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(Topic ID: 271141)

Let's talk: Game room lighting?


By Whysnow

4 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 34 posts
  • 20 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 months ago by TheLaw
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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    #1 4 months ago

    Building permits should get approval this week.
    Ground breaking next week...
    That means by fall, I will be working on electrical and that means... time for some advice.

    For those of you with large game rooms, game rooms you have built, etc...
    What are your tips?
    What did you do that worked?
    What do you wish you had done differently?

    My general idea is that dimmable can lights with LED bulbs are the way to go.
    Thinking of zones so I can turn on specific sets of cans and adjust as desired.

    Thinking that in lighting a pinball room I like lights on but not too bright for playing.
    Thinking that for working on games I want bright light with fewer shadows cast.
    So basically, there are 2 main lighting situations.

    Thinking that best placement is overhead in the aisles between pins? This should decrease glare when playing?

    Thoughts, tips, etc... are appreciated.

    Picture attached. The big ass room is a pinball room.

    pasted_image (resized).png
    #2 4 months ago

    Laying out pins is fun. Where do I put lights?

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    #3 4 months ago

    LIGHTS OUT....LIGHTS OUT IN LONDON

    #4 4 months ago

    I have fish eye cans on a dimmer switch. Usually eight cans per switch, which is what worked for me as YMMV. I put them in a cluster, in other words there is four cans on one section and four cans on the other side of the same aisle. That way if I'm working or a game just say I don't have to have the entire row of pins lit up at the other end of the basement that I'm not working on. Make sense? Cans were spaced two games apart and kept to where they were not directly overhead but shined more towards the space in between the lower cabinets so to help eliminate glare on the glass. There incandescent bulbs at 65 watts each. With all the games on and the neons, clocks etc turned on the need for overhead lighting is really not necessary but it's essential when working on them or just taking people on a quick tour of the basement...

    John

    #5 4 months ago

    Screw the game room, play more UFO!

    #7 4 months ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    Laying out pins is fun. Where do I put lights?
    [quoted image]

    Rule #1: Include the pins in the blueprints. Harder for anyone to try and use that space for something else.

    Plus, the way you did it, it looks like a ransom note.

    #8 4 months ago

    I have LED tape lights up on the top edge of the ceiling. I can change the color, but never do. I have them hooked up to Alexa so I can turn them off or on while playing. If I could do it again I'd figure out a way to rig a set of lights behind my wallhangers. Bear in mind none of this is built in and it ran about $200 for my gaming area.

    20200524_194151 (resized).jpg
    #9 4 months ago

    I did dimmable led cans (about 5’ apart) and love them...I would’ve liked to have had the room for a ceiling mounding with recessed led strips but unfortunately my space just wasn’t conducive to it. I would’ve also like a little better airflow in my basement...even 13 games can heat up a space pretty quick when they’re all on...but your space looks like there’s plenty of flow!

    #10 4 months ago
    Quoted from Dayhuff:

    I have fish eye cans on a dimmer switch. Usually eight cans per switch, which is what worked for me as YMMV. I put them in a cluster, in other words there is four cans on one section and four cans on the other side of the same aisle. That way if I'm working or a game just say I don't have to have the entire row of pins lit up at the other end of the basement that I'm not working on. Make sense? Cans were spaced two games apart and kept to where they were not directly overhead but shined more towards the space in between the lower cabinets so to help eliminate glare on the glass. There incandescent bulbs at 65 watts each. With all the games on and the neons, clocks etc turned on the need for overhead lighting is really not necessary but it's essential when working on them or just taking people on a quick tour of the basement...
    John

    Make sense and thx

    Anything you would have done differently?

