(Topic ID: 66701)

Choosing LED's


By NickRocco

6 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 27 posts
  • 15 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by NextoPin
  • Topic is favorited by 12 Pinsiders

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#1 6 years ago

I am looking to add some LEDs to my TFTC but I am not sure which LEDs to go with.

I have found the following LEDs available:

Noflix - http://www.pinballcenter.eu/english/pinball-parts/

Ablaze - http://www.pinballlife.com/

http://www.pinballbulbs.com/

http://www.cointaker.com/

Can anyone sort them out? Are some better than others? Has anyone tried different suppliers/brands? Has anyone had a bad experience with any of these? Are they all about the same and it just comes down to price?

#2 6 years ago

you may also want to check out http://www.cometpinball.com/
They have pretty nice prices if you're not looking for kits.

#3 6 years ago

Piparoo is right cometpinball.com has good prices.
as to the bulbs you need.
non-ghosting is important
Non-Frosted bulbs for under the Playfield and Frosted bulbs for on top of the playfield. You should also check bulb tops so the light is the right style for you i.e. (flat top, or convex, concave)

#4 6 years ago

what are some tips on choosing the styles and also the colors? I went with a couple sample packs from pinballlife but you can't get an accurate example by just using one bulb style for one color.

#5 6 years ago
Quoted from royce6135:

Piparoo is right cometpinball.com has good prices.
as to the bulbs you need.
non-ghosting is important
Non-Frosted bulbs for under the Playfield and Frosted bulbs for on top of the playfield. You should also check bulb tops so the light is the right style for you i.e. (flat top, or convex, concave)

I notice that some suppliers offer convex and concave and some do not. When would I need a convex or concave vs. a flat top, dome or Superflux?

#6 6 years ago
Quoted from Spyder99945:

what are some tips on choosing the styles and also the colors? I went with a couple sample packs from pinballlife but you can't get an accurate example by just using one bulb style for one color.

I'd suggest picking a vendor and just order a bulk pack of 100 or 25 whites in flat top warm white. They're the cheapest and you can use them for inserts all day. You will quickly get a sense for whether you like the look of LEDs or not. From there you can start to explore bulb tops and see what you like the best in various locations. As far as colors go, why not order some bulk 25 packs of each color and experiment? It's fun.

#7 6 years ago

flat top is for inserts typically. dome is for dispersing light evenly.

-- Someone correct me if I'm wrong. But I think concave is for side dispersing of light and convex is for a spotlight dispersing of light.

#8 6 years ago
Quoted from Piparoo:

you may also want to check out http://www.cometpinball.com/They have pretty nice prices if you're not looking for kits.

Prices look good to me too...about to order some

#9 6 years ago

I've had great luck with comet so far. The owner is a good guy. He is occasionally out of stuff but clearly indicates it on the site.

#10 6 years ago

1 SMD, 2 SMD or 4 SMD, any thoughts?

#11 6 years ago
Quoted from NickRocco:

1 SMD, 2 SMD or 4 SMD, any thoughts?

It depends on where it's going.

#12 6 years ago

cometpinball LED's are great.

Get a sample kit and a bunch of Warm white/Cool white various to start out with.

It really is amazing/fun trying out all of the different LED's. They can make a drastic difference to certain machines getting the right LED's.

#13 6 years ago

Hi guys...

Just a small update at cometpinball. We have close to 200,000 bulbs in export now, so we will have almost all out of stock items coming in, next week, baring customs messing up.

New in the line, and there will be separate posts, we have secured selling, the Super Flux, no Ghosting, No Flicker, Reduced Strobing line. They will be at substantial savings. Marketed under the Ultimate Optix brand.
We are testing our Optix Maximus (Op-Max)..the finest GI Bulb, over 300 degrees, and will be also posting with pictures.
But wait, there is more...4/4 stacked 8 SMD, 6 SMD fan, new color changing bulbs not seen, LED Bumper rings in test. Our retros will be in AND in frosted..these are unique to us. 8mm domed bullets are also new to the market place... and much much more...including a special sale in 2 weeks!!

