(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

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    There are 111 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 3.
    #101 4 years ago
    Quoted from stangbat:

    Maybe I'm dense, but either I don't understand the question or understand your point. But the issue with backglasses and incandescent bulbs is the heat. Shouldn't be an issue with LEDs.

    LEDs haven't been used (or even around) as long as incadesants, so there aren't many if any, silk screened back glasses that have been exposed to LED lighting for anywhere near as long.

    #102 4 years ago

    I'm with Pez on this one; there's no scientific reason to expect that LEDs will hurt a backglass (I'm assuming people don't install supers or ultras in the backglass).

    I like the idea of using a fan to deal with the heat from #44 or #555 bulbs.

    #103 4 years ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    Jawjaw, I don't think of INC bulbs as "retro", more like "original". I agree that cost is the main issue, but I'll add one more: color fidelity. I think LEDs wash out some of the colors on the playfield and plastics, especially when using cool LEDs around red/yellow/orange art. IMVE looks harsh to me for that reason. But color fidelity is a very subjective topic. I wouldn't be foolish enough to try to convince someone who likes LEDs that INCs "look better". It's all very personal, and even for me it varies from game to game.
    I will say that when I saw my friend's MET-LED, I really liked it. The blues and whites on the playfield really popped, and it looked like a totally different game. Likewise, I really like the CT frosted bulbs in my Space Station GI. That started with replacing just the green bulbs so I could see during multiball. Then I did the normal GI and I was really happy with the overall result.

    I thought your example of Shadow with incandescents didn't look good at all when it came to color fidelity. The colors were a lot darker and Khan's face looked orange. There wasn't a pic of the plastic with normal lighting from the front but I think it's safe to assume that the colors on the plastic weren't that dark to begin with.

    #104 4 years ago
    Quoted from dmbjunky:

    I thought your example of Shadow with incandescents didn't look good at all when it came to color fidelity. The colors were a lot darker and Khan's face looked orange. There wasn't a pic of the plastic with normal lighting from the front but I think it's safe to assume that the colors on the plastic weren't that dark to begin with.

    Yep, this where color bias and age come into play. My theory is that guys around my age (51) are used to a "red-push" on pinball art, and it looks more natural to us. What I see with the cool LEDs is that the orange and yellow on the dragon are a bit washed-out, and the face looks too yellow. I'll try the warm frosted and see if I like that better.

    #105 4 years ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    I hope people understand why this topic really needs an evidence-based approach...
    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.

    I am old timer EM collector who back in the day it was our common knowledge to swap out the 44's and replace them with 47's wherever the bulb was close to the backglass or to plastics. I think the guys in my circle all did this religiously and, yeah, without scientific studies. Just observation. Plenty of EM glasses had spots where bulbs had worked away the art, but I never knew for certain flaking resulting from bulbs. Uh oh, you want proof, though. I'll have to look on IPDB for backglasses that show it. You can always tell when the bulb makes a certain halo-ish effect on the glass that it's too close. On my Old Chicago backglass I removed the 44's and replaced them with 51's which aren't as bright but the bulbs are smaller. This was before repro glasses and I wanted peace of mind. I am still in the habit of placing 47's in playfield inserts, allowing 44's anywhere they are not close to anything. Superstition perhaps, but bulbs I got plenty of. 25 years later, my Old Chicago glass is still flawless. But, maybe many others are, too.

    Here's some data to fiddle with, FWIW:

    Lamp - Current - Watts - Avg Life in Hours
    44 - 0.25 - 1.75 - 3000
    47 - 0.15 - 1.05 - 3000
    51 - 0.22 - 1.54 - 1000
    55 - 0.41 - 2.87 - 0500
    130 - 0.15 - 1.05 - 5000
    259 - 0.15 - 1.05 - 5000
    455 - Flasher - na - 0500

    (Source: Coin-Op Cosmetics, article by Steve Young, Amusement Review, Sept/Oct 1979)

    I had to put 455's in my Bally Playboy and Star Trek as I saw too many burnt pop bumper caps.

    Yes, I have seen playfield plastics with lamp burns but, in lieu of proof, all I gotta say is you'd know one if you saw one. It may have been the result of using the clear colored tubes that were so prevalent, resting on the socket, encasing the bulb, and then channeled the heat right up to the plastic.

    We also knew of a backglass malady called "red fade" but I guess it went away, as did polio. Plenty of examples on the IPDB.

    #106 4 years ago

    I used to be on the #47 bulb bandwagon too, but they're just too dim for me. I use them in backboxes and in playfield GI for games where the plastics will never be reproduced (e.g., Time Fantasy and Andromeda). But I really don't like them. I'll sometimes buy a spare set of repro plastics so I can "ride bareback" with #44 bulbs.

    #107 4 years ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    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.

    I think the answer is a big yes. This damage had a bulb parked right behind it.

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    #108 4 years ago
    Quoted from vanilla:

    We also knew of a backglass malady called "red fade" but I guess it went away, as did polio. Plenty of examples on the IPDB.

    most articles i am finding online regarding UV fade mention that red dyes fade faster than other colors.

    #109 4 years ago
    Quoted from pezpunk:

    most articles i am finding online regarding UV fade mention that red dyes fade faster than other colors.

    i would tend to agree with this. Not exactly the same, but if you put a magazine in a car window, the first colors you will lose will be the reds. I had a Hot Rod mag in a windshield and it lost almost all of the reds.
    I also believe that warped plastics are probably to some extent the result of heat from bulbs, probably poor support. etc. If you have a larger plastic it doesn't take a lot of heat to cause it to sag over time. it just has to heat a little and its own weight will help it to sag/warp.

    #110 4 years ago

    Early pin designers seem to have planned for plastics to sag, using those headless nails in big open areas to support them.

    #111 4 years ago

    I thought the nails were used to keep the ball out of the slings. Were there other places they were used?

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