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(Topic ID: 263068)

Any tasteful led pros out there?


By Squeakman

7 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 28 posts
  • 18 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 months ago by herbertbsharp
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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#1 7 months ago

A few years ago I bought my first LEDs from comet pinball and it was a terrible ordeal. Lol too many choices and pain trying to figure out what exactly I need. My goal is to first and foremost do the TZ I am doing an extreme shop out on and hopefully have plenty of bulbs to hopefully do another game or so. My budget is around $250. I prefer the fresh look and brightness(not fond of the incandescent yellow glow) of LEDs without being blinded. I’ve read that 2smd frosted is the way to go on Backglass and gi? Do you color match the colors of playfield inserts? I am NOT looking to join the rainbow puke led club. Lol flashers, blinkers and other bulbs confuse me as to what I need. Do I need non ghosting in the inserts? I can go on and on. Just looking for a solid tasteful direction to go. Thanks in advance.

#2 7 months ago

Comet frosted 2SMD for the GI. Cool or sunlight. Don’t color bomb the playfield.

Color match the inserts. I prefer the clear dome with inserts. With yellow inserts, use cool white LEDs. Otherwise, they’ll look orange.

I highly, highly recommend LED OCD for a nice, smooth fading effect. Don’t get non-ghosting LEDs if you get LED OCD.

#3 7 months ago

Frosted warm white smd bulbs everywhere every time.

#4 7 months ago

Sunlight white 2835 twin smd from comet.

Frosted dome for the GI, clear dome for the inserts. Same bulb but color matched for the inserts.

#5 7 months ago

I use the Coin Taker frosted on most everything. Gives you the pop of LED without blinding you. And color match the inserts except the yellow as previously posted. Super brites are good when you need certain inserts to stand out to show a critical shot, otherwise I wouldn't. I leave the regular flashers as is because its already brite enough.

I buy the bulk mix, I think it's 150 variety. Good price and works out pretty well.

#6 7 months ago

I think I’m going to use comet I e had good luck with them the o e time I ordered from them. I looked up there 250 bulk kit and it seems to have most everything I would need to get started?

#7 7 months ago

First, there are generally 3 color temperatures available--warm, sunlight, and natural/cool. With warm bulbs, the color looks a bit yellow. Sunlight is roughly neutral, and natural/cool is a bit blue. For most things, I generally go with sunlight.

I've been using comet bulbs for years--they've always worked well for me.

Typically, for GI, I use: 1smd sunlight frosted. Sometimes 2smd in darker areas.

For the backbox, I typically use natural/cool 1smd bulbs. Depending on the look of the backglass, sometimes I use frosted, sometimes I use no lens. Although, more often than not, I use frosted with translites, and no lens with real backglasses.

For inserts, I typically color match the red, blue, green, and purple inserts. I use sunlight bulbs for orange and white inserts. No lens on bulbs pointing directly at the insert, and for bulbs that are sideways, I either use flex head or frosted. For small inserts, I usually use 1smd. For larger inserts, I usually use 4smd or 2smd.

The only time I use warm leds is on EM games. The GI on EM games is also the only place where I might use clear lens blubs to try to replicate the look of incandescent bulbs. Otherwise, I stick to either frosted or no lens bulbs. With the clear lens, the tend to cast visible rings of lights on backglasses, inserts, and plastics.

The only time I use cool/natural is in the backbox, especially with yellowed translites, to help offset the yellowing.

I never color match plastics on the playfield or colors on the backglass. I think doing that just overpowers the existing colors of the game.

For flashers, I generally use the 5smd, 8smd flat, 8smd tower, and 8smd flex head. If a flasher is basically directly visible by a player, I'll use 5smd. If not, I'll generally use an 8smd flat or tower. Flat; I'll generally use if the bulb is basically being directed in a particular direction. Tower; if if the light is omni directional, like under a large colored dome. Flex; usually if the bulb is sideways, especially when there's a large insert in the center of pop bumpers. I generally don't color match flashers, and pretty much let the domes/plastics/inserts do the work. In special cases, I've used 10smd flashers, such as in the AFM mothership saucer.

