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Author Topic: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux vs. Paradise Arcade Illuminated Buttons  (Read 18156 times)

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blind_dado

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What is the difference, if any, between Groovy Game Gear's SpectraLite buttons and Ultimarc's Ultralux buttons?  From the pictures on their websites, they look almost identical.

SpectraLite:
http://groovygamegear.com/webstore/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=73&products_id=343

Ultralux:
http://www.ultimarc.com/ultralux.html
« Last Edit: August 25, 2011, 08:50:06 pm by blind_dado »

markronz

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2011, 04:21:52 pm »
Thought I might as well make myself useful since it's a boring day at work today...

I happen to have a blue SpectraLite and a blue Ultralux button here.   So my disclaimer is that I only have the color blue available to me.  I have not tested other colors.   But I believe that despite having only compared this one color, I can give some honest feedback regarding these two products.

Ok, first thing of note.  The Ultralux button does not come stock with a LED.   However Ultimarc does offer some quality 5v LED's for an additional 90 cents each.   The SpectraLite DOES come with a stock LED.  This LED is a 12v LED.  I believe Randy from GGG said once that he did intend to offer different lighting options for the Spectralite button at some point, however, based on his site, it does not appear he has any yet.  You are of course able to use whatever LEDs you want, and are not limited to these two options.  But just know that the SpectraLite comes with a stock 12V LED and the Ultralux comes with nothing, but you can purchase a 5v one through them for 90 cents.


In the picture below you will see the Ultimarc 5v single LED on the LEFT.  On the 12v Spectralite LED on the RIGHT



Next, the button itself.   In the picture below, you will see the Ultralux button on the LEFT and the SpectraLite on the RIGHT.   You can see that they are slightly different in color.  The Ultralux has a brighter more pleasing color to it.  It just pops a little more.  The SpectraLite appears to be a little bit "murky" if you will.  It's not truly displeasing to the eye on its own, but when placed next to the Ultralux one, you can certainly tell the difference.


Here is just another sideview of the two buttons where you can see the color difference a bit as well.


Now, I thought it only fair when testing the two buttons to use the same LED in each of them, so that the side by side photos would be equal.   So in the pictures below I am using the Ultralux 5v LED in BOTH buttons.   You can see that there is some color difference here as well.  The SpectraLite button, on the right, appears to be brighter.   The Ultralux button, on the left, is still bright, and the quality of the plastic looks a little more clear.  Which makes the button look a little cleaner and more crisp.


The next thing you will notice, which is visible in this next picture, is how the light from the LED is diffused through the two buttons.  The Ultralux on the left has the light dispersed really evenly, giving it that same clean, crisp look.  The Spectralite, on the right has a pretty apparent circle of light showing in the middle.   This is not the camera playing tricks on us, it looks that way to the naked eye as well.


Here is a closer look at the Spectralite button, lit up, on its own.


Here is a closer look at the Ultralux button, lit up, on its own.


Both buttons do have a diffuser disc in the top of the button.   It just seems that one of them does a better job spreading the light out than the other.

I thought it was only fair to at least show one shot of the SpectraLite button lit up with it's stock 12v LED, so here it is.   It seems to have a much more direct one light dot in the middle.  This, I believe, just comes from the style of light bulb it is.  It's a smaller LED, whereas the one from Ultimarc has a much wider bulb on it.  The provided 12v LED appears to have some level of success getting rid of the distinct circle of light, however it replaces it with that more direct light in the very center.



I will not comment on the switches provided with the two buttons, as I am no expert on that sort of thing. They both feel fine to me. I believe both sites probably offer different options available for switches anyway.  

So, in my assessment, I would have to conclude that the Ultralux button is the superior product.  The plastic appears more clear.  It diffuses the light more equally through out.   And it just looks more pleasing.  

Now that said, the Spectralite button seems to still be a fine product.   It's really just when compared side by side with the Ultralux that it pails in comparison.   When on its own, it does do a pretty decent job, especially at it's current price.

I guess what it comes down to, is that, you get what you pay for.  The Ultralux is $3.95 + $0.90 for the LED.  So $4.85.   The SpectraLite is $2.15 with an LED included.   So at over twice the price, the Ultralux is a better product, and you are paying for it.

Thus concludes my button comparison.   ;D  Back to work!  
Let me know if you have any further questions.

Edit:   typos, other small corrections.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2011, 04:33:55 pm by markronz »

blind_dado

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2011, 06:52:43 pm »
Awesome review with great photos!  Very helpful indeed. 

One correction: on the Ultimarc order page for the Ultralux (after you click "add to cart") it states "Includes LED."  On the store page for joysticks & buttons it states that the Ultralux comes "with Microswitch and same color ... LED."  For an additional $2.00 you can get an RGB LED with the Ultrlux (an option that is not available on GGG's SpectraLite). 

Both buttons include a microswitch for no additional charge, although GGG does offer switch upgrades for an addition cost.

So, I believe the cost difference (with a standard switch included) is:
Ultralux: $3.95
SpectraLite: $2.15

Finally, Ultimarc offers a very small selection of logo inserts for their Ultralux buttons.  GGG does not have inserts for their SpectraLite buttons (the site states that their large selection of Pushbutton Graphic Inserts are not compatible with the SpectraLite style buttons).

markronz

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2011, 07:33:23 pm »
Ah!  You are correct!   It was not always that way.   I thought $3.95 was a little higher than what I paid, so that explains the difference.  That just makes sense to me that they're included now, so that's cool.   I really like those LED's they offer as well.   That big bulb on it just spreads the light out well like I said before.

About the RGB LED option, I guess that doesn't really matter all that much, unless you get a clear button.   The colored buttons would just look weird with a RGB LED in them.

And about the inserts, I actually made my own inserts.   You could do this for either button.  For the images, I used a combination of just normal text that I made up in a Word document playing with different fonts, and also images found on attached to this thread, also the links throughout this thread:
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=64645.0;all

I printed them out on normal paper first and cut them out in the circle shapes to make sure they would fit inside the buttons without the image being cut off or anything.   Had to test out a few font sizes and such to get the right one.  This will vary by font I am sure.

