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SunBeam CCFL Dual Cathode Kit
By: Palmashooter
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  • SunBeam CCFL Dual Cathode Kit
  • Drill it baby!

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    SunBeam CCFL Dual Cathode Kit

    (Page 1 of 2 )

    There are a lot of case lighting options for modding a computer case. We have some that are good and made for computer cases and some that are not so good that were originally designed for automobiles. The pioneers in case modding took the neon light kits made for automobiles and adapted them for use in a computer case. What they soon discovered was that these neon kits emitted too much heat and not nearly enough light. As we all know, heat is bad for computer components. Thus, the cold cathode was born. Some ingenious soul thought about the problem of heat and the idea of colored lighting inside a computer case and looked at the basic physics of fluorescent lighting. His question must have been, ďIf fluorescent lights donít emit a lot of heat, why cant we make small ones and make them colored, and use them inside our computer cases?Ē So, he made miniature fluorescent lights and colored them. Conversely, I imagine some guy has taken cold cathode lights and started putting them inside cars. Why not? The car enthusiast would not get all the heat build up inside and have to run the air conditioning just to sport some cool colors.


    SunBeam Technology, Inc.
    Product:Multicolor Cold Cathode Lighting Kit


    $15+ USD



    Reviewed By:


    Edited By:


    SunBeam Cold Cathode Lighting Kit



    Cold cathode lighting is the safest way to light the inside of your computer case. It is, essentially, a colored fluorescent light. Electrodes at each end of the tube pass current and excite the gases within the tube. The gasesí electrons move to different electrical states and emit light. This process is very efficient and gives off much less heat than other methods, while also looking much nicer and brighter.



    SunBeam has taken cold cathode lighting a step further. The way they implement it is wonderful. They provide everything you need to get a great looking installation with the least possible hassles. For one thing, they cover the tube with an acrylic case. This ensures that your lights will last a long time during those inevitable hardware changes. You are not going to break these lights pulling and installing cards and hard drives. They also cap the ends of the tubes with cubes. This allows you to mount the tubes easier. You donít have to worry about the tube rolling from side to side. They, further, provide a dual inverter for support of up to 2 lights. The inverter is covered, for your protection against electrical shock and convenience, with Velcro. This keeps you and your case insulated from the charges built inside the inverter and makes mounting anywhere in the case a snap. The wiring harness is long enough for any full tower case out there. If that is not enough, they provide, optionally, a 10Ē extension cable. This kit came with the optional round switch for turning the lights on and off when the need arises. Also included in all kits is an easy-to-follow step-by-step instruction manual. They seem to have thought of everything.


    On with the installation. We begin installation by unpacking the box. The parts are packed well with bubble wrap inside a small, sturdy box. Each light tube has its own wrapping to protect it during shipping. Seen below is all the parts laid out and ready to be installed.



    With all the parts unpacked and ready to be installed, we must look at the case for inspiration on how it will all go together. My case is an Antec Performance Plus 1080 Full Tower.



    I replaced the stock door with a Chieftec windowed case side for my viewing pleasure.



    I decided to put one tube next to the case fans at the rear.




    I will put the other at the bottom close to the door.




    This will provide indirect light to the bits inside. Of course, with the SunBeam kit, this can be changed easily and at a momentís notice should I note any unwanted or unseemly shadows. After selecting a place to put the light tubes, itís time to choose an unobtrusive place to put the power inverter. Looking around the case, up front near the front case fan seems the best option. It will be somewhat hidden and will not get in the way during future hardware upgrades.



    This turns out not to be an option due to the short leads from the cold cathode tubes. I am forced to place the inverter conspicuously in the middle of the bottom of the case as shown here.



    Having selected places to put most everything else, now comes time to find a spot for the power switch. This proved to be the hardest decision to make as it requires drilling a large hole, so when itís done, itís done. El Permanento. No changing my mind on this one. Since the plugs are a standard spade type, that makes it easy to unplug, so I will put it in the door towards the front. I didnít put it in the Plexiglas window because of the possibility of damaging it.


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