    #11 4 months ago
    Quoted from sataneatscheese:

    I have LED tape lights up on the top edge of the ceiling. I can change the color, but never do. I have them hooked up to Alexa so I can turn them off or on while playing. If I could do it again I'd figure out a way to rig a set of lights behind my wallhangers. Bear in mind none of this is built in and it ran about $200 for my gaming area.
    [quoted image]

    I'm replying to this post because this is the exact wrong way to go IMO. You want minimum lighting directly above or behind the games or pointed toward the players eyes. The darker colors on the ceiling directly above the games the better. Last thing you want are lots of glare or reflections of light bulbs or bright colored ceiling on the playfield glass. Indirect lighting is the way to go. Tray ceiling with crown molding works well with LED strips. Dimming is good but only if the lights are positioned properly. LED "cans" work well as long as the bulb is recessed far enough to eliminate a bright reflection from playfield glass.

    Also, keep in mind that EM and early SS games the playfield glass is at a significantly different angle than a modern game. A modern game with a can or spot directly over head will have a burning bright reflection to the player directly in the middle of the playfield glass. An EM directly under the same light will not have a reflection to the player. That is why my game room has the EMs and LCD games in the positions they are in. Never a DMD under a can.

    The ultimate goal should be to eliminate glare and reflections from the players eyes and make the games look like they have no playfield glass. One last tip. LED strips have come a long way. Used to be you had to have repeaters and power supplies every 16 feet. I recently swapped out the LED strips in my tray ceiling with a single 65 foot strip that does sick chase light effects all controlled by an app on my phone.

    amazon.com link »
    20200617_221611 (resized).jpg

    #12 4 months ago

    I have dimmable cans for general lighting and suspended track lighting (also dimmable) with individual bulbs aimed at each machine. Levels are mixed/matched during play depending on what feel I want the room to have at the time.

    It has worked out well for me.

    I also have LED strip lighting around the perimeter of the room for effects, but wish I had the LED strip options available today than those that were available six years ago.AF433B7D-2909-4D33-B17C-7AF549D132D1 (resized).jpeg

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    #13 4 months ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    Make sense and thx
    Anything you would have done differently?

    No not really. I've had many people comment that it's we'll lit so I think it worked out ok for me.

    John

    #14 4 months ago

    Black light carpet. Lots of blacklights!!

    #15 4 months ago

    Thx guys. Some great thoughts.

    Keep them coming (with pics).

    I have a great electrician buddy so anything is possible.

    #16 4 months ago
    Quoted from Gryszzz:

    LIGHTS OUT....LIGHTS OUT IN LONDON

    This is the best post ever on PS

    #17 4 months ago

    16 4ft fluorescent bulbs. 8 white and 8 blacklight.

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    #18 4 months ago

    I have Phillips Hues integrated into a Crestron system along with LED black lights. It works pretty well and the Hue’s are color hanging and can be synced with the lights to music. Every few weeks I have to due a Crestron Reset cause it seems to lose comms with the Hues but it’s not a big deal.

    #19 4 months ago

    I went with cans on dimmers. Subtle when you want the ambiance, able to light when you need to do quick repairs.

    #20 4 months ago

    more pictures are appreciated all!

    really helps to see placement and how it looks

    #21 4 months ago

    Hey Hilton, consider going with the LED wafer lights as opposed to cans and bulbs. We put these in when we did the remodel and they came out great. Because of the small profile, you can put these pretty much anywhere and not need to worry about where beams are. They give the appearance of a can when lit. Also, because you are not dealing with bulb being in the can, you get a greater light dispersion. Including some pics for you below lit and unlit. This look is being adopted in a lot of newer builds.

    Make sure to have plenty of light zones that you can control separately or group. I like to use smart switches as opposed to bulbs since they work the way that people expect. A lot of times with smart bulbs, you have people fumbling with switches that don't do anything and you have to use an app. I am using Leviton Z wave switches with voice control. Will be glad to help you with lessons learned on the automation piece from what we did hear at this house and the prior.

    amazon.com link »

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    #22 4 months ago

    thanks and those look great!

    #23 4 months ago

    90% of the time I play with the can lights off. Game lights and the large amount of indirect LED lighting is enough. If guests are over (especially new to pinball guests). I’ll turn all the lights on

    LED lights:
    I Put in 200 feet of LED lighting and made my own MDF molding to hide it. Duel 600 watt power supplies. 24 volt LED is a must over that distance.

