For those who only dabble with RGB now, by simply setting up a keyboard and mouse synced to the same color scheme, it’s quite another to completely engulf your PC case, gaming monitor, and desk in gorgeous unified brilliance. It really is beauty when you do it right. And if your desktop is where you spend your time, it sure has the power to brighten up your day.
We’ve tested many RGB lighting kits and compiled a list of our favorites so you can decide which one is right for your setup. They usually contain RGB LED strips and come with a base station that you can install to add color to your gaming PC and while you can buy strips of RGB led just about anywhere, the best RGB lighting will allow you to set lighting patterns and sync them to your components, usually via software or remote control.
The Best RGB Lighting Kit for Gaming PCs
The HUE 2 ecosystem consists of a central RGB lighting unit, Ambient, Underglow, LED strips, Cable Comb, and several other products. Like its predecessor, the HUE 2 RGB lighting unit featured here is more than enough to kick-start your RGB party.
The HUE 2 kit comes with ten individually addressable LEDs on each of the four strips. With a total of 40 LEDs and several extenders, the kit is capable of lighting a wide range of build sizes right out of the box. If you have a larger case or want even more RGB lighting, the main lighting unit will allow you to extend the possibilities even further.
An upgrade from its predecessor, the HUE 2, now features four separate channels (up from two) that support up to 40 LEDs or six HUE 2 accessories each. This allows for virtually endless combinations of configurations and lighting settings for dozens of HUE 2 RGB products. And it’s all easy to manage with the company’s CAM software. Considering the $60 price of the HUE+ and the low cost of whole reels of addressable LED strips, the $75 price of the HUE 2 might seem a bit high. But the natural expansion of the ecosystem and the simplicity of CAM make it more than worth it. Pair the HUE 2 Kit with the HUE 2 Ambient, Cable Comb or Underglow accessories for an unforgettable RGB smorgasbord.
2. Alitove WS2812B
By cutting the LED strip to wrap the inside of the S340, we used less than half the coil, but still got more than twice as many LEDs as the HUE 2. With a total of 85 LEDs, our DIY solution had much brighter and smoother color effects than any of the other kits we’ve tested.
There are several pre-programmed controllers available that work just like some of the other kits we’ve tested here, but with literally hundreds of lighting patterns and combinations. More advanced users can use Arduino or Raspberry Pi boards to program lighting effects. For our DIY setup, we decided to go the easy route and used a mini remote control.
After we attached the LEDs to the case, we connected the mini controller using the included JST connector at the end of the tape. While a 5V Molex adapter may work in some situations, you may need to power the controller and splitter from an external power source of 3A or higher.
With over 100 unique lighting modes and the ability to adjust speed and brightness, we found the pre-programmed solution more than adequate. You’ll have to make do without the smart lighting modes that HUE 2 has, but advanced users can replicate these modes and more with customizable controllers and programming. The DIY path isn’t for everyone, but if you’re willing to put in a little effort, it can be enjoyable and cost effective.
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3. RGB350 deep cooling
With two included LED strips, each measuring twelve inches, the RGB350 is capable of lighting most small to medium builds. We used a mid-sized NZXT S340 for our testing, and the build was easily lit with just one bar on the top and one bar on the bottom. The installation was secure thanks to the magnets built into the LED strips and the included extension cord.
The kit uses a wireless RGB controller that allows you to control the LED strips with the included remote control. All we had to do was plug the Molex adapter into our power supply, wire the LED strips together and hook them up to the RGB controller and we were up and running in minutes.
The only thing you will be able to control with the DeepCool RGB350 is the brightness, color and different flashing patterns. If you need one color, you can choose from 15 colors on the remote control. If you need multiple colors, you can switch between the three primary reds, greens, and blues, or a seven-color rainbow with “breathing” or “skip” effects between each color change. The DeepCool RGB350 may not be as advanced as the RGB mechanical keyboards on the market these days, but it inevitably gets the job done if you want to lighten up your build on a budget.