Quoted from Pinterest:
I pay a lawn service to maintain my yard because I don't particularly enjoy yard work. I pay a mechanic to repair my cars although I am competent to do it myself. I pay a dry cleaner to clean my clothing. Finally - and to bring this conversation back full circle - I pay Art to focus his expertise on finding and developing the best LED technology for me to enjoy in my games. I honestly don't mind paying his overhead because he offers this service - and I don't have the time or inclination to become an LED expert - I leave that to him.
Thanks Art - I'll continue to focus on what I do in my day job and continue to patronize your (and other) pinball businesses doing what they do best.
If that's what you enjoy, more power to ya.
Most people enjoy the challenge of doing things for themselves. If a pinball enthusiast wants to save some money and have the challenge of sourcing parts to avoid the middle man, more power to them.
...personally I'm the kind of person that doesn't hand off every little thing to somebody else. So I'd recommend people try and buy from many different sources (including the LED vendors), find what works best for them and go from there.
"pinball led" advertisements are showing up for a reason on alibaba/aliexpress.
I think it might be time to start a dedicated thread testing some of these chinese sources and comparing them to fair offered by US resellers.