Now to cut out the inserts, I had a heck of a time doing this.   At first, I simply used the little light transfuser disc thingy inside the buttons, since I figured this had to be the right size.  I just tried to hold that in place by hand, and then trace around it with an exacto knife.  Problem is that if you don't make smooth uniform cuts, the outsides of the inserts look ragged, and sloppy.  This shows when you put them inside the buttons.  So I had to find a way to make a more perfect circle cut.  I went to a ton of craft stores looking for a hole punch that would cut the right size.   I couldn't find the right size at a store, so I searched online.  What I ended up getting was the Circle Hole Punch - 13/16" inch from the site I have linked below. 
http://www.1stopsquare.com/hole.html
Maybe you could find it somewhere else, but that's where I got mine.   This seemed to make the inserts just about the perfect size.   However it's still not a perfect solution.   This hole punch works GREAT with paper.  However this is transparency paper we're dealing with.  As you can imagine this plastic is harder to cut than paper is.   So the hole punch had a hard time cutting out the circles.    It did eventually work though.   I just had to put the transparency paper in there, and literally slam it with my fist to punch it through.   Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't.  More on that in a bit.

I printed the text and images at Kinko's on transparency paper.   I forget the cost but it's extremely reasonable if you want black ink only, something like 50 cents a sheet maybe.  Not sure about color, but they can do that too, but I'm sure it's a little more pricier, but probably just a few bucks I'd imagine.   I printed several of each desired image/text onto a sheet.  This was so that I could try to punch out the circle with the circle cutter several times.   After a few tries, I was able to get a complete set of the inserts I wanted.   After all, Kinko's charges by the sheet, not the amount of ink, so you might as well fit a bunch of them onto a page anyway.

So that's how I did it.   Maybe not the best system, but it worked.   The only part that I'd like to get easier is the circle cutting.  If you come up with a more creative solution that works on how to do this, let me know!  I'd love to hear it!   

blind_dado

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2011, 11:36:50 pm »
Ok, here is a technique for creating custom PGIs that I experimented with tonight. 
I put an exacto blade in a compass like so:



The eraser bit keeps the compass needle from making a hole in the paper.  This contraption worked for me because I had an attachment for my compass that accepted pens and which could hold the exacto knife.

When I used it to cut out a circle, I got this:



Now, it took quite a bit of practice to get a nice circle like this, but like you said, you can print a whole sheet and just keep trying until you get some good ones.

I tried two types of paper: drafting paper (which is translucent) and normal printer paper.  In both cases, the logo was printed on a standard LaserJet printer.

I also lit the button using my cutout with the supplied diffuser disc as well as just my cutout (no disc).  Here are the results:

Normal printer paper with diffusion disc:


Drafting paper with diffusion disc:


The drafting paper looks nicer because you can see too much of the paperís texture with the normal printer paper.

Normal printer paper without diffusion disc:


Drafting paper without diffusion disc:


The surrounding area in the pictures without the diffusion disc are darker because the button illumination is brighter and the camera had to adjust for that.

I'm still experimenting with this, but it seems like this idea might work!

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2011, 12:41:43 am »
I used the paradise arcade buttons in mine, they light up well with no hotspots. For my inserts I just printed the design on a laser printer with good old regular paper, traced the diffuser and carefully cut out the design using sharp scissors. You can see them in my build thread in my sig

RandyT

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2011, 01:45:22 pm »
I happen to have a blue SpectraLite and a blue Ultralux button here.   So my disclaimer is that I only have the color blue available to me.  I have not tested other colors.   But I believe that despite having only compared this one color, I can give some honest feedback regarding these two products.

There are a number of items which need commenting upon in this feedback, as some of the conclusions are not entirely accurate.  So I'll do my best.

Quote
The SpectraLite DOES come with a stock LED.  This LED is a 12v LED.

It's not well known, but these LED's also work very nicely at 5v, albeit not as intensely (website updated to reflect this).  Based on some of the commentary here, this may be just what you are after.  Also, running it at only 5v will likely give it an incredible lifespan.


Quote
The SpectraLite appears to be a little bit "murky" if you will.

...snip...

Now, I thought it only fair when testing the two buttons to use the same LED in each of them, so that the side by side photos would be equal.   So in the pictures below I am using the Ultralux 5v LED in BOTH buttons.   You can see that there is some color difference here as well.  The SpectraLite button, on the right, appears to be brighter.   The Ultralux button, on the left, is still bright, and the quality of the plastic looks a little more clear.  Which makes the button look a little cleaner and more crisp.

You probably shouldn't try to use the same LED in both buttons.  That probably makes it more unfair than fair.  If you look at the overall length of the buttons, you'll see that the Spectralite is shorter.  If you install the lighting into the body of the button, you'll also notice that the LED in the Spectralite button sits much higher.  Light works on the inverse square law, which states that a light half the distance away is 4 times brighter.  You can see that this is roughly the situation here.  Again, if you don't like the extra brightness, 5v would be the way to go.  Keep in mind two other things as well; 1) slight "murkiness" aids in diffusion of the light and can be a desirable trait.  This is probably partially responsible for the more even lighting across the bezel on the Spectralite.  And, 2) brighter lighting is beneficial when used with inserts, especially when the material used is something like normal paper.

Quote
The next thing you will notice, which is visible in this next picture, is how the light from the LED is diffused through the two buttons.  The Ultralux on the left has the light dispersed really evenly, giving it that same clean, crisp look.  The Spectralite, on the right has a pretty apparent circle of light showing in the middle.   This is not the camera playing tricks on us, it looks that way to the naked eye as well.

Both buttons do have a diffuser disc in the top of the button.   It just seems that one of them does a better job spreading the light out than the other.

Again, the distance is different, so the comparison is not valid.  If the distance between the LED on the Spectralite is half that of the other button (I believe it is actually less than half in this case) then 4 times the amount of light is striking the diffuser on the Spectralite button. As one can imagine, this would have an effect.

Quote
I thought it was only fair to at least show one shot of the SpectraLite button lit up with it's stock 12v LED, so here it is.   It seems to have a much more direct one light dot in the middle.  This, I believe, just comes from the style of light bulb it is.  It's a smaller LED, whereas the one from Ultimarc has a much wider bulb on it.  The provided 12v LED appears to have some level of success getting rid of the distinct circle of light, however it replaces it with that more direct light in the very center.

This is a camera artifact.  The buttons do not look this way in use.  The camera CCD becomes saturated, thanks to improper exposure settings, and goes to max at a certain level of light output.  This is why the spot appears white, instead of blue, which would be impossible for a blue LED to do.

Quote
I will not comment on the switches provided with the two buttons, as I am no expert on that sort of thing. They both feel fine to me. I believe both sites probably offer different options available for switches anyway.  

This is, however, an important consideration, unless one is purchasing "lights" with the button functionality being of secondary importance.  Most won't approach the situation in that manner.  Both styles of buttons are considerably stiffer than the normal concave arcade buttons, so switches are important.  The Spectralites come standard with our "Soft Touch" switches, which improves the feel of them considerably.  If one needs to purchase these separately, to get the same feel on other buttons, that cost also needs to be taken into account.

