In the past couple of years, there’s a slight shift in the focus when people are building a new PC. With so many cases coming out with cases with transparent side panels, people want to showcase their system’s internals. And quite honestly, few things shine a light (pun intended) on your system’s internals like some of the best RGB lights you can find.
But when you start looking into RGB lights, you realize things can quickly get confusing. Addressable, non-addressable, three-pin, four-pin, controllers, what do all those things even mean? How do you know what are the best RGB lights for your specific case? Not all of the cases on our list of best PC cases have RGB, so adding some is always a good choice.
Well, we’ve got the answer for you. Once we take a look at the things to look for, we’ll take a look at a couple of excellent options. Without wasting any more time, let’s take a look at the best RGB lights to illuminate your system’s case!
When you’re choosing your RGB lights, there’s a couple of things to take note of. You should make sure you have compatibility first. Sometimes having incompatible lighting just means your RGB lights just won’t work, or you won’t be able to control them.
Therefore, the first thing to note is whether or not your motherboard has RGB headers. This is something you can easily look up in the manual. Most newer motherboards, especially the higher-end ones, will have one (or more), but budget or older models may not. If it does, check whether it’s addressable or not. If it doesn’t, you will need some kind of RGB controller, not just a strip.
What does addressable mean? Well, with RGB strips, they’re either addressable LEDs or non-addressable. Non-addressable LEDs mean that the entire light strip can only illuminate in the same color. Addressable ones, on the other hand, mean you can give each LED on the strip its own color. If your budget allows it, by all means, go for an addressable strip – you get a lot more versatility.
Last but not least, if you do opt for an RGB controller, see whether or not it has any extra functionality. For example, some controllers will come with things such as fan ports with PWM control, and excellent software compatibility. These are all optional extras, but nice to have nonetheless.
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the best RGB lights on the market nowadays!
NZXT has been at the forefront of case lighting for a while now. This is why there’s no surprise their Hue 2 RGB lighting kit is at the top of the best RGB lights. The Hue 2 kit comes with an RGB controller that works with the excellent CAM software. This gets you pretty much the best overall fan and RGB control in a piece of software.
There is support for up to six lighting accessories, as well as up to 40 LEDs per channel, with four channels. This gives you plenty of flexibility to set things up how you like them. Included in the kit are four strips with 10 LEDs per strip, so you’re pretty much covered from the get-go.
Add to this simple mounting and a reasonable price for what you’re getting, and there’s no surprise the Hue 2 RGB lighting kit is the best option.
Sure, this is arguably not as robust of a solution as the Commander PRO. But Corsair’s iCUE Lighting Node PRO is a great choice for people who only need to control their lighting and not their fans. This kit comes with four RGB LED strips as well, so you’re pretty much covered.
The controller itself comes with two RGB lighting channels, which are individually controllable with the iCUE software. Each of those channels can control up to 12 individually addressable RGB strips, or RGB fans, which is pretty neat.
The included RGB strips have 10 addressable LEDs each. When combined with the controller, you really get all the customizability you could ever need. Factor in the fact that you only need a USB 2.0 port to connect everything, and this is a simple and effective option as far as the best RGB lights go.
Not everyone wants to spend a lot of money on RGB lights. Oftentimes, a simple kit is actually all you need. If that sounds like you, DEEPCOOL has you covered with the RGB360 LED Strip kit. It’s a kit that’s remarkably simple to set up and install. Oh, and it doesn’t require you to have a header on the motherboard.
You get three LED strips, but they aren’t individually addressable. This means that the entire strip lights up in the same color. And while there are no magnets at the rear, there is 3M tape so you can attach them to your case pretty easily.
The included controller works with a Molex connector and is controlled by the included touchpad remote control. Choosing colors is easy, and you have plenty of versatility. Overall, a very good budget pick.
Thermaltake also gets us another great option with the Pacific Lumi Plus. This is one of the best RGB lights for people who don’t have an RGB header on their motherboard. It comes with a digital controller that works both with Thermaltake’s RGB PLUS software, and lighting software from popular motherboard manufacturers.
