If you look around our site, you'll notice a lot of adverts for companies that supply PC hardware and software. These companies often send us items for review, assuming we don't get them direct from the manufacturer. For them it is a way of getting noticed for the products they sell, and for us, it's the way we get items to show to you people.
New companies appear quite often and of course they contact sites such as ours asking if we would like to sample their wares for review. The latest company to contact us is , a UK company and they have sent some items to us from their lineup. We have two Cold Cathodes and two LED Fan grills to check out so let's have look.
When sent the items, I wasn't too sure what I would be getting, as there wasn't any mention of what CCFLs or LED Fan grills they were, or to be more precise, who the manufacturer was. So it was with quiet surprise that when they turned up I was presented with Sunbeam Tech items. All the items arrived promptly and safely packaged too, which considering the nature of the products is a must.
The two LED Fan grills I received were of two differing designs, one of the Quake III Arena symbol in red, and the other a design called Blade, which looks like a four spoke shuriken; This one I chose to have in blue. Aero-Glow also sell other designs amongst which are this laser style and the UT "U"logo.
Opening up the packages (which is very easy indeed! No idiot proof packaging!) I was presented with some very high quality items. I honestly didn't think they would be up to much, and am glad to be wrong. The edges and finish on the grills is excellent, the wiring is not "cheap" and the connections are carefully protected with some heavy duty shrink wrap. Included with the grills are three screws for mounting (the fourth screw is missing because the fourth hole is occupied by the LED).
The glow itself appears brighter in the pictures than it actually is (damn camera), but in real life the glow is, in my opinion, just right. It doesn't light up the area as such, but rather brightly sets the grill alight with colour at the edges. It makes for quite an interesting effect, and one that is very pleasing to the eye without becoming the center of attention. The red Quake III Arena grill looks pink in my pictures, which can be an affliction of red CCFLs, but in real life the red grill is a definite red indeed, very nice. The grills simply plug into a spare 4 pin Molex and have a pass through style connector. I think a longer wire might have been a bonus, but I really don't see it being a major problem as if you're using these grills then obviously they will be matched with fans. Those fans will need power too, so you can grab a feed from them for the grills.
The CCFLs come in these square long clear containers, and like the LED Fan grills the packaging for them is great. The tubes or boxes or whatever you want to call them are filled with these packing peanuts that protect the CCFLs, and included with them is everything you need; 1x Dual inverter, so you can power two CCFLs from the one inverter and switch. Speaking of switches, each one comes with a PCI plate and switch to turn them on and off. Also included is some Velcro for mounting.
The ends of the CCFLs are great, simple clear squares, not much bigger than the tube itself, so they shouldn't interfere in mounting. However, one thing that might hinder your total mounting positions is the fact that the wire length on them is short. This isn't so bad since the inverter has lengths of wire to accommodate the Molex connections and switch, but I would have liked to see more length. Sunbeamtech have also striped the tubes with the colour of the CCFL, I assume to aid in making the CCFL produce the correct shade.
Turning them on you can see that both are bright, especially the green, and both are the correct shade. Should light up a case nicely.
The LED fan grills are great, and would make a great addition to a show case, and even if you're not a gamer, there are designs that could interest you. The quality is high, installation is dead simple and the end effect is very pleasing to the eye. Screws for mounting are included, and the heavy duty wiring has a pass-thru style 4 pin Molex connector.
The CCFLs are the best I've seen, although the short length of wire on the tubes is a definite downside. Everything from dual inverters to Velcro mounting is included with the CCFLs, along with the PCI Plate switch to turn them on and off. The tubes are striped to aid in producing the correct shade, and with the small square ends should be easily mounted (wire length not withstanding).
Currently has these items and others at really cheap prices, especially the CCFLs and especially when you consider the quality of the items. At time of writing this, the CCFLs are only £2.95 each with the LED Fan grills coming in at £3.95 each, so not expensive items by any stretch of the imagination. Two different items that can spruce up your case for little outlay, what more could you ask for?
Pros: Quality manufacturing, Everything included, Velcro mounting, Easy installation, Good colouring, Dual inverters, Nice packaging, Cheap prices.
Cons: Short wiring on the CCFLs.
Bottom Line: You can't really go wrong with these, great additions to any show case for pocket change. Questions? Comments? Hit me up in the Forums.