I'd also like to address the "no printed inserts" situation as it applies to the Spectralites.  I planned to do this, but these buttons really work well for the DIY'er in that regard, especially with the amount of light they are capable of applying to the insert.  I can't possibly keep a library of all of the different designs folks will likely want, and they are so simple (with these buttons) for the user to customize themselves.  Blind_dado has the right idea, but cutting them out is even simpler than using a compass.  Here's how to do it.....

Using your favorite drawing program, make a fine outline of a circle about .850" in diameter.

Put your artwork in the center of the circle, being mindful to leave a some space from the edges.

Print your design on whatever paper you want, so long as you can hold it up to a light and see a desired amount pass through, and it goes through your printer without a problem.  The more dense the print, the better.

After your design is printed, take the diffuser disc from one of the buttons and put it face down on your printed design.  It should be very easy to center it by eye, as the template circle is larger.

Then, while applying pressure to the disc, carefully cut around the diffuser disc with a hobby knife or razor blade.  This should give you a perfectly centered design on a disc that is both cleanly round and just the right size for the button.

Insert into the button, snap on the plastic cap and admire your creativity ;).

RandyT
« Last Edit: July 01, 2011, 02:22:50 pm by RandyT »

Donkbaca

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2011, 01:57:40 pm »
I agree with Randy, just print your own. 

markronz

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2011, 04:32:21 pm »
I won't spend the time trying to argue with any of your points.  I was merely giving my amateur opinions comparing the two buttons side by side.   

I hear your points with the LEDs and everything.  I struggling with trying to figure out how to fairly compare the two.  So I apologize that I had chosen wrong.  However, when I hold the two buttons next to each other, they do appear to be the same lengths to me.   Also, when I hold the light holders + LEDs next to each other, they also appear to be very similar in lengths.  So I really don't think there's that much of a difference there.   But irregardless, you are right, I should probably have used the stock LEDs to do the comparisons.    I don't have the time at the moment to redo this.   But as you can see I did do use the stock LED at one point.   You can make the claim that my camera did have some affect on what the picture looked like.  However, my naked eye picked up on the same type of lighting I've described.  So while it may look worse in the pictures, than in real life, the main point is still true.    For my money, when you compare the Ultralux with stock LED vs the SpectraLite with stock LED, the Ultralux spreads the light more evenly, and the plastic used appears more clear, crisp and vibrant colored.   So if you want to discount the rest of my comparisons, that one point is still true, in my opinion, when I compare them side by side.  Perhaps trying the SpectraLite stock LED at 5v would yield better results.

Your method for cutting the buttons, while it seems like the obvious way to do it, is actually harder than it sounds.   That's precisely what I tried to do on my first attempt.   You just have to make the cuts very concise around the circle.   If you take multiple swipes at it with the hobby knife, you can see those slight spots where you stopped and started cutting.    Ideally you would want to make one single cut all the way around the circle, but that's just not easy to do.   So I myself would prefer the hole punch or compass method mentioned here.   But to each their own.  Maybe everyone is better at making cleaner cuts than I am.  All I know is that when I tried it, I could see the ragged edges around the edges, while the insert was in the button.   But anyway, the main point is that, yes, it's easy to make your own inserts.    I don't personally feel it's necessary for your store to offer inserts.   People can make their own, and can use whatever they want.  That's why I like these buttons so much.

Well anyway Randy, I hope you know that I wasn't intentionally trashing your products, or trying to do any sort of unfair comparisons here.   I've always loved all the products you offer, and I even like the Spectralites.   As I said in my original review, there's nothing wrong with the buttons, they work fine, and are acceptable.   If you're willing to spend the extra money (which is a fair amount of money actually) then I personally prefer the Ultralux ones.   Anyone else is free to buy the two and compare them themselves.  This is just my opinion.

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2011, 05:08:34 pm »
However, when I hold the two buttons next to each other, they do appear to be the same lengths to me.   Also, when I hold the light holders + LEDs next to each other, they also appear to be very similar in lengths.

I haven't taken anything as a slam, but it is important to understand why things are as they are.  The SpectraLites are definitely shorter.  However, this is not what is actually important.  What is important, is the distance between the emitter and the diffuser.  The only way to know this is to remove the caps and diffusers from the plunger and measure the distance to the LED's.  It will be very apparent when you check this way.  

The reason you are seeing what you see is because the SpectraLite is putting much more light on the diffuser.  This is actually a good thing if one intends to use legends in them, which is really what they are designed for.  Our ChromaLite buttons are of the same design as the one you are comparing the SpectraLites to.  In testing, the SpectraLites outperform the ChromaLites in lighting efficiency, using the same light at the same voltage.  This is due to the distance difference.  The SpectraLites can actually be used at 3vDC, whereas the ChromaLites need 5vDC for the same output levels.  In the end, they are simply two different designs, each with their own strengths.

RandyT

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2011, 07:23:32 am »
Can anyone offer opinions/comparisons with the Paradise Arcade LED pushbuttons?

blind_dado

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2011, 09:55:23 am »
I don't know anything about them, but take a look at this video:

LED arcade pushbuttons from Paradise Arcade Shop

markronz

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2011, 10:15:27 am »
That's a great video!   I have never seen a Paradise Arcade button in person yet.  But based on the demonstration in the video, and the light dispersion, it would seem that their buttons seem to be closer to the Ultralux ones.   They appear to disperse the light very well.    I won't say any more, or speculate any more than that, since like I said, I've never seen a Paradise one yet.

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2011, 10:52:53 am »
I've seen the video and the buttons look decent. Was hoping someone who actually has them could offer some feedback. Does anyone know if the standard LED lights that come with the buttons can be dimmed using a controller like the PacLED64? The video seems to indicate that u would need the brighter LED's that they offer.

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2011, 11:07:28 am »
I have them, I will update my build thread tonight and you can see them lit up.  They look really good, the LEDs that come with them are plenty bright.  Yes to dim them you need need a Pac64 or LEDWIZ.  I have them with the 20 microgram or whatever switch in them.  There is no spotting from the light, it diffuses pretty evenly.  To be honest though, I don't think the diffusion is THAT big of a deal.  The main reason I got LEDs is so that I can pull up CP wizard before the game and have the controls used for that game light up.  Most of the time you aren't going to be looking at the buttons.  So like on Bryan's video, how the hot spot grows when the button is pressed down, nobody would notice this, your fingers are on the buttons and when you are playing, you are looking at the screen, not the buttons.

I would recommend the Paradisearcade buttons, but I don't think there is anything wrong with the spectralite's and the ultralux buttons.  I am sure there are differences between them, but there is also differences in price, and the differences probably aren't noticeable enough to the average consumer/user.

