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LED Case Light Modding

Hello all, I've currently got a SilverStone Raven RV01, and want to change the stock blue LEDs to red, like so.



This is what the LEDs look like when you open up the case.



I've never done any real case modding before, I suppose this is very light but any direction would be much appreciated.

Here are my questions:

1) Is it as simple as just cutting off those LEDs and soldering new red ones on? Should I just cut off the black sleeving right before the blue LEDs?

2) Do I need to find any specific LEDs, i.e., do I need to buy LEDs with a certain voltage or amperage etc. for this case? It's powered by a four pin molex connection if that's relevant at all. Also, are there any other specifications regarding LEDs that I should be aware of? I'm not really to concerned about viewing angles and that kind of spec, seeing as it should light up well enough regardless.

3) I don't want them to be too bright, the first photo I linked has LEDs which are probably just a bit too bright (I want the red HDD LED to light up/able to be seen, came with the case). Is there any specific brightness rating that is recommended?
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  1. Hey Lmeow, nice to see you chopping it up man :)
    found this if its any help, they sell green led as far as I can see so should probably do blues somewhere on there too,
    http://www.directron.com/bareleds.html

    and some handy info to not look up on there :)
    Led specs, normal led's use 3.3v
    Specifications:
    200,000 hour life (22 years)
    Voltage range 12-14 volts D.C.
    Draw: less than 26mA @ 12 volts!
    Dimensions (WxLxH): 1 11/16" x 5/8" x 3/8".
    Hth mate,
    Moto
  2. Thanks for the reply and link moto. :)

    I don't live in the U.S. though so I'll probably end up buying some off trademe (NZ eBay).

    Would 5V or 12 V LEDs work? Really only spec I'm really concerned about. Most I see are 2.1 V or so, so I'm thinking I'll need some resistors, although I'm not sure how they would work in the PC system. Simple soldering?

    And also, do I just cut and solder the LEDs back on?
  3. Here's an example:

    http://www.trademe.co.nz/Electronics-photography/Other-electronics/Electronic-components/LEDs/auction-310638429.htm

    It says that the LEDs will power from any 12V power source with a single 390 Ohm resistor. Does the 12 V rail on my PSU count, and if so, how do I know whether the four pin molex connections are 3.3 V, 5 V or 12 V?
  4. I don't think they really make 12V LEDs, or atleast there not common.

    I'd say the fan would output 3.3V to the LEDs so if you use 5 or 12V ones they will probably be dull, you don't need to use a resistor as the fan will already be outputing an acceptable voltage although you might with 2.1V ones.

    If you want to be sure what voltage to use you should probably strip some heatshrink away power it up and measure the voltage will a multimeter. This is really the only way to be sure unless you can find it on the internet.

    Why would you power the LED from the molex lead? Arn't you just replacing the LEDs in the fan? The different voltages on the molex are colour coded, 2 black for earth and yellow and red not sure but I think the yellow is 5 and the red is 12V. <edit> red is 5V and yellow is 12V </edit>

    I'd also reckon you want to cut the LED off a bit further down than just underneath, about as long as you are going to leave on the new LEDs.
  5. Not the fan, it's the big case light, which is originally powered by a four pin molex connection. Thanks for the input.
  6. ^I think unless your cables are marked in any way decipherable, multimeter is your best bet, Sorry bout the link man, didnt know you werent a merkin :P
    some of the highpower leds on that site were 5v iirc, so there available, but id not stick a normal one on a 5v line :P
    ^punk, I think hes modding the red (in his picture) bar at the top front of the case, which is most likely already Molex-fed
    Moto
    *Edit you posted as I did lol* about the bar
  7. Best answer
    Ah ok. Are those LEDs in series? From the look of where the wire comes out of the Molex connector that is 5V, so if they're in series there running at 2.5V each.

    That would probably be the simplest option for you, to buy 3.3 or 2.5V LEDs and run them in series from the 5V supply. That was your not wasting energy with a resistor =].
  8. ^ Yes it's the bar lol.

    I'll most likely end up using some 2.1 V LEDs and a resistor. Based on V = IR, I'll need a resistor which is ~ 390 Ohms or so. 12 V = 0.03A x 400 Ohms

    Would it be connected like so:

    --- = Wire (from molex connector)
    X = Solder
    ====D = LED
    ---<>--- = Resistor

    ---X---<>---X===D
  9. Lmeow said:
    Thanks for the reply and link moto. :)

    I don't live in the U.S. though so I'll probably end up buying some off trademe (NZ eBay).

