Today we will be taking a look at an LED lighting system designed for PCs. The NZXT HUE+ is and advanced lighting system that allows users to add numerous LEDs to their PC and even allows them full control of them VIA their NZXT CAM software. LEDs have become very popular and the PC community, especially among gamers and enthusiasts and more importantly, RGB LEDs. Users are always looking for more ways to customize and make their PC theirs and adding RGB LEDs lets them have a bit more creativity, while still being able to match a colour scheme if they want. Personally, I like RGB LEDs as you can, of course, change their colours which makes them very versatile. Long gone are the days of having to change the actual strips when you want a colour refresh for your PC.
- Manufacturer Website: NZXT
- Product Page: HUE+
- Purchase from Box.co.uk: £44.99 At the time of review
So, you ask, what is so special about the NZXT HUE+? Well, let me tell you. First up, it is controlled by NZXT’s own CAM software which will allow you to set your colours and features right from your PC. Next, there is a controller box that features two individual channels, both of which can have four LED strips on them, all of which can be controlled individually. Also, if you feel the four strips that it comes equipped with out of the box aren’t enough, you can go ahead and purchase more individually. The HUE+ also comes with quite a few accessories in the box as well, which we will take a look at shortly. First, let’s have a look at the official specifications.
|Output LED Quantity||Up to 40 per channel|
|LED Strip Width||10mm|
|Output Channel Voltage||DC 5V|
|Dimensions||100mm x 70mm x 23.5mm|
|Included Accessories||1 x 500 mm Extension cable|
1 x 300mm Extension cable
2 x 100mm Extension cable
4 x Screws
5 x Cable ties
|Material||Steel, Plastic, PCB|
|LED Color||Color changing RGB|
|Form Factor||2.5″ Drive Bay|
|Connections||4 x LED Strip|
1 x Molex Power
1 x Internal micro-USB cable
2 x 500mm Connection cable
|Mounting||HUE+ Body: Screws|
LED Strip: Magnets and 3M Tape
|LED Modes||Presets: Static, Fading, Breathing, Marquee, Covering Marquee, Alternating, Spectrum Wave, Pulse, Candle Light|
Smart: CPU Temperature, GPU Temperature, FPS
Custom: Customize each LED
Audio (Beta): HUE+ reacts to the changing audio output from your PC
|LED Strip Length||300mm, 10-LED|
|Control Method||CAM Software|
|Input Connector||5V Molex 4-pin connector|
The box they come in does a great job at trying to give you an idea of what the LEDs may look like once installed. Also, on the bottom of the front of the box, there is a colour scale that lets so you which colour you can choose from.
Moving on to the back of the box and there is a bit more information and a couple of accompanying pictures that really help to show off what the HUE+ can do. As you can see, there is a colour chooser that is reminiscent to that of Photoshop. NZXT have also included some live images on the right-hand side to really help try and show off how great these LEDs really do look once installed. We can also see some of the main features such as the fact they can have dual channel illumination, are easy to install and come with numerous lighting presets to name a few.
Opening up the packaging and there are two tray type boxes inside. One holds the control unit and LED strips, while the other has all the cables and accessories.
Getting a good look at everything and as mentioned, there are 4x LED strip included, the controller box which everything will connect to and then the box full of cables. As far as accessories go, there are:
1 x 500 mm Extension cable
1 x 300mm Extension cable
2 x 100mm Extension cable
4 x Screws
5 x Cable ties
The control box as I call it is designed to fit into a 2.5″ drive bay. NZXT figured this would be a great way to keep it out of the way without having to just shove it somewhere not to be seen. On the top, we can see the HUE+ writing and that is it, it is completely black and not a lot going on.
As for connections on the control box, there is the 5V DC in which powers up the lighting system. Next, there is a USB plug which allows you to connect the HUE+ to your motherboard’s USB header so you can control the effects and lastly, you have the two individual channels which can each control up to 4x LED strips. That’s basically it, everything is controlled by the CAM software which makes life easy.
When you first take the LED strips out of the box, they will have plastic protectors on each end. The 4x included strips can all be connected together on one channel and as mentioned, you can purchase more strips individually should you require more. All of the LED strips feature a magnetic and 3m tape back, meaning you can stick them on the metal chassis, or if you need to connect them to a plastic area, you can use the 3M sticky tape instead. Both the magnet and 3M are already on the strips, for the magnet simply just press the strip onto metal and to use the 3M tape, simply remove the protective backing and apply to the designated area.
Once the LEDs are installed and you’ve downloaded and set up the software, they look absolutely amazing. They have a great colour spectrum and representation and are some of the best quality LEDs I have ever seen personally. NZXT has always been known for good quality in my books and they have not let us down with the HUE+ Advanced Lighting System. The reason why you can connect 4x strips together is for some of the pulse and other effects, it also almost lets you wrap the LEDs around most standard sized ATX cases giving off enough light so you can see everything inside.
The Software is very easy to get using, even if there are quite a few options. As with most products of this type, you will definitely want to have a play around with it so you can achieve your desired result. One of the cool things is there are a number of preset features to make life easier for you in your search to RGB LED greatness!
Taking myself away from staring at the pretty lights long enough to write this review and I must say, I am very impressed with the NZXT HUE+ Advanced Lighting System. NZXT have done a great job at making sure most people should have what they need right out of the box, but if you are in search of some more LEDs you can purchase up to 4x more strips to use with the HUE+ which should be enough to light up pretty much any case on the market if done right. There are also a number of extensions included with the HUE+ so you can make sure to route the LEDs exactly where you want and not have to worry about coming up short.
The HUE+ offers very bright and vibrant colours that look absolutely amazing. The design of the control box is simple and minimal and the fact it is designed to fit into a standard 2.5″ drive bay is excellent in my opinion as you can also normally mount 2.5″ drives in a lot of 3.5″ bays these days. It’s also nice that the control box has a pretty simple design to it as to not take away from the flashiness of the LEDs. NZXT have really done a great job of making sure their HUE+ LEDs can accommodate most users under normal circumstances and I really believe they can.
Here in the UK, you are looking at about £45-£50 for the HUE+ which some may feel is a bit expensive. You have to remember, though, these are not your standard LEDs, they are controlled by software which is easy to use and can be expanded on if need be. They also come with plenty of cables and accessories to make sure you can route them just about anywhere in your case. Speaking of putting them in your case, they also feature a magnetic and 3M sticky tape backing so you should also be able to apply them to most any surface inside your case with ease.
When it is all said and done, NZXT has a great bit of kit in their HUE+ Advanced Lighting System. I really do think this is a must have item for those looking to add some LEDs to the inside of their case but who are also looking for maximum flexibility. It’s easy to setup, use and will provide hours off illuminating fun for the whole family!
Major thanks to NZXT for sending in their HUE+ for review!