By: Preston Yuen
October 11, 2013
"I have not failed," Thomas Edison once said. "I've just found ten thousand ways that won't work." Ever since the invention of the light bulb in 1879 (And its patent in 1880), the development and improvements made to electrical lighting source have drastically changed. The evolution of a simple carbonized cotton thread inside an evacuated glass bulb to compact fluorescent lamps and LEDs show how much consumer goods have changed over a mere one hundred and thirty years. One hundred and thirty years may seem to be a long time, and taking technology into context, the improvement efficiency and power in the development of computers would grow exponentially in the same manner compared to how lighting sources have changed. If we take computers and invented them during Thomas Edison's time period, to make a computer aesthetically pleasing with light would mean sticking a couple of light bulbs inside and taking a handsaw to the side panel. Lame sauce. Of course, there would be no market for it in that time period, but that would probably be the best you could get. Jumping back to present day, most of us realize that this kind of a setup is not sufficient. Making a computer aesthetically pleasing takes patience and a passion for clean design for the most part. Our review on the NZXT Sleeved LED kit shows just that, but how well will SilverStone's LS01 LED light strips hold up to the competition? Read on to find out more!
Our review units of SilverStone's LS01 LEDs came in a small brown corrugated cardboard box via FedEx Ground from our good ol' neighbors down south in California. Everything seems to be handled in good condition as there were little bumps or bruises on the box as it arrived at our Calgary, Alberta headquarters. I am sure many of us would rather look at good looking eye candy than a regular old box, so I won't waste any more time here writing about what came in the mail.
Pulling our lights out of the box, you will see here that SilverStone is kind enough to send us all four colors for us to sample, packed with a bunch of packaging peanuts. Their choice of packaging is pretty mainstream; the LS01s are sent with plastic boxes with features printed on each box. Each one is clearly labeled with the color codes as well to show which one you have received out of the four available color choices. With that in mind, you can't really add to much more to such a simple packaging.
Before we move on, let's take a look at the features and specifications of SilverStone's LS01, as obtained from the manufacturer's website:
- Brilliant LED available in Red/White/Blue/Green
- Flexible strip allows greater adaptation to any surface
- Include multiple power connector for easy connection
- Support daisy chaining multiple light strips
- Include adhesive tape for easy installation
- SST-LS01R (red)
- SST-LS01W (white)
- SST-LS01A (azure blue)
- SST-LS01V (verdant green)
- Plastic strip with 15 LEDs (3.6W) and adhesive tape
- Peripheral to LED 4-pin Molex connector x1
- 4-pin daisy chain connector x1
Out of the box, you will get your 30cm long light strip, a power Molex/4-pin daisy chain power cable, and the user manual. Of course, here at our APH Networks headquarters, we have all four sets to play around with. You will notice once you pull your lights out of the packaging, you will find it wrapped in what seems to be saran wrap, which I found quite odd. I don't have a specific answer as to why they did that, but what is clear to me is you won't be able to use the adhesive side until you remove it. Each light strip features fifteen LEDs, each placed approximately 2 cm apart.
To install, simply hook up the Molex connector to your power supply. Make sure there is a 4-pin daisy chain connector on the end of the cable, and hook up your lights to that daisy chain connector. However, there is one small catch: The adhesive back. I would recommend finding the most optimal spot for your lights to illuminate your whole entire case ahead of time. Once you peel the back and have the light strip stuck to your case, it is difficult to change the position of the lights. The same goes for swapping your lights over to a different chassis, provided you have another computer to play with. With that aside, once you have decided where to place it, peel the tape off, and have the adhesive back do the rest of the work. If one light strip isn't enough for you, and you want to execute a perimeter install like what our Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Kwan has done with the NZXT Sleeved LED Kit, you can easily daisy chain multiple light strips together (You will see an example of this in just a moment). With multiple light strips at your disposal, each set has a 4-pin daisy chain connector. Simply attach that to the end of each light strip, and attach the next light strip to it. This way, you will only need to use one Molex connector cable from your power supply unit for the entire strip.
Computer 'Foxtrot' with SilverStone LS01 (Green).
Computer 'Foxtrot' with SilverStone LS01 (Blue).
Computer 'Foxtrot' with SilverStone LS01 (Red).
Computer 'Foxtrot' with SilverStone LS01 (White).
Computer 'Foxtrot' with SilverStone LS01 (Green/Blue/Red/White).
I would like to demonstrate the worst case scenario: Using one light strip in a large case. Because I have the SilverStone Raven RV03 (Which is quite a large case in my opinion), I needed to find the most optimal position for the light strip to illuminate as much of the internals as possible. After fooling around with the light strip for a short time, I decided it was best to stick it next to my 5.25" drives. There is one edge that is wide enough for the adhesive to stick against, while illuminating pretty much the whole interior, as depicted in the first four photos. This is also the most optimal spot if you own such a case, and wanted to daisy chain more lights in the future. The last photo shows how easily these light strips could be daisy chained, as featured in SilverStone's specifications. In my opinion, using four different colors is quite flamboyant, but it is really a personal preference, so I'll leave it up to the user's discernment. However, I do like the idea of daisy chaining red and green together when Christmas rolls around, haha. The light strips themselves are very flexible, so if you decide to bend it around the corner, you could do so without any worries. Other than that, as you can see in the first four photos, simply using one light strip distribute light quite evenly throughout my chassis. I would have expected concentrated light spots, but because of the plastic design that covers the lights, it helps disperse the light more evenly.
How does slapping cool eye candy in your machine sound for only $15 at press time sound? One SilverStone LS01 light strip is a good start to lighting up your internals, and making everything look attractive. Fitted with fifteen independent LED and good lighting dispersion structure does wonders, especially when shedding light to an enormous computer. To be honest, I am quite impressed with the LS01 on how much of my case it is able to illuminate, especially without having to wrap a whole entire light strip around your case. Its adhesive back and flexibility also made it easy to mount on almost all surfaces. Just be sure to place it in a spot for maximum light illumination. In my personal opinion, a 30cm light strip may be too short for a large case, but it could be easily fixed by daisy chaining more lights together, which SilverStone has thoughtfully and conveniently made possible. Its competitive price makes it economically viable for most enthusiasts as well. Secondly, I would have preferred the use of some sort of clips rather than adhesive for installation. This will make installation a lot less permanent for those who upgrades frequently. With all that said in done, my final word of advice to you is to make sure you got yourself a clean interior setup. When you show off, you will want to show off something good. And you will be surprised how much of your computer you can show with only one SilverStone LS01 LED light strip installed.
SilverStone provided this product to APH Networks for the purpose of evaluation.
APH Review Focus Summary:
8/10 means Definitely a very good product with drawbacks that aren't likely going to matter to the end user.
7/10 means Great product with many advantages and certain insignificant drawbacks; but should be considered before purchasing.
-- Final APH Numeric Rating is 7.4/10
Please note that the APH Numeric Rating system is based off our proprietary guidelines in the Review Focus, and should not be compared to other sites.
The SilverStone LS01 light strip is extremely easy to use, install, and daisy chain. It allows anyone to configure a spectacular light show to a computer interior.
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