    Would 5V or 12 V LEDs work? Really only spec I'm really concerned about. Most I see are 2.1 V or so, so I'm thinking I'll need some resistors, although I'm not sure how they would work in the PC system. Simple soldering?

    And also, do I just cut and solder the LEDs back on?


    Hi Lmeow,
    The leds may be bought with or without a pigtail, I think with would be easier for me but it would depend on your application. If going without, then yes you'll simply clip the old LED and solder on the new one. Here's a vendor from the US so you can look at what you you may need, hope that helps a bit.

    http://www.frozencpu.com/cat/l2/g6/c455/list/p1/Lighting-LEDs.html

    You may also wish to look at an led board for controlling the lights.
  10. Wolygon said:
    Ah ok. Are those LEDs in series? From the look of where the wire comes out of the Molex connector that is 5V, so if they're in series there running at 2.5V each.

    That would probably be the simplest option for you, to buy 3.3 or 2.5V LEDs and run them in series from the 5V supply. That was your not wasting energy with a resistor =].


    I'm not sure, I think those LEDs are in series, doesn't look like parallel. Thanks for the info, didn't know it was using the 5 V. Would 2.2 V LEDs be fine? Because if its two in series it 5 V maybe just a bit too much for two 4.4 V in total.
  11. Yeah 2.1V might be pushing it, however I'm not too sure. You probably wouldn't want to do it if your not prepared to waste two LEDs and re-do it in a month. If you can get 2.5V ones it would be great.

    If its in parallel it has to have a resistor. This is for any diodes, when in parallel they must have a resistor as they generally heat up differently and when they heat up they conduct more. This ends with one receiving a lot more current than the other until it dies and then the other gets the full current so it dies also. Pretty funny I think =].
  12. Buzznut, Punkinator, thanks for the help.

    I've found some 2.4 V diodes (it says foward voltage between 1.8 V to 2.4 V, I'm assuming foward = input, please correct me if I'm wrong.

    Would being .2 V off be safe?
  13. Hey, I just talked to my dad about it and he reckoned not. He said for short periods it would be ok. =[

    Looks like you may have to use a resistor for simplicity =[.
  14. Thanks a lot mate. It's not going to be too much of a difficulty to find a 10 Ohm resistor or whatever it is.

    http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=309830737&rewritten=true

    That's probably the set of LEDs I'll buy, the seller's even willing to provide the right resistors (@ 5 V) for me for $2 for all 20 although I'd probably just get a $1 worth. With these LEDs I can even to more modding later on, thinking of adding an LED 40mm fan to my EVGA X58 SLI LE heatsink, the chipset gets very hot.

    Using ledcalculator.net, I'll need a 43 Ohm resistor.

    I've learnt a bit of circuits in school, in this case would the 5 V be the 'beginning' of the power supply, and the ground the 'end'? If so that simplifies my matters quite a lot.

    Just to check, this would be the right order, correct?

    5 V is the green wire, so I start off with that, and is this the arrangement of components?

    5 V---LED---LED---Resistor--- Ground?

    And are 5mm LEDs standard, the size of what would be in the case? (Would open up right now but computer's in there :P)

    Thanks for all the help so far, I'll check in tomorrow morning.
  15. Looks good, yeah LEDs are wonderful things to have around. I find them much better for everything for a PC, they use less energy then Cold Cathodes which also means less heat. And they can be hidden better.

    Yeah I learnt some ohms law and resistance in series/parallel in Physics, pretty basic though. Yes the 5V is the "beginning" and the ground is the end, how else were you gonna do it :).

    Don't trust me on your 5V green wire, as I don't have the item, have a look for your self:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molex_connector#Disk_drive_connector_.28Molex_8981_Series_Power_Connector.29
    Also do be 100% sure you could get a molex plug and plug it in (or put it near it the right way up) and the red wire is the 5V, the yellow is 12V and the black is earth. I just think you should take some precaution other wise you could have wasted your time and wrecked your LEDs.

    Yeah that diagram looks great.

    I measured the LED at the front of my old P4 and it seemed to be 5mm if thats the ones you mean.

    So glad I could help. Good Luck!
  16. Yes, 5mm are standard. The 3mm are usually used for things like a hard drive activity light. I tried to replace a light in my wife's case, one of the case feet lights died. I ordered the wrong one, it must take a 12V because the one I put in fried as soon as I turned the machine on. heh heh.
    Live and learn. Wish I had put as much research into it as you have.

    I believe you could run the resistor prior to the leds.
  17. Wolygon said:
    Looks good, yeah LEDs are wonderful things to have around. I find them much better for everything for a PC, they use less energy then Cold Cathodes which also means less heat. And they can be hidden better.

