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Anyone use Luminlays on a really dark stage?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dan Knowlton, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. Dan Knowlton

    Dan Knowlton Sometimes you're the dog, sometimes the tree Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    Palm Coast, FL
    They look interesting, but before I add them to a NYC Sadowsky I need some feedback on how well they work and how long they last.

    Dan K.
  2. They're supposed to be LED lamps. If that's true then barring any wiring failures they'll be good for somewhere in the 10,000 hour range. Reviews are favorable so far. You need to get a set and then tell me if they're worth anything. :D
  3. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    Nope. Straight up nope.

    All the gigs i play have (sufficient) lighting. If I have to read, I have a light for that.
    If i'm playing a gig with no lighting that would warrant what i assume is a fretboard light? I'm not playing that gig.
  4. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    I can't even find these online. What are they?? Link maybe?
  5. Showdown


    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I play lots of gigs like that. I wouldn't turn down a good gig over lighting. And sometimes I don't know what the lighting will be until I get there.

    I use Fretlord Glowdotz (just the ones on the edge). They stick on, glow in the dark, and even if they lose their glow during a set I can move my thumb up and feel them. And they are easily removable.


    I use to play a party about once every month or two at my friend's house on the beach with as many as 50 people there. We would play out on a deck overlooking the beach (but separated from the house). A lot of our musician friends would show up and it would end up being a 4 hour jam. We started early but usually had so much fun we would keep playing even after it got dark. The light from the house barely reached there and I couldn't see the neck much at all. The Glowdotz saved me every time. That wasn't a paying gig, but it sure was a lot of fun. At least until the cops showed up (which always happened :) ).

    I've also played a lot of dark bars. They are a lot of fun and I get paid. No point in turning them down.
    wes stephenson likes this.
  6. dStar


    Mar 1, 2012
    Igor Porto likes this.
  7. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    Ah yes, I've seen these. I would totally get them installed if I was having a custom build done. But me, myself, wouldn't put these in. I'm good but not that good. I remember seeing these for the first time and thought they were a great idea. I like them. I've used the led strip down the top of my neck before too. They worked great until the sticky strip got dirty and started pealing off. These look like they'd be a permanent, cool and rather useful addition to any bass. That's my thought anyway.
  8. I use reflective tape, bought in a small roll at a hardware store for maybe $10. Use a paper hole puncher to punch out small circles and stick the punched out "dots" to the side of the fretboard. You could probably do 50-100 bases with one roll.
    I don't even feel them when I play, and they don't come loose. You can get them off, however, if you want to. It takes a little work. If there is any light at all, they reflect it well, and I can see them clearly. That the solution that has worked for me. Simple and cheap.
    Templar and Haji like this.
  9. SlingBass4


    Feb 28, 2009
    Kansas City
    The LED markers mentioned are probably from Fret-X. I'd have posted a link, but their site is down at the moment. They've been in business a long time, as I've been using them off and on for about 8 years on a couple basses. They're operated by a small, not hard to find (or expensive) battery. Easy install on the back of the headstock, won't hurt your Sad, but once they're on...they may be damaged taking them off, and one can't "manhandle" them once applied. That said: They DO last and work great, and I'm not familiar with anybody that's had them fail. I think the last set I bought cost $70 about 2 years ago. Well worth it, and will get you noticed :smug:
  10. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    For venues that have lower light I'll usually grab a maple fretboard bass. It's easier for me to see rather than on a dark board.
  11. throbgod13


    Mar 26, 2005
    all new Warwicks come with luminescent side markers, now.. i've always wanted LEDs, but it's just so expensive to have installed..
  12. Sid Fang

    Sid Fang Reformed Fusion Player

    Jun 12, 2008
    Status Graphite has an option for integrated LEDs in one of three positions (front, side, corner) around the neck. As the necks are hollow, it's relatively easy to run the wiring inside the neck and put the battery in a compartment on the body.


    I gave some thought to it when I ordered my Stealth, but the added cost was pretty significant,, and anyway LEDs aren't very "stealthy".
  13. Igor Porto

    Igor Porto

    Mar 6, 2013
    Dan, I have installed Luminlay in the instruments I build for various clients and upgraded existing instruments. They all love it.