That is generally my approach to adding LEDs to games.

[edit]: Also, I haven't used non-ghosting bulbs. Plus, it's less expensive to just stock one bulb type, and non-ghosting bulbs are generally more expensive than their standard counterparts. Most games don't actually need them, since there are workarounds for ghosting. For classic bally/stern, the siegecraft LED add-on boards work fine. For WPC, just use the LED ROM fix. For gottlieb system 3, the ghosting is so minor, it's barely noticeable.

#8 7 months ago

Ryan from Comet chiming in, why not get our Twilight Zone Kit? Comes with all the bulbs you need, in the right colors, and six spotlights, a strip for the backpanel, and star post lights to brighten the upper playfield. It’s $220 without flashers or $235 with.

There is a video on our product page so you can see exactly how it will look:

https://www.cometpinball.com/products/twilight-zone-led-kit

#9 7 months ago

I have have been using warm white frosted. Retros in games that have enough light. Some 2smds if they need a boost.

#10 7 months ago

All you need are two types of lamps. These, in sunlight, frosted top, wedge base and bayonet base. That's it. Nothing more.

https://www.cometpinball.com/products/2smd-bulbs

Buy a couple hundred of both and be done. One game will cost you between $100 and $125. That's it.

I don't care for color matching the inserts either. Why do I want a red insert to be more red, a blue insert more blue, etc.. I just want it brighter.

Two lamps. That's all you need. Wedge and bayonet.

Try it once and see how easy it can be.

Forgot to mention, you'll want to install an LED/OCD board.

http://www.ledocd.com/

#11 7 months ago

Yep. This. Much easier to keep stock this way too.

#12 7 months ago

I’ve tried color matching inserts vs using cool white. With white LEDs in the inserts, the reds look pink and the blues look washed out. Greens look okay.

In my experience, color matching gives them a deep, rich tint. Buy a handful of a few colors and try it out.

#13 7 months ago
Quoted from Mudflaps:

I’ve tried color matching inserts vs using cool white. With white LEDs in the inserts, the reds look pink and the blues look washed out. Greens look okay.
In my experience, color matching gives them a deep, rich tint. Buy a handful of a few colors and try it out.

Agree with this, not a fan of frosted white behind most colors: makes them actually look less of the color, like you're looking at them through a vale of fog. Some colors demonstrate the effect more than others: blue, green, purple. I recommended getting some 4-smd colors so you can compare the looks. I think the 4-smd have better dispersion, whereas clear dome can sometimes give a hot-spot effect.

#14 7 months ago
Quoted from Mudflaps:

In my experience, color matching gives them a deep, rich tint. Buy a handful of a few colors and try it out.

I used to do the same thing. It's what everyone was doing. Then I restored an AFM for a guy who wanted me to use nothing but the frosted top sunlight LED's.

When it was all done, I put it next to mine. His looked like it was meant to look, just brighter. Mine looked to "glowy." Is that a word?

I realize you can beat this LED thing to death if you want, and if you want, that's cool. But it can also be so so simple.

Oh, and no LED flashers. Keep them all incandescent.

And again, all for about $100.

#15 7 months ago

As odd as it sounds I use pink LED under Orange inserts makes it a true orange when lit

#16 7 months ago
Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

Oh, and no LED flashers. Keep them all incandescent

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#17 7 months ago

LED flashers are great - brightness adds to the excitement, and challenge!

First time I played a Luci with Pinbits thunderbolt flashers, I was sold on that.

#18 7 months ago

Ryan. The kit is too much for me. I want to keep it cheaper and more simple. Bryan and afew others said to use the 2smd frosted for everything and that might be what I do. I want the brightness of LEDs but I want to keep things simple and fairly inexpensive. My goal is to get enough bulbs to do a few games or more. I’ve also heard people talk about how bright led flashers are and to be honest I did my funhouse in all comet and used a lot of color and it’s just too much. I used 4smd in the inserts color matched and puked it. I will eventually redo Funhouse because it’s VERY bright and the flashers are hard to handle.

