(Topic ID: 209159)

Clear or Frosted LEDs for late 70s SS?


By mrm_4

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 62 posts
  • 24 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by CaptainNeo
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

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    Topic poll

    “Clear or Frosted LEDs”

    • Clear 3 votes
      9%
    • Frosted 27 votes
      84%
    • Who cares 2 votes
      6%

    (32 votes by 0 Pinsiders)

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    There are 62 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    #1 1 year ago

    Just trying to get some opinions before I place an order. Not sure if frosted or clear LEDs would look better in an older game. Please "shed some light" on the subject (heh heh get it?)
    pics would be great too if anyone is passionate about one versus the other

    #2 1 year ago

    I went with frosted on my early SS (1980 Williams Blackout). I think clear LEDs, at least for the GI lights, might be too bright. There were actually a couple of areas where even the frosted LEDs were too bright so I used regular bulbs in those spots. As far as the inserts, I mostly just used regular bulbs. I tried LEDs in a few spots, but they either ghosted or I didn't see much of a difference. Now, with my T2, big difference with the LEDs and I used them throughout the game!

    #3 1 year ago

    I love the look of incandescent 47s warm glow in my Mata Hari so Im trying to keep that feel, but the playfield is being clear coated so I'm getting the LED adapter kit for the board and going full LED. Good to know that the clear LEDs seemed too bright. Were your clears the warm white or bright white?

    #4 1 year ago

    I did my Flight2000 in warm frosted, kept the look very nicely. Love it!

    #5 1 year ago

    I use frosted 2smb comet daylight white in all my early SS. They look natural , have great light distribution. I will not use anything else for GI's. Both in backbox and playfield. If 2smb is too bright for you, use 1smb.

    #6 1 year ago
    Quoted from CaptainNeo:

    I use frosted 2smb comet daylight white in all my early SS. They look natural , have great light distribution. I will not use anything else for GI's. Both in backbox and playfield. If 2smb is too bright for you, use 1smb.

    Agreed, daylights are the best for classic g.i.

    #7 1 year ago

    you can rough up a surface mount LED's clear lens to make it have the frosted diffusion. If the lamp is visbible to the eye, you probably want frosted or they can be a bit glaring.

    natural or warm white depending on the game's colors. The cool white usually has too much blue color for my taste.

    #8 1 year ago

    I almost never use clear LEDs. But I definitely use frosted for GI.

    #9 1 year ago
    Quoted from CaptainNeo:

    I use frosted 2smb comet daylight white in all my early SS. They look natural , have great light distribution. I will not use anything else for GI's. Both in backbox and playfield. If 2smb is too bright for you, use 1smb.

    Even on skin tones?? I gave up trying to LED my Bally Eight Ball. Every brand/color I tried made Fonzie & Pinky look either yellow/jaundice, or death-blue clammy.
    I've stuck with incandescent in most of my backboxes (and PF GI), with sparingly highlights.

    #10 1 year ago

    Frosted warms on 1981 Volcano.
    Looks nice. Not blinding but brighter than 47s.

    #11 1 year ago

    Always go frosted in any bulb that doesn't have something between it and your eye. Even under plastic I usually go frosted because there is always some angle that they will blind you or be blinding to people watching. As to warm or cold I think it depends on theme and color scheme of the pin. I tend to use depending on the situation.

    #12 1 year ago
    Quoted from mrm_4:

    Just trying to get some opinions before I place an order.

    In terms of warm or cold, my suggestion is to go warm for games with yellows, oranges, and reds and cold for games with greens, blues, or purples. I try to stick with one color for true GI, but if the bulbs are more to illuminate plastics to illuminate, don't be afraid to mix and match.

    Quoted from SealClubber:

    I almost never use clear LEDs. But I definitely use frosted for GI.

    This.

    Quoted from Timerider:

    Even on skin tones?? I gave up trying to LED my Bally Eight Ball. Every brand/color I tried made Fonzie & Pinky look either yellow/jaundice, or death-blue clammy. I've stuck with incandescent in most of my backboxes (and PF GI), with sparingly highlights.

    Did you use Comet? I had that issue with the warm whites from Pinball Life, but I'm much happier with the bulbs from Comet.

    PS: Comet for LEDs, Pinball Life for everything else.

    #13 1 year ago
    Quoted from Timerider:

    Even on skin tones?? I gave up trying to LED my Bally Eight Ball. Every brand/color I tried made Fonzie & Pinky look either yellow/jaundice, or death-blue clammy.
    I've stuck with incandescent in most of my backboxes (and PF GI), with sparingly highlights.

    i use 2smb white's on every game, always daylight, with no exceptions for GI's. For backboxes I use them, but pull all the bulbs except 6-8 of them to reduce glare. Backbox lights up good and you never know 82% of the bulbs are gone. Glare is drastically reduced.

