(Topic ID: 235940)

Seeking LED recommendations


By Rdoyle1978

4 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 34 posts
  • 16 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 months ago by Rdoyle1978
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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    #1 4 months ago

    I’m looking at some of my restored games and realize they aren’t as vibrant as the newer games I have - and I believe it’s because I didn’t really know what I was doing when installing the playfield and insert lights.

    I’m asking for recommendations for LEDs that are bright and clear like a new game, so I can install some and see how they compare.

    For example - I have a lot of frosted bulbs, but are these better than the 1 SMD ones I see, or the 4-SMD ones which don’t actually seem to be any brighter. And I’m not clear on the lenses in some of them - concave lenses appear to throw light more around than direct, but they are kinda weak overall in terms of light output.

    I’ve read the Comet descriptions of a lot of bulbs and types, but they don’t really give me a great sense of how they actually perform in a game. Thanks!

    #2 4 months ago

    I go frosted every time, 2smd cheapness, warm, buy in bulk.
    I feel like they have the widest usage. When i stand in front of the machine, if there are any bulbs peeking out and visible to the eye i throw an Incandescent in there.

    #3 4 months ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    I go frosted every time, 2smd cheapness, warm, buy in bulk.
    I feel like they have the widest usage. When i stand in front of the machine, if there are any bulbs peeling out and visible to the eye i throw an Incandescent in there.

    Cool, that’s exactly the type of feedback I’m looking for. And they are bright enough under colored inserts I take it -

    #4 4 months ago

    Stern uses 2smd bulbs. I used 2smd bulbs in gi and 1smd in inserts. For large inserts, I might use 2smd or a dual head flex. With a few spotlights, games are plenty bright. I recommend buying some samples and see what looks good to you. I used to prefer neutral white but liking sunlight better now.

    #5 4 months ago

    www.cometpinball.com

    2SMD frosted warm white in bulk packs

    /end of thread

    #6 4 months ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    www.cometpinball.com

    2SMD frosted warm white in bulk packs

    /end of thread

    I was going to say:

    cometpinball.com

    2SMD frosted sunlight in bulk packs

    /end of thread

    #8 4 months ago

    comet for the win.

    #9 4 months ago

    I use:

    Comet 2SMD sunlight -

    - frosted for GI
    - Unfrosted for inserts/pops

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    #10 4 months ago

    Comet, order a few of different kinds and see what you like for specific games and your style. I usually use the frosted but I just redid a Taxi and used the clear non-ghosting in the inserts because I wanted it to look bright in my dark basement to mix it up and try something new. I'd honestly experiment with some and see what you like on a game by game basis. Maybe not the direct answer you wanted but it's your game and you have to be the one to see it and play it so do what you want!

    #11 4 months ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    I go frosted every time, 2smd cheapness, warm, buy in bulk.
    I feel like they have the widest usage. When i stand in front of the machine, if there are any bulbs peeling out and visible to the eye i throw an Incandescent in there.

    I'm also a 2-SMD frosted WW or Sunlight fan for GI. Any bulbs poking me in the eye get a white silicone cap.

    For inserts I say don't feel like you always have to color match. WW is great for yellow and sometimes orange and red depending on the shade you want. I also like to use pink in most of my orange inserts.

    #12 4 months ago
    Quoted from MMP:

    I'm also a 2-SMD frosted WW or Sunlight fan for GI. Any bulbs poking me in the eye get a white silicone cap.
    For inserts I say don't feel like you always have to color match. WW is great for yellow and sometimes orange and red depending on the shade you want. I also like to use pink in most of my orange inserts.

    Agree completely with this. Though I love the results, I find color matching inserts on every game to be a) expensive and b) a lot of time required. It's fun to do accents here and there though. I used an 4SMD orange bulb under my Vector pop bumper which is covered by a orange/red/black plastic as well as a slow fade LED in the Bally light under the apron. Very subtle and cool.

    #13 4 months ago

    Go with comet pinball. They are the brightest. They also have great prices and they are incredibly helpful.
    Fellow pinsider ryanwanger was a huge help for me.

    The brightness level is up to you. Different brightnesses work better on different machines.

    I would go with sunlight white, frosted, non-ghosting lights in bulk. You can buy the 100 pack or 25 pack for additional discounts.

    You can use colors, but they certainly make it darker and they can distort the original inserts. If you have cracked or damaged inserts, colors are the way to go, however.

    You definitely want white on the GI, or it will likely be too dark and hard to see the ball.

    Flashers are often too bright, so be careful not to get something too blinding.

