Ordering LEDs - How Do you Go About It?

(Topic ID: 230278)

Ordering LEDs - How Do you Go About It?


By scampcamp

3 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 38 posts
  • 22 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 32 days ago by scampcamp
  • Topic is favorited by 14 Pinsiders

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#1 3 months ago

I am trying to scramble and get a list together on which type and color of LED’s to order for my Fireball 2 & Eight Ball Deluxe 1981. The sale ends tonight at midnight Eastern time ..for the Comet LED sale.

In the past I have ordered kits before but have read from others that it’s better to buy a variety & go from there.

So. Do you just look in the manual and see which type of bulb I need & count how many G.I. etc....make a notes of what colored inserts are there?

Thanks for any help and tips.

#2 3 months ago

Buy a random smattering of stuff you think you'll need. Realize after they arrive that you need some you didn't order. Repeat.

#3 3 months ago

buy in bulk. I order a 100 minimum of what ever color I need (except yellow they suck). That way you always have a stock of leds. And plug in some when ordering parts. It's a big hit at first but once you establish a stock you can do new machines as soon as you get them.

#4 3 months ago

I’d have a base plan and add some extras. 2 SMD Sunlight for GI unless you have a clear preference for warm/cool. Color match inserts. 1 SMD for backbox with some color accents. Incandescent or 8 SMD flashers (wouldn’t worry about color matching).

#5 3 months ago

What ever amount you come up with just multiply by 2.

#6 3 months ago

Get frosted warm whites for GI. Color match inserts except yellow. Use warm white for yellow. Leave flashers incandescent.
That has been my formula for the last four games I have lit and it seems to work well.

That way you don't have to purchase a smattering / kit / anything specific and you will have nice, updated-looking games!

#7 3 months ago
Quoted from mario_1_up:

(except yellow they suck).

Warm whites look good behind a yellow insert.

#8 3 months ago

I build an excel spreadsheet with Base Type, Color, Location and Quantity. I've gotten eager and ordered bags of the wrong base type before. They are fantastic about returns though.

As mentioned above, I found yellow and orange highly ineffective. Color match red, green, blue. Natural (Cool) white for white, warm white for yellow and orange.

Flashers is up to you. I replace them all so nothing melts and color match as well.

#9 3 months ago
Quoted from scampcamp:

I am trying to scramble and get a list together on which type and color of LED’s to order for my Fireball 2 & Eight Ball Deluxe 1981.

SS era, buy bulk 100 of warm white frosted...color matching those inserts probably isn't worth the time becasue they arent the big honking colored arrows of W/B.

your welcome

#10 3 months ago

Don't put any color LEDs in the backbox, that looks like trash.

Don't put any superbright LEDs in the backbox, that looks like trash (and makes more glare on the playfield glass).

If they game has heavy Yellow tones (like a Comet), you might have to just stick with incandescents, as even Warm White LEDs bleach the backbox artwork.

Sometimes Warm LEDs look good if you skip some of the backbox holes so it's not so bright. Just like your girlfriend - you don't have to fill every hole.

-

Color match all the inserts with single SMD or even dimmer LEDs. DO NOT put superbright LEDs under the inserts.

Color match all the Star Rollovers with "bendies" LEDs with the flexible leads. You can also use bendies to light saucers and chutes.

You can probably skip buying any Yellow or Orange LEDs, they are pretty weak - use a Warm White instead and the inserts will look terrific.

-

Strips of LEDs are good to run along the playfield rails and illuminate dark areas. Under ramps is often good too.

If you add strips or any other oddball lighting, make sure the player CAN NOT see the LEDs themselves. All light should be reflective or backlighting.

-

You can get shiny metal ALUMINUM TAPE (not duct tape) in the insulation isle of Menards. You can use this on wood rails under plastics to help reflect more light towards the ball. It's easily removed.

You can paint the backsides of black ramps with white paint to make them reflective - think of Space Shuttle as a great example.

-

Do not put any colored LEDs in the GI (unless it's Fireball Classic or Space Station where it came from the factory like that).

Read the above again ^.

-

Buy extra LEDs of each color. Some will be duds, some will have the heads break right off.

-

If you can't get a #44 LED to turn in the socket, rub the nipple across the concrete to shorten it. If it's too long, it prevents the bulb from latching.

-

Never by premade "kits" for a title, it's cheaper and better looking to DIY.

-

When in doubt, check here for things never to do to a pinball machine:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/no-rainbow-puke-club-post-pics-of-worst-color-gi-fails

#11 3 months ago

Damn, Thats good Vid!

