Which White is right for my pinball machine?

You might not know it, but the first question you should ask when putting LEDs into your machine is: which white should I choose?

At Comet Pinball, we have three different shades of white:


Warm White: This is the yellowest white. It’s the closest match to incandescent bulbs. This is best for general illumination (GI) in games with warm colors, like reds, oranges, and yellows. If you love the warmth of incandescents, then Warm White is the way to go. For you true color nerds, our Warm White is approximately 3000-4000 Kelvin.

Natural White (aka Cool White): This is the harshest white. It’s like a stark sheet of paper, and may even feel a little bluish. We recommend this for general illumination in games with colder artwork: blues and blacks. When Stern uses whites in their modern games, they use this color. They’re also commonly used in white inserts of all eras. Our Natural White is 5000-6000 Kelvin.

Sunlight: The color of this bulb falls somewhere between Warm White and Natural White. Sunlight is a great choice for a game with a wide range of colors, or something that isn’t an obvious candidate for Warm White or Natural White. So if you’re not sure which white to get, go with Sunlight. The color range is 4000-5000 Kelvin. Oh, and did we mention that you can only find Sunlight here at Comet Pinball?

One white to rule them all?

Too many people choose Natural White these days, in our opinion. It’s a harsh white and can wash out the warmth of the original artwork. Stern, for example, uses Natural White in all of their modern games. They’re well lit, and have been cranking out some great artwork lately. But, check out this picture below. On the right is the original Natural White bulbs from the factory. On the left, the bulbs have been replaced with Sunlight. 

Pretty nice looking, eh?

Why make the switch to LEDs in your pinball machine?

When you upgrade your machine from incandescents to LEDs, you’ll really brighten up the game, making it easier to see the ball, and call extra attention to the original artwork. Spending an extra minute or two upfront thinking about your choice of whites can really add to the “wow factor” and make you look like a lighting pro.

Need help choosing color, lens type, or base type? Read the Art of LEDs.