Quoted from purbeast:
Just curious as to why you have these intentionally misleading pictures? I mean I guess I understand the "why" but it's not cool IMO and shady practice.
I play in a blacked out basement with my lights off, and I can tell you (and anyone who owns GZ can also tell you) that my GZ looks absolutely NOTHING like that when I am playing in a pitch black basement.
Here is what it actually looks like in a pitch black basement. [quoted image][quoted image]
Great question and happy to help!! Glad you asked this, as this is a perfect example of lighting and how the eye sees it along with how the player realizes the factory lighting is not sufficient (see below). With digital cameras and the advancements of phones with their large apertures for dark night shots along with onboard chips for instant post processing, you are definitely going to get enhanced dark and light areas especially in dark room that appear nothing like how you would see it in person, totally agree. The electronic camera eye is going to over or under compensate with good intentions but unrealistic results. It's always going to be like that and has been a common question that needs to explained in detail.
This picture to the untrained eye would definitely appear to be factory original bright. As mentioned above, someone realized how dark it was from the factory and installed quadrupled the amount of additional spotlights (4x) in an attempt to offset the dark areas and focused them into the very troublesome dark center of the playfield at different angles to compensate for the light coverage that the other added spotlights could not effectively cover.
When you install spotlights it's a rather involved process to solder and/or install them through the factory playfield wiring from underneath to the top. It's a mess of wires and as you will soon see one set up wires turns into many. You will end up chasing your tail when attempting this hack(believe I used to do the same thing prior to Pin Stadiums so I totally relate to the person who attempted this). Brings me back to the old days for sure.
Once you get the first spotlight is installed, you will start to see what is known as a "hotspot", which means the surrounding areas around the spotlight (which are still very dark) starts to appear worse due to the relative contrast of the drastic bright to dark sections. In addition the light throw distance of the LED bulb from the spotlight only goes a few inches out then drops off significantly. Then once the first spotlight is installed you realize this never ending process of
what I like to call "Chasing the Dark" begins and now you need to try to balance it out continually up and down and left and right of the playfield until you reach the ends.
Keep in mind that "spot"lights are called this intentionally by name since they only light up a "spot" of the playfield. Think of a spotlight used on a stage at a concert or arena to focus on the presenter or active participant. Part of the spotlight design is to add the 45 degree reflective dome around it in order to attempt to try to focus the small amount of light one LED can produce. By default, the heavy shadow edges created on the playfield from the dome surrounding that bulb define the dark areas even more. You will see that they are also there to shield the light from player's eyes to try to prevent a distracting lighting event or to stop reflections from objects surrounding them or even worse they can reflect of the screen of the backglass into your eyes.
A perfect example of this known issue is that some of the manufacturers try to angle to speaker box and screen panel to try to offset this. This is why in the picture of the "black" circled added lights you will see that they are purposely turned so that they will not hit the player in the face.
Also back to the electronic eyes on phone cameras.......
They all will try to auto adjust lighting using "good intentioned" algorithms. You can see in the "light blue" circles that the phone or user turned up the exposure excessively to brighten the still remaining dark spots. What happens is this makes the lights and entire playfield appear foggy and washed out with bright stark white hazy unrecognizable halos in many sections. You are going to get this with every camera but in this pic it's going to be much more pronounced.
In person those lights don't look distracting whatsoever and if they did you would need to install a shield (like the spotlight) around those too, but you would then not be able to see the light or it would block visibility of the ball. This would also ruin the point of the indicator lamp from the factory. The camera in this pic is picking up on those additions of the 4x spotlights and is over compensating to try to match everything else in the focal point of the picture to a balanced medium, which does not do well and is not realistic. The level of over compensating can be determined by how much brighter the hot spots in the light blue circles are in comparison to real life visual scenarios. A noticeable difference too is the "Translight Reflection" section that the camera is picking up on. You can see it's still there because the playfield under the glass is darker than the backbox. In the picture it does not seem significant but if it's showing up then it goes back to the scenario of how much bright the light blue circles really are and the phone camera is still seeing them, which means in person it's noticeable. That is due to the darker sections that are not balanced from the spotlights. Four spotlights means 4 tiny white bulbs with a job bigger than they could ever handle.
The solution plain and simple is the Neo Atom lights, they offer full playfield coverage and stealth factory appearance mounting. Dual light bars down the entire length of the playfield to eliminate dark spots, hot spots, shadows, and glass/translite reflections. They come with the Invisi-Shield to keep the light on playfield and not in your eyes. Also they sync with the factory light show(fading, dimming, flashing, on/off etc) with precision. Combine that with their ability to generate their own Wifi signal so you can adjust the desired brightness and colors to your liking. The key to getting the artwork to pop with deep, rich, bold effects is to dial in the lights of the dominate color of the graphics of the playfield using the app.
I hope this helps to explain what you are seeing and to answer your questions. I am sure this is a something many others have wondered about also and this was a great opportunity to go into detail regarding the science and design behind the creation of the Pin Stadium product lines. I would be happy to jump on a call with you too to discuss this in further detail if you want to email me and or PM here.
Here is the link to purchase or for more information on the Neo Atoms:
Attached is "Before" original factory Godzilla LE and "After" the Neo Atoms install!! The camera will never accurately show what you will experience in person. Once the Neo Atoms have been seen in person, it is worth it's weight in gold. I encourage you to see what others are seeing after the install and know that satisfaction is 100% guaranteed.