We hear often of new televisions starting to use LED backlighting to allow for thinner, brighter and more power efficient displays in preference over Cold Cathode Fluorescent lamps, but is this relevant to what we've all used in case mods for the past few years? Cathode kits have been a popular and cost effective method of illuminating PC cases for the past 8 years or so, but we all know they have a few downsides - the need for a bulky power inverter, occasional inverter failures and that the tubes themselves can be quite large by the time a protective casing has been added to protect the fragile tube inside. Step forward LED strips - we have already been selling these for quite a while, but admittedly the range was limited and the price was too high, we're starting to get a better supply now with more colour options, lengths and a price only slightly higher than cathodes. So what's so good about these LED strips? Let me summarise with some easy to digest bullet points : Slim design means they easily fit into smaller spaces - only a couple of mm thick. No inverter - just connects straight to a 12v supply Lower heat output compared to cathodes (and their inverters!) Long lifespan - should not lose brightness over time Lower power draw I was asked today about running costs, would these make a difference? Assuming your PC runs for 10 hours a day cathodes (8.88w power draw) would cost £3.56 to run for a year. Running two 12" LED strips would cost £0.47 per year (based on electricity rate at 11p per kW/H). So there is something in that these would save some money in the long run but naturally the higher price means they would take a while to pay themselves back, so it's unlikely to be the sole reason that you make the switch. How do they look though? Here's a system illuminated with one blue cathode : And here is the same system with a 12" LED strip. There's not really a lot in it - the cathode is slightly brighter, although to the eye, the LED strip had a deeper blue which had a better effect. In particular, the red strips look a lot better than the typical red-pink colour achieved by cathodes. So there we go - next time you need to light up your case, make sure to consider LED strips. We have a new range of Lamptron Flexlight Pro kits available now.