(Topic ID: 925)

Replacement Lamps or LED's

By HK-Steve

9 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 44 posts
  • 22 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by RobKnapp
  • Topic is favorited by 8 Pinsiders
  • Topic is sticky in its sub-forum


Linked Games

Topic Gallery

There have been 3 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).


#1 9 years ago

Hi All,
I have had a few lamp blow over the last week, have now run out of spares.
About to order some, but can see that I can buy Led's as well.

The Pin is an Indiana Jones 2008.

Are the Led's as bright as the incandescent lamps? Yes they last longer,
but I don't want to change the look of the game, bright flashing lights "make" any pin.

I am talking about the #44 lamps and #555 lamps.

Appreciate any comments

#1 9 years ago

It depends on the look you are after. LED's are much brighter and "crisp" than regular lamps. I'd buy what you need in the #44 and #555 lamps and purchase a small assortment of LED lamps to experiment with.

My pinballs tend to be older (commonly known as POS) machines. So I like them better with the old style bulbs as it makes them just seem more authentic. I might put some LED's though in my Street Fighter II. Especially the ones that require you to have triple jointed fingers to replace.

#1 9 years ago

I personally think LED's are too bright and crisp for older machines, but for a newer one they look great. I have used LED lights in only a couple of spots on my older machines. I usually leave the general illumanition regular bulbs. with just the feature lights LED's. I think this keeps the overall look of the pin original.

#1 9 years ago

Thanks to you both for your comments,
I will do as suggested, buy a few, see how they look.

I see that there are 1x Led and 3x Led #44 lamps.
What experience do you have with either??

I expect the 3x Led lamps are super bright.
The 1x Led lamps are about the same as incandescent lamps. Correct??

Appreciate your replies

#1 9 years ago

I put LEDS in my EM but I don't like them in newer machines

#1 9 years ago

Backbox GI:
1. Frosted 44/555 - Single LED's - I typically use frosted tip single LED's for the backbox GI. The frosted tips tend to diffuse the light fairly well and they aren't overpowering behind the translite. Typically you have a choice between cool white and warm white for the bulb color. Cool white seems to look the best when the colors being illuminated are primarily blue, green, purple, white, black, and gray. Warm white seems to look the best when the colors being illuminated are yellow, orange, and red. In some situations you can use colored LED's to emphasize specific areas of the translite. For example, you could use colored LED's behind a pair of eyes on the translite to make them stand out or glow a different color. You can also use color changing LED's in certain situations, but it really depends on the effect you want to achieve.

2. 3-LED 44/555 (Pinball Life) - I've used the white 3-LED bulbs from Pinball Life on a few occasions and they work fairly well. They can sometimes be overpowering though, and in some cases they will create white circles of light behind the translite because they are so bright.

Playfield GI:
Frosted 44/555 - Single LED's or 3-LED 44/555 bulbs - Both bulb types work well in the playfield GI and it usually comes down to preference. The 3-LED bulbs can sometimes be too bright in certain areas where the bulb is visibly exposed. I've experimented with several different combinations and the one that works the best (in my opinion) is single LED frosted tip bulbs under the slings and ball return guides, as well as any other area where the bulb is visible to the eye. I then use 3 LED bulbs or single LED bulbs in the other GI areas. The single bulbs work well in most cases, but sometimes the 3 LED bulbs provide a little more brightness under dark plastics or in larger spaces with only a few GI bulbs to light the area. Cool white seems to look the best when the playfield and plastic colors being illuminated are primarily blue, green, purple, white, black, and gray. Warm white seems to look the best when the colors being illuminated are yellow, orange, and red.

Playfield Spotlights:
1. 5 Matrix 555/44 bulbs - Normal 44 or 555 bulbs don't work well at all in spot lights because the light from the bulb shoots straight ahead. 5 matrix bulbs have a single LED that shoots straight ahead and then 4 LED's on each side of the bulb that shoot light out the sides. The light that shoots out the sides is collected by the reflective spotlight cone and is directed toward the target like a normal incandescent bulb would do inside the spotlight.

2. Wide angle LED's (30 degree or greater) - 5 Matrix bulbs can be a little pricey, so a solid substitute is to use a wide angle 44/555 LED (30 degrees or greater). The single LED wide angle bulbs do not generate as much light as the 5 matrix bulbs, but they work well in certain situations where you don't necessarily need to create a lot of light and only need to throw some color on an object.

Playfield Inserts:
Inserts can vary by size, shape, and color. The angle of the lamp socket under each insert can also vary quite a bit. Sometimes the bulb will be angled directly at the insert and sometimes they are parallel to the insert. The type of LED to use really varies by the combination of these factors and what will deliver the best result. So, I've listed the most common combinations below with recommendations for each one.

