(Topic ID: 258047)

Fed up with replacing just replaced Eiko bulbs!


By Classicpinballs

55 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 31 posts
  • 25 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 hours ago by too-many-pins
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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    #1 55 days ago

    As title, yet again, more bulb failure with these bulbs!
    I'm loath to fit LEDs on an EM but really, these bulbs are a waste of time and money. I tend to buy a 100 of 44 and 47s and I would say the failure rate is about 25%. So, are other brands of these old fashioned tungsten type bulbs on the market for a better and more reliable alternative?

    #2 55 days ago
    Quoted from Classicpinballs:

    As title, yet again, more bulb failure with these bulbs!
    I'm loath to fit LEDs on an EM but really, these bulbs are a waste of time and money. I tend to buy a 100 of 44 and 47s and I would say the failure rate is about 25%. So, are other brands of these old fashioned tungsten type bulbs on the market for a better and more reliable alternative?

    Besides Eiko I think there is a unbranded Chinese type that come in white square boxes that hold 100pcs. They are honestly probably no better or worse than the Eiko ones but at least usually cheaper.

    None of them seem to last as long as the old GE ones. Maybe get lucky and find some NOS ones of those somewhere.

    #3 55 days ago
    Quoted from Classicpinballs:

    As title, yet again, more bulb failure with these bulbs!
    I'm loath to fit LEDs on an EM but really, these bulbs are a waste of time and money. I tend to buy a 100 of 44 and 47s and I would say the failure rate is about 25%. So, are other brands of these old fashioned tungsten type bulbs on the market for a better and more reliable alternative?

    I went to LED in EM's and never looked back. Careful selection will minimize the visual differences.

    Retro warm white clear dome comes closest to 44's from Comet for GI, use frosted for backglass.

    Buy the non-ghosting for insert use.

    #4 55 days ago

    After replacing all the 455 flashers on my Spin-a-Card and having three out of four burn out within a few months, I’m letting go of my puritanism and getting practical. I now used LEDs wherever you can’t see the bulb, aka Nic’s stealth recipe. I might even use them above the playfield when incandescent technology collapses entirely. Comet warm whites look very nice.

    #5 55 days ago

    Perhaps my home voltage is low, I have had few problems with Eiko bulbs (ordered from PBR if that makes a difference). Still save all older bulbs from shop jobs and clean them up.

    #6 55 days ago

    I've turned my wife into an expert burnt-bulb spotter. We've kind of turned the replacement process into a learning experience for her. She used to have absolutely no interest in fixing the games (her job was to play them, mine was to fix them) but now she's starting to take an interest in how they work and how to fix minor things. I agree that the new bulbs are crap but what else can you do except try to make lemonade out of lemons.

    I've recently started switching over to LED's in the older games and Nic's stealth recipe is pretty good. If you haven't seen it, check it out.
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/stealth-led-a-recommended-recipe-for-ems

    #7 55 days ago

    Will our good old incandescent bulbs be included in Trump's reversal of the Obama errrrrr Bush rules?

    I've gone to LEDs everywhere except in my EMs. It's hard to get used to them in there but eventually I'll break down and do it. I've got half a million incandescents lying around and I don't seem to have a ton of issues with them burning out. Then again my games are off the vast majority of the time, some of them might go a couple of weeks with no play so that might account for it.

    #8 55 days ago

    Feature lamps on early solid state games will strobe unless one replaces the lamp driver board to accommodate LEDs. I have incandescent bulbs in mine. They do tend to burn out quicker. Steve at PBR admitted the Eiko bulb filaments are not as sturdy as the older GE and Holland bulbs. I tend to use LEDs on my EM games under inserts (also lower heat). Yes, Warm White retro type as others have mentioned. I have enough old original 44/47 type bulbs that I cull out of project games to keep for use above the play field These can be cleaned up in an ultrasonic or some have even suggested Tumblr but I like the ultrasonic treatment.

    #9 55 days ago

    I lucked out and got a couple cases of GE # 1847 (long life #47) years ago off eBay. Sold some, hoarding the rest. Some have been in games for 17 years and not one has failed yet.

    #10 55 days ago

    I ran into a bad batch of Eiko's when I did a top side teardown of a Sharkeys Shootout. Every last one failed within an hour. I first thought it was a wiring/board issue since the entire gi was just replaced and spent an hour chasing my tail. Shopping that Sharkeys made shopping a BSD seem like a walk in the park, never buying Eiko's again.

    #11 55 days ago

    Still using Eiko #47's unless it is a bgresto backglass then CoinTaker LED's frosted warm whites non ghosting as they are bright and work well for that application.

    Seems like Eiko have gone from bad to worse lately as far as longevity, sometimes just lasting a few hours.

    May have to go all Led's in the near future, still holding out for the most part. Having a small collection makes it tolerable for the time being.

    Could get lucky though as GE's light division has been up for sale for a while and whoever buys it could bring back the 44's, 47', and 455's. It would be interesting if a company in China ended up buying GE and putting Eiko out of business.

    #12 55 days ago

    Eiko has never owned a factory. They have always contracted.

    User milage will vary.

    #13 55 days ago

    New incandescent bulbs are crap. Place an ad requesting old incandescents from people swapping to LEDs. You should be able to get hundreds of nice used bulbs with plenty of life left.

