(Topic ID: 322528)

Please Recommend LED Kits

By Shaker

71 days ago


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  • 31 posts
  • 20 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 41 days ago by Joost996me
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    #1 71 days ago

    Hello!

    Years ago, I saw some early LED conversions, and I took an instant dislike for them. The ones I saw were way to bright, and their instant-on, instant-off nature felt harsh.

    Since then, I've used LEDs for the backbox, for GI and inside hard to reach bumper caps, but never for playfield inserts.

    A couple weeks ago, I bought a Judge Dredd that had been fully converted to LEDs, and: I like it!
    They were maybe just a smidge brighter than incandescents. The on/off cycling does not seem as harsh. (This part I don't understand, maybe it was just because they were not as bright as the LED conversions I saw long ago. The machine has a custom ROM marked "LED", but I think that prevents ghosting, but doen't provide a warm-up/cool-down simulation.)

    I planning on shopping a few of my 90's pins over the winter, and I would appreciate any advice you could give on selecting LED Conversion Kits.
    (Vendors, Brand Names, Models, or any other thoughts you may have on the subject.)

    Thank you!

    - Mark

    P.S. I understand that there are boards out there that provide warm-up/cool-down effects. If I only had 1 or 2 pins, I'd get them. But I have a total of 10 pins (purchased over 25 years), and I don't want to spend that kind of money.

    #2 71 days ago

    I've had good luck with pinballbulbs.com for wpc kits.

    #3 71 days ago

    Helpful introduction to a reasonable approach for using LEDs:

    https://pinside.com/pinball/community/pinsiders/forceflow/stories/guide-to-tasteful-leds

    Quoted from Shaker:

    but doen't provide a warm-up/cool-down simulation

    You would need an LED OCD board: http://www.ledocd.com/

    There is a board that addresses the playfield inserts, and another one that addresses GI (if your GI flickers while fading)

    #4 71 days ago

    I recently did a LED conversion for my Twilight Zone and was very leary going into it. I got the Comet LED kit and the process and result couldn't possibly have been better. I ended up swapping out half the playfield to do a side by side comparison, and the LED side blew away the incandescent side, without being garish or seeming out of place with the vintage of the pin. All the LEDs were matched to the light they were replacing, and extremely well labeled (made things very easy)

    Note that I have a LEDOCD and GIOCD. The GIOCD made a huge impact in gameplay, bringing back the GI effects that I was used to.

    I wouldn't hesitate to get the Comet kits for any future 90's pin I am upgrading.

    #5 71 days ago

    From my tests cointakers warm white is the closest to incandescent I found. All others were much brighter and whiter.

    Also as mentioned lcdocd board for sure will help smooth the dimming/flashing.

    11
    #6 71 days ago

    I don't recommend kits at all; and never will.
    I recommend you buy bulk warm white frosted 2smd from comet pinball in 44 & 555 though.

    #7 71 days ago

    Pinballbulbs.com. Colors already chosen and great customer service

    #8 71 days ago

    I really like the Comet 2SMD Frosted LEDs in natural white or sunlight. I personally don't like the look of "WARM" Leds.. For older (80s) games I use the Comet Retro bulbs (not as bright) in the GI and playfield, and in any games where bulbs are visible to the naked eye from the players position (like the left ramp on LOTR). I have found buying them in bulk packs from COMET is the most cost efficient way to go.

    I strongly recommend FROSTED bulbs.

    Based off of what you just said your preferences are, I would recommend the Comet Retros or 2SMD Sunlight or Warm Light bulbs.

    You don't have to match inserts, but from most common to least common inserts are : Clear, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple.
    If you want to try color matching some inserts just pick up some extra reds and oranges and thats 80%+ of your inserts. It won't look goofy having your reds color matched and your blues not, but it will look goofy if you only color match some.

    I really like the Comet Matrix lights, especially the 4" and 20" strips. Not required, but you can easily light a topper, drain hole, or anything else you think needs extra light. Super easy to use and comes with aligator clips you can just slap into an existing socket. Remember LEDs use about a third the power so its easy to slap a few extra lights on.

    Finally, I strongly recommend picking up a few Yoppcicles if you have some flakey sockets. These require a little soldering, but it is easier and cheaper than replacing a socket if you are having issues with specific lights. I don't put them everywhere, but having these around is great for fixing things.

