We´ve built a little board which makes it fairly easy to build your own Pinball lightshow. We called the board PinLightShield, although it can potentially do a few more things like controlling shakers, motors, other lights etc.
The board is based on the popular Arduino platform about which you can read a lot on the web. In short the Arduino is a little processor that can consume input signals and drive output signals. What it does is controlled by little pieces of software (called sketches), which are written in a C-like language and lots of examples can be found on the web.
Our PinLightShield takes up to 15 Pinball signals (insert lamps, GI, flashers, coils) as input, converts them through optocouplers into signals the Arduino can understand and then drives up to 6 output signals
which can be used to light RGB LED strips, single LEDs, motors, shakers etc. - basically everything that would run on 12VDC.
All that´s needed (in addition to the PinLightShield) is the Arduino Uno board, the Arduino sketch, some wiring between the pinball machine and the shield and of course the hardware that you want to control (LED strips etc.).
In all likelihood you will also need a decent power supply, because the Arduino can only drive a few 100 mAs. The shield itself is designed to handle as much as 7 amps on each of the 2 output connectors.
Here are pictures of the empty board, the assembled board and the board sitting on the Arduino Uno:
Here´s a picture of the shield and power supply ready to be put into a pinball machine:
The first project I did with the PinLightShield is a lightshow for my AC/DC with surround lighting for the cab+backbox and a stage lighting for the band. Here´s a short video showing what it looks like. Unfortunatley my game play sucks even more than normal when the recorder´s running...
Important: even though this shield makes it easier to create fantastic light effects it still requires basic programming skills, making connections into your pinball machine, connecting a power supply with your pin, connecting LED strips etc. If you don´t feel comfortable doing these things then this is not for you. Sorry. For all others it´s a way to add more fun to your favorite pinball machine.
For now we´ve only produced 10 empty boards, but if there´s demand in the pinball community we can easily create more.
Just let me know if you´re interested or have any questions.