashing Red Pico Light

    2 4-Port Expansion Adapter Board with Micro Connector

    1 1:2 Expansion Adapters

    1 1:2 Pico Expansion Adapter

    4 Warm White LED Strips

    2 1.5" Extension Cables

    4 6" Extension Cables

    1 12" Extension Cable

     

    I have yet to figure out the lighting of the Diner sign nor the lighting of the teal windows except the curve.  I used 2 pico lights on the 4W dish and it washes its light against the clear 1x2 Tiles.

    For the light on the top floor I set the pico light to face upwards and then all the light is indirect against the black 2W dish. 

    I added a single 2W black dish above the boxing ring to provide a harsh lighting.

    I also added 2 trans orange bricks above an added jumper brick to provide the lighting over the grill.

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  • Great work as always, Jim Pirzyk !  Thank you for sharing.  I especially like the light above the grill and the light in the rooftop antenna.  And is that the patented Pirzyk modulr power connector coming out of the base of the Diner? 😀

    That closeup photo of the customers at the counter looks a lot like Edward Hopper's Nighthawks-- I suspect that was your intention.  Great work!

    As for the Diner sign, I've been thinking about using upward-facing spotlights like the ones on the front of the Palace Cinema-- these use those black harpoon parts to get some distance from the building before shining upward.  Maybe four of them shining up on the Diner sign?  or would that be too harsh/too many parts in the front of the Diner?

    And still the problem of the teal windows.  I stare at my Diner in the office almost daily, wondering how to get lights in there that were bright enough to look like neon but still small enough to allow the parts to adhere to the building facade.  What do you think you'll end up doing with this part of the building?  Has anyone else on this thread come up with any ideas for conquering the teal parts?

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  • Build now underway, so we'll see what I come up with - and I'm totally stealing Jim Pirzyk 's orange over the flat-top cooking surface (especially since I have one left from Ninjago City's lanterns).  Brilliant (pun intended)!

    Had to look up the palace spots - I didn't "go there" on mine (pre-forum days for me), but looking at it... I submit it makes sense: the 1950s were all about neon but relatively low-tech lighting otherwise, with a host of lights simply with a shade and hanging out on the end of a pipe/conduit.

    3-4 feels like the right number (and what fits in a 2:4 adapter board, and shorty pico wires), though once I get to that step, I'll mess with a up-light like Palace Theatre. Maybe within a 2x2 dish.  Or a MOC down-light... but now that's got me thinking a single light strip encased in some curved slopes (a la pn# 15068).  So many ideas... that need some experimentation.

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  • Great work as always, Jim Pirzyk !  Thank you for sharing.  I especially like the light above the grill and the light in the rooftop antenna. 

    The antenna light will be replaced with a flashing red Pico light.

    And is that the patented Pirzyk modular power connector coming out of the base of the Diner? 😀

    Yes it is :)

    That closeup photo of the customers at the counter looks a lot like Edward Hopper's Nighthawks-- I suspect that was your intention.  Great work!

    Yes but it is not quite complete, I have a BL order for short sleeve arms in red.  Should have been here today :(

    As for the Diner sign, I've been thinking about using upward-facing spotlights like the ones on the front of the Palace Cinema-- these use those black harpoon parts to get some distance from the building before shining upward.  Maybe four of them shining up on the Diner sign?  or would that be too harsh/too many parts in the front of the Diner?

    I did rebuild the Diner sign itself, moving it back one stud to do something with the lights.  I was thinking a bit like I did with the Prudential sign, having 2 light strips on  some cheese slopes washing the lights up the sign.  That will be the second project this week (need to wire up some more roads, NILTC has a show next weekend).

    Build now underway, so we'll see what I come up with - and I'm totally stealing Jim Pirzyk 's orange over the flat-top cooking surface (especially since I have one left from Ninjago City's lanterns).  Brilliant (pun intended)!

    Thanks!  I was very happy how the grill lighting turned out.  I it is my most favorite element, so far.

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  • Here's a quick update on my efforts trying to light the teal parts.  I've tried just about everything (EL wire, light strings, light strips, fiber optics, high-power lights, etc.) and I just don't see how it can be lit.  Even with some of our brightest LEDs, light still just barely shines through the teal parts-- they seem to be extremely poor conductors of light, and also very thick, so nothing short of 20 MagLites seems like it will light the pieces, and even then, the results will look like individual lights vs. a uniform stream.

    If anyone has had better luck, please let us know!  It's such a shame that one of the nicest visual features of the Diner looks like it will need to go unlit.

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  • And more parts, more lights, and more... ugh!  That DINER sign is nothing if not vexing. 

    My earlier plan to bump the front arch up to a two-dot high was kind of okay, but thought the look was... wonky.  So went a different direction today: simplify.  So I pulled the gray supporting plates from behind the white tiles below DINER and replaced them with two 2-LED strips.  Maybe...?

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  • I was thinking something similar but I have pushed the Diner sign back one stud and that is as far as I got.  A show got in the way, and i need to get back to more experiments.

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  • Maybe pushing the sign back one stud (or two if possible) and mounting the light strips on cheese slopes to angle them upward at the sign?  There just doesn't seem to be much room there to get a decent up-facing angle.

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  • Rob Klingberg Worth a go... and I've not started building the ship in a bottle and am procrastinating dropping the Diner into town (news of some vertical power widgets back in stock in a few weeks). 

    There's definitely room for a slide back, and my first hack at just raising the front rail from one stud of height to two just looked... silly.

    Off to the Build Bunker...!

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  • Paul George Another option maybe (I'm traveling this week so I'm not in front of my Diner): maybe set up some overhanging, upward-facing lights like the ones around the Palace Cinema, shining up on the Diner sign?  Or would that look out of scale compared to the rest of the building?

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  • Rob Klingberg flirted with it, but wasn't in love with the arms hanging out (particularly given it would effectively have the same net result, of 3-4 focused points of light.

    I ended up running with Jim's notion of a one-row back move, which was pretty simple, though a little less stable: I removed the two black holders, rotated both of the front mount points downward, and put a plate (probably will add a second plate/tile) on them to hold upright, and tiled all around it to smooth it out.

    I'd flirted with the cheese wedge (sort of; used the two black slopes from the removed mount points), but given the spacing, the lights were too exposed for my tastes, so I just dropped them flat on the ledge's decking pointed up.

    But the two-tone base is bugging me, but given those wacky brown-not-quite-two-brick-high side stud pieces under the D and E are oddly sized, this may be a caper for (gasp) light gray electrical tape, and move on to the next project.  ;)

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  • Paul George I think your solution looks pretty darn good!  Will have to try this with my Diner back in the shop as well.

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