(Topic ID: 144597)

Pinball lighting: facts and myths


By swampfire

4 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 111 posts
  • 31 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by dothedoo
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

You

Linked Games

No games have been linked to this topic.

    Topic Gallery

    There have been 9 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

    Laser_cue_bg_front.jpg
    Laser_Cue_bg_back.jpg
    image_1.jpeg
    image.jpeg
    IMG_7408_Comet_Cool_Comfort.jpg
    IMG_7407_CT_Frosted.jpg
    IMG_7405_Comet_Sunlight.jpg
    IMG_7404_44INC.jpg
    wavelength-and-efficiency-of-daylight-vs-incandescent-vs-warm-white-led-vs-halogen-vs-cool-white-led-vs-warm-white-led.png

    There are 111 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.
    #1 4 years ago

    This thread is "neutral ground" for busting the myths associated with your particular favorite kind of lighting. Use INC as shorthand for "incandescent". Subjective topics, such as use of color in GI, are out of bounds. We're only concerned here with the facts. Let's do this Snopes-style, with a "CLAIM"", followed by "TRUE", "FALSE", "UNPROVEN", "MOSTLY FALSE", etc. Here are mine:

    CLAIM: LEDs don't have the same light spread (dispersion and distance) as INCs.
    Verdict: FALSE. See pictures in post #69. Some LEDs are actually better at spreading light than INCs.

    CLAIM: INCs cause inserts to sink and warp.
    Verdict: Unproven. Never-used NOS playfields often show the same insert issues as routed games. The theory is that the plastic and wood expand and shrink at different rates. However it is true that if an INC is too close to an insert or plastic, it can burn and melt the plastic. This can be easily seen in the pop bumper caps for older games.

    CLAIM: LEDs pay for themselves in a few years, in energy savings.
    Verdict: It depends. An operator who leaves a game on 24/7 may realize the payback in a few years. For a more typical pin owner, the payback is 10-20 years.

    CLAIM: LEDs increase earnings on location.
    Verdict (edited): Unproven. Several operators have reported improved earnings (sometimes even doubled), after switching to LEDs. However, more proof is needed that this is true for the majority of locations.

    CLAIM: Customers can't change out the LEDs in feature lamps, for Stern pins starting with Star Trek.
    Verdict: MOSTLY FALSE. Stern switched from sockets to dedicated lamp PCBs on Premium and LE models, but Pro models still use sockets for all lighting.

    Feel free to refute these claims, or any of the claims in this thread, with logic and proof.

    #2 4 years ago

    And here are a few claims I’d like to explore further. I’ve heard these, but have never seen any proof beyond personal anecdotes (e.g. migraines) or faulty logic (e.g. peeling backglasses). Fact or Myth?:

    Heat from INC bulbs causes paint to peel and flake on backglasses.

    LEDs can cause seizures, which is why newer Sterns come with a warning on the apron.

    Black lights (whether LED or INC) can cause playfield paint to fade, because the light is concentrated at the UV end of the spectrum. [EDIT: some discussion here... https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/black-light-uv-leds-and-lights-does-it-lead-to-fade ]

    #3 4 years ago

    Regarding paint peel, our Solar Ride has one flake between bulbs. Bulbs probably accelerate somewhat, but they also accentuate where it happens by shining through the holes.

    LEDs are likely only more likely to cause seizures because they're more capable of flashing at frequencies that might at someone off that an incandescent wouldn't be able to.

    #4 4 years ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    CLAIM: LEDs don't have the same light spread as INCs.
    Verdict: Mostly False. LEDs are now available that exceed the light spread of INCs.

    How did you come to this conclusion? Incandescent light bulbs are omni-directional; so if anything, at best, the newer led's are equal to incandescents in light spread.

    #5 4 years ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    CLAIM: LEDs increase earnings on location.
    Verdict: True. Multiple operators have reported improved earnings (sometimes even doubled), after switching to LEDs.

