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Base3 Indication Lights

Base3 Lights!

The Base3 includes different LED light features that are used for various reasons.

When you first power up the Base3, the lights on the front panel will alternate in series. We call this the Base3 light show! This lasts for approximately 15 seconds. During this time, the Base3 is performing a systems check to make sure all of its internal components are functioning properly. The Base3 will check its Wi-Fi Radio, Bluetooth Radio, Legacy Radio, and LionChief RF Radio to make sure things are all good. During this time, the Base3 will be unresponsive to commands. Once the light show finishes, you can connect to the Base3 and operate your trains!

Let’s go over the functions of each Base3 light during normal operation.


Orange “L” logo: This Lionel “L” logo on the front center of the Base3 is the Wi-Fi connection indicator. This light will be off when no Wi-Fi devices are connected to the Base3. Once a Wi-Fi device is connected, such as a smartphone with the Cab3 App, this light will go solid until the connection is discontinued.


The light bars: These light bars are a unique method of light transmission, using side-discharge light pipes with LEDs on each end. The inspiration for these light bars comes from the automotive world, where some newer vehicles have continuous wrap-around tail lights. Each light bar represents an “activity” which is when data is being sent to or from the Base3, such as when you blow the whistle.

Green: Wi-Fi activity. Any device connected to the Base3 over Wi-Fi, such as the Cab3 App, will use this light when communicating. When you press a button on the App, a command is sent to the Base3, and this green light flashes to indicate that command being sent.

Yellow: Cab2 or Cab-1L activity. When a command is sent from one of these remotes to the Base3, the yellow light will flash.

Blue: Bluetooth activity. This light will flash when the Base3 is sending a command to a Bluetooth-equipped engine.

Red: RF LionChief activity. This light will flash when the Base3 is sending a command to a RF LionChief engine.


Blue “LIONEL” breath lights: these lights may be familiar to those with a Base2. These are called the breath lights. They are used to indicate that the Base3 has power. The lights slowly fade in and out. There is one of these lights at each end of the Base3.