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Tweakmonster Rev. 3 Lightstrip: Want to spruce up your case interior with lights? Unlike CCFL, lightstrips are flexible, and produce zero heat. We have a look at the one that started it all, the Tweakmonster Lightstrip, now at revision 3.
 
 
Date: March 1, 2003
Catagory: Cases & Cooling
Manufacturer:
Supplied By:
Written By:
 

If you are into modifying your PC, and who isn't, then you are certainly aware of the pro's and con's of cold cathode lighting. Cold cathodes replaced neon lighting as the popular choice amongst system modifyers because they are brighter and give off far less heat than neon. Unfortunately, even cold cathodes have several downfalls. They are inflexible, still give off heat, and it can be a pain to mount them exactly they way you want them in your case. Fortunately, there is a more flexible alternative available, and it comes from our buddy Ross "Tweakmonster" Wenger.


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The Revision 3 Lightstrips are, as the name implies, the third in the line of amazing lighting products from the . Unlike cold cathodes, lightstrips are flexible and can be mounted nearly anywhere in your case. While the lightstrips don't give off nearly as much light as a cold cathode, they do provide a decent amount of lighting, especially when you consider the size of the strip.


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When it arrives, the lightstrip is packaged like a roll of tape. Unrolling it will bring the strip to a length of 2 1/2" , which is far longer than any cold cathode I have seen. Of course, chances are you might not want the unit that long, so it is entirely possible to cut the end of the lightstrip off with a pair of scissors (you tough guys and gals can bite it off like a piece of beef jerky). Just remember to mask off the uninsulated end, otherwise the unit is going to short out and possibly blow your computer to high hell, but that might just be crazy talk.

The lightstrip is mounted via the sticky tape on its backside. If you aren't happy with the initial placement of the unit you can pull it from the surface a few times, as the tape didn't seem to wear out after several reapplications on various pieces of hardware. Of course, as with any sticky substance, the tape may eventually loose its tact, at which point you will have to find other means of mounting the strip. I figure another application of double-sided tape will work out just fine.


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Like any other light in your system, the Tweakmonster light strips do require a power source. The Revision 3 Lightstrips come with a very cleanly designed inverter that plugs into a standard 4-pin molex connector. Unlike other inverters that I have used, this one doesn't make any noise and is very small and compact. Another point I would like to make is that unlike other inverters, the one included with the lightstrips barely gives off any heat, likely due to the small amount of energy required to power the strip. The small size of the inverter made installation of the lightstrip especially easy.


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Installing the lightstrip was a piece of cake. While the light the unit gives off can't come close to matching the brightness or color of a cold cathode, it definitely does the job. As you can see, it nicely illuminates the lower half of my case, while remaining compact, and unseen when the side-panel is in place.

Conclusion

definitely puts out some great products for computer modifiers, and his newest revision of lightstrips is no different. If you are looking for a flexible, easy to use, effective product to highlight the components in your system, then the Tweakmonster has your hookup. I feel completely confident in recommending this product.

Pros
Easy to install
Compact and size-adjustable
Nice, small inverter

Cons
Not very bright

As with all Tweakmonster products, you can grab the Tweakmonster Rev 3 Lighstrip at:

Agree? Disagree? Discuss it in our forums

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