(Topic ID: 190696)

Best LED lights?


By Soulrider911

2 years ago



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  • 57 posts
  • 35 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by northvibe
  • Topic is favorited by 6 Pinsiders

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There are 57 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 2 years ago

I'm sure this topic has been best to death but I had to ask as I'm kinda lost lol. So I have a POTC I'm restoring and going to do full Leds. I found a kit on pinballbuls that looks excellent, a bit pricey but from the photos looks like a great kit... but... I have ordered some colored bulbs from them before and was a little disappointed, they where pretty weak?

Then I visited cometpinball.com and they appear to have Ana amazing selection ranging the gamut in color, intensity, etc.. but don't really have distinct kits...

Also visited cointaker, theybhave kits as well but are super cheap ? Which made me a little hesistsnt, but I know they make a great product

So I guess I either order just a grab bag of bulbs and just wing it from comet or do the kit from pinballbulbs.com

Anyone have any insights? Thank you trying to figure out th best route here

10
#2 2 years ago

So Sorry, Glad I dont have to answer this one!

#3 2 years ago

Comet has always been my jam. Recently used Titan on my Gorgar GI but that was because I already was ordering rings and piggybacked those on the order to save shipping. Nothing wrong with the Titan at all. Same price as Comet for basic bulbs, but Comet has a much wider selection over the basics.

I'd stay away from kits. They're preselecting color schemes which may not be to your liking once installed and may not look as the photos show depending on your lighting conditions and neighboring games.

I've learned to grab a bunch of cool or warm white bulbs (depending on the look I'm going for) and put those in. From there find where some accent colors would work and buy those after the fact, or order them with the others up front but with enough whites to remove if the colors don't work as imagined. Also I stick with the base 1SMD until I see ghosting and then replace those with the non ghosting. They are almost 3x the price (and why some kits are so damn expensive) so I only replace them in where needed and use the base everywhere else.

#4 2 years ago

I would not go a kit route. You'll have more fun doing it yourself.

I would stick with the 2smd or single 5050(5mmx5mm). You can color match green and blue but just using cool whites and warm whites usually works out well. That's for inserts.

GI you should likely want warm White to match the art work better.

If your not sure do a small section at a time.

Comet has a good reputation.

#5 2 years ago

I'll never buy from anyone other than Comet. Best product around, tons of options IMO.

And don't ever buy an LED kit. Doing it yourself & trying different combinations is half the fun!

#6 2 years ago

I like Comet.

LTG : )

#8 2 years ago

buy comet, and buy them in bulk as once you do one game you will do them all.

#9 2 years ago

Thanks guys I was leaning towards comet and this seals it. Think I'm gonna just order one of their large grab bags and play with colors etc... also gonna do a matrix that setup is an awesome idea !

11
#10 2 years ago

Buy Comet and be done.

errr...Wait wait wait!!

Comet - theyve got an enormous amount of different bulbs.... enough to make your headspin.

Nifty - we've got just the right amount of different bulbs to make your game look great.

Check us out Niftyled.com

#11 2 years ago

I love my CoinTaker kits. They have not steered me wrong if you want the basic white light up. THey match some inserts, etc, but you don't know the kit until you get it.

however I just ordered a comet for WPT and forgot to get non ghosting...they ghost. You will want to splurge on the non ghosting. It is super annoying having them low volt flicker. When it comes down to it, there is a billion opinions, but you'll need to try it for yourself. I do say get non ghosting for the pf.

#12 2 years ago

don't buy anything named 'ablaze'. i forget the company, but they were the worst lasting and brightness of any led bulbs i've bought. that was 5 years ago or so, maybe they are a better product now.

#13 2 years ago

I buy from nifty. Great customer service, great guys, they come up to our local shows. Plus that free French fry tray! Honestly though I'm just super happy with the product and I like the look of their frosted warm white the best.

#14 2 years ago

Call Melissa at Cointaker .

#15 2 years ago

Just make sure you're buying the SMD bulbs. The other cheapo ones are terrible and way too dim.

#16 2 years ago

Lots of good advice already here. I would use 2 SMD bulbs non ghosting in your plafield everywhere 6.3V. We had really good success with http://www.cometpinball.com/product-p/2smd3528-ng.htm?1=1&CartID=0.

It is all about personal choice. Happy flipping. Have fun!

#17 2 years ago

I personally never get non-ghosting and I add LEDOCD...problem solved. Non-ghosting actually work better with it. Comet is my go-to. Their matrix system is amazing and they have some awesome bulbs e.g., quasar are super bright and one of my favorite for GI.