    #14 1 year ago

    Awesome feedback everyone, much appreciated! Sounds like I'll definitely go with frosted. Any thoughts on this bargain from Comet? Going into a home use game so I'm not going to have this thing on more than 6 hours a week tops.
    http://www.cometpinball.com/product-p/100-pack-led-bullet.htm

    #15 1 year ago
    Quoted from mrm_4:

    Awesome feedback everyone, much appreciated! Sounds like I'll definitely go with frosted. Any thoughts on this bargain from Comet? Going into a home use game so I'm not going to have this thing on more than 6 hours a week tops.
    http://www.cometpinball.com/product-p/100-pack-led-bullet.htm

    I've never had an issue with the bullets but 'they' say they dim over time. Like you in a home environment i have never noticed this. Twice as much to upgrade so it's a toss up

    #16 1 year ago

    I love the comet 2smd warm frosted bulbs. Definately my favourite for gi in early ss machines.

    Depending on the games color though cool white work well. My hotdoggin popped with cool white gi from all the whites and blues.

    #17 1 year ago

    One thing I do recommend is do not buy a bulb that is not clearly labeled to not ghost. I hate that they even sell them. Its just not worth the risk and its super annoying to LED up a game only to have the LEDs ghost and look like ass.

    #18 1 year ago
    Quoted from Darscot:

    One thing I do recommend is do not buy a bulb that is not clearly labeled to not ghost. I hate that they even sell them. Its just not worth the risk and its super annoying to LED up a game only to have the LEDs ghost and look like ass.

    Doesn't the LED adapter help with the ghosting issue?

    http://www.cometpinball.com/product-p/bally-stern-adapter.htm

    #19 1 year ago
    Quoted from mrm_4:

    Doesn't the LED adapter help with the ghosting issue?
    http://www.cometpinball.com/product-p/bally-stern-adapter.htm

    I dunno but seems like extra cost when you can just buy a good bulb. I myself just stick with Pinball Life Ghost Busting 1 SMDs. In my opinion the best bulb at great price. I have tried lots of other bulbs and spent way more, unless something big changes up the LED scene that is all I will go with from now on.

    #20 1 year ago
    Quoted from Darscot:

    I dunno but seems like extra cost when you can just buy a good bulb. I myself just stick with Pinball Life Ghost Busting 1 SMDs. In my opinion the best bulb at great price. I have tried lots of other bulbs and spent way more, unless something big changes up the LED scene that is all I will go with from now on.

    ok getting down to logistics now...
    With Comet, the LED kit and 100 bulbs I'm at $76.
    With Pinball Life 100 non-ghosting bulbs I'm at $80. That's a whole 400 pennies more!!! haha
    So now that I'm sold on frosted bulbs the debate is, what is better? Non ghosting bulbs in the machine as is, or getting the LED adapter and whatever kind of bulbs?.....

    Im trying to find the post to link to this one, but I seem to remember reading someone complain about nonghosting bulbs still ghosting in an old Bally.

    #21 1 year ago
    Quoted from mrm_4:

    So now that I'm sold on frosted bulbs the debate is, what is better? Non ghosting bulbs in the machine as is, or getting the LED adapter and whatever kind of bulbs?.....

    If you're using that siegecraft (?) or Adapters to use LEDs I don't think you'll need non ghostings.

    Pinball life bulbs ...no thanks.

    #22 1 year ago

    Pinball Lifes non ghosting worked 100% for me. I used them in a LWJP, Pinbot and an AC/DC. I bought the games with LEDs and now have a bag of bulbs with comet and cointaker logos on them that ghosted like crazy. I used to use PinballBulbs and had decent success with them when ordering from the web but they are expensive. I bought some from Pinball Bulbs at the North West show and they all ghosted like crazy in a Pinbot. It might have been my mistake at the show but it just annoys me to no end. That is when I switched to Pinball Lifes and I feel like an idiot because I passed on them at first because they were cheap I just assumed they wouldn't be that good.

    #23 1 year ago

    If you want a frosted look but hate the white domes like I do. A little bit of steel wool will scuff the clear lens.

    #24 1 year ago
    Quoted from mrm_4:

    Doesn't the LED adapter help with the ghosting issue?
    http://www.cometpinball.com/product-p/bally-stern-adapter.htm

    Leave it to Vid to answer every question about everything in the history of ever!

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/classic-ballystern-led-adapter-kit-review

    #25 1 year ago
    Quoted from Darscot:

    I used them in a LWJP, Pinbot and an AC/DC.

    yes he's asking aboot a Bally SS game which doesn't work with LEDs.

