(Topic ID: 205046)

Usage of LEDs in 80s restorations

By MtnFrost

1 year ago

Topic Stats

  • 9 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Luzur
  • No one calls this topic a favorite


Linked Games

No games have been linked to this topic.

    #1 1 year ago

    What's the prevailing thoughts about changing out the old bayonet lights for new LEDs, specifically for machines from the early 80s? Generally yes, no? Desirable or no?

    I know the benefits of less draw and heat. But I'm restoring a Centaur, and I have the opportunity to switch lights over if it helps value. Personally, I'm ambivalent unless it really works with a machine.

    Thoughts? Thanks

    #2 1 year ago

    Bally machines will not work correctly with LEDs in the inserts due to flicker (GI is fine)
    You can buy new alltek boards, or other boards to make them work or solder on resistors to each bulb socket.

    If you're talking straight value I wouldn't think it makes a big difference either way.

    #3 1 year ago

    Yeah, I'm aware of the flicker and the fix that's out there. Yes, I was curious if it makes a difference for value, and what other people choose to do. Thanks

    #4 1 year ago

    Yes, if you are using color LEDs in the GI there are many people who think you are wasting your money.


    Centaur is a great looking game with mostly a black and white theme. If you are going LED in the GI only use warm or sunlight white frosted in the GI to not hurt people's eyes or offend the color.

    Opinion only but you asked. Simply, do not expect to recoup money you put into your custom changes.

    #5 1 year ago

    I am sticking with stock bulbs on a Fireball Classic. There is a plastic on the left upper that is notorious for being unlit,
    considering a 3 light warm white LED strip simply to avoid drilling holes in the play field.
    I like colored incandescent bulbs over LED, thats what was used originally and plenty bright.
    Also like the slow blink of incandescent over the fast flash of LED in the Back Glass.

    #6 1 year ago

    In classic SS games I use LEDs for the controlled lamps and backbox GI. I use single LED clear warm white retro bulbs in translucent inserts since they look very close to incandescents. The problem with today's incandescents is they are cheap and can't handle the vibration. I got tired of lifting the playfield all the time to replace bad bulbs.

    I generally like to keep incandescents in the GI though, especially if the artwork is warm colors. For space themes I can go either way, but I have yet to use cool white LEDs.

    LED strips are great for dark areas. I used them along with sunlight LEDs in the GI in Xenon simply because the game is so dark. There are literally only 6 bulbs to light the lower two thirds of the playfield.

    In Centaur, you'll probably want to keep incandescents in the GI because it flashes. The strobing of LEDs may drive you crazy.

    #7 1 year ago

    I changed every bulb in my 1980 Alien Poker to led and personally I think it looks infinitely better. The game pops, the art pops, the colors pop, totally worth it. Pictures for whatever reason never really do it justice, it's best to see one fully led converted in person. For me a full led conversion is very desirable, and I know whenever I see a pin with old bulbs in it is means both extra cost for me because I know I'll fully convert it, plus I always expect those games with old bulbs to be in worse condition because of all the heat damage.

    #8 1 year ago

    Thanks - for Centaur, I'm going to keep the incandescence bulbs. I like classic pins looking like classic pins. I've seen exactly one pin that I thought looked better with LEDs, and that was Strange Science. Appreciate the input!

    #9 1 year ago

    I light EM's with #47's mostly, and i work hard to color cordinate LED's with the plastic and the game style overall, so i dont get the clown posse effect.

    Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
    $ 20.00
    Playfield - Decals
    DevilsMuse Arcade
    $ 25.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    ModFather Pinball Mods
    $ 218.00
    $ 24.99
    Lighting - Led
    Lee's Parts
    $ 20.00
    Playfield - Decals
    $ 27.99
    Matt's Basement Arcade
    $ 38.00
    Cabinet - Sound/Speakers
    ModFather Pinball Mods
    From: $ 9.99
    $ 5,799.00
    Pinball Machine
    Little Shop Of Games
    $ 48.00
    Cabinet - Other
    ModFather Pinball Mods
    $ 23.25
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    The MOD Couple
    $ 199.99
    Lighting - Other
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    $ 89.99
    Lighting - Led
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    From: $ 42.00
    Cabinet - Shooter Rods
    ModFather Pinball Mods
    $ 90.00
    Lighting - Under Cabinet
    Rock Custom Pinball
    $ 19.99
    $ 999.00
    Flipper Parts
    $ 18.95
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    ModFather Pinball Mods
    $ 229.00
    Cabinet - Toppers
    $ 229.99
    Lighting - Other
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    From: $ 9.99
    Matt's Basement Arcade
    $ 48.00
    Cabinet - Other
    ModFather Pinball Mods

    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