    Yeah I learnt some ohms law and resistance in series/parallel in Physics, pretty basic though. Yes the 5V is the "beginning" and the ground is the end, how else were you gonna do it :).

    Don't trust me on your 5V green wire, as I don't have the item, have a look for your self:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molex_connector#Disk_drive_connector_.28Molex_8981_Series_Power_Connector.29
    Also do be 100% sure you could get a molex plug and plug it in (or put it near it the right way up) and the red wire is the 5V, the yellow is 12V and the black is earth. I just think you should take some precaution other wise you could have wasted your time and wrecked your LEDs.

    Yeah that diagram looks great.

    I measured the LED at the front of my old P4 and it seemed to be 5mm if thats the ones you mean.

    So glad I could help. Good Luck!


    Thanks very much. I'm pretty sure the green wire is the 5 V after looking at that diagram, or the white although I'll figure it out anyway. :)

    Anonymous said:
    Yes, 5mm are standard. The 3mm are usually used for things like a hard drive activity light. I tried to replace a light in my wife's case, one of the case feet lights died. I ordered the wrong one, it must take a 12V because the one I put in fried as soon as I turned the machine on. heh heh.
    Live and learn. Wish I had put as much research into it as you have.

    I believe you could run the resistor prior to the leds.


    Thanks for the clarification on the 5mm LEDs being standard.
  18. Best answer selected by Lmeow.
  19. Thanks for BA.

    Great work glad I could help. Good luck.
  20. Thanks. I could just buy a three LED strip in a box powered by a molex connection. :D
  21. Ah ha, well that sucks :). Though unless its really really cheap I'd still go for the LEDs, its only like 5 minutes work (not including this thread). Also you'll have tons left over for more modding goodness.

    Are you considering chickening out with this? Because if you are, then...then I'm disappointed :p.
  22. yep, the little leds call from within the drawer......
    ' we could go there,or there or.....'
    dont buy a catalogue item, make it yourself man, you'll have a unique(ish) thing that you made happen
    :P
    Moto
  23. I'll probably end up buying both just for fun. Maybe the LED kit for some other part of the system, it might not fit up there that's why lol.
  24. "yep, the little leds call from within the drawer......
    ' we could go there,or there or.....' "
    :D Nicely Done.

    Well if thats your sense of fun then go for it... However why don't you just make your own "LED kit" when you need it, you could do anything you wanted, position them where you want, hide them better and have as much light as you required.
  25. I've decided against the LED kit box like thing, just 20 LEDs and my soldering gun now. :) Will buy real soon, and after that in the weekends probably redo the cable management and clean out the case. Going for cold cathodes as well, and mount them on the side vents, which would look awesome. Chain of red LEDs up top too possibly.
  26. Sounds good. Where are the "side vents"? Why can't you use LEDs for your light there? Too much light required or something?


  27. The side vents is the honeycomb-mesh vent underneath the case window.

    I need quite a lot of light, it's pretty long and I'll be doing two of those so I don't know if LEDs will cut it.

    These are the effects I want to get! :D

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1tZRN5HHRo

    (@ ~ 45 seconds, and 51 seconds for the whole thing.)

    Inside red and black galore.
  28. Oh ok, yeah probably need a few LEDs. I didn't watch the video as I have a good imagination (internets slow) :). Are you sure you won't be able to do that with one cold cathode? Smack bang in the middle...

    It seems like you'll have a pretty nice looking case when your finished.
  29. I can only find kits of two, and besides, it wouldn't work because of the fan orientation in the case. :l

    Probably going to etch EVGA into the case fans, and maybe try to add some LEDs to a 40mm fan which will be pretty difficult lol.
  30. Look forward to seeing it man :)
    one way of making custom length lightbars is a length of acrylic dowel, drill a small 3-5mm hole in each end for the led to sit into, then you could make it the width or lenth of your case as desired :P
    Moto
  31. "I can only find kits of two, and besides, it wouldn't work because of the fan orientation in the case"
    Oh ok then.

    "one way of making custom length lightbars is a length of acrylic dowel, drill a small 3-5mm hole in each end for the led to sit into"
    That sounds awesome.

    When your done would you be kind enough to post some pictures, where would you post them on here your...
  32. Either that or a PM. Thanks for the idea Moto, might need a bit more light though. Bought LEDs yesterday and LEDs will be shipped with the right resistors. :D
  33. Check my second link in Sig for building lightbars punkinator :P
    and Lmeow ofc :)
    relevant bits a fair way down the thread, swap my blue leds for your new red ones and away ye go :)
    Moto
  34. Great I'm sure you will enjoy yourself. Maybe you could grab a switch if you think would want to turn them off, also it could control all the lights in the case. I did this to my Thermaltake Armour+ MX with the 230mm and 120mm fans.

