(Topic ID: 125944)

Pinballlife LEDs starting to yellow


By PinballHog

4 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 34 posts
  • 20 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by Retropin
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    #1 4 years ago

    About 2 years ago I put LEDs in my Addams Family. I used Pinball Life's Ablaze Ghost Buster LEDs. On my cool white bulbs I noticed the 555 bulbs are starting to yellow just a bit, but the 44/47 are still cool white in color. You can really notice on the 3 white inserts on the left of the mansion. The bottom 2 are 555 and the top one is 44/47 bulb. Also you notice it in the greed inserts. Has anyone else noticed this on there machines? These bulbs are not the new premium bulbs he has just the plain ghost buster LEDs. Any ideas? Thanks for any info you might share.

    #2 4 years ago

    Are the lenses on the bulbs turning yellow?

    #3 4 years ago

    Also I assume all those inserts are the same color? I had some inserts on my Party zone that looked the same from the top side but once you throw an LED on it a few are an a slight off-white where the others are clear white. I assume its the LED or lenses but I'm just throwing in my experience.

    #4 4 years ago

    It could be either the plastic lens is degrading which usually is from UV exposure and/or heat exposure, or it could be the aging of the LED. LEDs dim and change color as they age and get towards the end of the their lifecycle, however since the lifecycle should be at *least 10,000 hours, unless you've left your AF on constantly since then, I don't see how they could be getting towards the end of their lifecycle.

    #5 4 years ago

    Well if it is the covers yellowing I am glad I am part the incandescent fan club Spending all that money on LEDs and boards to cover up issues. now this. Geesh

    #6 4 years ago
    Quoted from PinballHog:

    About 2 years ago I put LEDs in my Addams Family. I used Pinball Life's Ablaze Ghost Buster LEDs

    I put these same bulbs in a couple machines 3+ years ago, ended up removing ALL of them because they all dimmed at least 50% from what their original brightness was . unfortunately I haven't (and will not) buy pinballlife leds anymore.

    #7 4 years ago

    And I was starting to think it was my imagination. Thanks for the information. His prices were not exactly low back then when we bought them either.

    #8 4 years ago
    Quoted from KeithinMI:

    It could be either the plastic lens is degrading which usually is from UV exposure and/or heat exposure, or it could be the aging of the LED. LEDs dim and change color as they age and get towards the end of the their lifecycle, however since the lifecycle should be at *least 10,000 hours, unless you've left your AF on constantly since then, I don't see how they could be getting towards the end of their lifecycle.

    Heat, which people don't think exist in LED's, degrades them quickly. The ones in pins don't have heat sinks. 44's have a bit of heatsink from the socket itself, but 555 really have no way to get the heat away from the element. Domed ones will have even less passive cooling available.

    #9 4 years ago

    Yes I don't think suppliers names and brands mean much of anything they are all made in china.

    #10 4 years ago

    I turn my pinballs off every time I get done playing. I have played TAF a lot over the 2 years but not anywhere close to the bulbs going out. Maybe it is the heat problem. Are there any bulbs that want dim as fast? You don't notice it other then the clear inserts. It looks like my 555 cool whites changed to warm whites lol.

    11
    #11 4 years ago

    There are many grades of diodes available when making an LED bulb for Pins.
    In simple terms, A, B, and C grade......(Their are many more grades based on country and factory)

    The best Grade I could find, was from Taiwan and Malaysia. Each 5050 bulb, stamping, solder, and resin in lens was superior, but these bulbs would cost us pinheads a bit over $3.00 a bulb, and no one will pay for it.
    Conversely, the same 1 SMD 5050, or "Super" as needed to be termed, from the lowest quality, would
    retail for $.25-.$.30 each. The lower quality is easily seen.
    Sometimes, when it is really crazy in demand, "C" grade SMD, will be be sold as "B" grade,
    and deterioration, in the diode, and components, can be found.
    Other times, its simply the Plastic resin in the Cap, yellowing, for not using Virgin resin or Grade A Resin in the cap.

    At the low costs today, its affordable to change out.

    While they are marketed to "last forever"....I certainly wont support that, and with all things pinball,
    Bulb/LED replacements......Incandescent or not, seem to be the easiest and most affordable part
    of pin maintenance. (..and yes, I am biased)

    #12 4 years ago

    Interesting to hear,, I've never had any problem with Pinball Life or some of the odds and ends LEDs I buy from Comet.. If you have ever been in Pinball Life you might have noticed they have one of those LED testers they sell back by one of those pack stations and it always has LED's on. I asked once why it was always on and was told it was a life cycle test for the LED's. He plugged in one of the new LED's I was buying and compared it to one that had been running a ridiculously long time and I couldn't see a difference.... Anyways I love LED's in pins that are tastefully done and that are not blinding! Such a cool look!

