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 listedGGG 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.