Sunbeam Laser LEDs reviewAlmost every pc has LEDs. For example, the Power LED, the HDD LED, LEDs from CD-Rom drives, Keyboard LEDs, Display LEDs, and so much more. Most of these have an informative function, So why don't we just add some LaserLEDs from Sunbeam for our viewing pleasure?
They are available in blue, red, green, purple, and red-green-blue.
First, let's take a look at the specs :
|Laser LED specifications|
|Low heat output|
|200 000 hour life time (22 years)|
|Additional female Molex connector|
|Voltage range 10-14 Volts DC|
|Draws less than 20mA at 12Volts|
The Laser LEDs are housed in a shiny-looking chrome plastic box. If you want to know more about how LEDs work then I would suggest you to check out this article at Howstuffworks.
The left LED of the Laser LEDs shines to the left, the right to the right and the one in the middle shines straight a head. The projected light of the LEDs looks like some circles with in the middle a H-shaped form.
When you remove the housing you'll see that it consist out of 3 LEDs and a resistor which are all glued together with silicone to keep them in place and to make them water resistant. On the housing you'll also find 2 holes to screw it against something. I don't really see where you can screw it to without making new holes for it in your case, the only good place I could find were the CD-rom drive bays, There I could screw it to with one screw so the light shined over my mobo. You don't have to worry about losing a Molex connector of your PSU for the Laser LEDs by the way because it has a pass trough molex connector :)
Here are some pics with the Laser LEDs.
For LEDs, they are very bright and have a deep dark green color, but they are not really capable of lighting up your whole case like cold cathodes, they are better used to light up small specific parts of your case or mods. If you would like to light up your whole case then you'll need to buy some more Laser LEDs, three or four will mostly be enough I think.
Now we're going to compare our green Laser LED kit with a green Cold Cathode :
Cold Cathode vs Laser LED
Brightness : Well it's obvious that a cold cathode is just much brighter. One Cold Cathode is enough to light up your whole case, and maybe even your whole desk :P. A Laser LED isn't capable of doing this. To light up the whole inside of your case you will need three or four of them.
Color : The Cold Cathode has a light green color, the Laser LEDs give a darker and deeper green color.
Size : Cold cathodes are avaible in 10cm and 30cm sizes (even in 80mm sizes to mount on fans). The Laser LED is 1.5cm long, 4cm width and has a height of 1.2cm. With this small size it should be easy to mount a few in your case.
Price : One of the shops I could find that carries both the Cold Cathodes and Laser LEDs from Sunbeam is Xoxide. The Laser LED sells for $17.99, The Cold Cathode sells for $15.99. In my opinion $17.99 is a lot for just three LEDs, especially when you want to light up your whole case and need three or four. I could barely believe that the cold cathode was actually cheaper than the Laser LEDs!
Laser LEDs, they are bright and capable of highlighting a specific part of your case or mods. But in terms of brightness, they are just no match for Cold Cathodes. So my advice: if you're planning to light up your whole case don't buy Laser LEDs but buy a Cold Cathode. Only when you prefer a deeper and darker color than you could choose for the LEDs, or when you want to light up some corners where the light of a Cold Cathode doesn't reach.
The Good things
- Very bright LEDs
- Water proof
- Pass through Molex connector
- Good for lighting up a small place
- Very small
- Deep color, not washed out like some other light sources like Cold Cathodes
The bad stuff
- Not very bright when you compare it to Cold Cathodes
Added: February 28th 2003
Product reviewed: Sunbeam Laser LEDs