    Backglasses Depend on what you like. Some look great in all white, some pop with color. You can buy a sampler pack from comet to try sone different things out.

    #14 4 months ago

    There’s lot of great suggestions here - Comet’s website is overwhelming; they have so much stuff! I hadn’t heard of the slow fade leds either.

    Sounds like I’m going to start with the sunlight or warm white 2SMDs first...

    #15 4 months ago

    Are there any good solutions for flasher brightness? I would like to get a couple of those tower bulbs to make the flash more evenly distributed (vs the common 906 flasher I have where everything comes out the top), but I’m afraid it’s just going to be way too bright!

    #16 4 months ago

    IF....IF you must get flashers get the cheapest ones. Once you start getting into the flasher towers and all that shit it's super obnoxious.
    Some people don;t like the "coming out of the top look" as much as they do "Hey I'm fucking blinded this is great."

    https://www.cometpinball.com/product-p/8smdflash.htm

    Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

    Comet’s website is overwhelming; they have so much stuff!

    https://www.cometpinball.com/product-p/100-pack-2led.htm

    #17 4 months ago

    For most inserts you can use 2 SMD frosted. I, generally, like natural white for inserts. I don't see any need to cool match inserts, but that option is there if want to.

    Depending on the game I'd use Warm White (LOTR, The Shadow, etc.) or Natural White for the GI. Since Comet is phasing out there bullet dome, I'd look at the 1 or 2 SMD bulbs. My preference for GI is also frosted. If you use frosted in all places, then less stuff to order.

    #18 4 months ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    IF....IF you must get flashers get the cheapest ones. Once you start getting into the flasher towers and all that shit it's super obnoxious.
    Some people don;t like the "coming out of the top look" as much as they do "Hey I'm fucking blinded this is great."
    https://www.cometpinball.com/product-p/8smdflash.htm

    https://www.cometpinball.com/product-p/100-pack-2led.htm

    Yeah, that’s what I’m learning - it’s great to install a big flasher that looks like Robby the robot but when you can’t see for 3 days after playing the game, it starts to lose its luster.

    I’m going to try the bulb Comet specifically points out as producing less light and see if it throws an even distribution. Otherwise maybe I’ll try some masking tape! Haha

    #19 4 months ago

    I forgot to mention, mostly this is going in a soon-to-be-restore-completed Twilight Zone and an existing restored original MB, then DW when I get around to it..

    #20 4 months ago
    Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

    Are there any good solutions for flasher brightness? I would like to get a couple of those tower bulbs to make the flash more evenly distributed (vs the common 906 flasher I have where everything comes out the top), but I’m afraid it’s just going to be way too bright!

    What game (s) are you doing?

    @ryanwanger owns comet. You can get direct help from him as well

    #21 4 months ago
    Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

    Yeah, that’s what I’m learning - it’s great to install a big flasher that looks like Robby the robot but when you can’t see for 3 days after playing the game, it starts to lose its luster.
    I’m going to try the bulb Comet specifically points out as producing less light and see if it throws an even distribution. Otherwise maybe I’ll try some masking tape! Haha

    The towers aren't as bright as you might think. A 5smd tower won't look as bight as a 12volt incandescent.

    #22 4 months ago
    Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

    I forgot to mention, mostly this is going in a soon-to-be-restore-completed Twilight Zone and an existing restored original MB, then DW when I get around to it..

    You would be better off just buying all of your LEDs at once

    #23 4 months ago

    If you want an LED that is most similar to a incandescent it will be the CT warm white. I tested everyones stuff and that was the only one even close.

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/gottlieb-playball#post-3947997

    there was my post with the ones I tested. I found from comet that the color varied in the 1 bag of leds...You honestly do get what you pay for....

    #24 4 months ago
    Quoted from northvibe:

    ...I found from comet that the color varied in the 1 bag of leds...You honestly do get what you pay for....

    Hmm I havn't noticed that much but it's always possible. I have a buddy that gets some real cheap one and goddamn it's like every 4th led is diff'rent

    #25 4 months ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    a buddy that gets

    hahha, yeah. Unless I had mixed a bag of warm and cool white? but they aren't that far off... Maybe I still have a pin with them in it... I almost assume the manufacture has another color fall in, or just poor quality control of the led in manufacturing.

    #26 4 months ago

    I just tested 5 companies out and multiple styles of bulbs from each. Conet Pinball will be my go-to from here on out.

    I liked the sunlight white, but natural white is brighter, or you can go with warm white for an old school feel

    #27 4 months ago
    Quoted from Aeolus7:

    Agree completely with this. Though I love the results, I find color matching inserts on every game to be a) expensive and b) a lot of time required.

