Poor man's Stadium lighting


By Fytr

2 weeks ago


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  • 68 posts
  • 36 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 day ago by TimeBandit
  • Topic is favorited by 81 Pinsiders

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There are 68 posts in topic. You are on page 2 of 2.
#51 14 days ago
Quoted from ronaldvg:

I also decided to make my own set (which I do not use by the way as I find it either floods the insert lights or dialed down it does nothing for the center playfield) and I used exactly the same system as pinstadium. I used the RGBW strips, RGBW controller, plastic corner profiles and magnetic adhesive tape strips. Also the controllers can be controlled by mobile phone, essentially the same as Pinstadium. I used two relays that turn the strips on/off one for the RGBW ledstrip and one for the flasher ledstrip and the relays connect to the game and turn on an external powersupply.
All in all it was about 65 dollar in parts, but what you have to know it that it takes a lot of time to make these. I think I would be asking around the same as Pinstadium does when I would have to make money on them and I know that the quality of assembly gets better the more you make them.
The ones that Pinstadium makes are as easy to install as you can get them and making that yourself can be a lengthy job or even frustrating. Keep in mind that making these for yourself is not the same as making them for others. You have to provide service, give help installing them for newbies etc. etc. Pinstadium cannot do that for free.
Also if you make them yourself, you do not get such a neat all-in-one solution as the Pinstadium has. It is more like a bunch of different parts that you need to get installed neatly in the cabinet without it catching on something when you raise the playfield.

Certainly if you are the type who would rather pay more for a polished, ready to install, supported product by all means get the official Pinstadium lights.

...but this is the Poor Man’s stadium lights thread, for those us who relish the chance to custom build a similar solution for a fraction of the dollar cost of the retail product.

Would you mind sharing your parts list and details of how you put it together?

Sometimes it’s the journey AND the destination.

#52 14 days ago

This is interesting to watch.

#53 14 days ago
Quoted from ronaldvg:

I also decided to make my own set (which I do not use by the way as I find it either floods the insert lights or dialed down it does nothing for the center playfield) and I used exactly the same system as pinstadium. I used the RGBW strips, RGBW controller, plastic corner profiles and magnetic adhesive tape strips. Also the controllers can be controlled by mobile phone, essentially the same as Pinstadium. I used two relays that turn the strips on/off one for the RGBW ledstrip and one for the flasher ledstrip and the relays connect to the game and turn on an external powersupply.

I think the Pinstadium lights are awesome but at over $300 NZD delivered just not viable. I would love to build something similar so would also appreciate a parts list and how you put it together!

#54 14 days ago

@bioba sells dedicated pinball 6.3v led strips by the metre - cheap here in Aust. I doubt postage to US would be much more than a letter. He’s on eBay Aust as well as babak1960 https://ebay.com.au/usr/babak1960

#55 14 days ago

Comet 20" strips are 6.3V, and are plug and play in minutes to a GI Bulb, along with separate brightness control, that can also be "Zoned", ie brighter in the back, controlled to your exactness, in the middle or flipper area.....up to 3 zones on the side, along back, or Apron, if needed.
Mounting tracks on Ebay.

Around $50 for 4-20" strips, white or warm white, plug and play bulb taps, or clips, along with brightness.
Of course you can mix whites and color.

#56 14 days ago
Quoted from OLDPINGUY:

Comet 20" strips are 6.3V, and are plug and play in minutes to a GI Bulb, along with separate brightness control, that can also be "Zoned", ie brighter in the back, controlled to your exactness, in the middle or flipper area.....up to 3 zones on the side, along back, or Apron, if needed.
Mounting tracks on Ebay.
Around $50 for 4-20" strips, white or warm white, plug and play bulb taps, or clips, along with brightness.
Of course you can mix whites and color.

Art, how many LEDs or strips on the GI line can you add without taxing the system.

#57 14 days ago

I believe most games have 3 GI strands?

I was able to add 2-20" on either side and one in the back, splitting those 5 pieces on the 3 lines.

As each game is different, along with whether incandescent is still used, plus any mods, its hard to say 100% no issues on any
possible combination.
Im venturing to say if its too much draw, a fuse will blow. Correct?

I put a bunch on shadow, 20" back white, 10" Purple over battle, 2 - 7" strips on Apron, and 2-20" down each side.

But that could fail at this time, as I changed to All Op-Max in GI,
(1 Watt each) because I dont play in pitch darkness, and enjoy some shadows.

For me personally, each game is lit differently, but I have all ambient lighting on dimmer.

Iron Man needs no added lighting, for me.

I think it depends on the look one wants.

Pitch Dark, a fully even, fully lit playfield...12V is needed.

