There are a lot of case mod ideas popping up left and right at the moment. From window kits to neon lighting, a lot of new accessories are available to totally pimp out your case. One of best ways to show off your case to give yourself some lighting from within.
I was contacted by Ross over at TweakMonster when he first got his Light Strips available. What exactly are light strips? Take your average neon tube and shrink it down to a thin tape sized strip and that's what we have here. Bendable and able to get around edges, something the average neon tube can't do.
Our kit came with the light strip itself along with a small 12V driver to power it. Good thing about this is that since it is 12V, you can place it in your car also if you're into that kind of thing. The driver comes with a red 12V and black ground bare wire leads. Since this was a prototype when I first received it, they may have changed this to include a molex passthrough. It wasn't too hard to hook this up, I just plugged it into my fan bus. Might have been even better if the driver came with an optional on/off switch to attach to a drive bay. You can do it yourself using a bay bus if you already have one.
The strip is 7/16 inch wide and about 60 inches long. There are ways to cut this strip and have multiple light strips, for a way to do that follow a good guide on it at TweakMonster. An easy way to have the light strip in different areas in your case. Here are some extra specs from TMs website:
- 7/16 of an inch wide x .020 (20 thousandths of an inch) thick (about the thickness of a piece of posterboard)
- self-adhesive backing sticks to anything stickable
- fully bendable and configurable
- may be cut to different lengths, all of which will glow individually
- comes in any color of the spectrum you can think of
- uses small power converter that is easily hidden, and can run numerous Lightstrips at once
- negligible power consumption
- NO heat generated from the light (which is always good)
- fully weatherproof
- can conform to just about any type of surface, including sharp bends and corners
- burn life of 15,000 hours (3 years straight)
- works right off your computer's power supply
- can handle heat just fine (like heatsink installations......)
- easily attachable to heatsinks, video cards, motherboards, cases, fans, water tanks, keyboards, mice, monitors, printers, mousepads, desks, speakers, etc.
Here are the bare leads from the driver, since we had a prototype of the unit they aren't connected to the a 4 pin molex. The final production model available now is already wire to plug directly into your power supply. For our purposes in this sample, I just connected them to our fan bus.
The neat thing about this is that the other side of the tape has an adhesive so you can place it anywhere in your case. Convenient to have when you want to position it onto any flat surface.
Here's a couple of shots of it in the dark, we got it wrapped around a hand in the first one and around a fan and case in the second shot. Its rather bright for a small strip, and having it able to bend is a big plus.
With so many lighting products available lately, its kind of hard to pick the right one. Best way to do it, is to go and look at it up close. These pictures don't really give you the full look of the light strips, or any light product in any sense. Each case is different so these may fit well and it may not. As for our example, it's pretty sharp and bright which is a good thing. It bends, so you can wrap it around like we did on the fan. If you have the cash, give this a shot, it's a neat toy.
Thanks to Ross over at TweakMonster for sending us this pre-production model. It's already available at your favorite case mod stores with all the right fixings missing from this sample.