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2011, 11:27:19 am »
Some photos of the actual buttons would be awesome. And so the stock lights that come w/ the buttons can be dimmed with an LED controller?

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2011, 05:24:19 am »
A few quick comments...
1) For inserts the biggest pain is cutting them out, which is why we charge a bit more for insert buttons, but we do have over 100 different inserts on the website.  However, doing these yourself is not a bad idea and works quite well if you take the time to cut them out carefully.
http://www.paradisearcadeshop.com/en/27-led-buttons?p=2

2) You need to be really careful when comparing LED buttons based on website images.  Ultralux is a product exclusive to Ultimarc and there for under their tight control.  Everyone else is subject to their supply chain.  We order these by the 1000's and our supplier knows that if they do not match our specifications exactly, they will be paying to ship 1000's back.  We shared this in this video here:


3) We also have an RGB solution for these that works quite well.  The biggest benefit is that we sell these pads separately so you can retrofit old builds and update them to RGB pads.
http://www.paradisearcadeshop.com/en/arcade-pinball-leds/92-tropical-mood-light-rgb-5vdc-led.html

4) Every button we tested was a 12V LED had about 20 mA of current at 12V.  Our buttons will light up at 2.5V, and are about 5 mA with decent lighting at 5V.  I can say with confidence that I think this will be almost identical for every seller in the US, I have not done this testing with Ultimarc's buttons.  Also please note that it's not the voltage that determines the brightness of the LED, it's typically correlated to the amperage, which is usually controlled by resistance.  5V 20mA lights just have lower resistors, than 12V 20mA lights.  Any one of these buttons can be converted if you want to swap out the resistors, it's actually quite easy.  Of note, our super brights are 30-40mA.

4) It is true that light follows the inverse square law, however, this is applicable over a specified area.  Since you are trying to light the entire button top, it is critical to match the distance with even distribution over the diffuser.  Markronz shows this difference with the Ultralux and our video posted by blind_dado, shows this with our buttons.  By placing the led closer to the button top you don't really get a more light reaching the top, you just focus the light on one part of the top, as shown by Markronz's pictures.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2011, 10:46:29 pm by armi0024 »

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2011, 10:27:14 am »
We shared this in this video here:

It's unfortunate, however, that the video is so full of inaccuracies, which I am assuming is based on an improper understanding of physics and a desire to elevate one's own products.  

The parts you call "brittle" are actually an improved version of the parts you simply prefer over them.  Harder plastic is, by it's very nature, more brittle.  It has the advantage of being less able to be deformed, which can cause sloppy switch positioning.  Had you left the part you squeezed in the camera frame for a little longer, the ability to deform the parts to the point of poor performance would have been obvious to your viewers.  Of course "squeezing" isn't the direction of the force normally applied to a switch holder, rather spreading the parts.  Also, the parts you are condemning are more precise and fit together with the rest of the assembly, and the switch, more easily.

The "gussets" on the softer parts are necessary to add strength to the softer material.  Were they not there, that part would deform even more easily, making it even more susceptible to thermal changes and to simple manual deformation.  The lack of these gussets on the harder plastic holders is absolutely necessary to allow them to flex for switch insertion.  The presence of gussets on the harder plastic holders would simply make switch installation more difficult, but would do nothing to stop a ham-handed attempt of a vendor trying to break them with more force than is ever actually required to install a switch.  Showing something like this, with the implication that the parts are inferior, looks like an attempt to mislead.  It's equally possible to break the other types, given enough intent to do so (I can post a photo of one I just broke, if you'd like).  The fact is, however, both work fine when treated with the respect due them, in normal use, and my customers haven't had the issues you claim exist.  If they did, I would have a very different opinion on the subject.

What you also failed to mention in your video, most likely because it is inconvenient to your goal, is that the opposite orientation of the switch holders on the more flexible parts presents nearly insurmountable challenges when attempting to use those parts with anything but normal microswitches.  The leaf switch adapters (even the ones you offer) do not fit these backward switch holders.  They don't fit our ChromaLite buttons either, as the switch holders are the same parts you seem to like better.  Due to this, we have to physically modify the ChromaLite buttons and our Micro-leaf assemblies for those who order this combination, which we have been doing at no charge.  The adapter-type switches do, however, fit in the SpectraLite switch holders.  The only reason we offer both types is that the chrome version is not available with the better switch holder.

Quote
4) Every button we tested was a 12V LED had about 20 mA of current at 12V.  Our buttons will light up at 2.5V, and are about 5 mA with decent lighting at 5V.  I can say with confidence that I think this will be almost identical for every seller in the US, I have not done this testing with Ultimarc's buttons.  Also please note that it's not the voltage that determines the brightness of the LED, it's typically correlated to the amperage, which is usually controlled by resistance.  5V 20mA lights just have lower resistors, than 12V 20mA lights.  Any one of these buttons can be converted if you want to swap out the resistors, it's actually quite easy.  Of note, our super brights are 30-40mA.

4) It is true that light follows the inverse square law, however, this is applicable over a specified area.  Since you are trying to light the entire button top, it is critical to match the distance with even distribution over the diffuser.  Markronz shows this difference with the Ultralux and our video posted by blind_dado, shows this with our buttons.  By placing the led closer to the button top you don't really get a more light reaching the top, you just focus the light on one part of the top, as shown by Markronz's pictures.

You don't seem to understand "inverse square law", as your "applicable over a specified area" is a bit of a redundant statement.  For folks interested in knowing what it means, this is a good explanation.  Light emanates from the emitter in a spherical pattern.  Think of a ball with many pins inserted in-line with the radius of the sphere.  The pins represent rays of light. The closer one is to the sphere (emitter) the more dense (shorter distance between) the pins (rays) are.  Obviously, one cannot insert enough pins to represent the number of actual rays of light, but the result is identical.  Twice the distance, 4 times the loss.  Reflectors will produce a cone (with losses based on the quality of the reflectors, which are typically not the highest of quality) to attempt to guide more of the light to the area of interest.  But as much of that area is physically blocked by the panel in which a button is installed, this can actually work against the goal in this application.  A button with more diffusive or refractive qualities, coupled with a very wide angle emitter, close to the area of interest, will always be the better solution.  It's simple physics, and regardless of reflectors, cone shapes, etc., the inverse square law still applies.

But it's simple to see for yourself.  Use the same stock 12v LED assembly in both types of buttons and power it at 5v.  The difference in performance will be be obvious.  And as Donkbaca stated, it doesn't matter what the button looks like when depressed with your finger.  Unless you have transparent fingertips ;).

Quote
I won't speak specifically to any of the other people supplying these but I can say that I would stick with a supplier that can provide consistent quality and is able to provide the product that is shown on their website.

