Poor man's Stadium lighting

(Topic ID: 206424)

Poor man's Stadium lighting


By Fytr

9 months ago



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  • 387 posts
  • 91 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 days ago by Phantasize
  • Topic is favorited by 175 Pinsiders

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There are 387 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 8.
#51 9 months 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 9 months ago

This is interesting to watch.

#53 9 months 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 9 months 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 9 months 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 9 months 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 9 months 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 9 months 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?

11
#60 9 months 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 9 months 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 9 months 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 9 months 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 9 months 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 9 months 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 9 months 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 9 months ago

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

1 week later
#68 9 months 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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#69 9 months ago

First prototype relay boards assembled.

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#70 8 months ago
Quoted from fattdirk:

First prototype relay boards assembled.

OMG - I want one - please keep us all in the loop.

#71 8 months ago

why are the relays so large? How many amps can they handle? Whats the difference between these boards and the ~$2 Chinese boards that were brought up earlier?

#72 8 months ago

Must just be me but I don't like the black strips on the edges of the glass as they narrow the perspective of the game.

#73 8 months ago
Quoted from Shapeshifter:

Must just be me but I don't like the black strips on the edges of the glass as they narrow the perspective of the game.

Have you played an actual game with these one, or just going from the photos?

On my Medusa I literally don't even notice the bars, just the amazing playfield.

#74 8 months ago
Quoted from Langless28:

why are the relays so large? How many amps can they handle? Whats the difference between these boards and the ~$2 Chinese boards that were brought up earlier?

This is just a proof of concept design. The relays are the only ones that were in stock that operated on 6v and can be triggered directly from the GI strings. I'm actually working on a design that will be cheaper that will be fully solid state vs a relay. I put these together just to see what it would look like triggering off the GI for the stadium lights. This also allows you to use an external 12V power supply so you're not adding any additional load to your machine's power supply. Those relays are actually 8 bucks a piece so this design isn't cost effective at all. Also the relay noise might be annoying AF. I haven't had a chance to wire one up yet though. Stay tuned.

BTW they can handle 10Amps lol.

#75 8 months ago

Ryan has shared that he created a link for a product you guys must try out!

http://www.cometpinball.com/product-p/50smd6.3vstrip45nw.htm

Its a 20" Strip of 45 degree Lighting at 6.3V. To my knowledge it exists no where else, and was one of the last projects
I was working on.

Its a micro strip, very narrow, with 50 SMD. A comfortable row of lights facing forward, but brilliant light facing down.
Fits to Matrix, and a Matrix bulb, so you can control its brightness in a second, and attach to GI for game affects, or to an insert
for special lighting.

I added my test version to an NBA fastbreak to different inserts and was blown away!

They can be added down the side of a game, and attached to playfield, so there is no need to remove, etc when lifting the playfield.

Im excited to see these available!

#76 8 months ago
Quoted from OLDPINGUY:

Ryan has shared that he created a link for a product you guys must try out!
http://www.cometpinball.com/product-p/50smd6.3vstrip45nw.htm
Its a 20" Strip of 45 degree Lighting at 6.3V. To my knowledge it exists no where else, and was one of the last projects
I was working on.

Very nice, I will have to try them out. I just wish there was a list of the parts I need to order. These strips and what else
to connect them to the PF? My main purpose is the get the PF lighted, but I do not mind if they conform to effects as well!

#77 8 months ago

To connect to GI, you can solder, use alligator clips, or a plug and play matrix bulb.
Any length of wire, if needed, brightness screw if needed.

Theres info on the site....its hard to say what you yourself need, as each game, and placement, along with trigger info is unique.
Not hard to configure at all....

#78 8 months ago
Quoted from OLDPINGUY:

Ryan has shared that he created a link for a product you guys must try out!
http://www.cometpinball.com/product-p/50smd6.3vstrip45nw.htm
Its a 20" Strip of 45 degree Lighting at 6.3V. To my knowledge it exists no where else, and was one of the last projects
I was working on.
Its a micro strip, very narrow, with 50 SMD. A comfortable row of lights facing forward, but brilliant light facing down.
Fits to Matrix, and a Matrix bulb, so you can control its brightness in a second, and attach to GI for game affects, or to an insert
for special lighting.
I added my test version to an NBA fastbreak to different inserts and was blown away!
They can be added down the side of a game, and attached to playfield, so there is no need to remove, etc when lifting the playfield.
Im excited to see these available!

Sure be nice if they were longer than 20".

#79 8 months ago
Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

Sure be nice if they were longer than 20".

That would hopefully next....worth an email to help move it along.
I started that 3 years ago, but would be no issue.
In the meantime, if one wanted a full length, to a degree, two strips on either side can be connected for 40"

Ryan has a limited batch...the initial test run in stock.

#80 8 months ago

I think the issue with the 45 degree is both could not be connected at the rear of the field and you'd end up with a visible wire at the front otherwise one way points 45 degrees down and other 45 degrees up..... Unless they made a left and right side model

#81 8 months ago
Quoted from nikpinball:

I think the issue with the 45 degree is both could not be connected at the rear of the field and you'd end up with a visible wire at the front otherwise one way points 45 degrees down and other 45 degrees up..... Unless they made a left and right side model

Ah, ok, they don't work for me then.

#82 8 months ago
Quoted from OLDPINGUY:

That would hopefully next....worth an email to help move it along.
I started that 3 years ago, but would be no issue.
In the meantime, if one wanted a full length, to a degree, two strips on either side can be connected for 40"
Ryan has a limited batch...the initial test run in stock.

