Lighting Your Model Ships

Ship Modeling

Ship modeling is a hobby that is as old as shipbuilding itself. Model ships have been found dating back to as early as 2000 BCE and have been found in Egypt, Greece, and what is now Lebanon. Nowadays shipbuilding is still a popular craft that allows hobbyists and ship enthusiasts to model their favorite ships throughout history. These ship models can be made of plastic, wood, and cloth. Now with the use of Evan Designs LED lights, you can bring your model ships to life safely and easily. No matter the size of your model ship Evan Designs has the mini LED lights and power supplies to suit your needs.

Choosing The Right LED

Chip LED lights are a great choice for Ship modeling, no matter the scale because they are small enough and flat enough to be hidden anywhere on the ship, and are extremely bright. However, if you are modeling in larger sizes the bulb 1.8mm, 3mm and 5mm LED light are still excellent choices. Additionally, the bulb lights give a directional spotlight effect. To learn more about sizing visit the following link for exact measurements.

led sizes explained
Figure 1

The most popular colors to use when lighting your ship are solid warm white and flickering warm white. Additionally, newer ships as well as submarines will use solid and or flashing red LEDs and green LED lights. Older ship models are a great place to use the flickering warm white mini LED lights. Before electricity ships were lit with candles and oil or kerosene lamps, and the flickering effect these LEDs will simulate this unique type of light. An old ship can be seen in Figure 2A below. In newer ships such as The Titanic, electricity was used to light the vessels, so using solid warm white and cool white LED lights are recommended. See Figure 2B below. Solid warm white LEDs can be found, depending on size in the following links. Finally, in a newer ship, a solid red LED light can be used for the port and solid green can be used for the starboard.

Ship Model with LEDs
Figure 2A
Ship Model with LEDs
Figure 2B

Solid Warm White, Green and Red LEDs

Flickering Warm White LED lights

Powering Your LEDs

Now that you have selected your mini LED lights its time to choose a power supply. Evan Designs LED lights can be run on battery power or wired to a wall adaptor. If you plan to have your model lit continuously or for long periods a wall adaptor is an excellent choice because as long as your house has power, your model will stay lit. If you are not leaving your model constantly lit a battery pack is a great choice as well. LED lights have a very small power draw; 10 LEDs can be lit on a AA battery pack for 80 hours! Our power supplies are available in 3v, 5-12v, and 7-19v. It is very important to match the voltages of your lights to the voltages of your power sources! Finally, many hobbyists like to use switches to turn their models on and off. All of our battery packs, adaptors, and switches can be found on the “wires, switches, and more” tab on the Evan Designs website.

LED installation

Once you have a small LED light and power source you are ready to install it in your model. We recommend using glue to adhere your lights to your models. A small dot of glue can be used on the backside of chip lights or at the base of bulb lights. Any oil-based glue such as Aleene's tacky glue can be used as well as glues such as super glue or model cement. Finally, it is important to let the glue dry before applying power to your lights. When you are done feel free to share your creations with us by email,, or on our Instagram: @evan_designs_leds. Happy Modeling!