#18 2 years ago

Do it yourself .... Little frustrating a first to get it done. Love Comet but the stock of items has been very hit and miss lately.

#19 2 years ago
Quoted from pinballaddicted:

Lots of good advice already here. I would use 2 SMD bulbs non ghosting in your plafield everywhere 6.3V. We had really good success with http://www.cometpinball.com/product-p/2smd3528-ng.htm?1=1&CartID=0.
It is all about personal choice. Happy flipping. Have fun!

there is no point in using non ghosting bulbs in the GI sections, that's just a waste of money. Personally I use the twin 2835's (these are not considered a non ghosting bulb) for GI and inserts, and usually only get a few bulbs per game that ghost. Can then switch just those few out to non ghosting if they bother you.

#20 2 years ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

Just make sure you're buying the SMD bulbs. The other cheapo ones are terrible and way too dim.

Some people like those other bulbs. Whether its because theyre not so bright or because of the rock bottom price... they end up paying for it 1-2 years later when you can barely see their bulbs are actually on anymore...

#21 2 years ago

I'm confused by all the options out there. I would like to order from Comet, but the website is somewhat overwhelming for a noobie to LEDs. I just purchased an X-Files and it is very dim with several lights out. I would like to convert to LEDs.

I have the non-ghosting vs. regular choice down.

When do people choose frosted over non frosted? When would you choose a flat head vs. a rounded dome? When would you chose a faceted look vs. smooth?

What are the options with SMD and when would you get one vs. two?

Also, someone told me that I may want to just continue using incandescent flashers since they last longer. They said if you use LED flashers, you have to cut a resistor. Is that right?

Sorry for all the questions. If there is a guide that discusses all of this, that would be great. Thanks!

#22 2 years ago

Comet! Unless your buying other pinball stuff...then you can check out pinball life to save on shipping, but Comet specializes in it. BTW Optix Maximus whatever for the spots and sunlights for GIs are amazing

#23 2 years ago
Quoted from Nokoro:

Sorry for all the questions. If there is a guide that discusses all of this, that would be great. Thanks!

Just went searching and found this after I posted:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/led-information-all-you-wanted-to-know

#24 2 years ago
Quoted from Soulrider911:

Also visited cointaker, theybhave kits as well but are super cheap ? Which made me a little hesistsnt, but I know they make a great product

Yeah actually, they DON'T make a great product, which is why I don't understand why people keep buying their product. Every single time I run into Cointaker crap, it falls apart in my hands. I cannot get their 44's into or out of a tight socket without the LED breaking free of the body. It's ONLY theirs, and it's a problem my wife and I have had repeatedly. Every time I buy a game and it has LEDs and they bust when getting removed for cleaning...sure enough the "CT Stamp of Quality" on the body..

And before someone gets all butthurt and uppity, this is not an isolated incident by far. I've had it happen with things I ordered from them, I've had it happen with UV lamps I bought from them on the floor of Texas Pinball Festival, and I've had it happen with LEDs that have come in games I've purchased from other collectors.. it's quite baffling to me, it's been a problem I've had with their product for over 5 years, and I just don't have the heart to ask for a refund of 80 cents or whatever. I just don't buy their product, and if at all possible I don't take a game being LED'ed into price consideration if it's got their product in it...because I know I'll be replacing it.

My preference by far is Comet, but I've used NiftyLED and PinballBulbs too..

Quoted from Nokoro:

When do people choose frosted over non frosted? When would you choose a flat head vs. a rounded dome? When would you chose a faceted look vs. smooth?

Frosted - If the bulb is visible from player perspective it helps to tone it down. Frankly, I buy *all* frosted and then pop off the tops if I want to use them for inserts.

Flat vs. Rounded - Rounded will have less light thrown to the side and more towards the tip of the lamp. Again...frosted is the way to go IMO, and if you pop the white cap off...guess what...you've got a flat head SMD LED now.

Faceted vs. Smooth - I can't really think of a single reason to pay the premium for the faceted ones. The point is again, it changes the directions the light travels and faceted are supposed to be a more even coverage out the sides. I don't personally buy it, I've owned the faceted ones with round tops from mulitple companies..I'd rather just have...wait for it....frosted.

#25 2 years ago
Quoted from Frax:

I'd rather just have...wait for it....frosted.

Right. Don't over complicate things. The best all around bulb in my opinion is the 5050 smd frosted warm white bulb from comet. Buy them by the 100s and never look back.