Clear White/Yellow inserts - Lamp angle is directed at the insert (not parallel):
White 44/555 Single LED Frosted Tip Bulbs - Clear white and yellow inserts can shine very intensely if a 3 LED bulb is used. The brightness isn't bad if there are only a couple clear white or yellow inserts, but the intensity and brightness can be very overwhelming if the playfield has a lot of these inserts and 3 LED bulbs are used. Single white frosted tip bulbs work a lot better in my opinion because they deliver good brightness but do not shine too bright to overpower the insert and blind the player.

Milky White or Milky Yellow inserts - Lamp angle is directed at the insert (not parallel):
White 44/555 3-LED or Single-LED frosted tip - If the insert is milky (not clear), then a 3 LED bulb or single LED bulb can be used. The haziness of the insert will help control the brightness from a 3-LED bulb so you can use either type. I typically use 3 LED bulbs for the larger inserts and single LED bulbs for the smaller inserts.

Red/Green/Blue/Purple/Orange inserts - Lamp angle is directed at the insert (not parallel):
White or Color matched 44/555 3-LED or Single-LED frosted tip - You can use white bulbs under the colored inserts and get good results, but color matching the LED to the insert will give a deeper color and better effect. Using all white is easier and makes ordering a lot more simple, but color matching does look nice. I typically use 3 LED bulbs for the larger inserts and single LED bulbs for the smaller inserts.

All inserts where the lamp angle is parallel to the insert:
Wide angle LED (Concave Lens) 44/555 or 5 Matrix LED - If the lamp angle is parallel to the insert, then you need a bulb that throws the light out the side of the bulb. I typically use a wide angle bulb if the insert is small and I use 5-matrix bulbs if the insert is large. You can color match the insert to the bulb color, but white seems to deliver the brightest results.

Some flashers are directional (all the light is angled straight away from the top of the bulb) and some flashers have bulbs on the top and sides of the bulb. Most flasher applications can use the straight away flasher because the bulb will be angled into a flasher lens cap or toward the insert or translite. However, sometimes you may need to use a flasher that has LED's on the side because the flasher will lay parallel to the insert or under a plastic and you need the light to shoot in all directions.

I usually color match my flashers to the insert color or lens cap, and I sometimes color match them to the playfield area or plastic covering. You can also use colored flashers under white inserts to add different effects.

Pop Bumpers:
44/555 Wide Angle or 5 Matrix LED - I usually try and color match the LED to the pop bumper. White LED's tend to shine through fairly easily and you can tell that the light is white versus the actual color of the pop cap. If you do decide to use a 5 matrix bulb, then be sure you have enough clearance on the pop cap. Some caps are shallow and don't provide a lot of clearance room for the taller 5 matrix bulb. The wide angle bulbs are shorter and should be used if you don't have enough clearance for the 5 matrix bulbs.

#7 9 years ago

A quote from VT8Man on his Fairfax Pinball Open post:

"Quicksilver (with LED mods., kinda cool but a bit bright after a few beers.)"

Then figure in another common "party substance" and one might be playing pinball with sunglasses on

Looks like tomdotcom has given you alot of information and things to think about.

#2 9 years ago

Thanks for the info Tom.com. I am getting ready to order some LEDs for my popbumpers in my IJ because one of the 555s has melted the cap. I love the white 4+1 HIs in my Meteor pops but I'm not sure they will fit in these. Was also debating white vs red. I will go with red wide angles.

This would be a good sticky candidate.

#2 9 years ago

No problem, that is a great little writeup on LED's as most people can't figure out what they need. I'm still not sold on using them in inserts though, I've tried and although the colors look awesome and much brighter, I can't stand the instant on/off effect that they have...also on some machines they glow a bit even when they are supposed to be off...

#2 9 years ago

Like every one else said - try a few
Great info tomdotcom-

#2 9 years ago

tomdotcom, Awesome post,

Appreciate the time to type your reply.
Definate sticky material.

I am going to order a couple of different types, then try them out.


#11 9 years ago

Post is now sticky I will clean it up to just tomdotcom's info at a later date.

#2 9 years ago

That is good stuff tomdotcom! I've been considering some LED's for my T2, once I strip it down for a good cleaning. Reason being, I remember when I first saw this game in the Hokie House. (yes my college hangout had one in 91-92) First DMD game I ever saw and the playfield was so bright and metallic looking. Fast and furious.

It did resemble Aaaaarrrrghhhnold, very robotic, like it's CPU is a neural net processor; a learning computer. On a game with that theme, I think LEDs would work well. Although a game like BSD, should be somewhat dark.

