Something has been bothering me about the backboard, and I finally had some time to do something about it. This pin, like all my games, just seems dark in the back. It has the greenery hanging down, so I thought it would be nice to throw some light behind those plastics. I engineered a 3D printed solution, but then thought I'd first try something a little simpler. Well, I love the results, so I'm sharing with everyone.
Before doing my DIY I searched around to see what others had done. I noticed there is a Mezel mod that comes in around $45 with shipping. I didn't bother to look to see exactly how they did theirs, but by seeing the lone photo for the item I figured I could achieve comparable results for significantly less . . . which I did. I used stock Comet Matrix lighting parts and did the job for just over $20 shipped. The LED strip I used is the perfect length to cover the full width of the area available without any modifications to the strip.
1 x Comet Matrix 50 SMD (20 inches) Cool White Clear Lens 6.3v Lighting Strip (comes with long connecting cable and alligator clips) | https://www.cometpinball.com/products/lighting-strips?variant=32219276410982
1 x Comet Matrix Brightness Adjuster | https://www.cometpinball.com/products/brightness-adjusters?variant=12493660618796
Installation is very simple with just a few steps.
1 - Turn off pin, slide out playfield, rest the playfield on the lockbar rail, and remove all 6 balls.
2 - Adhere the 50 SMD LED strip just behind the upper cabinet rail where the backboard typically sits: peel the backing off, start on the left side of the pin as far as you can, then use your fingers to make sure the strip is stuck well with the wiring to the right. Be sure to run the cable back behind the metal stopper so that it remains invisible and doesn't hang with pulling the playfield in and out. FYI, you will need to do this blind by feel, but it is easily accessed with the playfield slid out.
3 - Connect the brightness adjuster to the end of the cable then the alligator clips to the end of the brightness adjuster, and drop the wiring down into the cabinet.
4 - Fully lift the playfield to expose the underside, find the GI light socket under the center back plastic, slide the heatshrink off the leads, then connect the alligator clips (I don't think polarity matters as I tried it both ways). FYI, there is plenty of slack in the wiring to allow for full motion of the playfield from gameplay position to the playfield being fully slid out and lifted.
5 - Turn the pin on (with coin door closed) and check your lighting. You can try to adjust your brightness now by turning the screw with a small Philips head, but you may have to tweak it some with playfield in place (I settled at about 75% brightness).
6 - When you are happy with your install, turn off pin, lower the playfield and slide back in place, and replace all 6 balls. Turn pin on and check your lighting. When happy with everything, put glass back on and enjoy your new illuminated backboard.
Here are before and after pics, with and without PinStadium lighting (all photos below were taken at night in a dark room).
Backboard without PinStadium lighting before backboard light mod
Backboard with PinStadium lighting before backboard light mod
Backboard without PinStadium lighting after backboard light mod
Backboard with PinStadium lighting after backboard light mod