    I have tried bulbs from a few different companies. In my experience, 100% bayonet bulbs from all manufacturers work. However, the wedge bulbs will have high failure rate out of the box no matter where you buy them. I get about 1 in 20 wedges not working from random companies, but maybe 1 in 50 don't work from Comet (good).

    I recommend Comet pinball 100%

    https://pinside.com/pinball/market/shops/1360-yoppsicle

    https://www.cometpinball.com/products/2smd-bulbs

    https://www.cometpinball.com/products/lighting-strips

    https://www.cometpinball.com/pages/the-art-of-pinball-leds

    https://www.cometpinball.com/pages/choosing-white-color-for-my-pinball-machine

    https://www.cometpinball.com/products/retro-smd-bulbs

    P.S. The easiest way to have a seizure is to put in 8 SMD Tower flahsers in the flasher spots. I recommend keeping those stock on your first job or trying a few before installing everywhere. I just did my Mario Brothers and am about ready to change it back.

    #9 71 days ago

    I've used coin taker kits (specific to the game).

    They do the job well.

    #10 71 days ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    I don't recommend kits at all; and never will.
    I recommend you buy bulk warm white frosted 2smd from comet pinball in 44 & 555 though.

    Seconded! Comet seems to have the best quality of the multiple brands I have used over the years and I have them in all my games. I usually color match all my inserts but that is just personal taste, I like the deeper saturation look.

    I like the cool white myself, but my vision isn't the best so the extra brightness helps me out, and I just like the bright white look, but the warm white seems to be very popular. You could always try different whites on different places and see what you like the best.

    #11 71 days ago

    I've been satisfied with Comet's as well.

    #12 71 days ago

    I buy Cointaker LED's, largely because when I do a service call on a pinball I've restored I know the exact kind of LED to match what I did earlier. Most everyone around me buys from Comet.

    If ever you are doing an 80's model pin, I really recommend Yoppsicles. Incredibly good product.

    https://pinside.com/pinball/market/shops/1360-yoppsicle/05558-yoppsicle-led-stick-v3-panel-of-50-warm-white

    #13 71 days ago

    Another vote for Comet.

    Kits are the way to go if you don’t care to invest hours of your own time. And even if you don’t like some of what’s in a kit it’s simple enough to change those later.

    Yoppsicles are an excellent choice if you’re replacing sockets.

    #14 71 days ago

    All;

    Thanks to everyone! I greatly appreciate your recommendations.

    My pins are mainly 90's Williams/Bally: MM, NGG, TAF, AFM, SS, PM, MB and JD. I also have Class of 1812 (Gottlieb 1991) and Godzilla (Sega 1998).

    There are a few recommendations for the LED OCD board. I was hoping to not spend $150 before even buying the LEDs.

    I double checked the Judge Dredd, which is already converted to LED, and it does not have a LED OCD Board.

    Of the game's I listed: Are there any where the LED OCD board is a must do?

    I'm going to do this one game at a time. I think for my first attempt I'll go with a Comet Full Kit. Then, I'll decide if I want to buy in bulk from them, or change to Cointaker or pinballbulbs.com.

    - Mark

    #15 70 days ago
    Quoted from PinRetail:

    If ever you are doing an 80's model pin, I really recommend Yoppsicles. Incredibly good product.
    https://pinside.com/pinball/market/shops/1360-yoppsicle/05558-yoppsicle-led-stick-v3-panel-of-50-warm-white

    Totally agree. Talk to Jjsmooth , he’s restored a couple of my pins using Yoppsicles. He swears by them.

    https://pinside.com/pinball/market/shops/1360-yoppsicle/05558-yoppsicle-led-stick-v3-panel-of-50-warm-white

    #16 70 days ago

    Ledocd is never 'needed' unless a Capcom machine.

    #17 70 days ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Ledocd is never 'needed' unless a Capcom machine

    Well, yeah... Let me re-phrase:

    Of the game's I listed are there any that will look worse with LEDs than incandescents, unless I also get a LED OCD board?
    (Do to flickering, or loosing dimming effects or ???)

    - Mark

    #18 70 days ago

    You chose your pins , think you should be able to choose your bulbs ...
    Kits not the way to go...

    #19 70 days ago

    Contemporary LEDs are much different and better than those from 7+ years ago, as you discovered.

    I recommend you take a look at Comet. They have a Judge Dredd kit:

    https://www.cometpinball.com/products/judge-dredd-led-conversion-kit

    There is a video of their kit installed, so you can see if it matches your taste or not.

