Owning your own pinball machine is a lot of fun, and it's not just about playing the game itself. You can do a lot to personalize and customize your machine! Are you considering installing LEDs in your pinball machine? Here's what you need to know when picking out and installing an LED lighting kit.
Why Go LED?
LED lighting is an extremely popular option for home pinball machine owners. Why is this? There are a few great advantages to replacing traditional incandescent lamps with LEDs. LEDs are both longer-lasting and more reliable, leading to reduced power consumption and less repair work in the future. There's an aesthetic side to the choice, too: LEDs pump out brighter light that can give an older machine a new lease on life.
Fortunately, you don't have to be a master electrician to convert your favorite pinball machine to LED lighting. There are a number of different manufacturers out there who produce LED kits for most popular pinball machines. This means you can make an all-in-one purchase to dramatically overhaul your machine's lighting without fussing around with individual parts!
Choosing The Right Kit For You
Obviously your first step is find out if anyone makes a kit for your particular machine. You should never buy the first pinball LED kit you find, though! Cast a wide net and look for kits from multiple manufacturers. You can use many different factors to choose between different kits. Sometimes different manufacturers' kits produce very different aesthetic effects, so you'll want to look carefully at post-installation pictures. Price is also often a significant factor. Don't forget to research manufacturers' reputations, too; you want to buy a kit from a company that has a history of providing quality equipment.
If you can't locate a complete kit for your machine, don't give up or resign yourself to replacing individual lights one-by-one! A lot of pinball lighting companies sell "generic" kits that can be used to upgrade the lighting in any machine. While these LED kits will require a little more effort on your part, they can still save you a lot of time and money.
Installing LEDs Without Losing Your Mind
Once you've made your choice and invested in an LED lighting kit, the next step is actually installing it! Even though using a kit is a big time-saver, the installation is still a fairly involved process. While the specifics of installation will vary from machine to machine, these hints should come in generally useful:
- Review ALL instructions before starting your installation.
- Familiarize yourself with the lamp-numbering system used on your machine. Most machine-specific kits will pack and organize their LEDs according to the machine's own numbering system.
- Check to see if your kit includes any spare bulbs. Most manufacturers provide at least a few, but you may not find any. In these cases, it's particularly important to install carefully.
- Make sure all visible LEDs are frosted. Indirect LEDs can be unfrosted, but they can hurt your eyes if you see them directly while playing.
- Don't be afraid to personalize your lighting scheme! You can swap out bulbs in your kit to provide different color effects. It's always easiest to experiment while you're performing your initial installation, so take your time.
If you've made the choice to move to LED lighting, congratulations! Brighter, more colorful pinball experiences are in your near future. Using a kit is the easiest way to make this upgrade to your machine's lighting systems. As long as you invest a little thought in kit selection and take your time with the installation, you're sure to be quite pleased with the results.
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