Corsair has been steadily adding to its RGB illumination arsenal by releasing products such as fans, coolers, chassis, and memory all adorned with multi-colour lighting controlled by its overarching iCUE software.
That illumination has gone a step further with the arrival of the Corsair iCUE LS100 Smart Lighting Strip Starter Set, priced at £80, and set fair as a straightforward means of adding ambient lighting to a desk a monitor.
We’ve been having a play with the LS100 kit in the office, so here’s what we think.
The kit includes four RGB-infused lighting strips – two long with 27 LEDs, two short with 15 – connected in series to an external, supplied controller which in turn attaches to a power supply and the iCUE software on the PC via a USB cable.
Each strip has magnets that that hold it in place when used with the bundled metal tabs. Getting all four strips connected this way takes a wee while – 15 minutes or so – and if you happen to move the monitor after installation, they will likely need to be repositioned. One can also use double-sided tape for more permanent adhesion.
Once in place, illumination is even and bright. Each LED – remember there are 84 in total – is addressable individually via iCUE software, meaning you can have a different colour on every LED. That’s pretty cool.
One could assume that having so many different colours and LEDs would cause the lighting to pop and be very localised. That’s not the case, because Corsair uses diffusers on each light strip to gradient the illumination rather than cause hot-spots, as would be the case if the strips had clear housings.
As a simple means to have greater all-round PC illumination, the LS100 kit works, and cleverly the lighting can be tied into on-screen action for certain games via iCUE. That said, looking at the overall solution, we’d recommend that Corsair find a way to minimise potential clutter by having only one cable emanate from the external controller – there are currently two; power and USB to the PC. And as mentioned, though attaching via magnets works, it’s a bit fiddly, so a second-generation model, if there is one, ought to address the mode of attachment.
If you have already invested in the Corsair iCUE ecosystem and love RGB, the LS100 Smart Lighting Strip Starter Set is a natural evolution for enhanced illumination. For enthusiasts and gamers coming from having no Corsair RGB kit, this is the easiest way to get some lighting pizazz, but a lower street price, of say £60, would certainly entice those that want to dip their toe in the RGB waters.
Right-o, we’re going back to testing some more Corsair gear.
April 7 2020 | 14:00