    Comet was recently featured on the Marco Pinball YouTube Channel:

    In the video, the owner of Comet discusses LED evolution, current options and tricks for optimal LED use, and how they approach the LED kit market. Judge Dredd has a lot of color, so I think the discussion will be helpful for you.

    #20 70 days ago

    Buy in bulk is better and cheaper.

    #21 70 days ago
    Quoted from Shaker:

    Well, yeah... Let me re-phrase:
    Of the game's I listed are there any that will look worse with LEDs than incandescents, unless I also get a LED OCD board?
    (Do to flickering, or loosing dimming effects or ???)
    - Mark

    You lose dimming, that’s it. The games look fine without LED OCD. But if you want the LEDs to behave exactly like incandescents, LED OCD is the only way. Non ghosting bulbs in the inserts should be used if not going OCD.

    #22 70 days ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    You lose dimming, that’s it. The games look fine without LED OCD. But if you want the LEDs to behave exactly like incandescents, LED OCD is the only way.

    It looks great for insert lamps, but yes, it's not necessary. I think it's worth it for games you really like.

    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    Non ghosting bulbs in the inserts should be used if not going OCD.

    It's not necessary if you patch the game ROM file with wpclp (or if the game ROM already has the patch).

    #23 70 days ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    It's not necessary if you patch the game ROM file with wpclp (or if the game ROM already has the patch).

    ForceFlow:

    Special Thanks for this tip. I knew there were non-ghosting ROMs out there, but I didn't know the name of it, or what machines were supported.

    - Mark

    #24 70 days ago
    Quoted from transprtr4u:

    You chose your pins , think you should be able to choose your bulbs ...

    I've had to buy most of my pins without playing them first, but I still had Pinside & IPDB reviews, maybe some gameplay videos, and more recently the ability to play a simulation on VPX.

    I just came here to get similar info on LEDs before putting my money down.

    - Mark

    #25 70 days ago

    Revised plan:

    I will shop my Monster Bash first, as it really needs a good cleaning.

    I'll use a non-ghosting ROM, I have an e-prom burner lying around here somewhere.
    Does anyone know what e-prom is required?
    (I probably have some 27C256s and 27C512s on hand.)

    I'll try frosted Comet LEDs first. I still haven't decided between the kit, bulk whites and bulk color matched. I'll price them out...

    BTW: When I get around to my '98 Godzilla: I'll switch to pinbulb.com LEDs, that game is very dim and needs to be brightened up a bit.

    I greatly appreciate everyone's advice!

    - Mark

    #26 70 days ago

    I made you a quick video showing the differences in color temperature bulbs in my machines.

    #27 69 days ago
    Quoted from Shaker:

    I'll try frosted Comet LEDs first. I still haven't decided between the kit, bulk whites and bulk color matched. I'll price them out...

    Frosted Sunlight across the board, easiest on the eyes and Art, in the Goldilocks Kelvin
    I kinda know a little

    #28 68 days ago

    sataneatscheese:

    Thank you very much for the video!

    OLDPINGUY

    I'm glad to know someone who kinda knows a little. Thank you!

    Now that the weather is cool: I have to turn my attention to yardwork.

    I'm actually going to order a couple individual bulbs, so I can compare sunlight to retro, and 1smb to 2smb.

    Then, I will order everything to shop my MB, so I'll be ready when the snow flys.

    - Mark

    #29 65 days ago

    Just installed the Comet Fish Tales kit. Fun to install and very pleased with the result!

    #30 59 days ago

    And we have a winner!...

    I ordered 1 each of Comet: Sunlight, Retro Sunlight, Cool White and Retro Cool White (All non-ghosting, all frosted, all 555/T10 base).

    Under an insert, Retro Sunlight was indistinguishable from an incandescent. I'll be using it as the main bulb in most of my games.

    I'll use Sunlight for my Sega Godzilla, which has very dark inserts.

    Retro Cool White washed out the insert colors.

    Cool White was simply garish. Far to bright and really washed out the insert colors.

    - Mark

    BTW:

    I do wish there was something in between Retro Sunlight and Sunlight. ("Retro Sunlight +"?)

    Comet offers sample packs, but does not list exactly what is in each pack.

    2 weeks later
    #31 41 days ago

    Just received my second Comet set for my Indiana Jones: The Pinball Adventure, great service and looking forward to install the set.

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