    I would say varies, honestly. I would be willing to bet there are also several ops who did not see improved earnings as well. You couldn't claim this as true without asking every single OP, which is probably not possible.

    #6 4 years ago

    I would be interested if anyone could verify that incandescents in Modern sterns cause heat damage to inserts. I've owned two rbions, one lotr (twice), sopranos, and a few others. Not to mention having friends with sterns including a few huo. All of them had small cracks in the inserts.

    #7 4 years ago
    Quoted from Skins:

    How did you come to this conclusion? Incandescent light bulbs are omni-directional; so if anything, at best, the newer led's are equal to incandescents in light spread.

    I bought sampler kits from Comet and Cointaker. I'll take some pics to show why I think this myth should be "busted".

    #8 4 years ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    I bought sampler kits from Comet and Cointaker. I'll take some pics to show why I think this myth should be "busted".

    You can't "bust" the laws of physics. Incandescents are omnidirectional, i.e., light travels in all directions. Led's by design throw light in one direction. With lenses, and multiple directional facing led's you can mimic incandescents omnidirectional throw but you simply can't change the physical properties of light. So at best they can be equal.

    #9 4 years ago

    I'm tempted to use my own anecdotal "evidence" regarding INC heat and peeling backglasses, but I don't think I'm typical since my games are rarely on for more than 2-3 hours at a time. None of my "good" backglasses have shown any signs of paint failure (with #44 lighting), but they haven't been on as long as games on location.

    -1
    #10 4 years ago
    Quoted from Skins:

    You can't "bust" the laws of physics. Incandescents are omnidirectional, i.e., light travels in all directions. Led's by design throw light in one direction. With lenses, and multiple directional facing led's you can mimic incandescents omnidirectional throw but you simply can't change the physical properties of light. So at best they can be equal.

    Fair enough! I'll just post what I'm seeing. Although when I say "light spread" I'm speaking of both the dispersion *and* the distance that's covered by the light.

    #11 4 years ago
    Quoted from dung:

    I would be interested if anyone could verify that incandescents in Modern sterns cause heat damage to inserts. I've owned two rbions, one lotr (twice), sopranos, and a few others. Not to mention having friends with sterns including a few huo. All of them had small cracks in the inserts.

    No damage yet on my 2004 (HUO) LOTR. In fact the only insert I see any issues with is the large "Rings" insert with all the small LEDs.

    #12 4 years ago
    Quoted from dsuperbee:

    I would say varies, honestly. I would be willing to bet there are also several ops who did not see improved earnings as well. You couldn't claim this as true without asking every single OP, which is probably not possible.

    Thanks - I changed this to "unproven". It would be interesting to see a poll of ops.

    -2
    #13 4 years ago

    LOL - hopefully the facts here are checked better than those at Snopes.

    #14 4 years ago

    Where did you get all the information you made up, through countless assumptions to start this thread...?

    #15 4 years ago
    Quoted from homebrood:

    Where did you get all the information you made up, through countless assumptions to start this thread...?

    I definitely have some legwork to do. Agreed, citations are important.

    #16 4 years ago

    Can we bring this to the basement? We need to PUT THOSE INCANDESCENT SCRUBS IN THEIR PLACE.

    #17 4 years ago

    Is the Basement lit by #47s or 1st-generation LED bulbs?

    #18 4 years ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    CLAIM: Customers can't change out the LEDs in feature lamps, for Stern pins starting with Star Trek.
    Verdict: True. Stern switched from sockets to dedicated lamp PCBs. This has several benefits: it allows for color-changing feature lamps, the lamp circuit is designed for LEDs, and it confers all the traditional benefits of LEDs (efficiency, heat, etc.). However it does mean that these lights are absolutely fixed.

    I would actually call this one mostly false. Stern only uses the boards on their Prem/LE models and most games are shipped in the pro state (volume wise). Also, the single board type lights can be easily replaced/changed via these - http://cointaker.com/products/stern-spike-led

    This is also only accounting for the insert lights. The GI is still socket style bulbs. Taking everything in account the majority of that phase is false.