I have a strip on the backboard of my WCS. They look cool. I would make sure you have clearance to lift the playfield if running these along the sides of the game. The diffuser makes them stick out a bit.

#83 8 months ago
Quoted from nikpinball:

I think the issue with the 45 degree is both could not be connected at the rear of the field and you'd end up with a visible wire at the front otherwise one way points 45 degrees down and other 45 degrees up..... Unless they made a left and right side model

Good point until longer strips are made.

A solution would be one connection to GI by the Apron, and then the other side powered by the rear.

Ultimately, these are the first run, and feedback will move it along, if people enjoy.

#84 8 months ago

I * finally* made a kit for my Dialed In using a pinduino. Thanks to Tres for doing the first one with the pinduio. Source is available (open source): https://github.com/elyons/professor_pinball_pinduino_sketches/tree/master/Dialed-In_Side-Lights

If three people are interested, I'll write up a DIY for how this is done. Just quote this and say "Please do".

#85 8 months ago
Quoted from Shapeshifter:

Must just be me but I don't like the black strips on the edges of the glass as they narrow the perspective of the game.

Quoted from Fytr:

Have you played an actual game with these one, or just going from the photos?
On my Medusa I literally don't even notice the bars, just the amazing playfield.

If you don’t have side art blades or mirror blades, then I agree that Pinstadium doesn’t affect the view of the playfield and actually enhances it tremendously. But, imho, once you add side art or mirror blades I can’t help but not like how it blocks much of the view of those blades. I’m saying this having seen them in person and not just in pics.

#86 8 months ago
Quoted from lyonsden:

I * finally* made a kit for my Dialed In using a pinduino. Thanks to Tres for doing the first one with the pinduio. Source is available (open source): https://github.com/elyons/professor_pinball_pinduino_sketches/tree/master/Dialed-In_Side-Lights
» YouTube video
If three people are interested, I'll write up a DIY for how this is done. Just quote this and say "Please do".

I’d love a writeup on this, but probably needs a thread of its own (linked to from this one).

#87 8 months ago
Quoted from Fytr:

I’d love a writeup on this, but probably needs a thread of its own (linked to from this one).

Thanks Fytr. Two more and I'll do a write up like this: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/diy-guide-to-adding-backbox-lights-to-dialed-in

#88 8 months ago
#89 8 months ago
Quoted from lyonsden:

If three people are interested, I'll write up a DIY for how this is done. Just quote this and say "Please do".

Please do!

#90 8 months ago

Oh yeah, dumb it down so we all can understand.

#91 8 months ago

Thanks grumpy and nepi23. That makes three. I'll get to work. These take a good amount of time make, so it is good to know that there are people who are interested.

#92 8 months ago
Quoted from nikpinball:

I think the issue with the 45 degree is both could not be connected at the rear of the field and you'd end up with a visible wire at the front otherwise one way points 45 degrees down and other 45 degrees up..... Unless they made a left and right side model

Can't the wires be hooked up to either end of the strip?

#93 8 months ago

Only one lead in at this time,

#94 8 months ago

Step-by-step DIY instructions for side lighting is now up: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/diy-cabinet-side-aka-stadium-lighting. This will work for any type of LEDs.

#95 8 months ago

I just made mine. Pretty simple. Bought the angle aluminum piece mentioned in diy thread above. I cut in two foot sections so I could do two games with one piece. Bought the comet 50 smd strips and adjuster. I would say you don't need the adjuster as I run mine at full blast and I didn't need the extra length of matrix wire. I just used the alligator clips that came with the lights to tie into the gi. Not super bright but dies the job and im happy for a $40 investment.

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#96 8 months ago

I just wish there was a process of figuring out a switch mechanism that is not a permanent but shuts off the feed from the service outlet so we can use 12 volt LED strip. That is why I like the relay - it would provide the trigger to shut off LED when you switch power off to the game. I know it would not trigger lighting effects but provide the playfield light from the LED strip. I can do all the soldering the angle on the light strip etc. But, I want the lights to go off when I switch the machine off.

I think that is the kit that needs to be made for all games for all 12 volt mods - basically a 12 volt power supply, a relay for switching, and molex pins for a number of mods that all shut off when the game power switch is triggered off. I guess I am not smart enough to figure it out or I have not put any time towrds it because seems like that would be easy.

#97 8 months ago

I'd hate to steer someone away from buying Comet products, but the 45 degree strips that Art linked to above are not comparable to the amount of light given off by Pinstadium. If you attach them along the sides of a machine, they illuminate the first few inches pretty well, however IMO, the light drops off dramatically after that. I'm not sure this product is ready to be widely publicized.

Would love some private feedback from anyone who purchases them. I think people will find some creative uses.

#98 8 months ago
Quoted from wamonkey:

I just wish there was a process of figuring out a switch mechanism that is not a permanent but shuts off the feed from the service outlet so we can use 12 volt LED strip.

This is not a very hard modification to do and can be reversed. You have a diverse collection and each would be a little bit different, but similar.

#99 8 months ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

This is not a very hard modification to do and can be reversed. You have a diverse collection and each would be a little bit different, but similar.

I have not put time into a solution I want to have something I could move to a different machine if I sell part of my collection.

I just think the solution I want should be somehwat standard....maybe clips to the trigger the lights from the GI.

#100 8 months ago
Quoted from lyonsden:

I * finally* made a kit for my Dialed In using a pinduino. Thanks to Tres for doing the first one with the pinduio. Source is available (open source): https://github.com/elyons/professor_pinball_pinduino_sketches/tree/master/Dialed-In_Side-Lights
» YouTube video
If three people are interested, I'll write up a DIY for how this is done. Just quote this and say "Please do".

Please do

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