The RGB strips themselves are all with addressable LEDs, and there are 12 of them on each strip. This gives you 11 light modes in total, including single color modes, multicolor modes, different lights, and other combinations that you can choose from. You get three of them, with magnets on the back, so you can position them just how you like them.
The controller is compact and can support up to 10 strips. This means you can easily add more if you feel like it. This kit is the perfect option for users who want simplicity that works well.
Even though the options we looked at so far were all complete sets, this one by ASUS is a premium RGB strip that’s made to work with their 3-pin headers. If you have an ASUS motherboard, this is a great option for you, so read on.
The lighting strip comes with 5050 RGB LEDs, which are all addressable, so you have plenty of color combinations to choose from. And even though the entire strip has a magnetic backing that allows you to put it just about anywhere on a case, there are also a few 3M double adhesive strips, so you can install it on non-metal surfaces.
Add to this the included RGB extension cable, which adds quite a lot of versatility in terms of placement options, and this is an excellent choice for users who have an ASUS motherboard.
BitFenix is popular for their case accessories because they tend to provide excellent budget options that work admirably in a variety of situations. The Alchemy 2.0 Magnetic LED strip is no exception. You can get it with and without a controller, so there’s something for both older and newer motherboards.
First things first, the LED strip itself. This is a 60cm strip with 5050 RGB LEDs, and you get a total of 30 LEDs on the strip. Unfortunately, this is a 4-pin, non-addressable strip, so you can only have the entire strip light up in a single color. However, at this price, we don’t mind at all.
The controller is a great way to be able to set up the colors, and it’s compact enough so you can put it on the backside of your case without it taking up a lot of space.
Cooler Master’s case accessories are famous for being some of the most versatile options for just about any user. The Universal RGB LED Strip is no exception to this, with a magnetic backing and excellent performance at a price that’s more than reasonable.
First things first, this is a compact strip with a magnetic backing. This means that you can pretty much mount it anywhere on the case, and remove it without any adhesive issues. The LEDs are put behind a semi-transparent plastic screen which helps a lot with uniformity for the LEDs, without hindering brightness.
As far as control goes, you need a 4-pin connector and some kind of controller. Unfortunately, the LEDs are non-addressable, but at this price, that’s not really a dealbreaker. If you’re after simplicity and good lighting, this is the one to go for.
The main issue with most of the RGB LED strips is length – they come in predefined lengths which might be too short or too long for some. Well, this option by ALITOVE deals with that by getting you a 5m long LED strip that you can cut just about anywhere, and we love it.
You can set it up anywhere in (or outside) your case, you get silicone clips and small screws that allow you to install these more easily. Of course, you can just as well use double-sided adhesive if you want to. What’s great is that these are addressable LEDs, so you can set up just about any color combination you want. Oh, and not that you’d need this in a case, but they’re waterproof, too.
If you have a suitable power supply and controller, this is one of the best semi-DIY options as far as the best RGB lights go.
Addressable RGB kits don’t have to cost too much – just look at this Speclux kit. It comes with a 3-pin, 5V RGB header connector, and the ability to control it with popular software like ASUS AuraSync, Gigabyte RGBFusion, or MSI’s Mystic Light, all for a very reasonable price.
With the kit, you also get two RGB strips that have 42 addressable LEDs each. They have both a magnetic backing and double-sided 3M adhesive, so you can choose which way you go about attaching them.
To add to this, if you don’t want to use software (or don’t have an RGB header), Speclux also includes a controller in the box that you can place inside your case and use to change the colors. Neat! If you want a versatile, addressable, wallet-friendly kit, this is the one to go for.
Even though Phanteks sells these as an upgrade for some of their popular cases, we’re including them on our list. Why? Because there’s nothing stopping you from using them if you have an RGB header on the motherboard.
The strips come in various lengths, and each of them comes with a magnetic backing, as well as a male and female connector on the ends. This allows you to connect multiple strips to each other, and have them all be controlled from a single header. The silicone housing and flexible material make this a durable option that you can set up just how you like it.
At the end of the day, if you have a 4-pin connector on your motherboard, this is a simple and cost-effective way of adding a bit of light to your case.
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