by Ryan Perry on October 21, 2011 in Displays
Every so often, we’re sent a product that on the surface looks to be one of the most simple we’ve ever seen, but in practice turns out to be quite useful. Antec’s Bias Lighting Kit is one such product. It emits a white glow on a wall behind your monitor, making staring at the screen just a little bit easier. Sounds strange, but it works.
All in all I like the Bias Lighting Kit for the simple reason that it makes long(ish) gaming sessions easier on my eyes. I went into this review hoping to have it do just that so for me it’s a winner. Whether or not it enhances the colour output of a monitor, I can’t say because I noticed no difference.
The build quality of the kit is quite good. The strip is flexible enough to fit over any shape and the connection between the USB cable and strip feels very rugged. But, there are a few tweaks that could be made.
The first is the length of the power cable, which I found to be too short. Based on the specifications of the USB interface, the cable should be no more than 3 meters long for a high speed device and 5 meters for low speed – but that’s for transferring data. Seeing how this connection only provides power to the LEDs I don’t see why Antec chose to go with a cable that’s just over 1 meter. Even with my system sitting next to a very small desk, the cable was just long enough so folks who have a less-than-ideal setup might run into problems.
The adhesive is another cause for concern. I’m not sure if this could be improved upon since I’m sure Antec didn’t want to make the strip a permanent add-on, but I found that it was too weak. Simply the weight of the power cable itself caused that end to peel away. If the adhesive cannot be changed then maybe the power cable should connect at the midway point instead of on the end so that the adhesive on both sides of the strip is supporting the weight evenly.
Finally, on some motherboards the USB ports remain active even when the system is powered off to allow users to charge their devices. My GIGABYTE H55M-USB3 board happens to be one of those models, so the LEDs remain lit. The addition of a small in-line on/off switch on the cable about 6″ away from the LED strip would be a nice touch.
At only $13, it’s hard to truly find fault with it seeing how it’s such a low cost add-on. Testing of a product like this is subjective due to the fact that everybody can tolerate different amounts of light – light created by different sources such as a monitor or different light patterns. It’s the reason why some may get a migraine while others are fine after watching the same thing. Should the kit not help users the way it helped me they likely won’t be too bent out of shape due to the low price point.
If you regularly find yourself stepping away from the computer to rest your eyes then this may be exactly what you need. The Bias Lighting Halo 6 LED kit isn’t a must-have item but it certainly is a nice to have one.
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