    Just ripped off the sticker snipped off the earth ends of the LEDs connected them to a switch then walarh I could turn off my LEDs in my fans (good for movies as I used to have it on my desk).

    Oh and also I stuck the switch through the external 3.5" cover, looks really professional. I have wanted to start modding my Thermaltake as I hate it at the moment however these last few weeks have been filled with assignments but its calming down now.

    @moto
    I didn't see any guide, just you with some of them in the bottom of your case. I'm figured its just some acrylic cylinder stuff and you drill two holes for the LEDs...however that doesn't explain the sparkly things I think I can see in them...
    They look pretty nice and I may make them for my mod in a green color and maybe UV to see how it goes. My dad has a ton of electronics so its pretty sweet, I think I've got a 50 pack each of orange, blue, white, UV and green :D.
    <edit>
    Also was that blue electrical tape that the PSU cables were wrapped in? It looked "alright" and would be WAY easier than cable sleeving.

    Sorry Lmeow if I'm hi-jacking your thread a bit...
    </edit>
  35. Yeah, sorry Punkinator,
    no guide as such, just show and tell hehe, but it gives you an idea of how/what to do, hope your project goes well man,
    as mines modded from existing bits, I have a switch on there, never use it though,
    the 'sparkly' bits are air bubbles that formed as the cylinders cooled, I reckon you could find an acrylic supplier online that can get/make them
    and the mounts/cover are blanking panels that otherwise would've languished in a drawer for aeons

    and yes, my first effort at tidying my cables involved about a reel and a half of blue electrical tape, I use black tape now as it hides them better inside a black case so even the wires you can see are difficult to make out.

    Lmeow, you getting on ok mate?

    Moto
  36. Yep, they should be arriving tomorrow. I also want to pick up a 40 mm fan too. Any ideas as to how to attach the fan to the NB heatsink? Cable ties should be enough?

    Dw Punkinator, you're not hi-jacking my thread... lol. I will probably buy a switch later on too, but I'm not too concerned with it being too bright because I do enjoy pretty lights. ^^
  37. Hey I had a look at your motherboards NB cooler, it looks a little hard to attach stuff to it, good luck though.

    @moto
    Yeah the black looks awesome can barely see the cables. Good Job.
  38. Cable ties solve all problems, or adhesive pads. :)
  39. I'd say adhesive pads for the win, wont see it like you will a cable tie :)
    Moto
  40. Yea lol, but if I get black cable ties they look invisible too. This fan's going to help a lot with temperatures, the NB idles @ 72 C sometimes. The heatsink's hot to touch, can't hold my finger on it for more than three seconds.
  41. Going to go out on a limb here, dont touch it?
    :P
    Moto
  42. Normally I wouldn't touch it, but I touched it to make sure it wasn't overheating. I was wrong lol, if I let it run that hot for too much longer, I'll be saying goodbye to my motherboard soon.
  43. Ha why the hells it run that hot? Is that for most X58s or is it out of the ordinary, have you found what temps other people get with that motherboard? Seems pretty stupid that it would be that bad since it seems like a high end board. Did you have to attach the heatsink? Maybe you stuffed up the thermal paste, or not....

    I'm sure if it dies RMA will help you out :).

    [EDIT]
    Also make sure you don't get a Fermi since you light touching stuff :D.
  44. Lol.

    All X58 heatsinks run hot, you know the EVGA X58 3-Way SLI Classified's NB heatsink, and how it's absolutely massive? That NB idles at 70 C without the fan.

    If LEDs don't arrive today I'll have to start work next week. :l

    Buying an NZXT Sentry 2 as well.
  45. Oh ok if they all run hot then what are you worried about? Yes I did notice the size of the heatsink =o.

    Did your LEDs arrive in time?

    Why another Case?
  46. NZXT Sentry 2 is a fan controller. :D It'll take care of my two CM Sickleflow 2000 RPM fans.

    LEDs arrived just today. Might start work today or the day after tomorrow, and order a SATA cable while I'm at it.
  47. Ah ok, knew I should have Binged in :).

    Great; get working, you'll have a great time...
  48. Thanks, lol. Will do soon.


  49. Done these yesterday, added a 40 mm to NB and it's a lot cooler. Decided to use zip ties instead of adhesive pads and it works fine. Also cable management is pretty decent now.
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