Let me be the one to say that the photo shown in the video was taken from our site.  It was not a nefarious attempt to mislead, rather the fact that the photos of the individual SpectraLites were taken directly after the photos of the ChromaLites, and the switch holder from the ChromaLite was left in the photo layout in error.  An error we have just recently been made aware of.  Simply looking at the main SpectraLite photo in the description, with the switch holders installed, would make it obvious to anyone who wasn't playing a game of "gotcha" that the better (in my educated opinion) switch holder comes with those parts.  Were it not for the fact that we are currently moving to a new, much larger facility (right across from a Post Office ;)) to better serve our customers, and that our photo room has been broken down and boxed, this would have been remedied already.

While I'm typing, I might as well address a point of contention in the other video posted here.  The size of the plunger legs is important, but has no bearing on stability or durability. What is important is the overall design, what the designer is attempting to accomplish, and how well they accomplish it.  One of the complaints about the design with the heavier legs has been a "tougher" plunger feel, and eventual "squeaking" of the buttons due to heavier friction and wear.  The more streamlined plunger leg is obviously an attempt to improve that situation, which it does very well, with no impact upon durability.  Again, the attempt to paint the different design as a "flaw" is suspect at best.

Careful where you get your info, folks.  You might be getting only part of the story.

RandyT
« Last Edit: July 14, 2011, 03:32:07 pm by RandyT »

Nephasth

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2011, 10:56:12 am »
 :hissy

I can feel the flames of post hell from here...
« Last Edit: July 14, 2011, 10:57:50 am by Nephasth »

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2011, 11:40:12 am »
OKay.... so baiscally all you really need to know is that the ultralux buttons are probably nicer, and built to a better standard since Andy controls his own supply chain.  The other buttons that look like it are basically chinese knockoffs.  I have the paradise arcade ones.  They work fine.  I am sure Randy's work just fine.  Buttons are cheap, if you really want to know, spend 20 bucks and order a couple from each vendor and decide for yourself.  Things like inverse square laws don't mean squat to me.  All I want to know, and I am sure most people care to know, is this: I know there is a difference in price, what is the difference in quality that makes up that difference in price, and is it worth the premium for that quality?  I bought the Paradise Arcade buttons because they were the cheapest, are other buttons better?  Maybe yes, maybe no, but I am satisfied with how they look both lit and unlit, and I have gotten compliments on them.

Buttons are cheap, and there are SOOOO many different varieties, concave, convex, japanese style, leaf swith type, lit, unlit, translucent... etc.  Buttons are also fairly simple devices, its 2 or three molded pieces of plastic and a spring.  That's it, no complicated bits to it.  Also I have bought from Randy/Andy/Bryan none of what they sell is garbage, in my opinion and they are all active members on this board so they can't sell garbage or they would get flamed around here.  Figure out what type of button you want, then just try some out.  If you hate them you are out a couple of bucks, not a big deal.  Probably a better idea to find out what you like and what matters to you than to get opinions form others, especially when we are talking about 2 dollar buttons.

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2011, 11:55:04 am »
OKay.... so baiscally all you really need to know is that the ultralux buttons are probably nicer, and built to a better standard since Andy controls his own supply chain.  The other buttons that look like it are basically chinese knockoffs.  I have the paradise arcade ones.  They work fine.  I am sure Randy's work just fine.  Buttons are cheap, if you really want to know, spend 20 bucks and order a couple from each vendor and decide for yourself.  Things like inverse square laws don't mean squat to me.  All I want to know, and I am sure most people care to know, is this: I know there is a difference in price, what is the difference in quality that makes up that difference in price, and is it worth the premium for that quality?  I bought the Paradise Arcade buttons because they were the cheapest, are other buttons better?  Maybe yes, maybe no, but I am satisfied with how they look both lit and unlit, and I have gotten compliments on them.

Buttons are cheap, and there are SOOOO many different varieties, concave, convex, japanese style, leaf swith type, lit, unlit, translucent... etc.  Buttons are also fairly simple devices, its 2 or three molded pieces of plastic and a spring.  That's it, no complicated bits to it.  Also I have bought from Randy/Andy/Bryan none of what they sell is garbage, in my opinion and they are all active members on this board so they can't sell garbage or they would get flamed around here.  Figure out what type of button you want, then just try some out.  If you hate them you are out a couple of bucks, not a big deal.  Probably a better idea to find out what you like and what matters to you than to get opinions form others, especially when we are talking about 2 dollar buttons.

QFT.

If you look at the switch holder in Andy's buttons, you'll see immediately that they are not the same as the ChromaLite, or similar chrome buttons, and have more in common with the SpectraLite switch-holder design.  Knowledge of inverse square laws aren't necessary to get a button which does what you want, at the price you want to pay.  It, and similar engineering/physics principles, only help once you start picking apart the designs to figure out why things function (or don't function) as you expect them to.  For that, they are invaluable.

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2011, 10:42:45 pm »
Of course, Groovy Game Gear's Novagem pushbuttons beat out all of these, in my opinion.  BUT THEY HAVE BEEN SOLD OUT FOR AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER!  (And rumors of the upcoming release of the NovaGem 2 buttons have been greatly exaggerated.)

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2011, 10:55:44 pm »
Of course, Groovy Game Gear's Novagem pushbuttons beat out all of these, in my opinion.  BUT THEY HAVE BEEN SOLD OUT FOR AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER!  (And rumors of the upcoming release of the NovaGem 2 buttons have been greatly exaggerated.)

 :banghead:  They are indeed coming, I promise.  Just yesterday I received a box of 50 GOOD yellow NovaGem2 buttons with the extra feature I requested.  It took the factory a while to work out the kinks (I know, that's putting it mildly), but they are finally up to the quality I have been pushing for.  Sent the go ahead to start production on all colors as soon as we went over the samples with the proverbial "fine tooth comb".  More EI buttons are on the way as well.


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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2011, 12:58:59 am »
I like ultralux myself, I bought the rgb kind, and the colors are so vibrant.... I also dig the chrome trim package great effect....  ML :)

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2011, 03:53:07 am »
Cool thread.

I'm actually going to be upgrading my buttons to LED's and have on order Ultralux and paradise test buttons. I'm waiting on EI and Novagems to become available to see what they are like.

Randy, Is it likely that the Novagems and EI will sell out quickly? I'm new to this and fear wanting a button that will suddenly not be available so I thought I'd ask. Also are the EI and NG's concave? They look like it but I thought I'd ask that as well.

I'm a noob and didn't even notice the spectralites underneath the classx buttons. I'm assuming that I'm going to like the EI's for what I'm hoping to do with my cabinet.

