(Topic ID: 217112)

Fixing LED bulbs/flashers that fall out of spotlights

By PinMonk

4 years ago


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  • 32 posts
  • 20 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 36 days ago by PinMonk
  • Topic is favorited by 33 Pinsiders

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    39
    #1 4 years ago

    I use this method all the time with new games if the lights keep popping out of the spotlights. It works 100% of the time in my experience, and the bulbs never fall out again. It's WAY cleaner-looking than silicone or hot glue, IMO. You can't see anything is different once the bulb is installed. I'm showing a random LED bulb I grabbed to demonstrate this in the picture series, but it works for the LED flashers, too.

    You need to cut a small piece of black electrical tape about the length of the bulb, and about half the width the electrical tape comes on the roll.

    Then, carefully lift up the two "legs" of the bulb to get them out of the way.

    Wrap the tape around both sides of the bulb, sticky side of the tape towards the bulb base.

    Fold the two raised "legs" gently back down over the tape.

    Put the bulb back in the spotlight or socket for likely the last time. It will grab a LOT better and likely never come out on its own from vibration again.

    bulb_electrical_tape (resized).jpg

    All done with this project? Here's a couple other DIY guides I've made for newer Spike machines:

    How about a pool noodle to protect your playfield glass when it's off the machine:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/pool-noodle-protector-for-playfield-glass-when-off-the-machine#post-6961597

    Are LED lights popping out of your spotlights (not just on Spike machines!)? Make sure they never fall out again:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/fixing-led-bulbs-flashers-that-fall-out-of-spotlights#post-4402506

    Have a Stern machine from KISS or after with the softer wood cabinet? Reinforce it to prevent a splitting cab:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/reinforcing-stern-cabinet-legs-step-by-step

    Want to have the option of operating the action button on your spike game with a foot pedal?
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/action-button-foot-pedal-for-bksor-godzilla-etc#post-6616394

    Have an $80 alibaba hologram fan topper you want to cleanly power so it turns on and off with the machine? Do this:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/hologram-fan-or-lightedpinballmods-power-fix#post-6241182

    Are your Iron Maiden speakers crackling when you crank it up? Fix that with a cheap external amp:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/replacing-on-board-amp-with-external-amp-for-iron-maiden

    Add a working lockdown bar button to your Iron Maiden
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/iron-maiden-how-to-add-a-working-lockdown-bar-button

    Deadpool Katana entrance protection:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/protecting-katana-lane-entrance-from-playfield-damage

    Is your Spike machine occasionally resetting during hectic play, torpedoing your high score runs? This guide to fixing it might be for you:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/fixing-stern-reboots-on-spike

    Do you have a WoZ ECLE and think it's too loud in a quiet room? Replace two fans and make it almost silent:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/quieting-down-a-woz-ecle-machine

    And here are some other plug and play mods you can just buy:
    Iron Maiden Light Tree Mod for colored mode lights:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/iron-maiden-colored-mode-lens-tree-mod

    Metallica F-U-E-L lights bracket:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/metallica-f-u-e-l-gauge-lens-bracket

    ColorDMD gasket for Stern machines with the angled speaker panel:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/colordmd-gasket-for-angled-stern-speaker-panels

    #2 4 years ago

    Looks great- that’s a lot better than the hot glue method.

    #3 4 years ago

    will have to try it. glue dots work good too

    #4 4 years ago

    Thanks for posting. This is a constant problem. I've tried hot glue and silicone.

    #5 4 years ago

    I ended up using some teflon tape when I addressed my Metallica spots constantly falling out a few months back due to not being able to find my roll of electrical tape at the time. They’ve held rock solid since.

    #6 4 years ago
    Quoted from PinMonk:

    It's WAY cleaner-looking than silicone or hot glue, IMO. You can't see anything is different once the bulb is installed.

    I’ve always used a tiny dab of RTV silicone. If done right, you can’t see it at all, so I don’t understand how anything else could be “cleaner looking”. I appreciate you sharing your tape method though.

    #7 4 years ago
    Quoted from mattosborn:

    I’ve always used a tiny dab of RTV silicone. If done right, you can’t see it at all, so I don’t understand how anything else could be “cleaner looking”. I appreciate you sharing your tape method though.

    Electrical tape method is completely foolproof. You can't smear the tape or squeeze too much on. Plus most people have electrical tape around the house. Not true for RTV silicone.

    #8 4 years ago

    Tape method worked great for me. Thanks for sharing.

    #9 4 years ago

    I first ran into this problem with my Star Trek LE. What I found is that original spotlight LEDs were hot glued from the factory but still didn't stay in place; the reason these fall out is that the inside of the cone is very smooth so there was really no where for the hot glue to adhere. I used one of my dental picks to rough up the inside a little bit by making tiny swirls in the plastic, this gives the hot glue something to grab onto. 4 years later...the LEDS are still in place, yet only a small amount of force is all that's needed to pull them out if I need to. Ever since them, I perform this same procedure for spot light LEDs on all my new Sterns.

    #10 4 years ago

    Thanks for posting this Vireland. I fixed two of my spotlights with your help and they are nice and tight in there now!

    #11 4 years ago

    I've got two bulbs that constantly fall out and a roll of e tape in my toolkit at all times. Never thought to combine the two, thanks for the tip!

    #12 4 years ago

    My Star Wars has metal retaining clips to hold the spot lights in. Is that a new thing?

    #13 4 years ago
    Quoted from D-Gottlieb:

    My Star Wars has metal retaining clips to hold the spot lights in. Is that a new thing?

    Relatively, but others have had them, too. Uglier than the electrical tape fix, IMO.

