Neon lighting is very cool. The concept was originally designed for companies to advertise their products or services through eye-catching neon lit signs, then it was introduced into the club scene and then eventually into PC casing by case modders worldwide. Today Cameron "Mr.Tweak" Wilmot, or should we say DJ Tweak, tells us about the new PC Case Gear Cold Cathode Light Kit and just what we can do with it, branching away from regularity into a pretty cool and new concept, just waiting for you to see.
IntroductionPC Case Gear is a relatively new Australian online store based in Melbourne who specializes in selling a range of products for the enthusiast user - The owner tells me their shop front will be open soon...Boy, I wouldn't mind having a walk through all their products on the shop floor, when the store is eventually open for business. They will house products ranging from cases, window kits, coolers all the way through to power supplies and speakers - Certainly a case modders paradise.As with many Australian based stores of this kind, they tend to import a lot of products from counties likes the United States and Taiwan, products we don't normally have access to being in Australia. One of the more impressive products PC Case Gear import and stock is the PC Case Gear Cold Cathode (CC) neon Light Kit, something you have to see to believe.James, owner of PC Case Gear, was kind enough to send us along their latest version of the CC for review (He sent a blue light in the mail without even having to be asked, someone trained him very well indeed) - These new kits put out an amazing 12.25 inches of light. Added to this; they are thinner, longer and brighter than pervious versions. But wait, that is not all - Did I mention the light itself is sound sensitive...?In this review, I throw out all contemporary neon light PC methods and try something totally different, something I am sure you will all grow to love. Considering neon lights were first designed to advertise company's products or services on signs, then to jazz up night clubs and so forth, this makes for a wild and dramatic change - While it may not be a new concept to everyone, I am pretty sure nobody would mind bringing the night club to your home, well maybe everyone except the neighbors.
PC Case Gear Cold Cathode Light Kit Review -
FeaturesSince there are no real specifications as such for this light kit, we'll skip straight onto the features, bringing us closer to that home night club atmosphere I told you about earlier.- Light Output ComparisonAccording to the PC Case Gear website, the light is capable of 12.25 inches of pure light and is guaranteed to impress. While I can vouch for the latter comment, I have no way of proving the actual amount of light output in inches or even how the figure was first discovered in the first place. To compare the light output, I have a slightly older version of the CC with no sound sensitive feature from PCMods.com and another standard neon light from Streetglow, which I've had lying around as old review samples for months.It is actually fairly hard to show you the difference in total light output through a photo taken for a regular digital camera, at least of the CC light kits. There is really not a great deal of difference between the latest CC light kit and the slightly older CC light kit, to tell you the truth.The light output is roughly the same, except the newer CC light has a more improved and "defined" color because of the tinted casing they feature, in this case blue. The following pictures compare all three neon lights - The first two, as far as light output goes, is hard to notice a real difference as you will soon see. On the other hand, the bulky Streetglow neon light gives us a better comparison between the three. Photos were taken with lights off and obviously no camera flash.
This is the latest CC light kit with tinted casing for improved color.
This is the slightly older CC light kit with no tinted casing.
The last is the standard neon light with no tinted casing from Streetglow.
The pictures really speak for themselves; I tend to lean more favorably toward the latest CC light kit for its improved color. It was interesting to note that the Streetglow neon light made my digital camera flash automatically because there wasn't enough light in the room, you get the picture, so to speak.The next picture I'm about to show you is really the one we should take notice of - This picture was taken with camera flash activated to really show you the difference between all three, the latest CC light kit really excels here with its tinted casing - From top to bottom we have the latest CC light kit, the slightly older CC light kit and the Streetglow neon light.
It almost looks like they are standing on the podium waiting to receive their medals, or not.
PC Case Gear Cold Cathode Light Kit Review -
More Features- Stronger CasingCompared to its older brother, the new CC light kit measuring in at 32cm in length has a much stronger and noticeable casing which is made out of thickened acrylic casing to prevent breakage or damage. While a chair leg accidentally sitting on it while on the ground during installation will not save it from a certain death, it is much more solid than that of its brother.
While on the subject of casing, as I mentioned earlier, these new CC light kits come with colored casing depending on which light you desire - Blue, green, red or UV. The idea of this is to help improve the color the light outputs and as we proved in one of the previous photos, it does just that.Sound Sensitivity - DJ Tweak in da house!
This is where things start to liven up a little.Usually, case modders would place neon lights inside of their cases, for those who have case windows, to show off the cases precious assets and to add that certain style only neon lighting can offer.I'll admit it; the trusty neon and case window combination does look pretty cool, as proved by thousands worldwide...but why not take it one step further. Instead of putting up with people tapping on your case to see the light flash and for the fact I already have neon lighting inside my case - I have placed the light kit outside of the case, and in actual fact on the top of my monitor. Getting interesting now?A few days ago I came up with the idea of placing the sensor for the sound sensitive feature of the light kit next to one of my four speakers, creating that light effect you'd usually only find in night clubs where the neon flashes in time to the music - And in the case of this CC light kit, in perfect time. Placing the light kit on top of my 21" Sony monitor really does bring the entertainment side of the PC to a new level and a stunning one at that.The light coming from the neon is that powerful when it is night and all lights in the room are off (and the room is fairly large), the whole room flashes in tune to the music - I can only imagine what people must think as they drive past (it can even be seen from the street, and we are on the third level) - It would probably only take the addition of an extra red light kit to start getting the attention of the police.To demonstrate what I have been telling you, using my trusty digital camera I took a video of the setup in action with a bit of Bounce to This by DJ Alligator Project which I found was one of the best songs to show how cool the sound sensitive feature of this light kit really is. Please remember the digital camera I used was not designed to take videos of this kind and obviously the neon does look a lot better actually looking at it. The video is 704kb in size and in MPG format - Download it here!I've only got one complaint when it comes to the light kit as far as the sound sensitivity side of it goes. If you own a loud and heavy bass speaker system (like my Altec Lansing ADA890 system, reviewed here), once you start to push the volume up high the neon light becomes less effective because there is too much loud sound for it to handle and it stays on with no variation in the flash - However, keeping in mind this light kit was designed to be placed inside your case and not directly in front of a speaker. And if the consistent flashing ends up getting to you, you can use the switch to either turn the light off completely or have it on without reacting to sound. Aside from that, this would have to be one of the coolest things I've ever reviewed.
PC Case Gear Cold Cathode Light Kit Review -
ConclusionFor the $49.50 Australian (roughly $25 US) you pay for one of these lovely kits from PC Case Gear, I would have to say it would be a worthy investment for case modders who don't already have neon lighting for their case, or maybe even the type of user who wants to bring the night club to their home, as I did.I realize not everyone will opt to put the light on top of their monitors, but it was only something I did to show how powerful and effective the light really is, but it does look cool all the same.With all the features and quality of the kit considered, the latest PC Case Gear Cold Cathode Light kit is the most impressive neon light kit I have ever used, and the price tag is affordable as well. If you have not yet considered case modding, why not give it a go and there is no better place to start than our Case Modding Madness forum - I've only shown you the tip of the iceberg in this review and if companies like PC Case Gear keep releasing quality products like this, you'd be missing out if you don't join in on all the fun!- ProsHigh light outputDoes not increase case temperatureInexpensiveLooks greatGood instructions- ConsNone notedRating - 9.5/10 and TweakTown's Editors Choice Award
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
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Australia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca
Deutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de
Cameron founded TweakTown in 1999 after it originally started off as his personal homepage. Cameron was once, many years ago, the only person at TweakTown producing content, but nowadays, he spends his time ensuring TweakTown operates at its best in his senior management role.
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