    #26 1 year ago

    I went with a mix of clear/frosted in my f2k. It’s all comet. 2smd color matching clear for feature and 1smd frost for gi. There are a few yellow 2smd here and there in gi for accent. I used their little add on boards to control flicker. Did not need the no ghost versions. Threw in a couple fire lights for back glass accent in the meteor and ships exhaust. The white bulb see thru on the back glass is not visible in person, it’s a camera thing.

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    #27 1 year ago

    Just an update. I got my bulbs in. Went with the frosted warm white bargain ones from Comet, I posted about previously. They look great all are working except for 33 controlled lights under the playfield. Now some may say I'm crazy but instead of getting the kit I took the 3 cent per socket route and added the 470ohm 1/4 watt resistor. Took me about 45 mins. No strobe or ghosting.
    Note that the crappy playfield in there now is being replaced by the one I sent off for clear coating.

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    #28 1 year ago

    I’d go with frosted.

    #29 1 year ago
    Quoted from mrossman5:

    I’d go with frosted.

    I did....

    #30 1 year ago
    Quoted from mrm_4:

    Now some may say I'm crazy but instead of getting the kit I took the 3 cent per socket route and added the 470ohm 1/4 watt resistor.

    That's how my Flash Gordon is. Nice job.

    #31 1 year ago
    Quoted from Darscot:

    Pinball Lifes non ghosting worked 100% for me. I used them in a LWJP, Pinbot and an AC/DC. I bought the games with LEDs and now have a bag of bulbs with comet and cointaker logos on them that ghosted like crazy. I used to use PinballBulbs and had decent success with them when ordering from the web but they are expensive. I bought some from Pinball Bulbs at the North West show and they all ghosted like crazy in a Pinbot. It might have been my mistake at the show but it just annoys me to no end. That is when I switched to Pinball Lifes and I feel like an idiot because I passed on them at first because they were cheap I just assumed they wouldn't be that good.

    Our comparable bulbs that PBL sells are lower cost and even lower when you use 'pinside' coupon code for an additional 10% off. we also have '15off' for orders of 100 or more bulbs, you can mix and match, don't have to buy 100 of the same kind. Looking around just now I'm not sure I see a better deal on the premium single SMD non-ghosting bulbs!

    Ya, pinbot ghosts so you need non-ghosting bulbs . Happy to exchange those for you if you still needed it.

    #32 1 year ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    That's how my Flash Gordon is. Nice job.

    Thanks! I actually like soldering so I'm pretty excited about getting the same results for next to nothing. Now if it was like 150 lights or something maybe not so much haha
    Although... 150 resistors are only $10 total so I guess it all depends on cash flow.

    #33 1 year ago
    Quoted from PinballBulbs:

    Our comparable bulbs that PBL sells are lower cost and even lower when you use 'pinside' coupon code for an additional 10% off. we also have '15off' for orders of 100 or more bulbs, you can mix and match, don't have to buy 100 of the same kind. Looking around just now I'm not sure I see a better deal on the premium single SMD non-ghosting bulbs!
    Ya, pinbot ghosts so you need non-ghosting bulbs . Happy to exchange those for you if you still needed it.

    Have you adjusted your pricing recently, looking now and you are definitely competitive. I know I filled my cart at both sites to compare, it was a few months back. I have purchased bulbs from in the past and have been very happy with them. It's very possible when I bought them at the show I got them from the wrong bin or didn't specify I needed the non ghosting so that is on me and I don't expect them exchanged. I will check you site again in future because I do like your bulbs and service a lot.

    #34 1 year ago

    Sorry. Didn’t see it.

    #35 1 year ago
    Quoted from Darscot:

    Have you adjusted your pricing recently, looking now and you are definitely competitive. I know I filled my cart at both sites to compare, it was a few months back. I have purchased bulbs from in the past and have been very happy with them. It's very possible when I bought them at the show I got them from the wrong bin or didn't specify I needed the non ghosting so that is on me and I don't expect them exchanged. I will check you site again in future because I do like your bulbs and service a lot.

    Yup, just a few days ago actually.

    You can still exchange them anytime no worries.

    #36 1 year ago

    Frosted for playfield GI. I still don't like them in the backbox at all.

    #37 1 year ago

    I prefer the warm white retro (clear lens) in GI where the bulb is seen... this is because it actually looks like the original bulb. I don't like the frosted bulb look on a game that wasn't intended for LEDs. I use frosted whenever the bulb is hidden (hidden on pf top, or under PF). Its kind of impossible to photograph to see the difference, but is nice in person.

