(Topic ID: 182351)

To LED or not to LED? That is the question.


By visorboy

2 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 176 posts
  • 72 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by SilverUnicorn
  • Topic is favorited by 6 Pinsiders

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    There are 176 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 4.
    #1 2 years ago

    Have seen a lot of heated debate lately on FB and other online forums regarding updating "classic" machines with LED's. Seems like a lot of folks out there hate LED mods.
    I saw a Capt. Fantastic with this mod and about 80% of the comments were hating on the LED's.
    What is the rub here?
    Just wondering what my fellow Pinsiders think on the issue.

    15
    #2 2 years ago

    This topic has been done to death. I personally think it is just a matter of personal preference...period. I personally love leds in just about any pin. Makes em pop!

    #3 2 years ago

    I like them. Some are terrible but it's in the eye of the beholder! If you like the way incadecents look you can go with comet warm white and they have a retro bulb that puts off virtually the same amount of light. I just think there easier on inserts, connectors and such. I do think it's hard to get a good look and you have to play around a bit. I just led my JM and like it but it's not great so I'm going to play with the colors a bit!

    #4 2 years ago

    Well, must STTNG looked dull and dated before, now it is starting to brighten up nicely. Plus I shouldn't have to change out any bulbs again for a long time. Then you have the aspect of saving power and strain on the power supply since the leds are more energy efficient. There are so many options now too. Comet has these bulbs -> http://www.cometpinball.com/product-p/1retroled.htm they are supposed to be retro look, I ordered a bunch and I am going to experiment. The old bulbs also put off a lot more heat.

    #5 2 years ago

    Won't say I hate LEDs but have tried them in a number of pins, new and old
    and prefer the original bulbs. Whatever floats your boat.
    Steve

    #6 2 years ago

    Always LED... In my opinion.

    #7 2 years ago

    well, the look of the LEDs is subjective (i think the majority prefer them, but like i said, that's a matter of taste).

    however, what's not subjective is that LEDs:
    - significantly reduce the power draw of a game (reducing cost and reducing load on the boards),
    - produce less heat (thus preventing warping of plastics), and
    - give off almost no UV radiation, which prevents artwork from fading.

    #8 2 years ago

    Really depends on the pin. I had LEDS in most of my pins at one time or another. I like LEDS behind the backglass/translite in most occasions. Incandescent for the GI 100% of the time. Inserts is a mixed bag of incandescent and LEDS.

    #9 2 years ago

    If the game wasn't designed with LEDs, it don't get LEDs while under my care.

    LEDs DON'T TWINKLE!

    Games like LotRings look absolutely broken because the timing and fading of the lighting effects can't be duplicated by the LEDs.

    #10 2 years ago
    Quoted from pcprogrammer:

    Then you have the aspect of saving power and strain on the power supply since the leds are more energy efficient.The old bulbs also put off a lot more heat.

    Thank you, those are valid points.

    #11 2 years ago
    Quoted from pezpunk:

    well, the look of the LEDs is subjective (i think the majority prefer them, but like i said, that's a matter of taste).
    however, what's not subjective is that LEDs:
    - significantly reduce the power draw of a game (reducing cost and reducing load on the boards),
    - produce less heat (thus preventing warping of plastics), and
    - give off almost no UV radiation, which prevents artwork from fading.

    Yes, all valid points, thank you.

    #12 2 years ago
    Quoted from cody_chunn:

    If the game wasn't designed with LEDs, it don't get LEDs while under my care.
    LEDs DON'T TWINKLE!
    Games like LotRings look absolutely broken because the timing and fading of the lighting effects can't be duplicated by the LEDs.

    LOTR with LED OCD looks absolutely mint. The strobing and flicker makes it nearly unplayable without it, but you're missing out if you haven't see it LED'd with LED OCD.

    #13 2 years ago
    Quoted from cody_chunn:

    LEDs DON'T TWINKLE!

    Gotcha! That is the best one so far, IMO.

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    #14 2 years ago

    -
    -

    Be not afraid of LED greatness; yet do not thrust false color upon them.

    To thine original game be true.

    -

    -

    #15 2 years ago

    I'm wondering what to do with all the incandescent bulbs I take out of the machines.

    #16 2 years ago
    Quoted from branlon8:

    I'm wondering what to do with all the incandescent bulbs I take out of the machines.

    Keep the incandescent bulbs with your other pinball parts. You might want to remove the LEDS and reinstall the bulbs someday.

    #17 2 years ago
    Quoted from branlon8:

    I'm wondering what to do with all the incandescent bulbs I take out of the machines.

    I keep all the #47s for lighting backglasses (LEDs look terrible for this), and the #44s I give away at shows.

    #18 2 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Be not afraid of LED greatness; yet do not thrust false color upon them.

    To thine original game be true.

    #19 2 years ago

    Why not led? Lower voltage so less heat and less stress on the electronics. They come in all kinds of different colors and configurations so you can easily customize. They are relatively cheap and easy to switch back to incandescents if you change your mind.