#19 7 months ago

Yup, others can't really tell you what you like: just got to try for yourself what works for you. Sounds like you already know.

#20 7 months ago
Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

Oh, and no LED flashers. Keep them all incandescent.

While I like the appearance of incandescent flashers, they do seem to commonly burn holes in translites. I haven't owned a ton of games, but nearly all of my games I've owned with flashers in the backbox have had holes (JD, BSD, Freddy).

#21 7 months ago

I just use 1SMD (5050) warm white frosted 555 and 44 lamps everywhere. For the controlled lamps I use the ghostbusters. So 4 lamps to do everything. I leave flashers incandescent as well as any above playfield lamps with the colored covers.

#22 7 months ago

I’m an incandescent man myself. Never really used LEDs in my games except in areas that need more “punch.” (One example are in backglass lamp effects, like the traffic light on Taxi, and the draw card matrix on Lights Camera Action).

I think games look best with incandescents, especially WPC games that can fade the GI.

Without the OCD board, LEDs are simply too harsh for me. Plus, I just stock a shit ton of #47s and #555s and I’m covered for every game that I acquire.

But that’s my own opinion. The best LEDs I’ve seen in games come from CGC’s titles. Whatever LED combinations they use is incredible. They look fantastic. If I could buy them and stick them in my own games, I would.

#23 7 months ago

Well, there you have it.

You need to decide for yourself from real world experience.

It is very evident none of us are even close to being on the same page. Every persons eyes see different things.

Good luck.

#24 7 months ago
Quoted from Beechwood:

Well, there you have it.
You need to decide for yourself from real world experience.
It is very evident none of us are even close to being on the same page. Every persons eyes see different things.
Good luck.

I agree with everything you said. The nice thing is I can take what I am reading here and it is a huge help to get me to the decisions I want to make. I’m learning from this that I am in the more simple the better camp.

#25 7 months ago

Tasteful bulbs you say?

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#26 7 months ago
Quoted from Beechwood:

Well, there you have it.

You need to decide for yourself from real world experience.

That's the right answer in the end. I am with those who like the 2 smd sunlights and natural white frosted bulbs from Comet for all GI especially. I do stock a bunch of 1 smd colored non ghosting bulbs for inserts if ghosting is an issue. You could just stock sunlight and natural white non ghosting for that application too.

#27 7 months ago

Here is my TZ. I used cool white for GI but prefer sunlight now. Warm white is closer to incandescent bulbs but sunlight looks better imo. I suggest buying some samples and see if you prefer warm, cool, or sunlight white. Once you figure that, I suggest color matching inserts except warm white for yellow and orange inserts. Clear lens for most inserts and frosted for gi. Flex head bulbs are great for inserts where bulbs is sideways and/or need to direct light to prevent light bleeding into other inserts. I put leds in for flasher but you can skip that. Flashers don't stay on long so don't get hot. If you do go led flasher, use ones with the less leds. They get really bright. Don't be afraid to try something. Easy to swap bulbs if something doesn't look good.

Easy thing would be buy a bunch of warm or sunlight bulbs in wedge and bayonet bases. Problem is you end up with extra bulbs and might have enough of some you need. What I do is make a list of all bulbs in the game and document base type, what color bulb, and lens. It's time consuming but end up with exactly what I need.

I lit all my star posts but don't suggest doing that. Lots of work. I also added some spotlights which are really easy using Comet Matrix stuff. Next step is to put in ocd boards. Kinda complicated but not really if you follow instructions step by step.

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#28 7 months ago
Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

All you need are two types of lamps. These, in sunlight, frosted top, wedge base and bayonet base. That's it. Nothing more.
https://www.cometpinball.com/products/2smd-bulbs
Buy a couple hundred of both and be done. One game will cost you between $100 and $125. That's it.
I don't care for color matching the inserts either. Why do I want a red insert to be more red, a blue insert more blue, etc.. I just want it brighter.
Two lamps. That's all you need. Wedge and bayonet.
Try it once and see how easy it can be.
Forgot to mention, you'll want to install an LED/OCD board.
http://www.ledocd.com/

That's how I roll now, only instead of sunlight I do natural white.

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