(Topic ID: 3097)

Protect your investment, go with LED's


By wesperron

8 years ago



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  • 41 posts
  • 27 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 years ago by shock_me
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    #1 8 years ago

    I've read the pros and cons of Led's and I just can't understand why someone would restore a playfield back to it's original glory only to put bulbs back in it to burn it up again.

    Just 5 years of hot bulbs can deform playfield inserts. I'm sure we've all seen the results of bulbs on inserts. I feel if you want to protect your investment you should go with led's.

    And they make an old machine look brand new! Just make sure you use frosted bulbs where visable because they are bright.

    I install only half the led's in my backbox compared to bulbs. They are brighter so I use less to keep the back box from being to bright and hot. Less bulbs means less heat and less heat means less resistance and that means your electronics will last longer. Burnt GI connectors are also a thing of the past if you install LEd's.

    They do cost more than bulbs but they burn out alot less. It's worth the investment to protect your Investment.

    What do you think?

    #2 8 years ago

    I love the LED's on most machines especially the older SS machines. I have yet to play with the Cointaker superbrights. Are they as good as they claim or are they too bright?

    #3 8 years ago

    I love Superbrights for backbox and inserts. They were bright at first but I quickly got used to them and now think all others look dim.

    #4 8 years ago

    Are there LEDs of differing brightness?

    The reason I ask is that I have played a couple of games that have been over-bright. they were a CV and creature at a show and not just my opinion.

    #5 8 years ago

    I have leds in all my pins except one. There are many choices as far as brightness. I superbrights in inserts on TZ and am going to change to frosted next time I raise playfield.

    #6 8 years ago

    Talked to a few people who have been in the business for decades and consensus is that having bulbs for home use only is not a problem. Big difference if pin is out on a site. I think though that putting LED's where you can, is a good idea. I also put some in the backbox and combine with the bulbs.

    LED's are harsh and bright - they all seem to be. I put them in my AFM playfield but they hurt my eyes so I combined bulbs and LED's. For me a combination makes most sense, less resistance but not too bright. Also I prefer the softer lighting look. Some pins that have 100% LED's look awful, but that is just my opinion.

    #7 8 years ago

    LED's are harsh and bright - they all seem to be.

    You should try some of the frosted LED's....To me they almost look like regular bulbs.

    #8 8 years ago

    Some pins that have 100% LED's look awful, but that is just my opinion.

    I've yet to see a pin that didn't look better with led's...I would like to see one that didn't so I could see why.

    #9 8 years ago

    It depends on what you like. I have one game completely converted, many others I have LED's in certain spots that I think look good. As far as protecting your investment, you can do that without LED's.

    #10 8 years ago

    I don't like LEDs for the most part (flickering, strobing, ghosting, and cold color temperatures are the main reasons) and if a pin isn't on for hours a day everyday, its probably going to make little to no difference in most cases. I did put red LEDs in the matrix of my DW though—got sick of pulling the subway ramp every time I needed to replace a bulb.

    #11 8 years ago

    I love the look of LED's, but I put them in my LOTR and ended up taking most of them out 'cause they ghosted so bad.

    #12 8 years ago

    In alot of games they turn on/off to fast as well. It ruins the light show, and looks like the machine is on hyper speed or something.

    I do like LED's though, but I use them sparingly...I have them in my FT & BSD, but I didn't do a FULL conversion.

    They also are great for the backglass, really changes the look and reduces heat...LED flashers are blinding and awesome as well...

    #13 8 years ago

    I don't like full conversion. And you have to try different LEDs to find the perfect combination.

    #14 8 years ago

    ... you have to try different LEDs to find the perfect combination.

    This is the key. You can't just stick any LED anywhere and think it will look good. It takes a lot of experimenting to get it just right. And sometimes, a good old fashioned bulb simply looks better. For the most part, though, I greatly prefer the look of LEDs. I had been reluctant to convert the GI on my Swords of Fury to LEDs. I finally did it recently, and I think it looks fantastic. The purists will argue that it looks totally different than it's supposed to. Well you know what, I could care less what it's supposed to look like. To me it looks better, and that's all that matters.

    If you read some of the LED threads over on RGP, some people are adamant about their hatred of LEDs. They refuse to accept that others may have a differing opinion, and they actually get mad at people who like them. I don't understand this attitude. I say to each his own. I really like LEDs, and I will continue to put them in my machines. Here are some photos of my SoF with full LED conversion:

    SoF_#1.jpg SoF_#2.JPG

    #15 8 years ago

    I love the look of LED's, but I put them in my LOTR and ended up taking most of them out 'cause they ghosted so bad.