    #19 4 years ago
    Quoted from 85vett:

    I would actually call this one mostly false. Stern only uses the boards on their Prem/LE models and most games are shipped in the pro state (volume wise). Also, the single board type lights can be easily replaced/changed via these - http://cointaker.com/products/stern-spike-led
    This is also only accounting for the insert lights. The GI is still socket style bulbs. Taking everything in account the majority of that phase is false.

    Thanks, I've been asking around and couldn't get a straight answer. Will update the original post. Myth busted!

    #20 4 years ago

    How about this one?

    CLAIM: INCs can cause playfield plastics to warp

    I've seen plenty of warped plastics, but did heat cause this, or mechanical stress?

    #21 4 years ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    How about this one?
    CLAIM: INCs can cause playfield plastics to warp
    I've seen plenty of warped plastics, but did heat cause this, or mechanical stress?

    Or age? Environment? Other factors?

    #22 4 years ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    How about this one?
    CLAIM: INCs can cause playfield plastics to warp
    I've seen plenty of warped plastics, but did heat cause this, or mechanical stress?

    Could be both, depending on where the plastic was. I am sure we have all seen plenty of plastics bent/warped from being over scoops, and have seen them warped from bulbs (where you could see the brown discoloration from the heat of the bulb.)

    #23 4 years ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    CLAIM: INCs can cause playfield plastics to warp

    Personally, I'm considering this a "myth" for now. I've put CPR plastics on a bunch of my pins, with #44 bulbs under them. I haven't seen any signs of problems yet. I may do a long-term test on a game that's in the restoration queue (e.g. leave it on for several weeks).

    #24 4 years ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    Personally, I'm considering this a "myth" for now. I've put CPR plastics on a bunch of my pins, with #44 bulbs under them. I haven't seen any signs of problems yet.

    Ummm...yeah dude can't back you there...that's crazy talk for real. What "mechanical stress" is there on loosely fitted EM plastics?

    Quoted from dsuperbee:

    I am sure we have all seen plenty of plastics bent/warped from being over scoops, and have seen them warped from bulbs (where you could see the brown discoloration from the heat of the bulb.)

    #25 4 years ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    CLAIM: INCs can cause playfield plastics to warp

    While not an insert lamp, I've seen an incandescent flasher, lock on and melt a plastic.

    As far as seizures, it is not necessarily brightness that can cause it, but that in combination with the pattern/frequency. I suspect the old flashers would have the same issue, but I do think they use flasher differently or more extensively now which maybe can increase risk. However, As far as them posting a warning, could be nothing more than Stern's lawyers/insurance company wanting to reduce liability.

    #26 4 years ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Ummm...yeah dude can't back you there...that's crazy talk for real. What "mechanical stress" is there on loosely fitted EM plastics?

    What's crazy? Doubting that bulb heat is what causes plastics to warp? I'm just skeptical, I need proof.

    #27 4 years ago
    Quoted from rosh:

    While not an insert lamp, I've seen an incandescent flasher, lock on and melt a plastic.

    That's not surprising, but hopefully it doesn't happen too often. I'm pretty set on sticking with INCs for flashers.

    #28 4 years ago

    I propose a new term for us incandescent fans who are LED-curious: "biluminous".

    #29 4 years ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    What's crazy? Doubting that bulb heat is what causes plastics to warp?

    I'm just skeptical, I need proof.

    Sounds like you've made up your mind...not mearly skeptical. And yes, that is crazy. Just because you haven't see it happen in your house with the games on 4 hours a week does not a scientific method make.
    I'm sure 100s of people here can tell you shopping a game and having plastics melted over lamps. There's not else creating heat around them...what kind of mechanical stress code there be?

    Quoted from swampfire:

    Personally, I'm considering this a "myth" for now.

    #30 4 years ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Sounds like you've made up your mind...not mearly skeptical. And yes, that is crazy. Just because you haven't see it happen in your house with the games on 4 hours a week does not a scientific method make.
    I'm sure 100s of people here can tell you shopping a game and having plastics melted over lamps. There's not else creating heat around them...what kind of mechanical stress code there be?

