So I was thinking about adding a few LED's to my RCT. What brand (supplier) and types do you prefer and why?
A few? Do the whole game (minus the flashers) or it'll look weird.
In general, use frosted white bulbs for the GI. Whether you get warm white vs cool white depends on whether you want the game to look "retro" or "modern". Also, warm white will make oranges, reds, and yellows in the artwork stand out, while cool white will highlight blues, greens, and purples in the art.
For the inserts, color-match each bulb to the color of the insert. Getting the light evenly distributed across the whole insert can be tricky ... Some people use frosted bulbs or bulbs designed to diffuse the light. For sockets that are horizontal, I recommend using flex-head LEDs, and adjusting the head so it is set back away from the bottom of the insert - that has yielded the most even diffusion in my experience.
If you want your game to look *really* good, consider LED OCD and GI OCD boards.
I still do leave incandescents in a few places where the bulb is totally visible though. It looks good and there's no real heat or replacement issues since they typically aren't covered by anything.
I also use the frosted bulbs from Comet, but it's a process where I experiment with different bulbs until it looks right. For example, on backboxes I'll often end up keeping some incandescent bulbs. I've also been having a lot of fun with the Matrix stuff. I prefer games to be playable with the lights off, so adding spotlights or strips are a must for most games. I tend to stick with cool white and color matched inserts (except for yellow), but will add some color if it can be done in a way to tie into the artwork on the machine. In the example below, I added purple spotlights to match the artwork on the back of the playfield.
do yourself a favor and grab a sample pack from both cointaker & comet to see what you like.
trying different types of LED bulbs in different areas to see the resulting effect will help you make an educated decision. also, don't hesitate to reach out to these vendors as they can offer a wealth of information (after all, it's their job to know their product line and they do a great job. (there's a reason why the people here will refer them up and down, and they've got a pretty good handle on what their customers have been purchasing and how they've been using them
personally, I think that the bulb that makes a machine look good can vary from machine to machine
when I did my joust, I ended up going with a retro (warm) white non-frosted single LED bulbs for all of the g.i. as well as the white, yellow, amber and red inserts. I then color matched and used ablaze LEDs for the blue and green inserts to make them pop without going over-the-top (I found that color matching the yellow, amber and red inserts caused the resulting colors to become muddied and yellow looked too close to amber, and amber too dark and close to red
I use Cointaker LEDs for all my LED needs. Frosted white for GI and backbox, and I generally color match inserts. I will add some color here and there to inserts if there is an abundance of white or clear inserts. I try to tie game specific inserts together with the same color if possible. Melissa and Chris at Cointaker are super nice and easy to deal with too!
Bump,ButterFlygirl24,and we here in NorCal,tend to go with our local guys at NiftyLED,same good products,competitive pricing!!
I like the non-frosted for GI, unless it's a bulb that's right in your line of vision...then I'll use a frosted. Something about the frosted dome throws off the color temperature. Clear domes are brighter with better color temps. I like the 2-LED clear dome ones that Stern uses.
Quoted from pezpunk:
For the inserts, color-match each bulb to the color of the insert
I disagree with this. Inserts are already a color, and I prefer the natural color of the insert vs. the more "artificial" color of the LED...especially with blue - I'd rather have the "crystal blue" of an insert vs. the "smurf blue" of an LED. For orange, red, or yellow, use a warm white LED. For blue, green, and white - I use a cool white. For purple or pink inserts, I use a pink LED...that's the only color I'd use under an insert, it really brings out the color nicely.
I really like the Comet 2SMD fluted domes.
Not too harsh and give you great bang for your buck. Plus Comet has a ton of variety for one stop shopping.
Quoted from OLDPINGUY:
Try Ice Blue....I use those 90% on Blue Inserts, mostly flex, to adjust hue.
I've used those in a few places, those are pretty cool. I threw just one for GI in the back left corner of Whitewater & it's a nice little color splash. But for simplicity & a look I like, I generally go with white/cool white for inserts and then tweak from there if I feel like it needs a little extra spice.
Quoted from tacshose:
What are the SuperBright LEDs TNT is always talking about in their videos?
PinballLife! I've used these exclusively on my last 5 games (except where flex is needed) for past few games and they're spectacular. Also extremely cheap for the quality! They also have nice and cheap frosted dome LED's. You can look at my post history to see how good my games look with these.
I like color matched mini's for inserts, some places you'll need flex heads as mentioned. White Super brights (non-frosted) for most GI lighting providing they are hidden from line of sight so most back end lamps or hidden under plastics. Frosted whites for sling shots. Pop bumper lamps are specific. I've used a 9-led super bright x1 in rare cases, funhouse has a perfect spot on the right side. Translites benefit from super brights and blinkers if not 12volt flasher slots. Be careful with that, 6 volt leds go into thermal meltdown if used in 12v slots and vise versa. Williams is nice because thier 12v sockets are black. With stern it's probably 1/3rd the amount of led's seriously.
For company I used Cointaker the led's are nice and a great selection. I'm going to try nifty led for Adam's family because I'm hand picking each one. I want to see if their pickers can not only count but to see if their bins have all the right parts. Tired of buying 3 times what I need hoping I get at least one of the right part.
Thank you all for your input...it has helped me a lot as there is tons of great info here
I use Cointaker frosted and super brights in my machines. I am constantly changing the colors and bulbs chasing the "perfect look." That's the fun of it, experimenting with different colors. Just have fun with it
I like to use cointaker retroes for any game that was designed with incandescent bulbs. I also use LED and GI OCD to enable the dimming/fading effects in the GI and inserts. I always go warm white in these games, and tend to use warm white under the inserts as well. As someone pointed out above, I also prefer to let the color of the insert shine, rather than the color of the LED bulb, so I will use warm white under these as well. The only exception being my TOTAN, where I used blue retroes under the magic lamp inserts and then dimmed them down considerably using my LED OCD board.
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