#26 2 years ago
Quoted from Frax:

Frosted - If the bulb is visible from player perspective it helps to tone it down. Frankly, I buy *all* frosted and then pop off the tops if I want to use them for inserts.
Flat vs. Rounded - Rounded will have less light thrown to the side and more towards the tip of the lamp. Again...frosted is the way to go IMO, and if you pop the white cap off...guess what...you've got a flat head SMD LED now.
Faceted vs. Smooth - I can't really think of a single reason to pay the premium for the faceted ones. The point is again, it changes the directions the light travels and faceted are supposed to be a more even coverage out the sides. I don't personally buy it, I've owned the faceted ones with round tops from mulitple companies..I'd rather just have...wait for it....frosted.

So, do you prefer frosted or clear?

-1
#27 2 years ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

Right. Don't over complicate things. The best all around bulb in my opinion is the 5050 smd frosted warm white bulb from comet. Buy them by the 100s and never look back.

Can't go wrong with these. I've recently moved to color matching the inserts which gives a slightly richer color but starting off I did all Comet warm white frosted 5050.

#28 2 years ago

What i do not seeing discussed and should be is....

LONGEVITY....

LED bulbs are being touted as lasting much longer... forever over incandescent bulbs. The reality is a lot of pinball led bulbs dim out quick. I stayed at a rental property with a Spiderman by Stern pinball. At first I thought the GI was not working. The GI was working, just the LEDs where incredibly dim. Typical overdriven LED failure mode.

So who has the best LEDs comparing all factors, price, color spectrum, flicker, burn time before fading, etc....

#29 2 years ago

I've used cointaker, comet, nifty and ablaze. The only bulbs I didn't care for were ablaze. the ones I had were way too dim. I prefer comet, price, reliability and selection is great. Build your own kit, it can be a tad overwhelming but in the end the game looks the way you want not someone else's vision. I prefer to stick with color matched inserts and white for gi whether it's warm, cool or sunlight at least it doesn't look like rainbow puke. Good luck and most importantly have fun.

#30 2 years ago
Quoted from barakandl:

What i do not seeing discussed and should be is....
LONGEVITY....
LED bulbs are being touted as lasting much longer... forever over incandescent bulbs. The reality is a lot of pinball led bulbs dim out quick. I stayed at a rental property with a Spiderman by Stern pinball. At first I thought the GI was not working. The GI was working, just the LEDs where incredibly dim. Typical overdriven LED failure mode.
So who has the best LEDs comparing all factors, price, color spectrum, flicker, burn time before fading, etc....

This is a tough one to gauge for home pin owners. All my games are Comet SMDs and I have my games on quite a bit each week, but nothing like an OP. Maybe some will chime in.

#31 2 years ago
Quoted from barakandl:

What i do not seeing discussed and should be is....
LONGEVITY....
LED bulbs are being touted as lasting much longer... forever over incandescent bulbs. The reality is a lot of pinball led bulbs dim out quick. I stayed at a rental property with a Spiderman by Stern pinball. At first I thought the GI was not working. The GI was working, just the LEDs where incredibly dim. Typical overdriven LED failure mode.
So who has the best LEDs comparing all factors, price, color spectrum, flicker, burn time before fading, etc....

WE have about 25 games in our home gameroom and they are on a ton. Someone turns them on and they remain on a majority of the day. About 5 years ago our first LEDs we had (which were identical and from same factory as cointaker purchased from at that time) dimmed out. They were the 5050 smd. Our ones we carried about 6 months after that, so about the last 4.5 years have not seemed to dim and some of the same games exist in the gameroom from that time. It was definitely a pain finding a new factory who could build the new ones we wanted to different specs, but they were found and cost a lot more, but have gotten cheaper a bit over time as we've bought more and more. We are going to the NW show this weekend and will have about 10~ games there. A few should be ones that the LEDs are a few years old and I know 2 at least were done this last 2 weeks so they can be good to compare the dimming factor. Both old and new looked the same to me in the shop!

#32 2 years ago
Quoted from Frax:

Frosted - If the bulb is visible from player perspective it helps to tone it down. Frankly, I buy *all* frosted and then pop off the tops if I want to use them for inserts.
Flat vs. Rounded - Rounded will have less light thrown to the side and more towards the tip of the lamp. Again...frosted is the way to go IMO, and if you pop the white cap off...guess what...you've got a flat head SMD LED now.
Faceted vs. Smooth - I can't really think of a single reason to pay the premium for the faceted ones. The point is again, it changes the directions the light travels and faceted are supposed to be a more even coverage out the sides. I don't personally buy it, I've owned the faceted ones with round tops from mulitple companies..I'd rather just have...wait for it....frosted.

