LED OCD: smooth out your fading effects

If there is indeed a final stop on the road to pinball LED lighting transcendence, it must certainly be our exclusive line of OCD boards. They hide quietly inside the backbox, providing a high end lighting upgrade for the discerning eye. It's the piece de resistance you didn't even know you needed.

What do OCD boards do exactly?

Simply put: they enable LEDs to fade in and out more smoothly. Soothing transitions were easy with incandescent bulbs, because it took time for the wire inside the machine to heat and cool when a new voltage was delivered to the bulb. However, LEDs transition from one brightness to another with no delay, which can result in a choppy lighting performance.


Which games benefit from OCD boards?

Most games from System 11 and newer would benefit, but some are much more obvious than others. Lord of the Rings, and The Simpsons Pinball Party are the most commonly OCD'd games. Most machines only utilize their inserts in one of two states: lit, or unlit, but these two games specifically will fade them in and out during gameplay.

There are also games that use fading effects on the general illumination, particularly 90s era WPC games. Addams Family is the most obvious example, which pulses and fades the GI while The Power is running (ie: the magnets are active).

The other most noticeable improvement is during attract mode, where complex animations will sweep across the entire lighting matrix. These types of shows are also common during gameplay, like a multiball start sequence, when scoring a super jackpot, or reaching a wizard mode. An OCD board will smooth out the entire sequence, allowing the LEDs to slowly ramp up and down between different levels of brightness, rather than a series of choppy steps.

Are there different types of OCD boards?

There are two types:

 - LED OCD boards, which are for inserts only

 - GI OCD boards, which are for general illumination only

In either case, you'll need to select the era/manufacturer of your game so we can send you the correct combination of boards and cables.

Are OCD boards hard to install?

Although they perform complex wizardry behind the scenes, OCD boards are extremely easy to install. You affix them inside the backbox of your machine, swap and attach a few connectors, and that's it. No soldering, game manuals, or technical know-how involved.

They work right out of the box for every game, but if you are a true pinball lighting guru (or even an aspiring one), OCD boards have an easy to use (and 100% optional) software that can let you customize the brightness of each lighting transition for each individual bulb.

Which LED bulbs work with OCD boards?

You want any bulb that does NOT have the non-ghosting feature. This can be a bummer because if your game already has LEDs in the inserts, they are likely non-ghosting bulbs. (Comet non-ghosting bulbs are always labeled with an "NG" on the bulb itself). So when you upgrade to an OCD board, you will want to replace these with any standard LED. We recommend 1SMD bulbs with clear lenses.

What will this look like in your game?

This first video shows a side by side comparison in Bally/Williams' Twilight Zone, filmed in slow motion. On the left, it is very apparent how choppy the lighting effects on the inserts can be. On the right, the buttery smoothness of an OCD board.


Next we have a side by side comparison of the attract mode on Stern's Tron. Right around the 30 second mark is where you can really spot the difference.



Finally, take a look at Lord of the Rings. This is a great demonstration of not only the improvement you get with an OCD board, but also how standard LEDs are essential to ensuring you are getting the best performance from an OCD board. Pay close attention at the 16 seconds mark. Magic!