Pin Stadium Lights were formed from a simple idea to create a pinball LED lighting solution for our collection- one that did everything on the wishlist when it came to enhancing the experience of an already awesome machine.
The first inspiration for this project was a mint condition (HUO) Stern Lord of the Rings 2003. This game already had been retrofitted by the previous owner with a complete LED kit for the inserts and GI. However, it still had many large dark sections, thus leaving a lot of room for improvement. The LED inserts were bright but the common problem today with this is that it creates more contrast with the darker surround playfield that it makes it very difficult to see the ball. Spotlight installations didn't work either, as it just made the areas where they didn't shine seem even darker. Also they are very time consuming to install and are visual eye sores with physical interferences during game play (i.e. they block sections of the playfield and ball hang-ups). Our goal was to brighten up the general illumination (GI), and create an interactive experience that integrated with Balrog during battle mode.
Next came the biggest challenge-- to create a mounting design that was discreet with a factory appearance that did not require any permanent modification to the pinball machine. After test driving the newly mounted lights for several months, we realized the design still needed some fine tuning. One aspect we craved was to provide better quality general illumination (GI) to the playfield in addition to the enhancing flashers. So, we integrated a bi-level lighting system. This combination brought light to once dark areas, reduced shadows from other pinball LED lighting mods such as spotlights, and prevented that tormenting glare or reflection on the DMD and back glass.