I use frosted in all the inserts. Frosted diffuses the light and makes the insert light up evenly. With clear you will get a round "spot" light effect on a lot of inserts.

Flat top frosted for backglass. Eliminates the spot light effect and looks more like incandescents.

#33 2 years ago

I only use PBL super brights. Quality bulbs and price is right!
I make my own LED strips in the shooter lane/apron/rear area.

#34 2 years ago

Kits are expensive regardless of who you get them from. I don't like kits.

You'll be happy with just about any of the big companies bulbs whether its comet, cointaker, nifty, PB, PBL, ect. I personally use Comet. Very happy with them.

#35 2 years ago
Quoted from holmstarrunner:

I personally never get non-ghosting and I add LEDOCD...problem solved. Non-ghosting actually work better with it. Comet is my go-to. Their matrix system is amazing and they have some awesome bulbs e.g., quasar are super bright and one of my favorite for GI.

And this appears to be fairly cost effective, too. Those non-ghosting LEDs can get EXPENSIVE. LED OCD works out of the box, and you can tweak it to your heart's content.

#36 2 years ago
Quoted from dudah:

I only use PBL super brights. Quality bulbs and price is right!
I make my own LED strips in the shooter lane/apron/rear area.

How do you make an LED strip?

#37 2 years ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

How do you make an LED strip?

buy the rgb strip on amazon, cut it to the length you want and wire it in.

1 week later
#38 2 years ago

So ended up just ordering a bunch of bulbs from comet went with 2smd natural frosted white for inserts and 2smd warm white frosted for gi, and I got this magical little tool! Here you can see natural vs warm white

IMG_1605 (resized).JPG

#39 2 years ago

Terry did a nice job making this tester available.

We used them all the time in the office, in the past.

#40 2 years ago

Where can you get one of those test boards for LED's?

#41 2 years ago

yuriijos here ya go buddy, seriously the best tool for pin lighting ever http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=3292

#42 2 years ago

I love comet's selection. I typically use 1smd for inserts for gi. The matrix system is great for adding lights. All you have to do is solder a few wires and then plug in what you want. Only problem with comet is that there always seem to be one bulb out of stock when making an order.

#43 2 years ago
Quoted from hailrazer:

I use frosted in all the inserts. Frosted diffuses the light and makes the insert light up evenly. With clear you will get a round "spot" light effect on a lot of inserts.
Flat top frosted for backglass. Eliminates the spot light effect and looks more like incandescents.

Agreed and why im not a fan of the remakes with the smd boards ..... the inserts look odd and are to dam bright with hot spots.

#44 2 years ago

Hmmm shoot so o prolly shoulda got 1smds huh? For inserts

#45 2 years ago
Quoted from Soulrider911:

Hmmm shoot so o prolly shoulda got 1smds huh? For inserts

You are fine.

Not unless you feel what you have is too bright.....1 SMDs are fine, but I tend to use them or 2 LED on SS games.

If you are using them in GI, they are balanced with the inserts.

Think of a bunch of 75 watt bulb Shaded lamps lighting a room vs 100 watt.

#46 2 years ago
Quoted from Dr-Willy:

Buy the rgb strip on Amazon, cut it to the length you want and wire it in.

These are generally 12 volt DC strips and you want the "indoor" variety *not* the outdoor ones. Depending on the machine, you can pick up a source of +12v and ground at a drop target opto board (on the playfield), a 16 Opto interface board (like on Dirty Harry playfield), or go all the way to the power supply board in the backbox.

Some of the usual LED pinball bulb suppliers now sell LED rgb strips that run on 6 volts. This allows you to get power from any 6 volt general illumination socket.

HANDY TIP: If you want the led strip to stay put, swab the back of it as well as the surface it's going to be mounted on with contact cement.

1 week later
#47 1 year ago

I just realized that I ordered frosted one SMB bulbs for all my insert should I have gotten clear lenses

#48 1 year ago
Quoted from Soulrider911:

I just realized that I ordered frosted one SMB bulbs for all my insert should I have gotten clear lenses

I'ver never once seen an advantage to clear lenses over frosted.

#49 1 year ago
Quoted from Soulrider911:

I just realized that I ordered frosted one SMB bulbs for all my insert should I have gotten clear lenses

You can just pop the lens off, if it's an insert you never see it anyway and presto it's clear.

#50 1 year ago

Sounds good since I already installed them all gonna see how it looks and if they are. It bright enough I'll take the l mess off! I imagine you can just pull them off with your hand? Or are a pair of pliers needed? Just don't want to break them thanks

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