    There's nothing unscientific about being skeptical about "common knowledge". Please use scientific evidence to prove that I should be worried. I've shopped at least 30 older pins, and although I've definitely seen plastic burned by bulbs that were too close, that doesn't automatically mean that warped plastics with no visible heat damage were warped by heat.

    #31 4 years ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    There's nothing unscientific about being skeptical about "common knowledge". Please use scientific evidence to prove that I should be worried. I've shopped at least 30 older pins, and although I've definitely seen plastic burned by bulbs that were too close, that doesn't automatically mean that warped plastics with no visible heat damage were warped by heat.

    I know you mean well but I'm not sure how you can't deduce incandescent bulbs are a direct contributor to warped plastics. You want to get scientific, get a heat gun and shoot a bulb and the adjacent plastic after it has been on an hour. I think you will be surprised. Then shoot the plastic farther away from a bulb. I'm sure the warping is exacerbated by long unsupported plastics but heat is clearly the contributing factor. Have you seen what the incandescents do to the tz clock pcb's? There is a ton of heat generated off those buggers.

    #32 4 years ago

    I'm just wondering if there's not a False Equivalence here:

    Heat can be used to bend plastics
    Bulbs give off heat
    Therefore if the plastic is bent, the heat from the bulb must have done it

    The experiment I want to set up is to have a game turned on 24/7 for 3 months, with LEDs on one side and INCs on the other. I usually add washers to move the plastics up a bit, but I won't for that experiment.

    #33 4 years ago

    Fact - Evel Knievel and Playboy usually have some melting on the pop bump caps when using incandescent bulbs. This is likely due to the difference in heat of the 44 and 47 bulbs, one of them puts out a lot more heat than the other.

    #34 4 years ago
    Quoted from NiftyLED:

    Fact - Evel Knievel and Playboy usually have some melting on the pop bump caps when using incandescent bulbs. This is likely due to the difference in heat of the 44 and 47 bulbs, one of them puts out a lot more heat than the other.

    Right, but he isn't talking aboot that. He already accepts that a bulb too close to a piece of plastic can melt it...he is trying to determine if it "bends plastic;" not melts it.

    #35 4 years ago

    Almost every old SS pin I've bought had heat damage to the pop bumper caps. It's not surprising, since the bulb is touching the plastic in many cases. Fortunately there are lots of LED options there, since the naked bulb isn't visible.

    BTW, I save all my old burned pop bumper caps, in case someone 20 years down the road wants to buy them to make his game look "more authentic". Stranger trends have happened.

    #36 4 years ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    I'm just wondering if there's not a False Equivalence here:
    Heat can be used to bend plastics
    Bulbs give off heat
    Therefore if the plastic is bent, the heat from the bulb must have done it.

    The most logical answer is usually the correct one.

    #37 4 years ago

    CLAIM : Having Inc's in your pinball machine makes you a crankier person online

    Didn't RFM have a seizure warning? That did not come with LED's.

    #38 4 years ago
    Quoted from centerflank:

    CLAIM : Having Inc's in your pinball machine makes you a crankier person online
    Didn't RFM have a seizure warning? That did not come with LED's.

    And having LEDs makes you a fake scientist or something?

    Did RFM have Strobe MB in it? Casue pretty sure AFM had the warning?

    #39 4 years ago
    Quoted from centerflank:

    CLAIM : Having Inc's in your pinball machine makes you a crankier person online
    Didn't RFM have a seizure warning? That did not come with LED's.

    Incandescent bulbs do make you cranky - they make you want to yell "get off my lawn", take Geritol and go to dinner at 3:30 PM

    RFM warning - Was likely due to the monitor.

    #40 4 years ago

    Afm does because of the strobe.