Let this Lincoln/Douglas debate continue. ;)
« Last Edit: July 15, 2011, 03:59:47 am by jimfath »
@jimfath

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #25 on: July 15, 2011, 05:20:07 am »
Just a couple of points on Ultralux:

The switches we supply with these are now our own brand and not the original Sanwa ones we supplied in the past which were rather stiff. Some reviews still refer to the Sanwa version.

They are not made in China. Not sure how important that is, but thought I would mention it.

Andy

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #26 on: July 15, 2011, 05:38:12 am »
 My post was to say that there were inconsistencies between somebodies posted pictures and the products they were shipping, which is a fact. I am glad the completely inappropriate comments were removed from Randy's post, but the personal attacks that remain are really inappropriate and I'm surprised they are tolerated.  This is not an appropriate medium to slander others.

So let's stick to the facts:
1)These were our first product and did so well that we expanded the company out to do quite a few different things.  We have had both styles of buttons and our customers overwhelmingly prefer the style we sell now, over the ones with the alternative bases.  Between the brittle bases breaking on installation, uneven lighting, the "murky" appearance already described, as well as a few other issues, the feedback we received was clear when people had both in hand. 

2) It is true that the bases on these buttons do not accept the Leaf switch brackets, but they don't fit either style.

3) This is a great explanation for an incandescent bulb with a even spherical distribution.  The LEDs used in most of the buttons are more like a flash light.  The lens effect of top (not "reflectors") creates a cone more than a sphere of light (it's not a perfect cone but it is definitely not a sphere like the above link assumes, you can check it out yourself by just looking at an LED from one of these buttons). The problem, as stated in the first video, is that this cone is too close to the surface of some buttons, so the intensity is not distributed evenly.  Many LEDs are sold with specifications of how wide this cone is based on the specific shape of the top of the LED.  If anyone needs a more complete explanation of this, I'm happy to elaborate, but basically the light travels in a similar pattern to a flash light.

Now on a more positive and exciting note...

1) We offer 4 different styles of RGB and lit buttons:
Regular LED buttons
Chrome Rim LED buttons
Il-lumination for IL buttons
The Uila for Seimtisu Translucents
We also did lighting for the new Rollie buttons(if anyone hasn't seen these, they are really nice buttons)

2) We have a new style of lighting coming in that will not only make lighting up the IL buttons even easier, it will be compatible(without modification) with both the types of LED controllers currently available on the market.

3) IL sent us prototypes of custom buttons exclusively for our store, we are really looking forward to delivering a new button from one of the most respected names in the arcade business

4) We have exclusive prototype Seimitsu buttons in hand that are amazing, there is currently a prototype fight stick being made with these new buttons

5) We are also talking to one of the most popular arcade manufacturers in the world about a custom lit version of their buttons.... Nope, not HAPP!

6) Randy and I finally agree on something!!! "Careful where you get your info, folks.  You might be getting only part of the story." However, I have this sneaky suspicion that we probably won't agree on where you should get the info, or which part of the story is accurate :)

Here are some movies, don't worry , no movie tricks here :)





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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #27 on: July 15, 2011, 11:19:49 am »
My post was to say that there were inconsistencies between somebodies posted pictures and the products they were shipping, which is a fact.

Maybe it's just me, but I find it ironic that the proprietor of a store selling unlicensed game roms (fact) is falling over himself to try to paint another vendor, one who has been serving this community, and the gaming community in general for the last 13 years, as being "dishonest" over a mistake in one of the two photos in a product description.  Especially one where the error only serves to make the product less attractive.   :dunno

Quote
1)These were our first product and did so well that we expanded the company out to do quite a few different things.  We have had both styles of buttons and our customers overwhelmingly prefer the style we sell now, over the ones with the alternative bases.  Between the brittle bases breaking on installation, uneven lighting, the "murky" appearance already described, as well as a few other issues, the feedback we received was clear when people had both in hand.  

I cannot argue with what you claim your experiences to be, as they are your experiences.  But I can tell you, and I've said it already, that what you call "murky" is a diffusive property which helps spread light through parts not directly in line with the light rays.  It also makes it easier to obscure a less than cleanly drilled hole in the panel.  And after thousands being shipped, I don't recall a single complaint of a broken base, or a displeased customer.  The bases you dislike fit with the other components so much better, that considerably less force is required to install them.  And most importantly of all, the buttons, IMHO, feel smoother and easier to use during play.  If not, I would be sourcing the same buttons you did.

Quote
The LEDs used in most of the buttons are more like a flash light.  The lens effect of top (not "reflectors") creates a cone more than a sphere of light (it's not a perfect cone but it is definitely not a sphere like the above link assumes, you can check it out yourself by just looking at an LED from one of these buttons). The problem, as stated in the first video, is that this cone is too close to the surface of some buttons, so the intensity is not distributed evenly.  Many LEDs are sold with specifications of how wide this cone is based on the specific shape of the top of the LED.  If anyone needs a more complete explanation of this, I'm happy to elaborate, but basically the light travels in a similar pattern to a flash light.

Sounds like you need to take a closer look.  There are indeed tiny reflectors in the LEDs, just like the mirrored reflector in a flashlight.  These guide available light produced by the emitter to the area of interest, or more specifically out the top of the LED.  Otherwise, this light would be wasted, as only a portion would find it's way to the lens (because light travels outward in a spherical pattern), with the rest pouring out in other directions.  The quality of this reflector dictates how much is absorbed and how much is reflected.  Regardless of these facts, the laws of the way light works still apply.  The path of the light is, however, being modified by both the reflector and the lens.  These light rays are still spreading, moreso due to the lens, as they are not being collimated by a complex optical system, and the brightness is still dropping off very rapidly, based on the distance from the part being illuminated.  The lens which is spreading the rays actually makes the condition worse.

I guess this is the part where I'm supposed to do a gratuitous self-promotion, but it seems out of place in a technical discussion, so I'll refrain.

RandyT
« Last Edit: July 15, 2011, 11:22:32 am by RandyT »

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #28 on: July 15, 2011, 11:38:39 am »
-1

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #29 on: July 15, 2011, 11:42:52 am »
Screw it, I'm making my own buttons from now on.....

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #30 on: July 15, 2011, 11:45:08 am »
But I can tell you, and I've said it already, that what you call "murky" is a diffusive property which helps spread light through parts not directly in line with the light rays.

The "murky" appearance was an observation of one of the qualities of said button originally made by a consumer comparing two products, not Bryan.

Careful where you get your info, folks.  You might be getting only part of the story.

Yet another example why I think vendors should not comment on other vendors' products, leave it to the consumers to make the comparisons. All it does is taint this forum...