    #13 4 years ago

    I'm a big fan of leds. If I have to change a few or more over the years, I don't think that is a reason to never use them. As far as heat, I don't remember being able to feel any heat on a lit led bulb. A lit incandescent bulb is too hot to touch. With all the bulbs used in a game (especially in backbox), that's a lot of heat. With the less voltage, it's less stress on the circuits and connectors as well. I would like to think the quality of leds have changed over the years and newer ones will perform better but not sure if that is true.

    #14 4 years ago
    Quoted from CNKay:

    Yes I don't think suppliers names and brands mean much of anything they are all made in china.

    I will say I had a similar mindset after finding the styles we wanted and testing. However, I got some competition bulbs in 12volt in a style we didn't carry so I could try in my landscape lights. This bulb was like our flashers but more leds. Ended up being dimmer and having a blueish tint to it. I left one of them in and it ended up dying a couple weeks later. Replaced with another from ssame batch and same thing. Put ours back in and going strong since.

    No need to mention the competitor. Just commenting its fairly interesting how different bulb quality can be.

    #15 4 years ago
    Quoted from jawjaw:

    I'm a big fan of leds. If I have to change a few or more over the years, I don't think that is a reason to never use them. As far as heat, I don't remember being able to feel any heat on a lit led bulb. A lit incandescent bulb is too hot to touch. With all the bulbs used in a game (especially in backbox), that's a lot of heat. With the less voltage, it's less stress on the circuits and connectors as well. I would like to think the quality of leds have changed over the years and newer ones will perform better but not sure if that is true.

    the newer ones are brighter and even hotter. The glass is radiating the heat away in the old bulb. The LED temp is lower than the filament temp but the actual emitter still gets quite hot. and the heat output tends to be along the light path, its much more directional, like a laser.

    #16 4 years ago

    wow... thanks for sharing this info about certain quality LED's.
    good to be informed before any future purchases.

    #17 4 years ago
    Quoted from calvin12:

    the newer ones are brighter and even hotter. The glass is radiating the heat away in the old bulb. The LED temp is lower than the filament temp but the actual emitter still gets quite hot. and the heat output tends to be along the light path, its much more directional, like a laser.

    I can only speak to my experiences, but The LEDs in my games put off little to no heat compared to the incandescent bulbs that used to be in them. I could've cooked an egg on my playfield before, now I cannot feel any heat.

    #18 4 years ago

    For what it is worth. I put LEDs into my F-14 when it was still a newish thing to do, maybe 5 years back? No problems dimming, turning colors, or burning out. Mine came from cointaker i believe near when they first went into business. My F-14 has seen a good amount of time turned on since then.

    So this may dimming effect maybe bulb / brand specific.

    #19 4 years ago

    I dont want to give the impression this is vendor related at all.

    One has to imagine only Millions of 1 SMD 5050 chips being made and sold en mass.

    If one has a bulb, that fades, dies, or loses color, it can be for as many reasons of the diode, additional components, and even possibly, ones game.

    We are all tuned to "watch the accident on the side of the road", and having a certain percentage of failure, for any reason, for any bulb, from any vendor, is always possible.

    It should not be construed, IMO, as a factor to where, or even sometimes, what type of bulb you use...

    basically, as it is said, "Shit Happens".

    Pop in a new bulb, and not worry about it.

    #20 4 years ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    I can only speak to my experiences, but The LEDs in my games put off little to no heat compared to the incandescent bulbs that used to be in them. I could've cooked an egg on my playfield before, now I cannot feel any heat.

    the overall heat is greatly diminished with LED's. But the element still gets hot. I've put FLIR images here before and then just wind up with people saying they don't believe them. Its also been shown that LEDs can get an insert hotter than an incandescent does. Its a matter of focused energy. A smaller amount of total bulb heat all going into one small area can make a *spot* hotter than a higher temp emitter that is outputting in all directions.

    #21 4 years ago

    Here's the thread where calvin12 posted the FLIR images:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/leds-and-temp-reduction

    An interesting conversation there. Even if you don't agree with all of calvin12's interpretations of his own data, it's great that he bothered to take the pictures in the first place, and then take more as a follow-up to attempt to answer specific questions re: insert temps, which certainly seem to show that flex LEDs can spot warm insert plastics more than incandescents.

    #22 4 years ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    I can only speak to my experiences, but The LEDs in my games put off little to no heat compared to the incandescent bulbs that used to be in them. I could've cooked an egg on my playfield before, now I cannot feel any heat.