    Is that a known problem on Stern games of that era or just the particular LEDs you tried?

    I'm experimenting with LEDs but definitely do not prefer full conversions because of strobing.

    #16 8 years ago

    That's the beauty about owning a pin each can mod it as they like. I was one that thought I would never switch to LEDs then I saw a few at a show and put in almost 100% LEDs in a TOTAN and it looked awesome. Everyone that saw it was wowed by how good it looked after converting to LEDs. Not to mention those machines run pretty hot sometimes burning the board so the transition did make it run a lot cooler. The guy I traded it with sent me an email a few days after getting it about how much he loved it with the LEDs. I have had no issues with ghosting myself thankfully.

    #17 8 years ago

    Now is it some pins don't ghost? My getaway has bcspinball LEDs and ghosts like crazy in some spots. My JM has cointakers LEDs and there is absolutely no ghosting anywhere. Cointakers superbrights look so good compared to bcs's frosted in my opinion.

    #18 8 years ago

    There are some LEDs to aboid ghosting at pinballlife. Not sure if cointaker has that type.

    #19 8 years ago

    I do agree about ghosting but I don't find it a big issue I just change that led to a bulb. On average it's about 2 or 3 bulbs on a machine.

    I found this discussion very interesting and it proves that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    #20 8 years ago

    I've read the pros and cons of Led's and I just can't understand why someone would restore a playfield back to it's original glory only to put bulbs back in it to burn it up again.

    Just 5 years of hot bulbs can deform playfield inserts. I'm sure we've all seen the results of bulbs on inserts. I feel if you want to protect your investment you should go with led's.

    Wes, you gotta remember that a lot of this is due to these pins being constantly on. While I've seen my fair share of lifting a sunken inserts; I noticed it more in the plastics.

    I'm not a hater of Led's but they do have their place. There is certain colors I love, green for example.... But, honestly, I'm still not a fan of yellow and red. I think when people just go all out LED - a little too much.... I'll use that Robocop from MGC for an example. While it did look cool in the GI and the backbox, there was some parts you couldn't even see the playfield. The outlanes were a perfect example!

    There is some pins I think they are perfect for Leds because of their color motiff.... I saw a Godzilla which has A LOT of green and a T2 which has ALOT of blue hue. Perfect! I then saw a Cyclone which is mostly a yellow hue - didn't work for me!

    I generally use 47's where the plastics are tight to the bulb and ALL backbox lights, especially for glass art.....

    What I'm saying, you're really not hurting anything if you're pin is homeuse. Different story if on location or en route....

    What it comes down to, it's your pin, do what you want!

    #21 8 years ago

    Do any of the newer pins really ghost that bad? I have yet to see/play a really bad example of one. Maybe just the older LED's from even 5-7 years ago. The newest LED's seem to blow away the older sets. It looks like the light on those new Superbrights distributes evenly without the need to frost them anymore. But it could just be that my eyes are bad..

    #22 8 years ago

    There are some LEDs to aboid ghosting at pinballlife. Not sure if cointaker has that type.

    The Ghost Buster LEDs that Pinball Life sells really do work great. Cointaker doesn't currently sell a non-ghosting LED, but I was talking with Chris the other day, and he says they are coming. What I would really like to see is a flexible non-ghosting LED.

    #23 8 years ago

    I agree about the yellow. I tried several times with super bright and ultra yellows to light up the yellow ramps on RS and I didn't like the color. So I just went with white.

    #24 8 years ago

    Speaking of LED's by the way... I just got my new TRON toppers! Yeah it is early but that just gives me time to mod them with some EL-wire/brighter LED's (because the stock LED's are CRAP!). But what do you expect from a kid's toy anyway.. Oh yeah I got the evil Flynn (Clu) also. The motif will be the two lightcycles heading towards the disc!

    images-1.jpeg images.jpeg

    #25 8 years ago

    Now is it some pins don't ghost?

    Yes. Some pins are much worse than others. For example, my TZ, SoF and Tommy have almost no problems with ghosting, but my STTNG is absolutely horrible.

    #26 8 years ago

    I love the look of the led's I put in T2 and Shadow. No ghosting. However, WH2O has a ghosting issue with a bunch of GI's. The LH5 ROM blanks the lights after ball drain to tally the scores and bonuses. Also tried some colored LED's under the mountains and boulders and they are too dim. They are the standard LED's , with brights under the pop bumpers. Had to go back to standard bulbs in these and other areas.

    #27 8 years ago

    Strange. I had no problem at all with ghosting on my WW.

    #28 8 years ago

    Strange. I had no problem at all with ghosting on my WW.