This is always a question where people are usually on either side of the coin. (that would be a quarter. 8))

#2 9 years ago

You can see a T2 as well as a BSD with LED's in this thread...


#2 9 years ago

The BSD looks awesome IMO, I'm trying to buy one right now. I know 2 people that have one close to me, just need to convince them to sell or trade me.

#2 9 years ago

can you post a pict of the BSD - cant seem to find it on here

#2 9 years ago

Here you go, it is Black Rose's pin from Pinball Bash forums.

#2 9 years ago

Damn now Im gonna have to try that with mine - my BSD I have LEDs in the D-R-A-C-U-L-A inserts but they are always on slightly or flicker - any thoughts on that

#19 9 years ago

Maybe combine some BDSM with the BSD ???

#2 9 years ago

My addam's family does the same thing with LED's in the inserts and the pop bumpers, my fix was to not use LED's haha. I only use them in a couple spots in my machines. Ie. the stoplight assembly on my HSII.

I love the color of them in inserts, but I hate the instant on/off and the light bleed. I'm NOT a convert. I will stick with original bulbs in most cases

#2 9 years ago

I am going to try to use the frosted LED bulbs in the backbox of my WCS94. Both of the GI connectors in the backbox are burnt up, so I'm going to replace the j120/j121 connectors as well as the male header pins. Then I'm also going to replace all the backbox 555 lights with LED's instead to lower the heat/power. Parts are on the way from pinballlife and GPE.


#2 9 years ago

ok so I have this atari airborne avenger and all the bulbs are parallel as you posted above so I should use the concave tops right? http://evolve-studios.net/atari/ just for fun I wanted to do the airborne avenger inserts down the middle - is this what you suggest: http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=1881&parent=0 and would you say do them all with white bulbs - or use red in those red inserts

#2 9 years ago

I think color matching the bulb to the insert is the norm...

Yes if the LED runs parallel then get the concave ones..Wide angle (170 degrees), that way they will disperse the light better to the insert..

#2 9 years ago

I forgot I also bought some purple LED flashers for the cloud topper on my Addam's. I heard it looks really cool Still waiting on that order as well.

I'm still a bit of an LED virgin..don't think I'll ever convert an entire machine though...just like them to make a few spots pop

I haven't tried the LED flashers before, but I've seen some video and they are WAY brighter then normal flashers for sure...

#2 9 years ago

I use regular and colored incandescent normally. I mainly run LEDs in places where heat might be an issue such as in the pops or under plastics with minimal air flow. They are just too expensive for me to do an entire machine.

#2 9 years ago

I cleaned this up as a sticky to just show the great info tomdotcom posted. I hope that didn't make anyone upset having your reply removed. Feel free to start or post this topic again under another discussion thread if you all just want to talk about it. If you do have additional information you really feel needs added then do post a reply. This is not locked.

#3 9 years ago

Perhaps the sticky should be placed in the "Technical Help" subfolder to keep the main forum page uncluttered? Just a suggestion.

7 months later
#3 9 years ago

I just did my first LED conversion.I had no clue on how best to do the conversion.The pinball is Tales of the Arabiab Nights.I am very right brained,the led conversion turned out amazing.I color matched all playfield inserts with p.b.life's 3 leds.The lamp smoke inserts I did in blue.The 15,30,60 lamp spin inserts concave white.Golden symbols the leds did not pan out.They turned the insert yellow.To keep the gold color regular 555/ one 47 worked the best.The 3 make a wish small orange inserts also came out better using 3x 555 bulbs.The genie small inserts also came out better with 5x 555 regular bulbs.The locks done in LED green.The harem,orbs advance x and shooting star insrts done in LED white.The harem cup and fireball cup I used purple LEDS.The BAZAAR I changed from white to green single LEDs .Looks amazing.All red inserts done in red LEDs.All jewels color matched LEDs.Tiger loop inserts used purple LEDs.On the Translight behind the Genie installed 2 blue LEDs.The Genie glows blue.Looks amazing behind the peacocks tailfeathers I used 1 green LED.Great effect.The LEDs make this pinball look SECTACULAR

#4 9 years ago

I ordered a bunch of LEDs to try out, and I ended up using them in all of my backboxes. I found that I didn't love the color shift that i was seeing so i ended up using about every other bulb as an LED. The heat is cut way down and i didn't lose much of the original look of the back glass.

I tried using them in the inserts, but only kept a few because they weren't color matched and didn't look great. It also drove me nuts when they would ghost with other lights that were flashing. My IJ looks good with the back box half and half.

#5 9 years ago

I like Cointakers warm white super brights. They look pretty close to a normal 45 or 555.
I had some ghosting with my IJ but the WCS LED patched Game EPROM seems to have gotten rid of it. I just ordered more superbrights from Cointaker. I will post pics of it when I get them in. My Corvette though has major ghost flicker problems and it even does it with incandescent bulbs.

