Case Modding: Enlightening Lighting

Dual Utility: System Fan With LEDs

The simplest way to kill two birds with one stone is to exchange the standard system fan in any case with one that lights up. This not only improves your PC’s looks, in some cases it can even make your computer quieter as well.

Most PC cases have a non-sensational fan that usually comes in a uniform black color. Having the right fan can bring more color and above all light into the picture. System fans come in three basic sizes ; typically they are 80 or 120 mm, with 92 mm fans more of a rarity. For this reason we focused only on the two most common sizes.

The available selection of lighting effects is still somewhat limited, with three main colors predominating : almost all manufacturers offer blue, while red and green are also favorites. If you want you can even get a fan with three different-colored LEDs.

Flashing 80mm Fans

Selection of illuminated 80mm fans

Some models’ light shows are so beguiling you just can’t get enough. System fans of this type were on display for the first time at this year’s CeBIT in Hanover. Manufacturer Sharkoon presented a whole range of models, each featuring a different lighting scheme.

Makers Sharkoon, Thermaltake, Cooler Master, and Antec were the first to respond to the nascent demand, typically offering a base model available in a variety of LED colors. Both multicolored and unicolor fan models are available, and the number of LEDs varies by manufacturer. Antec’s and Thermaltake’s fans, for example, only have three LEDs ; Sharkoon, Logisys, and Sunbeam offer four. It’s a matter of taste as to which looks the best, as both styles provide equally adequate lighting. One odd thing is that the popular Papst company is still not offering a fan with LEDs.

Cooler Mate 80 mm : typical fan with 4 LEDs

The Aspire DF1208SM is illuminated by 4 LEDs

Thermaltake TT-8025T : here’s how it looks when only three LEDs are used

The most striking of all has to be the Rainbow FAN, which lights up in a bouquet of colors. Another model, bearing the name UV Strobo FAN, is not only reactive to UV light, it also makes use of its redating blades to generate strobe effects. Logisys Computer also sent us an interesting model.

Siggy Moersch