    It's a really good product made by a serious company in Japan. Many known luthiers are using them, including Sadowsky, Michael Tobias and Wyn.

    As to your question on how long they last, they will last enough. No stage is completely dark all the time, so eventually it will be recharged by the lights onstage. But I would say that if they are completely charged, they would last enough for at least 1 hour to be visible in a dark stage. I will test them today and check how much time they last.

    They are really fast to recharge, so any blast of bright light for 2 seconds and they will be glowing again.

    Here's a pic of an upgraded Warwick I did:


    Tip: get the blue dots installed, they last considerably longer than the green.
  14. fretno

    fretno Supporting Member

    May 10, 2009
    Los Angeles
    I added them on a Warmoth the neck needed side dots as it didn't have any markers so I added those . I like'em







    So some thoughts . firstly I like'em it was not too difficult to install , the company shipped them out right away as well , all good there , they also insured me they were nontoxic and updated their website as per that conversation . They are no where near as bright as LED's which IMO is a good thing . They look great in daylight as "normal" markers . So as for how long they glow , after a charge with their light about a few min. brightly so maybe a song or 2 , then they fade but still visible and they stay lightly glowing for a very long time , maybe a set list . It takes only a sec or 2 per each marker to charge up so you can recharge them during a set .
    Igor Porto likes this.
  15. Igor Porto

    Igor Porto

    Mar 6, 2013
    Note: don't expect them to be LED bright all the time, they're like that only for the first couple of minutes. Then it dims a bit and stays constant for long enough.
  16. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    The Martin Keith bass I ordered one month ago will have blue Luminlays. ETA another couple of months... knock wood. I'll report back once I've tried 'em out.

    I put the FretFX stick-on LED side dots on two of my basses. They are tricky to install, but I like 'em a lot.

    Yes, I'd prefer inlaid LEDs to either of these solutions, but my wallet refuses. I do have a genuine need, though. I often play on dark stages where light comes directly from the front, so even the side dots are in shadow. I refuse to hunch over to look at the face dots... and some of my basses don't have face dots!
  17. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    No gig report yet, but I just got my new Martin Keith and I'm happy with the Luminlays! Some pics so you don't have to click:

    20140717_183519.jpg 20140717_183558.jpg
    The black sleeves are for contrast against a maple fretboard.

    20140717_190256.jpg 20140717_190107.jpg

    The contrast is off in the last cell phone photo (taken with lights out), but the previous photo is accurate IMO: the Luminlays glow pretty well even with a light on.

    I'll report back on how long they glow on 7/26, that's the next time I'll be on a dark stage.
  18. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Have you ever tried recharging them with a UV black-light? Some kinds of rechargeable luminescent materials get a "good" charge from a minute of sunlight or intense incandescent light, but a black-light will super-charge them up really fast. If it does work uber-well for them, I would think one of those cigarette lighters with the mini-black-lights in the base would be as handy as they are inexpensive. :unsure:

    EDIT: And the bottom of this page just answered my question!
  19. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I've noticed that it doesn't take very long (5 mins?) for Luminlays to fade from their freshly charged state. However they do continue to glow at medium brightness for a half hour.

    I finally got to try the Luminlays on a fairly dark stage. At this club there's a fairly decent light show (various colors) hanging from the ceiling directly in front of the stage, but no lights to the side or behind. The lights are set up to cycle based on the music, but most of the lights stay off or dim with just 2-5 (?) full on; there's never a time when all the lights are full on. So, the stage usually remains fairly dim, and the Luminlays stay visible for a half hour in that condition.

    Of course Luminlays are not LEDs. When the brightest/whitest lights out front were full on, the glare overwhelmed the Luminlays and made them hard to see, even though they were still in shadow. Aside from that, the Luminlays were usually effective (again, for a half-hour give or take). Here are a couple of pics when they were effective:

    Freshly charged, stage light dim but not dark

    Same conditions, looking toward the band rather than the audience

    Of course Luminlays are not nearly as bright as LEDs, but they are effective in dim/dark conditions. Again, the only caveat is front-lighted conditions where glare can overwhelm their glow. Overall, I'm happy I chose them.
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