    #38 1 year ago
    Quoted from flynnibus:

    I prefer the warm white retro (clear lens) in GI where the bulb is seen... this is because it actually looks like the original bulb. I don't like the frosted bulb look on a game that wasn't intended for LEDs. I use frosted whenever the bulb is hidden (hidden on pf top, or under PF). Its kind of impossible to photograph to see the difference, but is nice in person.

    I have enough to replace almost all bulbs to LED, so what I'm going to do is try out all LED when I get my playfield back to see if I like it. I might end up keeping 47s in where they are visible. I really like the look of the real incandescent bulb. I'm still up in the air about it with this game though.

    Quoted from wayout440:

    Frosted for playfield GI. I still don't like them in the backbox at all.

    I swapped out the 47s in the backbox with the LEDs and I don't like it. For sure going to keep the 47s in there.

    #39 1 year ago
    Quoted from mrm_4:

    I swapped out the 47s in the backbox with the LEDs and I don't like it. For sure going to keep the 47s in there.

    Curious to hear what you didn't like about them. Switching to LEDs in the backbox is a great way to protect the art...but of course you need to be happy with how it looks.

    #40 1 year ago
    Quoted from ryanwanger:

    Curious to hear what you didn't like about them. Switching to LEDs in the backbox is a great way to protect the art...but of course you need to be happy with how it looks.

    I think the LED bulbs gave the art to much of a whitewash if I had to describe it. Mata Hari's skin went from a warm flesh tone color, easy on the eyes, to that of a pale white dead body. I even used the warm white bulbs but they are still too "blue" I guess... Probably not describing it very well. I'll post a before and after later today, I don't have a pic on my phone of the glass with the LEDs in it. Plus, this glass is in perfect condition after having 47s in it for 40 years so I'm thinking I'm safe keeping them in.
    I guess I can get different color LEDs to experiment.
    Thanks for the candy, sticker, and the Beatles Blackbird rewrite btw!!!

    #41 1 year ago

    I love how “the look” is kept with my all led machine

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    #42 1 year ago

    At the moment I have all LEDs in the machine so I'll post some pics showing the difference to help with the decision and to get more opinions.

    That Flight looks sexy

    #43 1 year ago

    The pic with 34 credits and 40 as the match is with the 47s. The pic with 00 credits is with warm white frosted LEDs.

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    #44 1 year ago

    I know the camera distorts a little, but I hated the way LEDs were too "spotty". Regular bulbs just have the warm spread of beautiful glow that looks better on these old games.

    #45 1 year ago

    I like the color of the back glass art with the regular bulbs better than the LEDs. I need experiment with different colors still before I give up on LEDs up there. So far I'm happy with the look on the playfield.

    #46 1 year ago

    Sunlight from Comet are the bulbs you are looking for.

    #47 1 year ago
    Quoted from wayout440:

    I know the camera distorts a little, but I hated the way LEDs were too "spotty".

    The camera can distort...but if you've seen really spotty plastics or backglasses, it's either because someone was using clear lenses, or bulbs that were too bright.

    Here is the Alien Star backglass I just did. Left half is all incandescent. Right half is all 1SMD frosted warm white. Taken when an iPhone 7. No HDR, brightness adjustments, or any other editing done. (The sockets behind the backglass for this game are spread out in an even grid, with staggered alternating rows...ie: placed for even illumination rather than highlighting particular areas).

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    #48 1 year ago

    when you guys take before after shots make sure to lock in the brightness / white balance or else the pictures are misleading. In the mata hari above one shot the background is really dark, in the other the background is lighter makes a difference for comparing before/after.

    #49 1 year ago
    Quoted from barakandl:

    when you guys take before after shots make sure to lock in the brightness / white balance or else the pictures are misleading. In the mata hari above one shot the background is really dark, in the other the background is lighter makes a difference for comparing before/after.

    I'll take another pic tonight. Both pics were locked before I took the pic. There was slight twilight but I don't feel that changes how the illumination from behind the glass would change the color seen shining through. It's evident that the LED is a significantly different color than the incandescent. But let me change them out and take a pic and then change them back and take another so we have another view. Here are the 2 bulbs being compared.
    warm white frosted LED (left) vs 47 (right)

    image (resized).png

    #50 1 year ago

    Don't buy the super bright LEDs if you want an original look.

    Warm White Retro from Cointaker are brighter, but still give a nice look. Still have to be careful in head on areas like backboxes tho.. Frosted bulbs diffuse the hotspot, but aren't dimmer.. they tend to be brighter.

    Part of the concern about 'wash out' and hot spots are simply because the bulbs are so much brighter than the original 44/47 bulbs.

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