#59 13 days ago
Quoted from ronaldvg:

I was reacting on the "thievery" remark. That is just not true.
Parts I used:
ebay.com link » Dc12 24v Wireless Bluetooth Rgbw Led Strip Light Controller For Android Ios
ebay.com link » 1 Roll 5m Waterproof 12v Led Strip Light 5050 Rgb Rgbw Rgbww Pink Ice Blue Red
ebay.com link » 1m 2m Self Adhesive Flexible Magnetic Roll Tape Magnet Strip For Fridge Magnets
ebay.com link » Dc12v 3528 5050 Uv Ultraviolet Purple Waterproof 60led M Strip Lamp Black Light
ebay.com link » 5v 2 Channel Relay Module With Optocoupler Support High And Low Level Trigger
ebay.com link » 12v 10a Ac Dc Psu Regulated Switching Power Supply 120w High Quality Gfh 65 Tr
The plastic corner profiles came from some kind of Home Depot and they were about 5 dollar for 3 meters.
Buying the ledstrips per 5 meter would give enough ledstrip for 2 complete sets.

Awesome! Thanks a bunch.

EDIT: Can you explain how you wired the " Details about 5V 2 Channel Relay Module With Optocoupler Support High and Low Level Trigger" ? I assume this was to allow the stadium lights to turn off when the GI does?

I also decided to make my own set (which I do not use by the way as I find it either floods the insert lights or dialed down it does nothing for the center playfield) and I used exactly the same system as pinstadium.

It does seem like this type of lighting might not be suitable or necessary for every game. What game were you working with?

#60 13 days ago

I designed a small board that will house a relay which you wire your 12v supply, GI power and 2 LED strips which will control the stadium lights when the GI operates. If there's enough interest I might throw some kits together for people. I won't assemble them. I think they should be around $25 shipped domestically.

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#61 13 days ago
Quoted from Fytr:

What game were you working with?

I was trying it on a WoZ. On the left a WoZ standard without the lights, on the right an LE with the lights so they cover the center very well. As I said, you can turn them down easily, but the middle gets dark first, so that defeats the purpose...

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#62 13 days ago
Quoted from ronaldvg:

I was trying it on a WoZ. On the left a WoZ standard without the lights, on the right an LE with the lights so they cover the center very well. As I said, you can turn them down easily, but the middle gets dark first, so that defeats the purpose...

WOZ is a widebody game to I can see where that might be more of an issue vs. a regular width, though certainly the sides will always be lit brighter than the center of the PF.

Can you explain how you wired up the "5V 2 Channel Relay Module With Optocoupler Support" ? I assume this was to allow the stadium lights to turn off when the GI does?

#63 13 days ago
Quoted from Fytr:

I assume this was to allow the stadium lights to turn off when the GI does?

Yes that is true. When you look at the Relay module, there is a 12V+ (here goes the 12V of the PSU), a GND (here goes the GND of the PSU) and 2 x IN available (this is where I connected the cables to the playfield, one for the RGBW ledstrip and one for the flasher ledstrip). You also need to take two cables from the GND to the playfield.

On the other side of the module there are 2 x 3 connections. There you take the common and the NO and this acts as a switch so I just looped my gnd wire from the ledstrip through those. As soon as flasher goes of (or the GI comes on) , the switch closes and power is sent to the ledstrip. I also put the controller between the ledstrip and the relay so I could change the brightness and color.

It is a bit much to describe really, but maybe just look up on the net how to wire a led controller to a PSU and then just let the common wire from the ledstrip go through the common/no on the relay.

edit: Oh by the way, the picture in my previous post was taken in a completely dark room without any lights on. This is just one photo, the machines were next to eachother so the same camera settings.

edit 2: If I would have liked the result, I think I would have bought the Pinstadiums. It is a lot of work and you can damage your machine while trying. Maybe for a more narrow machine I will, but did not test that as I do not have a machine that needs it right now. For the WoZ, a light above is better all around in my opinion.

#64 8 days ago

As an alternative you can try these LED Channel strips. They are built for mounting LED's and will give a 45 degree angle onto the playfield and you have the option to use the diffuser cover to spread out and tame the lights.

amazon.com link »

#65 8 days ago
Quoted from focusmediagroup:

As an alternative you can try these LED Channel strips. They are built for mounting LED's and will give a 45 degree angle onto the playfield and you have the option to use the diffuser cover to spread out and tame the lights.
amazon.com link »

Very cool!

I saw what looks to be the same thing but 6 for $20 USD on Amazon US:
Muzata 6PACK 1M/3.3ft V-Shape LED Aluminum Channel System with PC Cover, Complete Mounting Accessories,Suit For 3528, 5050 & 5630 Strip Lights Installation
amazon.com link »

I'm ordering some to try out.

#66 8 days ago

There are 12V micro strips, that the diodes actually project 45 degree lighting.

Im thrilled with the results!

One can see if Comet has gotten them in, as they are 6.3V!! Right into GI.

I had shared them with Stern.

#67 8 days ago

I was thinking 45 degree would be perfect. Looking forward to see this.

1 week later
#68 1 day ago

Turns out my ramp optic fiber clips can also hold a piece of plastic hobby angle against a ramp. Comet strips then stick straight on.
I only have red and blue Comet strips at the moment so I hooked them into my controlled red and blue strings, but I'm getting some white ones and simply plug them into the nearest spotlight!

This is just a quick first hook up. I haven't even tried to hide or tidy up the wires.

Video at the bottom. I have only done the left side, so you can compare.

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