    #41 4 years ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    BTW, I save all my old burned pop bumper caps, in case someone 20 years down the road wants to buy them to make his game look "more authentic". Stranger trends have happened.

    https://groups.google.com/d/topic/rec.games.pinball/dElULzLgcO8

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/wanted-wanted-i-want-your-oldused-pop-bumper-caps

    #42 4 years ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    And having LEDs makes you a fake scientist or something?

    Im a fake doctor, thank you.

    Here, I wrote this for you.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosensitive_epilepsy

    #44 4 years ago
    Quoted from NiftyLED:

    Are you Canadian?

    Nope.

    #45 4 years ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    And having LEDs makes you a fake scientist or something?
    Did RFM have Strobe MB in it? Casue pretty sure AFM had the warning?

    RFM has "Martian Hyno-Beam". But, no seizure warnings on my RFM.

    #46 4 years ago
    Quoted from NiftyLED:

    Are you Canadian?

    Michigan, close enough.

    #47 4 years ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    CLAIM: INCs cause inserts to sink and warp.

    This is true - I've seen many times where there is a light board under inserts that does not allow proper ventilation, and those light inserts historically show much more "wear" of the plastics separating from the wood. A couple examples: Fish Tales and Shadow.

    #48 4 years ago
    Quoted from T7:

    This is true - I've seen many times where there is a light board under inserts that does not allow proper ventilation, and those light inserts historically show much more "wear" of the plastics separating from the wood. A couple examples: Fish Tales and Shadow.

    I'm definitely more concerned about this than I am about plastics. If a plastic warps, I can straighten it. But if an insert separates or sinks, it's nontrivial to fix it.

    #49 4 years ago

    I hope people understand why this topic really needs an evidence-based approach (and my first post was probably a bad first step). There are a lot of people who think that the concerns about INC bulbs are a result of over-hyped LED marketing (try to find RGP conversations about these problems prior to 2008). Conversely, a lot of LED aficionados believe that LEDs are worth the time and effort. I really just want to separate fact from fiction. And frankly, I think both sides are a bit biased. There's a lot of money at stake.

    I do believe in the concept of an "expert witness". For example, if someone like Vid or Chris from HEP tells me that I absolutely should not put #44 bulbs under my plastics, I'm going to listen. The rest of you, I'm going to be very skeptical of unless you supply proof.

    If you think "LEDs suck" or "incandescents suck", you should probably drain this thread.

    #50 4 years ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    If you think "LEDs suck" or "incandescents suck", you should probably drain this thread.

    I think LEDs suck..

    We would love to setup some plastics at varying distances from different types of bulbs(44,47,555) to see if they do in fact melt/discolor anything...

    Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
    $ 44.95
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    PinBoss Mods
    $ 89.99
    From: $ 325.00
    Gameroom - Decorations
    Gameroom Mods
    $ 24.95
    Cabinet - Shooter Rods
    Hookedonpinball.com
    From: $ 99.99
    Cabinet - Other
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    $ 299.00
    Displays
    Boston Pinball Company
    From: $ 42.00
    Cabinet - Shooter Rods
    ModFather Pinball Mods
    From: $ 175.00
    Gameroom - Decorations
    Pinball Photos
    $ 209.99
    Lighting - Led
    PinballBulbs
    $ 305.00
    Tools
    PinDoc Restorations
    $ 7,199.00
    Pinball Machine
    Classic Game Rooms
    From: $ 9.99
    Eproms
    Matt's Basement Arcade
    $ 7,499.00
    Pinball Machine
    Little Shop Of Games
    $ 339.00
    $ 163.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    The MOD Couple
    $ 135.00
    Lighting - Led
    LED OCD
    $ 10.00
    Cabinet - Decals
    Docquest Pinball Mods
    $ 25.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Great American Pinball
    $ 7,999.00
    Pinball Machine
    Great American Pinball
    From: $ 7.00
    Playfield - Protection
    Pinball Haus
    $ 69.99
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    $ 4.49
    Electronics
    Yorktown Parts and Equip
    $ 100.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    G-Money Mods
    There are 111 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.

    Hey there! Got a moment?

    Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside