Miniature Lights for Models: Take Your Models to the Next Level

A wooden model ship complete with rigging.

You’ve already invested hours into building your model. Why ruin it by installing subpar lights? I’ve been there, done that. Not fun. 

I’ve built models for years and was once terrified by the thought of adding lights.

Now, to me, no model looks complete without them and it’s actually really simple to do.

After a bit of trial and error (okay, a lot), I’ve found what works best to really make small-scale models POP and want to save you the headaches that I endured.

Elevate your models from just really good to amazingly awesome with little effort with any of the LEDs model lights below.

In This Article

Top 4 Best Miniature Lights for Models

Model Lighting Kit Accessories

Miniature Lights for Models

Best LEDs: 125 Pre-Soldered Micro Litz Wired LEDs

125pcs Pre-soldered Micro Litz Wired Leads Mix SMD...

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My number one pick for the best LEDs for models is this set of super small LEDs.

These lights are perfect for smaller models and great for tight places.

The micro LEDs connect by a wire that is a little under 100 millimeters long. Easy to connect: the anode wire is red, and the cathode is silver. 

This string of LEDs has 125 pieces in five colors (25 each) LEDs: white, yellow, red, blue, and green.

The light plugs into 3-3.3 Vdc, and built-in voltage resistors work with different voltage batteries and other power supplies.

Pros:

  • Great for small models.
  • The five different lights make your model look excellent beneath their glow.
  • Very easy to use and suitable for all different batteries and power supplies.

Cons:

  • The lead wire is stiff and hard to manipulate in installation.
  • No instructions – not the easiest LEDs to install.

Best Budget Option: EDGELEC 20 Pre-Wired LED Lights

EDGELEC 20pcs 0402 0603 0805 1206 Pre Wired SMD...

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An excellent budget option for very small model sets is this EDGELEC 20-piece pre-wired set of LED lights.

I love that the lights are pre-wired, so when your package arrives, you can get right to threading or soldering.

These lights are perfect for smaller models and great for tight places. 

The EDGELEC 20-piece pre-wired set is made with the amateur in mind, so the LEDs are wired for ease of installation.

Two wires correspond to positive and negative: the red anode is positive, and the black cathode is negative.

I love these lights for the price, and if you’ve got an especially small model, you can’t go wrong with a quality brand like EDGELEC.

Pros:

  • Great for small models.
  • Very easy to use. Pre-wired for instant installation.
  • All different colors mean you can light your model as naturally as possible.
  • Extremely affordable.
  • The wires are very sturdy; great for easy installation.
  • Though the lights are small, they’re incredibly bright.

Cons:

  • A smaller set of wires won’t provide as expansive of a lighting situation as a larger-piece set of LEDs.

Best Blinking Lights: EDGELEC 30 12-Volt 5mm White Blinking LED Lights

EDGELEC 30pcs 12 Volt 5mm White Blinking LED...

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These 30 excellent blinking lights by EDGELEC come pre-wired on an ultra-slim wire that measures out at 7.8 inches.

These lights are easy to install with a red positive anode wire and a black negative cathode wire. 

These blinking lights are white with a color temperature (explained here) of between 6000-6500 K and a high luminance intensity.

Pros:

  • Extremely affordable.
  • It comes in all different colors if white isn’t your preference – choose between colder blues, purples, and greens or warmer reds and oranges.
  • Very sturdy connectors.

Cons:

  • The lights themselves are somewhat fragile – be careful during installation.
  • The wires are very thin. It can be tricky to install.

Best Larger Lights: EDGELEC 56 Light Assorted LED Kit

EDGELEC 56pcs (7 Colors x 8pcs) 12 Volt LED Lights...

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This set of larger lights, another product by the minds at EDGELEC, comes in a 56-piece assorted LED kit in all different colors: white, red, yellow, green, blue, and orange.

The diversity of lights creates a natural feel for lighting any model.

These LEDs are pre-wired for 12 V power. These LED lights, large and easy to install, are suitable for many applications.

Included in the EDGELEC 56-piece kit is a built-in resistor, allowing for a lifespan of over 20,000 hours!

The wire itself is 7.8 inches long and is made of lead.

Pros:

  • You can’t beat these LEDs for the price – a highly affordable, good-looking LED kit for models.
  • Lights are bright and adaptable with various power sources.
  • Different colors make your model really stand out.
  • Easy to wire.

Cons:

  • Extremely thin wires. Soldering is not recommended due to the thinness.

Model Lighting Kit Accessories

Model lights are a great start, but to really take them to the next level, here are some great accessories.

Battery Holder: KOOKYE Lilypad Coin Cell Battery Holder With On/Off Switch

KOOKYE Lilypad Coin Cell Battery Holder | Lilypad...

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This product by KOOKYE is excellent for mounting and holding batteries. The battery holders each hold a coin battery, each integrated with on and off switches.

When you’re not at home, simply turn the batteries off and save battery life.

The battery holder also has four connection points that can apply to soldered or threaded LED wires.

This package includes 10 battery holders, 10 LEDs, and five alligator clips for battery testing.

Pros:

  • Excellent price.
  • The battery holders work well for many different projects.
  • Alligator clips are useful for testing batteries.

Cons:

  • The battery holders are not as easy to thread as Lilypad brand battery holders. It may be better to spend more for more complicated projects.

Battery: CR20323 V Lithium Battery (10-Pack)

LiCB CR2032 3V Lithium Battery(10-Pack)

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If you’re going to light your model, you’ll need a power source to do it.

If you’d like to invest in the very easy-to-use battery holder listed above, you’ll need to get some high-quality coin cell batteries to go with it. 

These high-quality batteries are grade A and can last for three years on the shelf. Each of the batteries in this 10-pack contains 3 Volts of charge.

This battery pack is what it says: 10 extremely powerful, high-quality CE and ROHS-certified batteries.

Pros:

  • Long-lasting batteries.
  • Quality control certifications mean each battery can be trusted.
  • Very affordable.

Cons:

  • The batteries won’t last as long as other coin cell batteries.
  • For bigger lighting situations, the 3 Volts of power simply aren’t enough to fully light a project. Consider higher voltage if you have a large model.

Related Questions:

What Are the Sizes of LED Lights?

LEDs can come in any size you want. There are large LEDs and very small LEDs.

For most models, you’ll want LEDs of between 3 and 10 millimeters.

Note that when speaking about the measurements of LEDs, this is the diameter of the LED itself, not the bulb.

Therefore, if you have a 3 millimeter LED, the bulb socket’s size should be 3 millimeters in diameter.

How Many LED Strips Can I Connect Together?

How many LED strips you can connect together depends on your power supply voltage and whether or not your LEDs are stripped together directly end to end.

Generally speaking, you’ll want to strip no more than 3 LEDs together without investing in a power supply or spacing your LEDs with different power units that will help keep the LEDs from short-circuiting the system.

Can You Connect Different Brands of LED Light Strips?

Yes! The only thing that will differentiate different brands of LED light strips is the voltage.

If your LED light strips are of a different voltage, you won’t want to connect them together.

However, if they’re the same voltage, feel free to join whatever brands of LED light strips you please.

Wrapping It Up

Your best bet of achieving that WOW factor quickly and easily is to go with the 125 Micro Litz LED Kit.

Super easy to install, bright colors, and the price won’t break the bank.

The EDGELEC 20 LED Light Kit is hands down the best value for your buck for small models.

Extra bright lights where you need them, no wasted leftovers, and quick install. Perfect.

Last update on 2021-07-31 at 09:28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API