Unless you add a battery (like Spectrum cars), your only option is track power. If you run your cars on DC you will have to power your lamps through a rectifier and use a capacitor to keep the brightness constant. On DCC, forget the rectifier and if you use LEDs you just need a resistor. They are their own rectifier. Bulbs draw more current usually and need a heavier wattage resistor.
You need to know the wattage, amps and volts of your lamps and use Ohm's law to figure your resister and the total wattage tells you the size resistor you need (1/8, 1/4, 1/2 watt and the resistance in ohms.
Another option is to put LEDs or bulbs in series to equal your track voltage, of course if one bulb goes you are in the
Hope it helps.
Hi! I am investigating the multiple possible methods of lighting coaches/carriages on my HO NCE controlled layout. I have tried Flicker Free, which works fine. I have also built small circuits using miniature rectifiers feeding LED strips. In order to light my entire collection using any of these methods, a significant investment in time and electronic components would be required. I have tried a small experiment using direct DCC track power to light a short strip of LED lights and found it worked fine, especially with the addition of a 1K resistor in series in the circuit. Is this approach too simplistic or am I missing something? Any comments appreciated! Thanks in advance,