Hello everyone! I would like to show you something I've been working on for over a year now, and I have finally gotten to a point where I can show it. This whole adventure started when I was looking at the DIY stadium lights thread and saw people buying strip lights, and building sets to put in their own personal machines. When looking at traditional lighting styles, I found some things that I thought would enhance how a machine looks when lit up. The first thing I noticed with all the lights I saw being built was the issue of only being able to select a single color for the whole machine. It didn't matter if you could choose from a 16 million color palette, it was still just one color for the whole length of the machine, on both sides. When looking at any machine, you'll notice that there are many different colors and there is artwork in different spots all around the playfield. So when using standard RGB LED strips to light my machine I had to settle on a single color that works best with all colors on the playfield. The issue I found with this is that you end up finding a color that looks great in one area but doesn't complement other areas as nicely. I'm also using lights that do not alternate between white LEDs and RGB LEDs like most RGB strips do. These have both RGB and white built in to each LED. This essentially doubles the brightness vs conventional LED strips.
This led me to think, “Hey, what if I could light up my machine in multiple colors in different areas that best match my playfield?” So with that in mind, I set out to create a custom LED controller and came up with a solution that allowed me to define multiple areas in different colors. After creating a rough prototype, I put a set in my machine and saw how much better all the colors stood out! I was very happy with the results. Then I started thinking, “Hey, I'd like to have my machine flash different colors for events that happen during game play, like when flashers go off, or turn off with the GI, and also have these lights flash a specific color along with it.” This led me down another path to create definable triggers that are light activated. Now, if you'd like to only flash the upper left portion (with specific color) of your playfield you can, while also flashing an area in the lower part of the playfield (with specific color), as well as any other areas! When looking at making definable triggers, I wanted to make sure it wouldn't void my warranty on my new machine. This made me come up with a trigger that would activate based on sensing light and did not need to be physically connected to the machine's electronics. This allowed me to use this system without possibly voiding my warranty. But I also wanted an option to trigger off of switches for machines that are out of warranty. So I created triggers that work with switches as well. This works really well with spinners!
With triggers enabled, I tested multiple triggers defined to different areas, with different colors and it looked great! At this point I was happy, but when looking at the triggers just turning on and off, I thought it would be kinda neat to give have an option to add a special effect to each one! So now, not only can you have multiple colored triggers, you can add any of these options to each one:
Chase Up (LEDs chase up)
Chase Down (LEDs chase down)
Launch (This is used with the clippable trigger on the shooter lane, and will follow the ball when it's launched!)
Sparkle (Random LEDs turning on and off to make a sparkling effect)
Cycle Left to Right (Flashes the LEDs from the left side to the right side)
Breathe (LEDs fade up and then down repeatedly)
Pulse Fade (LEDs turn full on, then fade to off)
Fade (Adds a fade when trigger turns off)
Fire (looks like fire crackles, good for games like the Hobbit or Black Knight)
I also saw people using magnetic tape to hang these in their machines. I have machines that have art work and mirror blades and decided to take a different approach to hanging them that doesn't need any tape stuck to the sides!
I really liked how these turned out and have decided to hopefully make them for sale here in the near future.
There are few other neat things that I will be showing later too!
Below are some videos on how they work and what they can do. The lights are very very bright, and as a result of this, my camera keeps adjusting itself so it doesn't blow out, so I apologize for that.
I'll be release more videos soon!
Thanks for looking!