Wednesday, August 13, 2014

installing LEDs in an EM: my guide

I posted up some advice about using LEDs in this thread on MAACA, so I thought I should repost it here...

Hi! I have put LEDs in a handful of EMs so far, all to great success.
You are looking for #44s/Bayonet base (they rotate, so NOT the 555s)
I order all of my lights from and am very happy with their prices, products, and ability to ship things with no duty getting charged.

For above the playfield I use almost all white lights. My rule is: if the bulb can be seen while playing, I use frosted "warm white". If the bulb is not directly visible, I use frosted "Natural white" (which are brighter).
Often the only coloured LEDs I use above the playfield are to match the rollover guide plastics at the top.

Under the playfield, I will match the inserts with frosted or non-frosted coloured LEDs for purple, red, green, blue inserts.
Yellow inserts, I use natural white bulbs since the yellow LEDs are often too dim.
If the inserts are clear, but the surrounding paint is yellow, I'll sometimes use non-frosted yellow LEDs under them since the white inserts allow the colour through better.

ALWAYS get flat-top lights when possible. Dome-top lights leave a circle of light on the plastic they are beneath.  There are some uses for dome-tops, but few on EMs.

My first priority is replacing all incandescents in the backbox so they stop cooking the backglass! You can often find creative colour accents to use, but 80% of the time warm white and natural whites (frosted, almost always) are the way to go.
I colour-match with the "game over", and player # lights. And I use natural white for the score reel lighting.
I almost never bother putting LEDs in the match lights though.

Good luck!

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