    #20 2 years ago

    A video I made last night of my EATPM. LED's can be done in different ways. I tend to try to keep the original look of incandescent bulbs by using warm white LED's on the GI and then matching the insert color to the LED. A little color here and there for personal taste.

    I also shot video of my IJ and TZ but I haven't uploaded them yet. With my TZ I went more cool white GI just to kinda change its look a little. My IJ is straight warm white, and it looks really close to incandescent bulbs.

    The biggest reason is the energy efficiency this leads to less stress on the boards, wires, plugs etc. my TZ would randomly reset no matter what I tried. Going all LED actually helped.

    #21 2 years ago

    LEDs are fine, but don't colour bomb the GI.

    #22 2 years ago
    Quoted from Maken:

    LEDs are fine, but don't colour bomb the GI.

    But Sly looks great in pink.

    clown-puke-2 (resized).jpg

    #23 2 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    But Sly looks great in pink.

    #24 2 years ago
    Quoted from pezpunk:

    - give off almost no UV radiation, which prevents artwork from fading.

    Id argue that
    We have a drinks fridge at work that is lit by a LED strip
    Within six months the red on Coca-Cola signs has significant fade

    #25 2 years ago
    Quoted from Maken:

    LEDs are fine, but don't colour bomb the GI.

    +1, all that colour bombing seemed to come in to play when LED kits where offered up by vendors, colouring the GI and specific areas of the playfield which completely washes out any of the art is terrible.

    I love LEDS and a tasteful LED replacement, specially now warm whites now have a good warm colour to them, can replicate the look and feel of incandescent bulbs pretty well while reducing heat and stress on boards they are a win win in that regard.

    #26 2 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    I keep all the #47s for lighting backglasses (LEDs look terrible for this), and the #44s I give away at shows.

    LEDs can look brilliant on backglasses. I use the 4-LED ones with no dome - they spread great so there are no hotspots. You don't even have to use all the sockets. I end up leaving 1/3 of them blank. Also - temperature match. Cool white works better on some, warm on others, mix on others. For instance - on BK2K I have warms behind the red and yellow colors and cools behind the blue areas. On TOM it's mostly warm but with cools behind the cards, bunny & saw. Here are some examples:

    image (resized).jpeg

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    #27 2 years ago

    As for the OP, your machine, do as you please
    If you like LEDs, then go for it

    I am not a fan of them

    #28 2 years ago

    Loving your BSD rarehero looks like moonlight is hitting all the characters faces, nice touch! intentional?

    #29 2 years ago

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    #30 2 years ago
    Quoted from PopBumperPete:

    Id argue that
    We have a drinks fridge at work that is lit by a LED strip
    Within six months the red on Coca-Cola signs has significant fade

    wavelength-and-efficiency-of-daylight-vs-incandescent-vs-warm-white-led-vs-halogen-vs-cool-white-led-vs-warm-white-led (resized).png

    check out the above chart. anything to the left of 400nm is UV, and is damaging to the colors on artwork.

    as you can see, daylight is by far the worst, but incandescents still have many times more UV output than LEDs.

    #31 2 years ago

    image_zps00a9a398 (resized).jpg

    #32 2 years ago
    Quoted from J85M:

    Loving your BSD rarehero looks like moonlight is hitting all the characters faces, nice touch! intentional?

    Nope, that's just how it looks! Dracula's translite is normally very "Orange" with incandescent. LED really brings out the true colors and art. As much as we hate colorbombed LEDs, in a way incandecents is like colorbombing a translite with orange! Look at the colors on Monster Bash too...all washed out and dull with incandescent.

    #33 2 years ago

    Baracorra, your under eyeshadow looks lovely.

    Try a blue shot.

    IMG_0480 (resized).jpg

    #34 2 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Baracorra, your under eyeshadow looks lovely.

    Try a blue shot.

    Me thinks it could use just a tad more blue to spruce it up.

    #35 2 years ago

    are the LED's today better than the ones back in 2007?

    I've seen some that are very dull from 07 and curious to see if they've really made progress in 10 years as I'm buying a SM that has LED"s but look dull, not very illuminated on in the mode inserts and that's something Id change but wouldn't know who to even go to or what to buy

    #36 2 years ago

    I'm guessing that leds will eventually be the only option available to us anyway. Basically all household bulbs to choose from at Home Depot are led now also. If you like incandescent, buy them up now.

    #37 2 years ago
    Quoted from 3pinballs:

    are the LED's today better than the ones back in 2007?
    I've seen some that are very dull from 07 and curious to see if they've really made progress in 10 years as I'm buying a SM that has LED"s but look dull, not very illuminated on in the mode inserts and that's something Id change but wouldn't know who to even go to or what to buy

    yes, much better.