In SS Games with Penny size circle Inserts, I have a passion for Single LED Flat Tops, that I frost just the top, by rubbing on fine sandpaper.
Usually Warm white for color, but I do color match if the insert plastics have degraded in color, or are heavily scratched/worn.

#12 3 months ago

Thanks for all the posts! I really appreciate it.

#13 3 months ago

I concur with Vid all the way.

Exactly how I do my pins.

If I was giving advice to you, you have 12 pins and will probably get more - so I would make this order from Comet.

100 pack warm white 1 SMD frosted (in both 44 and 555)
100 pack daylight white 1 SMD frosted (in both 44 and 555)
25 pack of each colour (except white) in 2SMD clear top, in both 44 and 555 (on special for $12 a pack today). Red blue purple green yellow orange

Then you have a bunch on hand to mix and match.

May sound like a lot of dough, but it is WAYYYY cheaper in the long run.

The white 1 SMD and the coloured bulbs behind a coloured insert are about equal in light output.

Use the 1 SMD for GI if you want to go that way. Warm suits the older games, daylight suits the newer games. Just depends - experiment!

As Vid says, sometimes a white looks better behind a yellow/amber insert than a coloured bulb. Again, if you have them on hand, experiment and see what looks best.

Buy a plastic parts bin for $5 and put all the LEDs in it.

Wham! Instant led kit for any occasion.

rd

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#14 3 months ago

Plastic parts bin for $5? Why cheap out there after just spending $400+ on leds

#15 3 months ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

Plastic parts bin for $5? Why cheap out there after just spending $400+ on leds

Why would you spend more than $5 if a $5 one will do the job?

If I could get one for $3 that would be even better.

That’s an old photo. I now have 2x $5 boxes (making a total spend of $10) which are holding $1000 of LEDs.

The cost of the containers doesn’t alter the quality of the job done with the parts held within.

rd

#16 3 months ago

For orange playfield inserts use pink LEDs. You will get the perfect orange. The pink hue is filtered out. Don't bother with using yellow, orange, white, warm white, or sunshine LEDs under an orange insert. Use pink. Trust me.

#17 3 months ago
Quoted from Fifty:

For orange playfield inserts use pink LEDs. You will get the perfect orange. The pink hue is filtered out. Don't bother with using yellow, orange, white, warm white, or sunshine LEDs under an orange insert. Use pink. Trust me.

Agreed!! My TRON has pink LEDs behind orange/amber inserts and they light up perfect....doesn't make sense, but it works!!

#18 3 months ago

Go here and buy a couple packs of each of these. Do this once or twice a year. Rinse repeat.

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#19 3 months ago

I'll admit it got a lot easier when I stopped buying LEDs and put the same kind of bulbs that came with the games originally back in them.

A lot cheaper and easier on the eyes too.

#20 3 months ago
Quoted from o-din:

I'll admit it got a lot easier when I stopped buying LEDs and put the same kind of bulbs that came with the games originally back in them.
A lot cheaper and easier on the eyes too.

Woodrails with LEDs would look hideous.

rd

#21 3 months ago

Not the OP here, but I’m glad I found this thread this week. I’m also going to do the LED route on Eight Ball (Original, not Deluxe). Been playing pinball since I was ten, but I only have the one machine (hang head in shame). But I’ve had it since the eighties.

I will take all the suggestions here which seem to be along similar lines. But I do need some clarifications. I’m assuming I’ll go with cometpinball 1 SMD 5050’s. So here is what I plan so far:
G.I. Backbox – Warm White frosted dome
Backbox switched – Daylight frosted dome
G. I. Playfield – Warm White frosted dome
Playfield inserts –
White: daylight.
Solid color: match color, except yellow use warm white, and translucent orange use pink.
Should these be CLEAR or FROSTED LED’s?
Rollover – Green flexible. I was almost going to add another socket on the other side of the switch so it’s fully illuminated (switch gets in the way).

To eliminate the flickering, I think I’ll cheap out and put 470 Ohm SIP Resistor packs on the back of the lamp driver board. I’m fully comfortable with soldering on circuit boards. I really don’t need a new Alltek lamp board.

I just put in the Wolffpac LED displays and they look great.

Comments??

#22 3 months ago

The trick is to count the bulbs you need and write it down, order, install, then recount all ones you missed and order again.

#23 3 months ago
Quoted from JLoft:

Should these be CLEAR or FROSTED LED’s?

Very rare that I would ever use clears. Sometimes with the older games you set everything up and test to see you don't have any bulbs you can see straight on...I usually replace those with incandescent. It can look a nit weird if there's an LED not really blocked or hidden by anything IMO

#24 3 months ago
Quoted from orangegsx:

The trick is to count the bulbs you need and write it down, order, install, then recount all ones you missed and order again.