    GR build and LED post here

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/gameroom-advice#post-4953566

    Rest of lighting were LED cans
    And they are all placed in walkways (behind the player) to avoid glare. Only thing I wished I had done differently on the cans was to run on 3 individual switches to allow dimming. Not a big deal though

    Sketch out an electrical diagram for yourself. It will help drive the convo with your electrician. I wired my room myself but shared my drawing with my guy and, of course had him inspect my work.

    I’ve included a few pics of the molding and showing it installed
    Also included the drawing I did to engineer it

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    #24 4 months ago

    oh man! great info and pics!!!

    gets exciting to be thinking about these logistics!

    #25 4 months ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    oh man! great info and pics!!!
    gets exciting to be thinking about these logistics!

    Didn't see it on your layout though it would help with suggestions. What type of ceiling finish are you leaning toward? Drywall, blackout, drop,....

    #26 4 months ago

    Drywall likely on main floor

    Blackout in basement level

    #27 4 months ago

    Any light above or behind games will be glare on the glass from some angle for the player if they’re on. In the one room I’ve got with pins down both sides, I ran can lights down the middle. Light up the room just fine and don’t cause any glare.

    #28 4 months ago
    Quoted from epthegeek:

    Any light above or behind games will be glare on the glass from some angle for the player if they’re on. In the one room I’ve got with pins down both sides, I ran can lights down the middle. Light up the room just fine and don’t cause any glare.

    so, overhead of the actual player is fine, correct?

    1 ft behind player better? guessing that could cast shadows on game if too far behind player?

    #29 4 months ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    Drywall likely on main floor
    Blackout in basement level

    With that said this is what I ended up doing in our game room expansion after visiting many local amazing collections. I opted to go with the old look tinted LED Edison bulbs which are also dimmable and controlled via App (and Alexa) from a GE smart switch. More of a warm Glow than fixed lighting. Added a perimeter neon but that is more for game room effect. As the purpose of this room simply needs light glow vs sunlight this worked well for the application. On the occasional need to pull a game out of the lineup to do repairs I simply swap out the "pretty" glow lights with this Mega LED bomb light I picked up from Menards. This thing makes that area as bright as the Sun. Great for working on a game. Ceilings are blacked out if not obvious. Feel free to stop by if you like a visual.

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    #30 4 months ago

    so many great ideas!

    thanks for sharing!

    Is there a special black out paint that people are using?

    #31 4 months ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    so many great ideas!
    thanks for sharing!
    Is there a special black out paint that people are using?

    here you go lol $22 for 150 mL
    https://www.fastcompany.com/90300113/move-over-vantablack-you-can-now-buy-the-worlds-blackest-black-paint

    I would think any interior paint would work.

    #32 4 months ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    so many great ideas!
    thanks for sharing!
    Is there a special black out paint that people are using?

    As in my case I was just painting irregular joists don't get fancy. Cheap glidden or whatever works good. For me, I just stayed away from the high dollar Thick stuff as I was thinning it to go through a HF sprayer so no need to get fancy.

    #33 4 months ago

    that is what made me want to ask

    #34 4 months ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    Is there a special black out paint that people are using?

    Quoted from Yelobird:

    As in my case I was just painting irregular joists don't get fancy. Cheap glidden or whatever works good. For me, I just stayed away from the high dollar Thick stuff as I was thinning it to go through a HF sprayer so no need to get fancy.

    I asked for the "The cheapest possible black paint you can sell me."
    "Well the Valspar..."
    "No I mean like...REALLY cheap."
    "Well we have this stuff like schools use for painting theatre sets."
    "Sold!"

    It was thin enough to fit in my Wagner sprayer and get the job done.
    Of course you can also rent a high powered paint sprayer I think that looking back I might have done. I had just moved in my house and didn't mind drinking beer and spraying all night. Professional sprayer would have done it 20X quicker.

    Quoted from Yelobird:

    ...I ended up doing in our game room expansion...

    Impressive!

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