    That's definitely true. I make a spreadsheet for all inserts with columns for socket type, standard or flex, color, and lens (clear, none, or frosted). My method is color match all inserts except yellow and orange which I use warm white. Frosted typically for visible bulbs and backbox. Clear lens for most inserts. Flex for inserts where bulb is at bad angle or lots of light bleeding into other close inserts. GI bulbs either neutral white or sunlight. I often have to make several orders to get bulbs I missed or because I don't like how something looked. I try to order a few extra every time but never works out. I end up paying a lot in shipping and lots of unused bulbs. I also add some extra lighting like spotlights which is actually really easy with Comet's Matrix stuff. I think it's worth all the extra time and fun. I don't get new games very often so like shopping them out to get them nice.

    Quoted from Lamprey:

    The towers aren't as bright as you might think. A 5smd tower won't look as bight as a 12volt incandescent.

    Agreed. 5smd towers are perfect. I also like the 8smd flex for some applications like ones that light inserts but those are pretty bright. 9smd towers are definitely blinding if in full view. Okay if buried under plastics. 8smd flat top flashers also good for backbox.

    #28 4 months ago
    Quoted from jawjaw:

    Agreed. 5smd towers are perfect. I also like the 8smd flex for some applications like ones that light inserts but those are pretty bright. 9smd towers are definitely blinding if in full view. Okay if buried under plastics. 8smd flat top flashers also good for backbox.

    Actually, I think that the 5smd towers are too weak. Of the ones I've tried, I like the 10SMD Quasar best:
    https://www.cometpinball.com/product-p/10smd5630t10metal.htm

    #29 4 months ago
    Quoted from Lamprey:

    Actually, I think that the 5smd towers are too weak. Of the ones I've tried, I like the 10SMD Quasar best:
    https://www.cometpinball.com/product-p/10smd5630t10metal.htm

    My favorite when not too close....!!

    I often add 12v Matrix tapped flex flashers.
    Extra Flash on Playfield, or run a few wires and splitters for Pads, strips, circles to backbox!

    #30 4 months ago

    Sooooo....what are you going to go with??

    #31 4 months ago
    Quoted from Daditude:

    Sooooo....what are you going to go with??

    He's probably more confused now than he was in the beginning. lol

    #32 4 months ago
    Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

    then DW when I get around to it..

    I did my DW and I think it made it so much better. Before it was sooooo yellow and orange everywhere. Now actual colors show up. I have an excel spreadsheet of what I ordered for what locations. It shows prices (Comet and Cointaker) as well as what colors are used. Basically, any insert that had Black lettering I would use the matching color. Any insert that had White or multiple colors I used white. I'm no expert but I like the results. If you want a copy of the excel file just let me know and I'd be happy to email that. It's not perfect but it might get you going in the right direction?

    #33 4 months ago

    All right, to start I ordered a bunch of the sunlight frosted 2smd ones- I'll start with those. If I'm going to do color matching, I'll try some of the existing color bulbs I have, and do an order later on if I want. One of the
    Issues I have with MB in particular is how dark all the inserts (and the GI) are, and I'm starting there first. I also ordered a handful of different flasher types to try and see how those work. I want to replace the Frankenstein globe flashers in particular - I don't like how they look like a horizontal line when they start flashing.

    Thanks for all the input, that was super helpful!

    #34 4 months ago
    Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

    All right, to start I ordered a bunch of the sunlight frosted 2smd ones- I'll start with those. If I'm going to do color matching, I'll try some of the existing color bulbs I have, and do an order later on if I want. One of the
    Issues I have with MB in particular is how dark all the inserts (and the GI) are, and I'm starting there first. I also ordered a handful of different flasher types to try and see how those work. I want to replace the Frankenstein globe flashers in particular - I don't like how they look like a horizontal line when they start flashing.
    Thanks for all the input, that was super helpful!

    I wanted to follow up.. got my Comet order the other day. WOW! Huge, HUGE difference. First lesson; don't use the concave LEDs for inserts. I dont' remember consciously making that decision, but likely I didn't have any other bulbs, and just went with those. I basically replaced every single bulb in the machine. What a tremendous difference. The only thing remaining is the weird shadow under the slings that the coil arm creates. I've got to figure out how to work around that, but otherwise this was a huge improvement.

    Just placed an order for more of the "matrix" connectors from Comet as well. I remember looking at these a year or so ago and just not understanding what they are for. Well, now I get it. Thanks again everybody

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