One small addendum - order 5 more than you think you need - because ones that were "out of eye sight" or not in the manual always seem to show up...!

#25 3 months ago

roterdave... & everyone. Where do you buy your bins from to hold your LED’s?

My big order from Comet should be here tomorrow.

#26 3 months ago
Quoted from scampcamp:

roterdave... & everyone. Where do you buy your bins from to hold your LED’s?
My big order from Comet should be here tomorrow.

Mine came from Kmart in NZ.

Kmart, Walmart, target - any of those places will have them in different sizes and varieties.

rd

#27 3 months ago

So.. What is the difference between a LED and the SMD?

#28 3 months ago

SMD is Surface Mount Diode that is an LED, a much better technology than just plain LED, Light Emitting Diode.

#29 3 months ago
Quoted from FatPanda:

SMD is Surface Mount Diode that is an LED, a much better technology than just plain LED, Light Emitting Diode.

Thanks

#30 3 months ago

Thanks to rotordave, TheLaw... others & Ryan’s suggestions from Comet. I think I have a good assortment. Thanks guys!!

My wife picked up a couple of cases on sale from Michael’s. It’s a craft store here. 1 case is all Comet SMD with a 2 Bally LED adapters.

The other case ‘s for random leftover LED’s/parts from Cointaker, Nifty & older Comet.

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#31 3 months ago

Booooooom!

A LED for every occasion.

Every pinballer should have a kit like this.

rd

#32 3 months ago

What are folks thoughts on LED flashers? I was trying them for a while, but I have been sticking with incandescent flashers lately. Any fans of colored LED flashers?

#33 3 months ago
Quoted from branlon8:

What are folks thoughts on LED flashers? I was trying them for a while, but I have been sticking with incandescent flashers lately. Any fans of colored LED flashers?

Just depends on where you’re putting them.

Sometimes they are ridiculously bright.

For some LOLs I put some 9 Led flashers in my CFTBL - in the “start movie” flashers that come on when the multiball is ready.

They are so crazy bright, when the multiball starts your retinas still have flashing white spots so you instantly lose the balls. Lots of LOLs ensue ....

Generally I stick with standard flasher bulbs to be honest.

rd

#34 3 months ago

I tend to buy Comet's Sunlight White 2SMD frosted in bulk bags.

Roughly 75% wedge to 25% bayonet.

This is so much simpler than colour matching and creating a bespoke shopping list (only to find one or other variety is Out of of Stock, grrrr), which i have done in the past, but don't anymore. Especially annoying being in the UK, as we have to wait for international delivery and pay extra customs charges...

Having the same bulbs almost everywhere also means all the inserts have the same brightness & attack/delay profile, so when i use LED OCD (on ALL games) the results are superb.

NO COLOUR GI IN A BACKBOX.

May need to custom order a few others if there are any weird inserts where something other than sunlight white is required e.g. flexible head wedge for the 3 inserts on TZ's mini-playfield. Or the 3 pop bumpers in TZ or RS - using an LED to suit the plastic cover colour. Yellow bayonets for Roadshow's left wire rail. DON'T BUY YELLOW FOR ANY OTHER REASON!

Tend to order LED flashers as per requirements, as they're far fewer so much easier to list!

Did order a few Warm Whites too, for LOTR, but now have a surplus. Hoping to get a game in the future that will work with them!

Also have a few randoms left over from previous orders.

I'm a nerd so mark all the white plastic LEDs with SL or WW, so i know exactly what they are when removing or installing...
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#35 3 months ago
Quoted from branlon8:

What are folks thoughts on LED flashers?

Avoid them like the plague.

#36 3 months ago

I have found the 5 SMD flashers from comet are nearly perfect, particularly the blue and reds. The 8+ smd ones are way too bright and I have a bag full of ones I've pulled. I've been wanting to experiment with desoldering some of the SMD's on them to reduce their output.

https://www.cometpinball.com/product-p/5smdflash.htm

#37 3 months ago

In many cases i leave incandescent.
However, depending on game and location of flasher, i will mix all different kinds.
Purple in purple domes on shadow, double flex heads facing back and foreard on Whiplash in Iron Man. Super bright metal ones where needed.
Ive had fun with Matrix flashers, and extending them around games like the mountains in whitewater.

2 months later
#38 32 days ago

Ok.. this may be a dumb question..

I’m replacing the old bulbs with Comet 555 warm white smd’s in my Fireball ll. I’ve been noticing about 99% of the old bulbs are 555’s but a couple have been 159 TS.

Will a 555 smd be ok to go where the 159 TS was? Thanks.

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