If there’s one single feature PC hardware companies have beaten to a bloody pulp by now, it’s RGB lighting. Some purists argue that it’s an unnecessary gimmick, but others can’t help but be drawn to the appeal of having a 24/7 party on their desktop. Lucky for them, there’s also plenty of LED lighting options to bring the party to the PC too.
Lighting up the interior of a PC is nothing new. Cold cathode light tubes, basic LED strips and LED fans have been used to light up builds for well over a decade now. But with more and more users showing off the inside of their clean builds, it was only a matter of time before RGB hit the interior lighting space. We checked out a ton of LED kits available to find the best way for you to light up your build. Here’s our favorites.
Launched in 2012, the original HUE is a great solution for RGB case lighting. Unlike kits like the DeepCool RGB350, the HUE allows you to adjust the tint of each RGB diode to create your own custom color. It uses an analog interface with three knobs installed into a 5.25” bay to easily adjust the color and lighting modes. However, since a lot of newer cases have ditched the 5.25” bay installation can be tricky.
Despite its marketing photos and high price tag suggesting otherwise, we were surprised to learn that the Thermaltake Lumi features non-addressable LED strips. Instead of a remote control, the Lumi uses buttons on top of the controller meaning you won’t be able to change the color or mode of the LED strips unless you open up the system or install it externally.
BitFenix Alchemy 2.0
The BitFenix Alchemy 2.0 is definitely one of our favorite single color LED kits available with their magnetic strip and high LED density. Each kit packs 15 ultra-bright LEDs into a single 12” strip but the cost makes this hard to justify over the RGB350.
NZXT is currently the only PC hardware manufacturer that offers a simple, software controlled solution for addressable LEDs. But considering the skyrocketing popularity of RGB peripherals, we wouldn’t be surprised if more options become available.
As usual, we’ll continue to update this story with new developments as we continue testing. Your feedback and suggestions are always welcomed. One of the LED kits we’re hoping to test next is BlinkyTape from Blinkinlabs. The LED strip uses its own USB-powered controller and software which potentially makes it an easier solution for custom lighting effects.
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