    #14 55 days ago

    I've loaded every game I shop with new Eiko or 100 pack pinball life special or NOS GE when available and so far don't see a problem. Sometimes the bulb sockets do need attention.

    #15 54 days ago

    Maybe I don't play my games enough. I've been putting the Eiko bulbs in my games for years. Yeah, some burn out, but not at any rate that I would call aggravating. Also, LEDs are not infallible. I've screwed around with what I though were intermittent sockets only to discover it was the LEDs that were flaky. I haven't seen intermittent incandescent bulbs. They either work or they don't.

    #16 54 days ago

    Been using Eiko for years in restorations and still do. Might only replace a couple of bulbs a year and the game get played quite often, 18 of them. Line voltage is 120.

    #17 54 days ago

    Part of the problem may be the higher line voltage power companies now
    deliver. At my place its nominally 123vac and older machines were
    designed for 115vac. Some people like the 'hi tap' the transformers in
    their pins to get more umph from flipper and slings. Thats bad for
    the bulbs. Many EM's have a primary tap on the transformer for
    120vac. Try that.

    Do agree that new bulbs fail more often than old GE types
    but not as bad as some here have experienced.
    Steve

    #18 54 days ago
    Quoted from zarco:

    Part of the problem may be the higher line voltage power companies now
    deliver. At my place its nominally 123vac and older machines were
    designed for 115vac. Some people like the 'hi tap' the transformers in
    their pins to get more umph from flipper and slings. Thats bad for
    the bulbs. Many EM's have a primary tap on the transformer for
    120vac. Try that.
    Do agree that new bulbs fail more often than old GE types
    but not as bad as some here have experienced.
    Steve

    I have machines with both the older and newer bulbs, the newer ones fail like mad while the older ones carry on.

    #19 54 days ago

    About a 18 months ago i was able to buy GE #44's from here:

    https://www.bulbconnection.com/ViewSimItemDetail/bcrw/simid/3778/item.html

    They seem out of stock now. They were GE bulbs made in Hungary. Have been working fine for me.

    IMG_2941 (resized).JPG
    #20 54 days ago

    I'd do anything I could before replacing bulbs with ass looking leds.

    #21 53 days ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    I'd do anything I could before replacing bulbs with ass looking leds.

    Agreed

    #22 53 days ago

    Incandescents do look nice.

    20190813_191707_resized (resized).jpg
    #23 53 days ago

    For incandesants I #755 lamps. Honestly I have just as many leds fail.

    3 weeks later
    #24 32 days ago
    Quoted from zarco:

    Part of the problem may be the higher line voltage power companies now
    deliver. At my place its nominally 123vac and older machines were
    designed for 115vac. Some people like the 'hi tap' the transformers in
    their pins to get more umph from flipper and slings. Thats bad for
    the bulbs. Many EM's have a primary tap on the transformer for
    120vac. Try that.
    Do agree that new bulbs fail more often than old GE types
    but not as bad as some here have experienced.
    Steve

    Every game I have ever switched to hi tap, only effects the coil voltage not a general illumination 6 volt side of the Transformer.

    #25 32 days ago

    A higher nominal input voltage to the transformer is not quite the same as the high tap setting.

    Unless there is a regulator or limiter circuit (not in most older EM pinball machines), higher input voltage = higher output voltages. The saving grace is that proportionality applies in the voltage stepdown process. An input voltage of 123V is only about 7% higher than a nominal 115V input. The 6V output should be 7% higher also, but that only corresponds to 6.4V.

    Might add that standard #44 and #47 lamps are typically rated at 6.3V. An input line voltage of 123V would only result in the stepped down voltage being 0.1V over the rating, which might be considered negligible. Like others have said, the modern bulbs are poor quality from the factories.

    3 weeks later
    #26 6 days ago

    I saw this recently. Might be a source...

    https://www.newegg.com/p/052-000B-001M9

    I'll let you know if i receive them.

    #27 6 days ago
    Quoted from BobLangelius:

    I saw this recently. Might be a source...
    https://www.newegg.com/p/052-000B-001M9
    I'll let you know if i receive them.

    Wow, $4.74 per bulb.
    Can’t wait to hear how they perform.

    #28 6 days ago
    Quoted from Mike_J:

    Wow, $4.74 per bulb.
    Can’t wait to hear how they perform.

    Seems to be for 10 pieces Mike-J

    #29 5 days ago

    About 6 years ago I bought several boxes of GE bulbs (455s and 44s), which to my experience, do outlast the cheaper bulbs since none have failed, yet.
    Occasionally, I do spot GE bulbs on Ebay at high prices, but was fortunate to get mine before the price hikes.

    455 (resized).png
    #30 7 hours ago

    I have several boxes of nos ge bulbs and some boxes of another brand even older I probably have at least 100 older 44 maybe ge bulbs I would part with No idea what they are worth

    #31 7 hours ago

    A "trick" I was taught years ago is to "burn in" new bulbs. I don't know if it actually helped but when you replace bulbs turn the machine on for like 5 minutes then turn it back off and let the bulbs cool for a while. Doing that is suppose to make them "last longer" according to an "old school mentor" I had back in my auto repair days. By doing that is cycles the element in the bulb and changes the structure of the molecules somehow?

    It sure seems to work when I was in the auto industry but who knows if it was just a myth? It kind of makes sense but on the "flip side" these newer bulbs are still all junk. I use used GE bulbs as much as possible because everything made in China these days seems like real junk.

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