I was inspired by the impressive before/after pics of many games that have installed the PinStadium LED lighting mod and wanted to add similar lighting to my Medusa to really allow the amazing playfield art to show.
Being notoriously, uh, "cheap" and the kind that likes to craft my own fixes/mods when feasible I decided to see what I could come up with myself.
Since Medusa is a 1980 Bally there are no flashers to incorporate, nor GI lighting effects to consider, so all that was required were simple Warm-White LED strips along either side of the playfield. Warm white was chosen to keep the warm playfield colors showing as they should via the games original incandescent lighting. The light strips can stay lit whenever the game is on, and only a simple brightness adjustment is required to fine-tune the amount of light being provided.
Here is the parts list I put together (from Amazon):
- SMD5630 LEDs,IP20 Non-Waterproof,Warm White 2800K, 16.4Ft, LED Strip Light + 12V,5A Power Supply: $22 Cdn
amazon.com link »
- Mini Remote RF Controller for Single Color LED Strip Lights Dimmer for 12 V DC LED Light Strips: $7 Cdn
amazon.com link »
- 8ft. length of pre-finished black aluminum "outside corner trim", 1/4" width per side from Home Depot, approx. cost $15 Cdn.
- Velcro 7/8 in. Sticky Back Squares 12 Pack from Home Depot, approx. cost $5 Cdn.
Total cost: $49 Cdn.
1. Cut the aluminum corner trim to 33" lengths with a hacksaw, then filed the cut edges smooth to avoid unsightly or sharp edges.
2. Then I cut the LED strip to the same lengths and attached them to one inside edge of the corner trip via the included glue strips on the back of the LEDs.
3. I added additional wire lengths to the ends of each LED strips to allow enough for the bars to be mounted and the wires to run behind the back of the PF and back up near the front of the cabinet (under the PF). It was a bit tricky to solder the wires to the LED strip connectors due to their small size. I connected the wire from both strips to the single plug that would connect to the remote control adaptor.
4. I applied the velcro strips down the side of the corner trim evenly spaced down the length of each piece of trim. By attached both sides of the velcro to the bar and then removing the backing to uncover the glue it is straighforward to attach the bar to the side of the game cabinet, pressing firmly to ensure the velcro glue makes a solid connection. The light bars are mounted directly below the pf glass channels.
5. Plug the included 12v power adaptor into the Aux. power plug inside the cabinet, and plug it into the remote control adaptor. Plug the light bar wires into the other end of the remote control adaptor.
6. Plug the game in, and use the remote control to adjust the brightness of the strips to taste.
Overall, this took me about 2 hours to complete, most of the time cutting the bars and and soldering the wires.
I was a bit concerned that the light bars wouldn't be very effective on a classic Bally cabinet due to the shallow space between the pf glass and the top of the pf (vs. a modern DMD or LCD game), but the lighting is very effective.
I'm very pleased with this mod on Medusa. The incredible PF art is now very much on display. An additional benefit is that the PF plastics really light up now showing all the detail of their art and providing the game an overall "golden"/glowing effect that really makes it pop and goes well with the theme. For example, see how the gold/white drop targets at the top shine with the lighting.
In the picture, there is a noticeable dimming in the lower center of the PF, but in person it is much more subtle and not really noticeable (looks even better in person).
In order to raise the pf, it is necessary to first remove the light bars via their velcro attachments, which is easily done.
A further improvement would be to source the 12v for the LED strips from the game itself so it would turn on/off with the game. I may or may not pursue this as my game is connected to a switched power plug, so I turn on my games at once with a wall switch, which will also turn the LED lights/on off with the game.