    #38 2 years ago
    Quoted from 3pinballs:

    are the LED's today better than the ones back in 2007?
    I've seen some that are very dull from 07 and curious to see if they've really made progress in 10 years as I'm buying a SM that has LED"s but look dull, not very illuminated on in the mode inserts and that's something Id change but wouldn't know who to even go to or what to buy

    It would depend on the quality of the LED's. I have a Bride of Pinbot with LED's and it doesn't "pop" like the machines I've personally replaced the bulbs with LED's I've ordered from Cointaker.

    Shop around some, order some samples and try them out.

    #39 2 years ago

    I think LEDs can be great if they are used in an artistic way to enhance the original artwork.

    I don't understand why everyone thinks that using bulbs 2x or 3x or 4x as bright as the original bulbs is a good idea.

    Do you have 400 watt bulbs in the lamps in your living room? Why not? They would sure make the colors in your drapes "pop".

    People are making these games so bright that you have to wear a welding mask and the "dramatic" day-glo colors wash out the original artwork.

    Some games with LEDs are so weird looking that you hardly recognize them.

    #40 2 years ago
    Quoted from 3pinballs:

    are the LED's today better than the ones back in 2007?

    Oh yes. Back then I HATED LEDs...they were pretty much blue-ish cool white, and one dim LED that shot straight up. They sucked for GI because they had no spread and bad color temperature, and bad for inserts for the same reason, plus they'd flicker when off. I was on the F LEDs bandwagon.....then, they got good! Now there are SO MANY styles, color temperatures, bendable ones so you can aim them correctly into inserts....they've come a long way. I've LED'd all my games except for LOTR as IMO it looks perfect with that incandescent golden hue.

    #41 2 years ago

    I cant imagine not updating to LED's. Old games look so much better when updated that its not even funny. Just look at Rarehero's games, they look amazing, and the best thing is you can play them in the dark and see the ball good. LED lighting is possibly the best thing thats ever happened to pinball!

    #42 2 years ago

    How about some playfield pics Rarehero?

    #43 2 years ago

    Which companies does everyone use these days? I know there has been a couple of threads in the past, but there are always new products coming out, so at this moment in time, who is everyone's go to LED vendor?

    #44 2 years ago
    Quoted from J85M:

    Which companies does everyone use these days? I know there has been a couple of threads in the past, but there are always new products coming out, so at this moment in time, who is everyone's go to LED vendor?

    Pretty sure its either Comet, Cointaker, or Pinballbulbs for the most part. I just bought a kit from Pinballbulbs for my Jack Bot machine. I probably should have just bought different color bulbs and experimented myself but I liked the way their kit looked on Jack Bot and just bought it. Installing it in a few days, cant wait to see the difference!

    #45 2 years ago

    I just led' my Gottlieb Atlantis. Looks great. Kept it simple with no going overboard. Keeps the game cooler, less heat means less dirt attraction and less my Ron Webb repro backglass likes less heat from the score reel bulbs that are damn near right against it. I like LED's

    #46 2 years ago

    I think it would come down to personal taste. For me, I like to put them under the playfield. I like the fact that they run cooler than incandescent bulbs. I think over the long run this means less problems with inserts pushing up.

    I purchased a STTNG that the previous owner had fitted out with LEDs, and I have to admit, I like it.

    #47 2 years ago
    Quoted from Who-Dey:

    How about some playfield pics Rarehero?

    I find that LEd playfields rarely photograph well....but here you go. Most of these are just a mix of warm and cool white. TOM has a few color spots and pink under the pink plastics which really look incredible.

    image (resized).jpeg
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    #48 2 years ago

    For those worried about power consumption and burnt connectors due to incandescents simply use 47 and 159 bulbs in place of 44 and 555 bulbs. All my games use 47 and 159 bulbs. Most people use 47 bulbs but forget to replace 555s with 159s. I have never had a problem with burnt connectors in my 15 games in 10 years. I've never had a problem with UV fading due to incandescents as some have said. They last for many years in the home environment. So far I've only had just a few burn out.

    I find LEDs are way too bright and are pinpoint light sources and don't spread light well. The extreme colors wash out the artwork. Also, they instantly turn on and off rather than fade on and off and I think mess up the light shows. . Most LED games look like a clown puked on the game. Although I do understand LEDs for location games where on 12 hours a day 7 days a week.

    In the end it is just a personal preference. Just like my home lighting is halogen (which looks looks just like the no longer available incandescents bulbs), I would never use LED lighting for the home.

    #49 2 years ago

    I put warm white LEDs + LED OCD + GI OCD in all my games. Makes them look and fade pretty close to incandescent bulbs. Unfortuanlty the clown vomit color choices that come in a lot of kits have given LEDs a bad rep.

    #50 2 years ago

    From my limited experience, at every show I go to, about 10% of games
    get done poorly, and result in too much light, the famous clown puke, and poor lighting in general. I find this happens with some kits too.

    Some games, simply require a blending of many types of bulbs, as well as various brightness, of course. Others, the same type bulb can go everywhere, and look fine.

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