    Do you have the LH5 rom? The old rom I had did not have ghosting.

    1 month later
    #29 8 years ago

    Guys, am I correct in assuming the nature of an LED will not allow in play dimming to occur? The LED is either on or off.

    #30 8 years ago

    I went full LED on my FT. The ghosting is pretty bad, but otherwise it looks great. Also tried full LED on DW, but the GI just did not look right so I put bulbs back in. I see cointaker has a new "retro" style 44/47 LED now. I wonder if that would look more natural for GI?

    #31 8 years ago

    LEDs will dim, but they flicker, or strobe, when dimmed.

    #32 8 years ago

    I'm going to be working a compilation of LED information, and just got done posting a lot more stuff on my website about them. As time and money permit, I'm going to hopefully do measurements of amperage draw and light output for as many LED's as I can find. Rip them apart as needed to see the guts too.

    The one thing that surprised me, and I'm a big proponent of LED's, is just how fast I saw my backbox and backglass heat up when I ran a time/temp test on my Black Knight with the incandescents. At only the 45 minute mark it was already nearing 120 degrees in the backbox, and the backglass was close to 100.

    I put it up on my website, at www.siegecraft.us in two places. On the main page is a link to where I'm going to be coordinating all the LED information. In my Black Knight page I have another section about the LED swap I did there.

    #33 8 years ago
    Quoted from HHaase:

    The one thing that surprised me, and I'm a big proponent of LED's, is just how fast I saw my backbox and backglass heat up when I ran a time/temp test on my Black Knight with the incandescents.

    People who are in the anti-LED camp will often use the argument that heat isn't an issue in a home environment. Your findings clearly show otherwise.

    #34 8 years ago

    HHaase, that is priceless information, thank you. I have found the arguement of heat hard to wrap my head around. Even if the Pin is in a "home" setting how often is the game on less than an hour? Usually if you play the Pin it is going to stay on for a while right? When I remove old bulbs to replace them with LEDs I do it with the machine on (can be a dumb move but so far I haven't blown anything up) I guess because I like to see the difference right away. Well, my point is there has been times when I had to turn the Pin off to finish the job because the bulbs had gotten so darn hot they start to burn the ends of my fingers. With an LED you can leave the machine on for days and they remain cool to the touch...huh, my research is over.

    #35 8 years ago
    Quoted from jwwhite15:

    my research is over.

    Pretty much sums it up...
    No one company is a one stop shop- so far...
    I am very happy with my LOTR setup with a myriad of different bulbs from different companies.
    Hopefully in the future the supposed "kits" will be more thought out.
    I think I changed 60% of their "Superbright" kit...
    Oh well,
    Now that I know what to expect I will purchase smarter in the future...

    #36 8 years ago

    HHaase, great stuff. I just bought a new BH backglass because when I bought mine, the mirroring had completely flaked off and bubbled all over the place. It looks like it happened from heat, and probably sunlight.

    The new backglass looks great, and I'm already working on changing out the blubs with LEDs. It's already starting to look better, and now I just have to get that string in the backbox frame flashing. It would be pointless to leave incandescent bulbs in there.

    Aren't they working on some ban as well? Hmmmmmm

    #37 8 years ago

    Just imagine how hot the electronics get behind the backbox!!! 120 degrees! Plus the heat from the electronics.

    I just don't think you can compare led's to bulbs...it's like, well....Apples and oranges.

    #38 8 years ago
    Quoted from VT8man:

    Aren't they working on some ban as well? Hmmmmmm

    Probably because I worked midnights all weekend, and my brain just aint at 100%, but this went right past me

    I've got a lux meter on order too, to get some actual numbers on how bright a given bulb is.

    -Hans

    #39 8 years ago

    Put LED's in my Rock Encore and it changed the whole look of the game - 100% better. If you're a fan of Cointaker's LED's ask Black Rose about them, he's tried and has on hand about every type of LED Cointaker produces. Lord knows how many pin titles he's pimped with LED's.....

    #40 8 years ago

    I would use LED 99% of the time for back box use as it really does help with keeping the heat down but when it comes to the playfield i personally think some games look stunning and some games not so good...somehow takes away that classic warm light glow that some themed games need.

    #41 8 years ago
    Quoted from dangermouse007:

    somehow takes away that classic warm light glow that some themed games need.

    +1.

    I really like how leds make certain games pop, but I still think it is too much on a lot of games to go full out led. A lot of System 11s look great with leds in the playfield inserts. I have a few leds placed here and there on some of my games, but I still prefer the warmer look of incandescent light on most games.

    My 0.02

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