I basically have completed my playfield inserts/pop bumper conversion from incandescent to LED. Hopefully this will help others in the future. If you take a look at some of my recent posts, I have more information/pictures on things as I was testing them. This is a 'near final' representation of what I have decided to go with after a couple months of testing and 4 sample orders from PinballLife + CoinTaker combined.
The process I used was starting with all cool white Ablaze (PBL) 1 LED Frosted cool whites everywhere. I then started switching things out for specific colors and then trying numerous CoinTaker styles. In the end, there are only 2 styles used, the aforementioned Ablaze 1 LED Frosted's and then the CT Frosteds (that internally are 2 mini SMDs under the frosted dome). Plus a 3rd style -- the PBL "F-ing" bright 4 mini SMDs in their new warm-white for use under the pop bumpers as I mentioned on another thread (tons of details there).
Basically, by using cool whites, it shifted the yellows back to yellow instead of amber/orangish (much closer match to target plastic's/stop light colors). However it made the reds and greens too light, so I stuck with matched colors for them. By using Warm whites behind the 3 orange inserts it really brought them into a rich pumpkin orange instead of a rust-red orange of incandescent. The only actual color change I did was to fill the 9 clear tachometer thousand point triangles with blue instead of cool white. It works well due to the blue trim on the tach dial.
The final changes I did were after I noticed that the very far back triangles (but not stoplights) were a bit too dim due to distance and covered by the chrome rails, (and the 5 lower tach large triangles were not fully illuminated corner to corner) was to switch from the Ablaze to the CT frosted which made them feel to be the same brightness. This helped keep costs down too.. in the range of 31 cents each in bulk for the Ablaze and 72 cents each for the much fewer CT's. Using CTs over the entire board would have made the closer ones too bright, then again the farther away ones would feel too dim in comparsion.
I really like the frosteds as it never has a hot sharp edge on the inserts, they glow pretty evenly. A few spots could use some cover to keep light from leaking underneath a bit.
2 possible alterations I may (or other may want to) do from this:
- Use CT flex Super's on the two large "Freeway value" triangles (a bit far/dim and bad angle mount and being washed out with GI especially on left)
- Use a CT flex Super or an Ablaze 4 mini SMD "F-ing" bright on the "Drive again" between the flippers to really call attention to it on the rare time it's on (also bad angle mount)
Here is a layout of the board. On the left is the actual color rendition I was going for. On the right is a fake color-coded map showing what type of LEDs went where (the legend is underneath).
For PF GI, I believe I will switch all over to CT 2 Frosted Warm White. Not sure about everything in backbox yet, still testing some variations. Will update the post later once I get that all mapped out.
49x , say 50 Ablaze frosted * .32 each in qty = $16
3x Ablaze 4 SMD * .89 = 2.67
13x CT Frosted x .79 - 10% = $9.25
Total: ~$27.92 for all these inserts/pop bumpers.
In the end, there are about 70 more PF GI and Backbox that would likely be CT Frosteds so 70 x .79 - 10% = $49.77; thus the entire game switched to LED in my liking (i.e not blinding ) for under $78 + shipping. Course I spent probably $40 over that in samples, but have been able to use those elsewhere or swap with a friend, or save for the next pin I get.