Regarding Flat top, concave, and convex. These apply to single LEDs, Single LEDs, are fine for some older games, there are pictures up of an Alien Star done in all Flats, for about $30 for the whole game, but not all games will work this way. Rather then worry about the concave/convex/flat debate, which is so minor in appearance, if you need
the light spread that is right for 90% of all of us, just use frosted SMD. Your safest, best bet.

You can find them with us, or James, at pinballbulbs.com, Melissa and Chris, of Course, great people at Cointaker,
or NiftyLEDs, and Pinball Life and Marcos...and others...all great suppliers.

if you want the best, the SuperFlux is now the leader, and those are available at pinballcenter.eu, pinballdecals.com, and at cometpinball.com in 2 weeks.

You cant go wrong any way you go, simply think of it as LEDs, intro low cost, lower light, good for EMs and older games, small inserts.

1SMD, 2 SMD 4 SMD, all for the middle range, the most common, the most affordable, looks great! (Our 2 SMD and 4 SMD are the same price as a single)

Our top of the line with Superflux....

Pretty easy...Good Luck!

Art

#14 6 years ago

Comet Pinball LEDs are the best deal out there. And the product and service is top notch!

From my experience here is what I have come up with regarding some basic ground rules in LED choice and use:

1. I prefer the frosted 1SMD 5050 for almost everything as it gives a nice bright smooth dispersed light for inserts, under plastics for GI, and behind the back glass. Only exception is using Retros when you want that pinpoint of light showing as with an incandescent.

http://www.cometpinball.com/product-p/1smd5050.htm
http://www.cometpinball.com/product-p/1retroled.htm

2. For back glass and under playfield plastics use warm white LEDs behind warm colors such as yellow, orange, and red, and use cool/natural white behind cool colors such as blue, green, and purple. You can use a colored LED for a "special effect" in some areas if desired. Again the frosted 1SMD 5050 works great here.

3. For inserts you can also use the frosted 1SMD 5050 but match the color of the LED to the color of the insert. The only exception is for yellow inserts. Do not use a yellow LED under a yellow insert. Instead use a warm white LED. Yellow LEDs are not bright enough and are only useful behind white inserts.

4. Use different color LEDs under white inserts to give you a more colorful playfield if that is the effect you want.

5. Use colored LEDs under playfield plastics to create a more modern colorful look if that is the effect you want.

6. Use specialty LEDs such as color changers and flex heads for those areas that may need them. Flex heads are good for where you have a sideways mounted bulb under an insert but I have found that the regular frosted 1SMD 5050 LEDs do put out enough sideways light to work just fine also.

http://www.cometpinball.com/product-p/1smdflex.htm

7. Another very useful specialty bulb is the older style "Bullet" LED with a frosted lens. These are great to use if you have a bulb that "peaks" out from under a plastic and shines right in your eyes. This style of LED shines very little light to the sides so it reduces the brightness that hits your eyes. Just use a frosted warm or cool/natural to match the other LEDs in that area.

http://www.cometpinball.com/product-p/1ledbullet.htm

8. Every game is different so feel free to experiment with different color and type combinations. It is always a good idea to purchase a few extras so that you can experiment.

9. The most important rule sometimes is to not follow any rules. If you think it might work give it a try. If you think it won't work give it a try anyways! You will never know what works until you try. It's only a bulb and it can easily be changed out if it doesn't work for you.

So my suggestion to get started is to get a bulk pack of both the warm and cool/natural in the frosted lens style found here:

http://www.cometpinball.com/product-p/1smd5050.htm

The bulk pack pricing of 59 cents is great! These LEDs can be used everywhere and will be a good start. Just remember to use the warm white behind warm colors and the cool/natural white behind cool colors. You then can also pick up various colored LEDs to match your inserts and for any "special effects" you may want to experiment with.

Just remember it's your pin and what looks good to you is what is most important!!