    Yes incandescent lamps give off heat, but that heat does not affect the lamp at all. In LEDs it's all about the junction temperature at the LED itself that causes them to diminish in light output over time. You need to remove the heat away from the LED junction with a heat sink. You should see the heat sinks on recessed high output LED cans. Some even have what amount to computer fans mounted to them to keep them cool. Also, commercial LEDs use ratings like L70 and L80 to quantify at what time an LED is at 70% or at 80% of it's initial lumens.

    LEDs used in commercial applications are far superior to what is used in 44 and 555 miniature lamps. I would venture to guess the LEDs used in pinball lamps are what everyone else throws away. The plastic domed covers used to diffuse the point source of LEDs are yellowing due to age. Typically this is caused by UV (which LEDs do not produce), chemical reaction or by heat depending if they are using polycarb or some other plastic that generally yellows over time.

    #23 4 years ago

    I'm having trouble with the argument that somehow an led bulb is hotter than a regular bulb in any context. Show me one plastic that has been warped by led lights. Touch a regular bulb that has been on for just a minute and then touch a led. All electronics generate some kind of heat from the voltage but the more voltage the more heat.

    Yellowing is not uncommon with plastics. I used to collect certain toys and yellowing would occur on certain parts of a toy and not others. Sometimes it was due to light exposure but sometimes it happen when sealed in a box.

    #24 4 years ago
    Quoted from jawjaw:

    I'm having trouble with the argument that somehow an led bulb is hotter than a regular bulb in any context. Show me one plastic that has been warped by led lights. Touch a regular bulb that has been on for just a minute and then touch a led. All electronics generate some kind of heat from the voltage but the more voltage the more heat.
    Yellowing is not uncommon with plastics. I used to collect certain toys and yellowing would occur on certain parts of a toy and not others. Sometimes it was due to light exposure but sometimes it happen when sealed in a box.

    The argument is that LEDs (may) make a pinpoint spot hotter than any pinpoint spot using a 44 bulb. While the 44 overall puts out more heat, a 44 bulb dissipates uniformly across the glass globe of the incandescent lamp. The LED heat is all in a very concentrated spot... that is the theory at least, i am not really sure if this is true, just helping you understand the proposed idea. (which makes sense to me).

    #25 4 years ago
    Quoted from barakandl:

    The argument is that LEDs (may) make a pinpoint spot hotter than any pinpoint spot using a 44 bulb. While the 44 overall puts out more heat, a 44 bulb dissipates uniformly across the glass globe of the incandescent lamp. The LED heat is all in a very concentrated spot... that is the theory at least, i am not really sure if this is true, just helping you understand the proposed idea. (which makes sense to me).

    For what it's worth, calvin12's FLIR images references above seemed to show this to be the case for flex LEDs -- because the user can situate the LED element very close to the insert plastic, the point of heat generation is often much nearer to the insert and therefore can heat the insert up somewhat more than can an incandescent, even though the incandescent is drawing significantly more power and creating significantly more heat overall.

    #26 4 years ago
    Quoted from fosaisu:

    For what it's worth, calvin12's FLIR images references above seemed to show this to be the case for flex LEDs -- because the user can situate the LED element very close to the insert plastic, the point of heat generation is often much nearer to the insert and therefore can heat the insert up somewhat more than can an incandescent, even though the incandescent is drawing significantly more power and creating significantly more heat overall.

    look again, there is a pic specifically showing the setup form the backside to show that the flex was pulled down as far as possible from the insert. the flex leads were folded back putting the LED on top of the casing. This was done specifically to make them as close to a standard design LED and eliminate that specific complaint that was bound to follow.

    That post was done for nothing more than to put info out in public so people can make informed choices. Personally almost every game i have is full LED, I like them.

    #27 4 years ago

    I don't understand the need to be so hard up on LEDs

    let's think about this. Not that I have many LEDs I don't.

    But from a quick flippers point of view.

    If I led the game in will run me one hundred dollars or less and not much time.
    Now really what he is doing is taking strain off failing circuits making bad lamp sockets seem OK Headers that may be getting hot will not so no need to do as much work. Or the fact that he can't do the work anyhow.
    Plus it is now Almost (NOT to me) an upgrade. So due to the fact it is so nice and pretty I can figure an extra 200 in profit.
    As everyone know LEDs are wonderful and you will never have to lift your pf again a bs selling point.
    That to me is actually a bad thing as if I open machine up regularly to change a bulb. I do a visual for other things like flippers loose screws ect. Which should be done anyway but aren't as no need to all lamps are good.