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #31 on: July 15, 2011, 11:54:22 am »


The above image Mark did so well, shows the advantages of the more diffusive ("murky") material when being illuminated.  It's about the look one is trying to achieve.  To paint one as better or worse is pointless, as it becomes a matter of personal preference and expectations.  Both look great...just different.

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #32 on: July 15, 2011, 12:09:28 pm »
Quote
The above image Mark did so well, shows the advantages of the more diffusive ("murky") material when being illuminated.  It's about the look one is trying to achieve.  To paint one as better or worse is pointless, as it becomes a matter of personal preference and expectations.  Both look great...just different.

Exactly!  :applaud:  Which is why asking for opinions on this forum is total ---That which is odiferous and causeth plants to grow---.  A lot of people give opinions on products they have never personally used, or have some sort of elitist notion regarding some controls (see Happ vs Il, the constant bashing of x-arcade parts, etc.)  As I usually say, its all personal preference and a lot of the differences are going to be subtle one's that your average person would never pick up on.  On my cab I have cheap parts.  I have the paradise arcade light up fight stick, which is a like 9 buck taiwanese seimitsu wanabe stick.  But it lights up, it looks cool and it plays pretty well.  I have been playing MK9 on cab using this stick and I find it responsive and is just fun as hell.  Now would a $25 Sanwa JLF make a difference?  Maybe, but probably not.  Will it be a big enough difference for me to spend twice as much money?  No, I would probably have just as much fun as I am having now.  I am not saying there aren't differences between different joys, buttons and switches; there definitely ARE, what I am saying is that in a lot of cases, these differences are not super-huge to  where you can say x is crap and y is gold.  Even in the cases where the differences ARE noticeable, I would say that some people will prefer one, some will prefer the other.  Some LIKE the murkiness -that is sort of the whole point of the electric ice line that Randy carries, its all a murky color and that button sells like gangbusters.  Others, don't like the murkiness.  Some like concave buttons, some like convex, some like bat tops, some like ball.  Its all preference.  Also, people get USED to what they have.  You play concave buttons enough, you get used to them, you like them, you deal with them.  You hate bat tops, you get a ball top because they light up, you come to like the ball tops.

My advice: Try out the different parts, or ask people that actually have the parts on their cab what they think about them.  People forget this thing called e-bay.  You know if you buy something, you aren't stuck with it forever.  Hell buy 5 different joysticks, find the one you like and ebay the four you didn't.  yeah you will lose a little bit, but you will have the stick you know you like. Look at all of this time and space wasted on BUTTONS.  Buttons are cheap.  buy a couple from each vendor, see what you like the best.

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #33 on: July 15, 2011, 12:15:58 pm »
To paint one as better or worse is pointless, as it becomes a matter of personal preference and expectations.  Both look great...just different.

Doesn't personal preference and expectations dictate what is better over something else? And consumers who are in the market for buying a new product usually look towards those who have already purchased those products for their opinions. That's why people read reviews. Mark's opinion of the Ultralux being the better of the two is not pointless. He provided us with plenty of photos and information for us to make our own decisions. Some will agree with him and potentially buy Ultralux, and some may view (thanks to all his photos) the Spectralite as a better fit for them. As Donk said, it's all PREFERENCE in the end. But other people's opinions tend to point us in a starting direction.


lastrega

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #34 on: July 16, 2011, 02:19:12 am »
I think it does NOT taint the forum, ya know America and the Uk and Canada were founded on freedom (in some way or another) and it's nice to see vendors that really believe in what they produce.
Bravo, You All have great products, really great products.... so you guys keep on doing what your doing, in the end it is the consumer that decides anyway:)

I really like andy and his interface products, I had first planned to use spectralite buttons.... So I made my order (stored it in the cart) then went to get the buttons, sadly I found it rather confusing (for a noob) to hook the spectralite leds to the pac64 I ordered, so I went back to andy's site and found out then and only then that he sold buttons as well and his rgb went right to his Mega bomb pac64 ... PLUG N PLAY:) , and that my friends is why I got his buttons........ I am sure that if the spectralite would hooked up as easy I would stuck to first plan.....

So anyway to make a long story short, I was so happy with ultimarc I went ahead and bought alomost everything from andy, and will do again I am sure...

Now props to the other guys as well, I had to buy coin mechs and other goodies elsewhere ,( I wont say where because it is not really important really) because ultimarc don't have EVERYTHING, point being, you ALL have really great products......



PS Andy one of the mini joysticks I bought has a glitch, that it sometimes stops going left or up....(I have the position disc set for 8 way and locked) If I twist the stick to the left like a quarter turn it responds great for while, the stops, little annoying, any suggestions for a fix for this:)? but even with this I love your stuff, and would recomend you to anyone:)

Nephasth

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #35 on: July 16, 2011, 10:06:03 am »
I think it does NOT taint the forum

There have been many threads and posts sent to Post Hell for getting out of line and being less than civil. The name calling and bashing isn't necessary, vendors should state facts about their own products without commenting on another vendor's, it always ends up leading to a petty argument. The comparisons should be made only by the consumers (at least in the forums, they can do whatever they want with their own sites).
« Last Edit: July 16, 2011, 10:11:21 am by Nephasth »

lastrega

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #36 on: July 17, 2011, 12:38:08 am »
I see your point kind sir, I did not know about that part sorry. I just meant to say that it's good to see vendors proud of what they make , and competion is what our land(s) great...... No offence please :notworthy:

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #37 on: July 17, 2011, 12:50:04 pm »
Since I wasn't able to really get any feedback or pics of the Paradise Arcade buttons, I've purchased some and will give my own 2 cents once they arrive. I haven't heard anything negative about them, and from the video they look decent. I was given the advice to order buttons from each of the three vendors 2 compare for myself. But shipping is $$ these days and then u have 2 contend w/ having extra buttons ur not going 2 use. So I rely on the opinions of those who have the buttons already 2 help me decide. I have 28 buttons on a 4 player CP, so buying new buttons can b costly. And as I'm sure other ppl have discovered, the cost of these arcade machine projects can really add up quick. The Paradise buttons r a good price and I'm very hopeful that they r as nice as Bryan feels they r. We shall soon see... :-)

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #38 on: August 02, 2011, 11:20:34 am »
I've recently acquired a button from Paradise Arcades.  I teetered back and forth about whether or not to write another response on this thread, because I didn't want to open up this can of worms again.   However, now that I've compared all three side by side, I thought it only fair that I do some sort of comparison after all.  I am of the mind that such comparisons do not taint the forum, and that it is useful.   Some people may be on a fixed budget and might not be willing to pay to get a button from each vendor just to compare for themselves.  Obviously, that is the ideal thing to do, but not everyone is going to be willing to spend money just to test.  While the buttons themselves aren't that much money, adding shipping into the picture makes the overall price really add up.   

