When case modding was getting started everyone who wanted to light up their PC turned to cold cathodes for lighting. Things progressed and we later saw LEDs starting in plastic pucks and then later on strips becoming popular. While I don’t use lighting in every build, I have used them in a few. A few years ago we even took a look at lighting options from Bit Fenix. At the time they were still a relatively new company and they were starting to expand their product lines. Well a few years later Bit Fenix reached out, excited to show off the latest version of their LED lighting, the Alchemy 2.0. This time around they dropped the adhesive and went with magnets to keep the lighting in place. Considering how much we liked their first kits, I couldn’t turn down taking a look at the new design. So today I’m going to take a quick look and find out what they are all about.
Product Name: Bit Fenix Alchemy 2.0 Magnetic LED Strips
Review Sample Provided by: Bit Fenix
Written by: Wes
Pictures by: Wes
Amazon Link: HERE
|Available LED Colors||Red, Green, Blue, Purple, White|
|Magnets||Black Sintered NdFeB Permanent Magnets|
|LED Type||5050 TriBright™ SMD|
|Color Rendering Index||~80|
|Flex PCB Quality||1oz copper|
|Protective cover||High-Clarity Polyurethane|
|Power Cable Length||50cm - 20" - daisy-chainable|
|LED Strip Width||10mm - 0.4"|
|LED Strip Thickness||2mm - 0.08"|
So there isn’t all that much to the packaging of the new lighting kits but this isn’t really anything different than any other lighting kit. The Alchemy 2.0’s are available in five different colors and also in different lengths. The packaging reflects this with the information card inside of the bubble plastic showing the lights colors and then in the bottom right corner you have the LED length. The light itself is wrapped up in a circle then to the right is the power cable. On the back they explin the magnet design and the modular cable design as well as the “TriBright” LED tech. To me though the most interesting thing on the back is the LanOC Recommended logo from our recommendation of the original design, we will have to wait and see how this kit performs to find out if they get the same as well.
Installation and Performance
So there isn’t all that much to talk about with the Alchemy 2.0’s so I’ve combined what would normally be a few different sections of our reviews down into one. The entire setup consists of three parts, the LED strip, a Molex pass through power cable, and a tiny add in cable. At first glance this is all the same that you would see in past kits as well. Unlike in the past though the installation of the kit is a little easier. Basically assuming you have a steel case you can just slap the lighting in place wherever you want it and if needed you can remove it and adjust it until you get it just right. You hook up the Molex power cable and then run it to the lighting. The cable is really thin and easy to keep hidden
Hooking up multiple sets of LEDs just requires the use of the small double male ended adapter cable. Each end plugs into the LEDs and it pulls power from the kit hooked up to the Molex cable out to the others. You can hook up from color to color or even to an original Alchemy set if you want. In fact in most cases you can even daisy chain a Bit Fenix kit to a different brand as well. I used this option when hooking up all of the colors together for some of our testing as seen below.
So for our testing I did a few things, first off I wanted to try to see all of the color options together. Sadly getting a good photo of this is much harder than I had planned so as you can see below the best photos of all of the colors together don’t show the glow at all, just the light coming out of the LED strips, the funny thing is the office was completely glowing with all five hooked up.
From there I tried installing the lighting in a few of our builds, in my main build it wouldn’t work as expected because the case is all aluminum. When I found a good case to install them into the photos didn’t really show exactly what it looked like in real life. So I ended up going with using one of the video cards I had sitting around and lighting up the cards individually to better show what you should expect for lighting performance from my experience. All five of the colors looked great although the red and the white really stood out for me. I do still really miss the inclusion of orange in the lighting kits though, but I think for most people that isn’t a big issue.
Overall and Final Verdict
So as expected there is just only so much to cover when it comes to a set of LED lights. That doesn’t mean the new Alchemy 2.0 Magnetic LED Strips aren’t interesting though. As someone who has used LED lighting in a variety of builds I’m really happy to see that Bit Fenix is going out of the way to continue to innovate in what is a very stagnant market. I mean lets be honest there are a lot of different LED options and most of them are so similar that they can all be hooked up together. The Alchemy 2.0 kit doesn’t change that, but by dropping the sticky tape they have opened up a few new options. The new setup makes an already easy installation even easier.
The big thing for me though was the new design makes the lighting kit reusable. In the past once you installed it you couldn’t move the lighting around and if you pulled them out you were left with a mostly unusable kit. Now you can move them around to get things perfect and then when you build a new rig in the future you can move them over. Just like the previous Alchemy kit these lights are extremely bright.
There is one huge downside to this new design that should be obvious to most people. By using magnets this kit can only be used in steel cases. This covers most PC cases, but there are some aluminum cases like all of the Case Labs cases and you also can’t stick a magnet to plastic as well. The other downside for me was the lack of orange, the original Alchemy kit was one of only a few kits that had orange as an option so I was a little bummed to see that drop with the Alchemy 2.0’s.
All in all the Alchemy 2.0 Magnetic LED Strips are a great lighting option for anyone with a case that is going to support them. The original Alchemy’s earned our recommendation previously and Bit Fenix included that on the packaging. I was very close to giving this a Top Honors award this time around for the innovative design but the limitations with what case you can use the lighting in was just enough to keep the kit from being perfect.
Live Pricing: HERE