#15 6 years ago

My opinion is: order small individual samples from various sites then try them out in your game and see what you like. Compare them with incandescents side by side. Ask yourself, do you want more light than the incandescent or less?; do you like the color the incandescent gives?, do you want to match that or go for something different?

I think you'll find that there are so many variations out there between brands and types that the only way to get the job done right is to sample and see what works best for your specific game and tastes.

#16 6 years ago

Oh, one more suggestion. Yellow LEDs are not nearly bright enough.

#17 6 years ago

Amen...yellows are simply all over the place...the best ones are frosted SMDs, and we have hand separated into "shades" hard to get yellows as a color to work right,,,,

#18 6 years ago

Oranges aren't far ahead of yellow in terms of performance either. I recommend going the warm white route for any orange inserts as well.

#19 6 years ago
Quoted from ckochan:

Oranges aren't far ahead of yellow in terms of performance either. I recommend going the warm white route for any orange inserts as well.

I agree although I have used the frosted oranges under orange inserts and they have been bright enough. The nice thing about the Comet frosted 1SMD 5050 LEDs is that you can remove the frosted caps. This will result in a brighter more directional light that works well under inserts also. Especially if the color is not so bright such as with yellow and orange.

In my BTTF I am using the orange LEDs under the orange "McFly" inserts on the left side of the play field. They are working fine there. However I did put a warm white under the orange "Go Back Again" insert so that it would "pop" a bit more when lit.

Another trick is to put red LED's under the orange or even yellow inserts. The red gives the orange or yellow inserts a nice deep orangish red color that looks pretty good. Did that on my Bally Star Trek under the "Bally" inserts up on top.

That's the cool thing with these colored LEDs, you can experiment very easily to see what looks best to you!

#20 6 years ago

Agreed. It's fun to see what color combinations you like the most. I put purple LEDs in some of the white inserts of a TFTC I was working on. I really like how that turned out.

#21 6 years ago

Jags covered the topic very well!

I generally use the Ablaze 1-LED frosteds for small inserts and Cointaker frosteds for everything else (larger inserts, backbox, GI).

#22 6 years ago
Quoted from Piparoo:

I put purple LEDs in some of the white inserts of a TFTC I was working on. I really like how that turned out.

Purples under white inserts look great. The cyan color is real good too. The white inserts are the best to work with as you can use any color LED and the insert will become that color when lit. I like to match with the artwork color that surrounds the insert. That usually works real good but not always! On my Bally Star Trek the bonus 1-10 numbers are positioned like photon torpedoes coming out of the Enterprise. Those white inserts are surrounded by a yellow then green field artwork. Kind of like an energy field coming off the torpedoes. I first thought yellow to match the yellow field but then I decided to contrast and go with green instead. So now I have green torpedo inserts in a field of yellow and then green again. It looks great! You just got to experiment but also use some artistic judgement.

8 months later
#23 5 years ago

I have a question about LED flashers. I have a couple places on my BK2K that I would like to add colored LED flashers like under the blue and red large lightning bolts on the upper playfield but I want to keep the incandescent flashers in other places, like the 2 next to the flippers.

BK2K is a system 11 game and I've read that it has to have a resistor removed in order to use LED flashers, is this all or nothing? can I mix LED flashers with incandescent flashers?

#24 5 years ago
Quoted from NextoPin:

can I mix LED flashers with incandescent flashers?

Yes. I have them mixed on my F-14.

Depending on where you add them, you might not need to remove warming resistors as having incandescent flashers in the same line will prevent the LED flasher from being lit all the time.

Otherwise you have to remove the 330 ohm warming resistor at the flasher board where the specific flasher is connected to.

#25 5 years ago

Nifty led are great

#27 5 years ago
Quoted from mbott1701:

Yes. I have them mixed on my F-14.
Depending on where you add them, you might not need to remove warming resistors as having incandescent flashers in the same line will prevent the LED flasher from being lit all the time.
Otherwise you have to remove the 330 ohm warming resistor at the flasher board where the specific flasher is connected to.

Ahhh, cool, that helps alot, Thanks!

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