Now, I'm not personally going to argue anything to do with laws of light, or anything like that.  I just don't have the knowledge (few do) to compete with any of these vendors posting on this thread.   I am merely going to comment on my amature observations on what I am seeing.   You can do with that what you will.   

Additionally, I will not personally be discussing or comparing microswitches (beyond stating what each button advertises to include).  That's not to say that I believe that switches are not important, they are very important, but only that I do not have the technical expertise to do the comparison justice.

Now I do acknowledge that (as has been pointed out earlier) there are some camera tricks that may come into play here.  It's difficult to take fully accurate pictures of illuminated buttons.  But I will do my best, and I will point out my observations first, and the pictures, while maybe not 100% accurate, do back up my opinions.

Ok, first before I get to any pictures, let me talk basic specs/prices.

Ultimarc Ultralux
$3.95 each, includes 5v LED.
No other LED upgrades listed
6.3mm E-Switch microswitch included
No other microswitch upgrades listed

GGG Spectralite
$2.15 each, includes 12V LED
No other LED upgrades listed
"Standard soft-touch" microswitch included
Several microswitch upgrade options available.

Paradise Arcade Lighted Pushbuttons
$2.20 each, includes 12v LED
5v LED available for additional 30 cents
50 Gram Microswitch included
Several microswitch upgrade options available.

Now to get to the actual comparisons. Note, I used the stock LED provided with each of the buttons in the pictures below.

First the LEDs.  Here is a screenshot of the three LED's side by side.  Although the PA and GGG bulbs appear to have the same bulb holder, the bulbs themselves do differ.   You'll see more on that later when I have them lit up.


Here are the switch holders.  The PA switch holder is definitely made using harder plastic than the others.   Whether thats a legitimate plus or not, I'm not sure.   I've never broken a switch holder from any of the three vendors, so the fact that PA's holder is harder, doesn't particularly do anything for me.  One thing I noticed is that it's harder to take out the switch by hand with the PA one.  Because it's a harder plastic, I couldn't bend it very easily to get the switch out.  With the other two, I could get the switch out without any problem.  This is easily remedied by just using a small screwdriver to aid in getting the switch out.   Besides, how often to you replace your switches once they're in there anyway?


Here's a shot of switch holders and LED assemblies side by side.


Another angle of the switch/LED assembly.


Now to explain what I meant earlier when I said that the LED holder appears the same, but that the bulb is different.  Here are all three of them lit up outside their buttons.   As you can see the PA LED is different than the GGG one.  One could argue that this has to do with the angle of the bulbs when I took the picture, but I played around with them, and that just seems to be how they work.  One appears to have a more conical light on the bottom, and the other has a more flat light on the bottom.   I won't speculate as to which is better at this point, I will let the illuminated buttons decide that for themselves.  My only point is that, while they look the same, they are not identical.


Now here are a few pictures of the buttons from various angles. 

You'll notice that the PA button comes with a black washer immediately under the button.  If you watch the PA video posted earlier, they say that this helps with the lighting or something.   They also say that their competitors come with smaller black washers on their buttons.   I'm not sure what's up with this, or what vendors they are referring to, but I did not receive any sort of black washer at all with the GGG or Ultimarc buttons. But at any rate, I've used both the GGG and Ultimarc buttons before, and never had a black washer in there, and never had a problem with that.  I guess I personally don't see what advantage this offers.  I would think it would look strange if each of the buttons had a big black ring under them.   But you can decide that for yourself.   Anyway, the washer is removable, so you could always just take it off if you don't want to use it.  I guess it's nice to have it there if you feel that it makes a positive difference for you.



And here are some pictures of the three buttons, side by side, lit up. Again this was very hard to photograph properly.  I will make some overall comments and observations at the end, after all the pictures.



For these next few pictures, the overall brightness of the pictures is a little misleading.  So for these next three pictures, don't try to compare one to the other.  Only use these three next pictures to give you some idea as to how the light gets dispersed with that particular button, and not judge the brightness.

PA button.  Very clean light dispersion.  Very similar to the "clean, crisp" look and feel of the Ultimarc one.  Really no complaints here.


GGG button. Circular cone of light in the middle.  Does not appear to disperse as evenly.  The outter ring of the button lights up just fine however.  As was mentioned earlier, your finger will be covering the button most of the time anyway, so you can make your own decision how important the overall look of the uncovered, lit up, button is to you.


Ultimarc button. Very clean, crisp look.  Even light dispersion. No complaints here.



As far as brightness goes, both the PA and GGG button do appear to be brighter than the Ultimarc one.   I believe this is because of the 12v LED's instead of the stock 5v Ultimarc one.   I hooked up 5v power to each of the three bulbs to see how that worked.   That's what the picture below is of.  Note, the PA button appears to look purple in the picture, but not in real life.   But anyway, bringing down the voltages to 5v, really evened out the brightness across the three buttons.   It did not appear to do much for getting rid of the cone of light thing with the GGG button however.  All three buttons do light up to an acceptable level at 5v, if that's the only voltage wire you have available there.


Now, back to the comparison of the stock LED's at their designed voltages... I would have to say that the PA button is the brightest.  GGG is a close second brightest.  And Ultimarc is the least brightest.

As far as light dispersion, the PA and Ultimarc ones are very similar in look.  Both do an excellent job at dispersing the light evenly across the button.  The GGG one, as I've mentioned before, has that cone of light in the middle.  It lights up well, but not as evenly.

So that's the basic review of all the buttons.  Now that I've gotten to look at all three of them side by side, based on solely brightness and light dispersion, I like the Paradise Arcade buttons myself.   The Ultimarc ones are very good as well, but simply not as bright.   Also, when you compare the price point on the PA button vs the Ultimarc one, it's a no brainer for me.   The GGG and PA button's prices are comparable.  The brightness between the GGG and the PA is also pretty close to each other.   So when choosing between those two buttons, you'd have to consider how much it means to you how well the light disperses.

That's all I've got for now.   If anyone has any questions about any of these, or would like me to clarify anything, please let me know.   Hopefully there isn't too much backlash from this latest comparison of mine.  ;D

BobA

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Re: SpectraLite vs. Ultralux
« Reply #39 on: August 02, 2011, 11:34:13 am »
Good comparison Markronz.  It was well illustrated and done without prejudice or speculation.  It is too bad that pictures do not show the true story due to the difficulty of photographing light sources but your comments help clear it up.  :applaud: :applaud:

  
 

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