a bunch of people asked, so i thought i'd just say a little bit about the lighting and color choices i used, and the reasoning behind those choices. i hope i merely sound like an obsessed nerd, and not like an arrogant know-it-all who thinks he's some kind of authority on the matter -- these are just my opinions and preferences.
i cannot count how many iterations my STTNG has been through. there is so much trial and error involved. So many times i bought a bunch of bulbs thinking they'd be perfect, and they just ended up not looking right. then it was back to the internet to order another round. i have drawers full of LEDs that hopefully i will find a place for someday in other games.
My goals for the game was of course to make it pop and look beautiful, but i was also hoping to make it look a little more accessible and less overwhelming for new players, and simultaneously give it a more unified and streamlined look color-wise. the stock game has red all over it. i wanted to save red, the most "alarming" color, for the most important things on the table: extra ball, replay, jackpot, and the final frontier. random posts or pops being red detracts from the "urgency" of the real big deals on the table in my opinion.
the dominant color on the playfield is purple, so i sort of used that as the default for background elements. I replaced the red pop bumpers, rollover lane guides, star posts, and plastic posts with purple versions and color-matched with purple or "UV" LEDs beneath them. UV bulbs are generally too dim for illumination, but flex-head ones positioned right up against the rollover lane guides work great to give those plastic guides a deep purple glow.
for the inserts, i color-matched and used flex-head bulbs where appropriate. the flexers are critical for getting good insert saturation, since so many of STTNG's sockets are set at 45 or 90 degree angles to the inserts.
for the GI, i used mostly frosted purples around the perimeter and under plastics, and generally cool whites illuminating the main playfield areas. a lot of people prefer warm whites, but on a space theme like this, i think the cool whites look sharper and less "retro". they also blend better with the purple in my opinion.
STTNG's playfield has some dark spots that needed special attention. under the wings of my Klingon Bird of Prey, I have hidden two cool white extra-bright bulbs. one is aimed at the Neutral Zone area (top left quadrant), and the other is aimed at the center of the playfield, near the Romulan and Borg figures. both areas tend to be pretty dark by default. also, underneath the slings, i have extra-brights pointing at the area just above the flippers.
after installing the purple flippers, i found the flipper area to be a little too dim as well, so i installed flex-head bright cool white bulbs in the sockets under the return lane, and aimed them at the flipper area instead of up through the plastics. this brightened up the flipper area immensely and made a huge difference. here's a picture of what i mean:
Finally, LEDOCD really finished off this game. As good as my game looks in these photos, it's much more impressive in real life due to the subtle soft fade / lack of ghosting / lack of flicker that the LEDOCD board provides. using the software that comes with it, i was also able to make the white star trek arrow emblems (the ones that indicate all mission shots) slightly brighter than the other inserts. This way, they stand out more as primary targets when those modes are active. i'm really pleased with how this effect turned out.
overall i still have more to do. i'm not yet pleased with the lighting in the Borg ship or Enterprise shields. the gift certificate should help there! thanks again to Art / cometpinball!! I wonder if I will ever be done tweaking this thing. part of me hopes not!
(PS - about the photos, since several people asked about them. i didn't do anything too special: i made the room moderately dim, took off the glass, and started shooting without the flash. the camera is a pocket-sized Cannon S95 in auto mode.)