    But back to original post if LEDs don't give off uv and the domes are not changing color with age due to heat. Than it must so and so's cheap ass plastic domes. Or a single incident manufacturing defect.

    Well I am still not buying it. I really want to like LEDs but I can't.
    And the pro led guys keep putting that square peg into the round hole no matter what the cost.
    Don't forget to buy your OCD board and modify those other circuits for flashers

    What bothers me are a lot of the videos on unsafe household led bulbs that can kill you!
    My son brought some led bulbs as he too has the hardon for LEDs
    I could not believe the size of the heat sink for a 40w equivalent bulb it is actually straining the hell out of the holder due to weight. I hate that they are forcing the extinction of regular incandescent.

    #28 4 years ago
    Quoted from calvin12:

    look again, there is a pic specifically showing the setup form the backside to show that the flex was pulled down as far as possible from the insert.

    Looking now. I respect your efforts to make it an even comparison, but to my eye a folded-down flex LED would still be closer to the insert than the heat source in a SMD LED or even an incandescent 44. But I wasn't there with calipers so obviously you're in the best position to judge distances!

    Quoted from calvin12:

    That post was done for nothing more than to put info out in public so people can make informed choices. Personally almost every game i have is full LED, I like them.

    I'm definitely not accusing you of being anti-LED -- I think you made that clear in your other thread! And I'm not trying to port bickering from that thread (which speaks for itself) over here, so happy to leave it at that.

    #29 4 years ago

    I'm surprised Terry hasn't chimed in here yet

    #30 4 years ago

    I have nothing against Pinball Life's LEDs. Again I've had them in this machine for 2 years. I'm sure they are not the best quality LEDs out there, but they were the cheapest I could find. I would much rather buy at a cheaper price and change the cool white 555 every 2 year then pay 3-4 times the price. Lol. I've attached a photo of what I'm talking about. The 3 & 6 million inserts are cool white 555 bulbs and the 9 million is a cool white 44/47 bulb.

    image.jpg
    #31 4 years ago

    That is weird. So those three were all the same at one time.
    I would experiment. And try to change just the caps from 9 and 3.
    Then take another pic.
    In all honesty though if you had regular bulbs and replaced one you would likely see just as much difference as different filiment ages.

    #32 4 years ago
    Quoted from CNKay:

    That is weird. So those three were all the same at one time.
    I would experiment. And try to change just the caps from 9 and 3.
    Then take another pic.
    In all honesty though if you had regular bulbs and replaced one you would likely see just as much difference as different filiment ages.

    Yeah they were both non ghosting cool whites from Pinball Life. The only difference is 2 are 555 and the one is 44/47. Also all the greed bulbs have yellowed as well and they are all 555.

    #33 4 years ago
    Quoted from PinballHog:

    The 3 & 6 million inserts are cool white 555 bulbs and the 9 million is a cool white 44/47 bulb.

    3 and 6 look great! 9 has that violet look I hate in cold white LEDs. I'd call the yellowing a feature, not a bug.

    #34 4 years ago

    The white LED's you buy are not actually white. They are Blue with a phosphor coating. Because white light is a combination of the 3 primary light colours blue.. red.. green, making a white LED is very expensive as it would be 3 LED's in one package. So, to get around this, manufacturers use a blue LED and coat the inside of the lens with a phosphor. The phosphors used are different to those used in neon or flourscent tubes and Gallum is used as the catalyst instead of mercury. Then arsenic is added as a phosphor stabilizer because Gallum based phosphors are inferior to mercury and degrade faster.
    Several things you will find with white LED's..

    Each BIN will be slightly different, so a batch made on Tuesday will have a differing colour rendition to a batch made on Wednesday.
    The dimming can be due to thermal breakdown as stated before.. heat is given off from the BACK in LED and so a heat sink is required.. often this can be the socket itself ( again, as stated before).
    The dimming can also be due to the yellowing of the resin used.. normal daylight will do this and eventually, the cover will resemble a brown colour.

    The dimming will be due to phosphor degradation or driver breakdown... the driving SMD IC within is failing.. sometimes, well the LED just craps itself just like anything else.

    One of my LED suppliers in China emailed through a report a few years back. It highlighted concerns that the popularity of LED and the push to further reduce costs will in fact be its downfall as what has the potential to last UP TO 20,000hrs will in fact have a life span of just a few weeks, maybe less.
    But then again, the idea that a light making factory will make you a light that will never need replacing is .. well... stupid.
    Alec Guinness had a White Suit... you have a light... history is written
    the-man-in-the-white-suit_1353354293_crop_550x410.jpg

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