    #14 4 years ago

    Uglier? I can barely tell. You have to really look to see them.

    #15 4 years ago
    Quoted from D-Gottlieb:

    Uglier? I can barely tell. You have to really look to see them.

    But you CAN see them. I personally prefer a cleaner look.

    #16 4 years ago

    I’m going to have to give that a try. I got two on my addams that does that. Hit the chair and they pop out.

    #17 4 years ago

    Just saw this, going to do it too. Thanks for the post!

    2 months later
    #18 4 years ago

    This method worked great for my Metallica spot lights. Thanks!

    #19 4 years ago
    Quoted from Neal_W:

    This method worked great for my Metallica spot lights. Thanks!

    No problem. It is VERY nice not to have them popping out mid-game.

    5 months later
    #20 3 years ago

    Just an update that this method also works for non-spotlight LED GI lighting bulbs that wiggle up and out of their sockets. Just did some GI bulbs that kept wiggling out of an AC/DC's GI recently and it worked great.

    1 month later
    #21 3 years ago

    I can't stand electrical tape and won't even allow it in my house any more. It's just barely ok when new but as it ages it becomes an old, dry, and gummy mess in no time. This method might work with heat shrink instead? I like the clip method or even a drop of hot glue.

    https://www.pinballlife.com/stern-led-bulb-retaining-clip.html

    #22 3 years ago
    Quoted from John_I:

    I can't stand electrical tape and won't even allow it in my house any more. It's just barely ok when new but as it ages it becomes an old, dry, and gummy mess in no time. This method might work with heat shrink instead? I like the clip method or even a drop of hot glue.
    https://www.pinballlife.com/stern-led-bulb-retaining-clip.html

    Dunno what electrical tape you're buying, but it takes at LEAST 10 years for the stuff I use to just begin to get gummy and brittle.

    That said, shrink could work as long as it's not too tight to the bulb. Clips and glue are ugly crap for spotlights.

    Try the shrink tubing and report back!

    #23 3 years ago

    Ten years in the life of a pinball machine is not a long time.

    I will try the heat sink next time I have a bulb pop out. I just added three spot lights to TX Sector. Maybe I'll do a preemptive fix on that one.

    3 weeks later
    #24 3 years ago
    Quoted from PinMonk:

    I use this method all the time with new games if the lights keep popping out of the spotlights. It works 100% of the time in my experience, and the bulbs never fall out again. It's WAY cleaner-looking than silicone or hot glue, IMO. You can't see anything is different once the bulb is installed. I'm showing a random LED bulb I grabbed to demonstrate this in the picture series, but it works for the LED flashers, too.
    You need to cut a small piece of black electrical tape about the length of the bulb, and about half the width the electrical tape comes on the roll.
    Then, carefully lift up the two "legs" of the bulb to get them out of the way.
    Wrap the tape around both sides of the bulb.
    Fold the two raised "legs" gently back down over the tape.
    Put the bulb back in the spotlight or socket for likely the last time. It will grab a LOT better and likely never come out on its own from vibration again.

    Thanks for this tip! I had my Black Pearl spot flicker out again_ and did this mod. I am very happy with how well it worked!

    2 weeks later
    #25 3 years ago
    Quoted from John_I:

    Ten years in the life of a pinball machine is not a long time.

    10 years for a bulb is likely over its useful life. Just had my best game on X-men ruined due to a lost flasher. I’ll be giving this a try when I reinstall it...thanks.

    #26 3 years ago
    Quoted from C_S_S:

    10 years for a bulb is likely over its useful life. Just had my best game on X-men ruined due to a lost flasher. I’ll be giving this a try when I reinstall it...thanks.

    The mutants clearly aren't above playing dirty.

    #27 3 years ago

    Awesome stuff. I used a bit of mounting putty, just small, bit and has worked great. Just enough where its hidden in the the dish of the spit light. Can't see the putty.

    2 years later
    #28 1 year ago

    Anybody replace the spinning disc rubbers yet? How’d that work out? The old ones are on clear piece. I’m trying to get them off now. I ordered replacement stern 1/2 inch from Titan and now that I have the original out…they kind of look tapered. I’m not quiet sure the best way to get the old off, but they are already showing signs of damage and need replaced.

    image (resized).jpg

    image (resized).jpg
    #29 1 year ago
    Quoted from Magicmike0:

    Anybody replace the spinning disc rubbers yet? How’d that work out? The old ones are on clear piece. I’m trying to get them off now. I ordered replacement stern 1/2 inch from Titan and now that I have the original out…they kind of look tapered. I’m not quiet sure the best way to get the old off, but they are already showing signs of damage and need replaced.
    [quoted image]
    [quoted image]

    Probably get more suggestions for spinner rubber replacement ideas in the AIQ owner's thread.

    #30 1 year ago
    Quoted from PinMonk:

    Probably get more suggestions for spinner rubber replacement ideas in the AIQ owner's thread.

    I accidentally posted here..lol I forgot a topic in AIQ owners brought me here… Sorry bout that. But hey while I’m here thanks for the tape suggestion. Worked like a charm!

    11 months later
    #31 36 days ago

    Thank you for this! Left Grogu spotlight keeps falling out in my Mando Pro. Driving me nuts! Going to try this tonight!

    #32 36 days ago
    Quoted from PurpleTophat:

    Thank you for this! Left Grogu spotlight keeps falling out in my Mando Pro. Driving me nuts! Going to try this tonight!

    Should be the last time you have the issue. I've only ever had one fall out after doing this, but I did it again and that one never fell out again. It's very reliable, easy, and essentially invisible.

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