Retro Arcade Sign With Light Bulbs


This image was created by: Marlon Lopez MMG1design. Camera used is "Canon EOS 5D." Lens used is "EF100mm f/2.8 Macro USM." Copyright Marlon Lopez MMG1design. All rights reserved.

This image was created by: Marlon Lopez MMG1design. Camera used is “Canon EOS 5D.” Lens used is “EF100mm f/2.8 Macro USM.” Copyright Marlon Lopez MMG1design. All rights reserved.

I bought one of those arcade signs from Hobby Lobby a long time ago but just finally got around to mod it. The arcade sign comes with fake printed-on light bulbs and it’s made of tin. I wanted to add real light bulbs to it, but finding a set of cheap light bulbs was hard. However, yesterday I found a cheap set at target… of all places!. It wasn’t just a set of lights though, it included a sign of its own that reads “HOPE”.

This image was created by: Marlon Lopez MMG1design. Camera used is "Canon EOS 5D." Lens used is "EF100mm f/2.8 Macro USM." Copyright Marlon Lopez MMG1design. All rights reserved.

This image was created by: Marlon Lopez MMG1design. Camera used is “Canon EOS 5D.” Lens used is “EF100mm f/2.8 Macro USM.” Copyright Marlon Lopez MMG1design. All rights reserved.


Drilling the holes on the arcade sign takes a while because you have to create small notches, so that the light bulb can “lock” into place. You have to drill out 50 of those holes and its difficult because the tin sign tears and bends really easily. An easier option would be to drill out a large enough hole, so that the light bulb base slides right trough it and then just hot glue the backside. But I preferred to lock the base to the sign instead as its more secure this way. The cost of the light set was under $30, which is much cheaper than the alternative light bulbs I was looking at before (g30 socket I believe).

This image was created by: Marlon Lopez MMG1design. Camera used is "Canon EOS 5D." Lens used is "EF100mm f/2.8 Macro USM." Copyright Marlon Lopez MMG1design. All rights reserved.

This image was created by: Marlon Lopez MMG1design. Camera used is “Canon EOS 5D.” Lens used is “EF100mm f/2.8 Macro USM.” Copyright Marlon Lopez MMG1design. All rights reserved.


This light set uses a standard x-mas light bulb, not the LED types. So the quality of the light is more authentic/retro than even the warm tone led light sets. It’s nice that it uses the standard x-mas bulb, since those are easy and cheap to replace if one burns out. It doesn’t look like an x-mas light bulb though, because it has a clear round cover that obscures the x-mas light bulb shape. Now if I could only find or make a light controller for it… I suppose that will be a future project.

About Marlon Lopez


As a designer and photog, I enjoy exploring creative ideas and collaborating with artist, photographers and designers to make unique creatives. I have a strong background in all aspects of design. I have experience in print design, web site design, advertising, corporate identity, brochures, yellow page directories, direct mail, and interactive design. My design solutions emerge from a comprehensive design process, and a understanding of my clients needs.

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