Overall and Final Verdict
Corsair is well on their way to world domination, but is it possible that ambient lighting is needed for them to take over the world? Well, ambient lighting in and around offices and desks is far from new. I’ve seen people doing it even before LEDs were popular at all, but it has picked up a lot with RGB lighting strips becoming cheap and a lot easier to work with. What Corsair has going with their LS100 and LT100 lighting kits is a little different than that. Frankly, if you want basic single color lighting that you are never going to change, there are cheaper and easier solutions. Hell, I’ve used them, like when we made our Christmas tree RGB last year. There are two big things you get with both kits that you can’t get with those. Addressable RGB LEDs is the big game-changer, being able to set the color per LED opens up worlds of lighting effects or even just the possibility to blend different colors together as you go. You can buy addressable RGB strips, but controlling them to get proper effects gets a lot harder and iCUE makes things easy and you have a LOT of options right out of the box. That leads me into the other big feature for both kits, iCUE support means you can tie your ambient lighting in with other parts of your PC or desk like your mouse, keyboard, fans, and even memory.
With the LS100 monitor backlighting, I honestly expected something closer to the thin standard LED light strips. I was surprised that Corsair changed things up completely with the thicker flexible lighting that has that built-in diffuser which helps give the lighting a much more consistent effect. Their use of magnets and sticky metal plates for installation is also unique as well. But what I like the most about the LS100 is the flexibility it offers and I don’t mean because it is physically flexible. They designed the kit to be used on the back of a monitor and it does that perfectly, especially with the video lighting effect that makes your monitor feel much larger as it throws the matching lighting all around it. What I mean though is flexible as in can be used in different ways. I used them to light up shelving, but you could also backlight your PC, under your desk if you want to see the dust and dirt you ignore, or anywhere else near your PC. There are downsides, at least one physical downside. They power the LS100 with a big ol wall wart which takes up a lot of space in any power strip and if you end up using more than one iCUE lighting kit like I did, you have to find plugs for more than one which gets very complicated. The LT100 uses the same wart, as well.
The LT100 is a lot more unique, which is cool. But it also means I think this kit has a lot smaller target audience. They designed the kit to let you have light bars on the sides of your monitors, but I don’t like lighting facing directly at me. So I used them as a simpler way to backlight behind a huge monitor stand with 4 monitors. It ended up doing that well, but If you have one or two monitors the LS100 is a much better solution for that. The towers did come with an add on headphone stand which is a nice way to at least give them additional functionality. The LT100’s have the same well diffused addressable LEDs as the LS100. Same with the lighting effects and the iCUE tie in that I talked about before.
This leads me to the other downside on both kits. The LS100 Starter kit will run you $119.99 and the LT100 Tower Starter Kit is $129.99 which are both expensive. Especially if you want to add on some of the expansions. The LS100 2500 kit is $29.00, the LS100 450mm kit is $39.99, and getting one more LT100 tower costs you $59.99. All of the lighting I ended up using totals up to $379.95 which is crazy. Addressable LED strips would be a LOT less. You do give up the extra functionality though. So picking up one kit to spice up your office isn’t too bad, but don’t plan on going all out unless you want to break the bank.
Live Pricing: HERE
Live Pricing: HERE