#6 9 years ago

"I just did my first LED conversion ... The pinball is Tales of the Arabian Nights ... The LEDs make this pinball look SECTACULAR"

I mentioned in another thread that Cointaker had a TOTAN that they were using to demo their LEDs at the Expo. I don't think there is any game I've seen that looks better with LEDs. It was truly breathtaking!

#7 9 years ago

Rob -- post some pictures when you have time. Thinking of including some LEDs in a WCS and HSII, so I'd love to see what your conversion looks like.

#8 9 years ago

Yeah I would like to see some pics too. TOTAN is awesome looking as it is, with Led's......

#9 9 years ago

gweempose, I couldn't agree with you more! I am almost all the way done putting LEDs in my TOTAN and people are amazed at how it looks. I was not big on LEDs until I saw a few pins from Cointaker at a convention and I knew I had to do it.

#10 9 years ago

Here's my sttng with the right angle cointaker bulbs


1 year later
#36 7 years ago

I did a Firepower full LED conversion -- backbox, playfield and displays, GI and features, and it looks REALLY good. Make sure you colour-coordinate your LEDs with their inserts EXCEPT THE GREENS. The inserts are a lime-green transparent; the Green LEDs are more of a "true" green (apparently), so I went with Warm White. Problem solved!

The only place I ran into an issue was the Flashers. You have to detach the black wire from the small resistor on the board, or else the flashers will glow. I recommend putting a switch somewhere on that wire in case you feel like changing from LED flashers to #89s again.

The same problem exists with Flash and Stellar Wars.

[I recommend hi-power spots in the controlled backbox lights; red for all of them except for player #4 (cool white) and "Highest Score" (blue).]

#37 7 years ago

I love to convert my pinballs to LEDs.Just one (note) some of my female friends complain that the LEDs give them something like motion sickness.My Tech. also complains my pinball make him woozie.It does not bother me at all. PBL very good price. Cointaker has the flex LEd ,PinballCenter in Germany has cool colors like TEAL,TURQUOISE and flex LEDs ,BC pinball has the best bright 4x frosted LED's.I use all Four companies.


3 weeks later
#38 7 years ago

When I recently bought my PinBot - first pin, BTW - I didn't even realize until I got it home that most of the bulbs had been replaced with LEDs. I knew the slingshot lamps were, as these were 3-color (a supercool effect), but it all looked so good and natural I didn't even pick up on it. I like that the machine is presumably less of a watt-sucker for it, and runs cooler as well.

Does anybody know why most but not all the bulbs were replaced? Just an incomplete conversion kit, or are there certain bulbs that aren't available?

#39 7 years ago

I would assume they were just missed. As far as I know all of the bulbs could be replaced with LEDs.

If you need more into you can use these two links:


1 month later
#40 7 years ago

LED lights are considerably not as much of posh to run on the other hand are a small more luxurious to purchase. LED residence illumination requires just one third of the energy that an incandescent bulb motivation use. A single 18-watt LED beam can replace a 75-watt glowing and in the time of the LED beam resolve put away 570 kWh of vigor.

here you will learn more:LED flood light fixtures

2 months later
#41 7 years ago

Bulb is replaced with LED Light.
LED comparison

2 months later
#42 7 years ago

The color temperature, 'warmth' or 'coolness' of lights, is measured in kelvin. Which LEDs would most closely match the standard incandescent (2,700–3,300 K)? I have tried two different LEDs and one turned out to be way too blueish and the other too white.

3 weeks later
#43 6 years ago

I bought the Marco Specialties LED upgrade kit for Star Trek: Next Generation, and installed them recently. Most of them work fine, but the GI track is completely gone. I tried replacing one of the LEDs with a regular bulb, and it showed a faint current at the highest brightness level. I don't believe I have any loose connections, but I could be wrong.

How should I start to investigate this issue? Swap out bulbs one for one, etc.?


4 weeks later
#44 6 years ago
Quoted from GoDFaDDa:

but the GI track is completely gone. I tried replacing one of the LEDs with a regular bulb, and it showed a faint current at the highest brightness level. I don't believe I have

You have most likely got issue fixed. But check all GI fuses.

Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
$ 94.95
Cabinet - Shooter Rods
Super Skill Shot Shop
From: $ 127.05
Cabinet - Sound/Speakers
Machine - Wanted
Brooklyn , NY
$ 139.00
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
Sparky Pinball
From: $ 18.00
Apparel - Men
Pinside Shop
$ 59.95
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
From: $ 40.00
Cabinet - Other
Rock Custom Pinball

Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside