Most Windows updates aren't all that exciting, but this is one of the better ones. After rebooting my home PC last night, I noticed a new menu had appeared. It's found in the Personalization menu. The new sub menu is called Dynamic Lighting, and it contains Windows' RGB lighting control.
Direct RGB control via Windows has been teased for some time. It's been present in Windows Insider builds for several months, and now it's available to the public. It's set to solve one of the most irritating and unnecessary bugbears of RGB-equipped systems. The idea behind it is to unify RGB control across your system, lessening the need to install multiple bloated or poorly functioning third-party apps. Woohoo! I love it already.
The Dynamic Lighting menu includes a fairly rudimentary set of features. Firstly, the feature is optional, and the apps for your various devices can be set to override the Windows settings. You'll find options for brightness and a list of six different effects with a speed control. You can choose from preset colors, or customize your own from the RGB or HSV color space. Both have six-digit hex code support.
That's a good start, and it should cover most users' requirements, but for now, custom effects are generally superior via third-party apps. Some vendors will be reluctant to support RGB control via Windows. They'll say their software is more feature-rich or needed to support a myriad of more advanced functionality like per-key or per-LED illumination, along with things like macro support, overclocking controls or fan speeds.
There are many prominent vendors that have—or will have support. These include Acer, Asus ROG, HP, Logitech, Razer and SteelSeries. The only RGB device(s) on my daily system is a set of G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB memory, which is not supported right now. That's a little disappointing given the feature has been in development for some time.
There is a catch, though. After a bit of research, it turns out that it's not automatically available at the minute unless a Windows update setting is enabled to 'Get the latest updates as soon as they are available'. Thanks to ComputerBase (via Tom's Hardware) for that tip.
As a boring chap who prefers subtle builds to retina-searing disco laser light shows, direct RGB control via Windows is an absolute godsend. I really hope more vendors step up and declare support. If only to have the option to dim my RGB without having to install a bunch of apps.
I raise a glass of #990000 wine to Microsoft for this update.