Lights without Software Please
RGB products should be filling every void in the computer industry. Sadly, there has been one niche that is left dark and colorless: the hardware based RGB controller. Certain builders enjoy fancy lighting, but prefer not to have extra software programs running in the taskbar. SilverStone is thankfully coming to the rescue with the LSB02 RGB and Fan Controller. We’ll see if the lighting control lives up to software based ones, but first a statement from SilverStone.
Here at SilverStone Technology, we continue to pride ourselves in providing the highest level of standards in designing and manufacturing computer enclosures, power supplies, and accessories. Our pursuit for the first class aesthetic appeal is relentless; our teams of devoted engineers are constantly searching for the best technologies that suit end-users with different needs and will make our products as technologically sound as they are beautiful.
Packaging + Fans and LED Strips
We’re looking at more than just an RGB controller today. SilverStone provided a few fans, as well as RGB lighting strips to test out. The focus will be on the controller, but we’ll get a great chance to show off other products. Each product has a great looking box with a solid amount of information printed out. Inside, the products and accessories are compartmentalized by cardboard sleeves. It’s one of the better packaging designs I’ve seen for products similar to these.
I also want to point out the unique design SilverStone did with the fans here. The blades are clear, surrounded by a slightly thicker frame than usual. The back side of the fan has a built-in grill, making it a very solid unit. I noticed right away that these fans had a very unique aesthetic design to them. Even if the frames are a bit polarizing, I think the effort put into these fans shows up nicely, especially when the lights are on. We’ll get more on that soon enough.
As with all RGB products, there are a lot of connections that have to be made. In order to help make the steps more clear, I shot an installation video that you can watch below. SilverStone not only includes numerous channels on the LSB02, but each fan and light strip has the capability to daisy chain the lighting connection to the next unit in line. I liked the tiny extension of the wire outside of the fan. It makes it a bit easier to put connections together if the fans are already installed.
That said, I feel like we need a better way to connect RGB accessories to lighting controllers. Would it be possible to use Bluetooth to connect RGB products together? Granted, wireless transmissions can interfere with other components in the system, so a company would have to tread carefully on the design. However, if a low power, short range wireless signal could be used to control the lighting effects on fans and LED strips, that would clear up a ton of wire clutter. I don’t know if this is possible, but maybe I’m giving somebody out there and idea or two. (wink*, wink*, nudge*, nudge*)
Lighting and Remote Control
One word that sums up the lighting options on this controller is excellent. I had to dedicate nearly 10 minutes of video just so I could get through all the options the LSB02 offers. What I really liked was the number of two tone patterns SilverStone includes. I personally love full spectrum wave lighting, but many people prefer to stay away from the Christmas tree look that brings. However, two tones cycling in a pattern makes the RGB lighting look great, without being too busy either. I felt like it was a great balance between Christmas tree lovers like myself, and those who don’t love a mess of colors blinding them in the face.
The hardware based control means we need a hardware based device to change settings. No better device comes to mind than a remote control. SilverStone includes one and I have to say that the control is fairly intuitive. I say that because the manual wasn’t as detailed as I’d like. Regardless, it only took a little bit of playing around to figure out the settings. I have to point out that I am a reviewer and it is my job to figure these things out. Still, I think SilverStone did an excellent job with hardware control. Check out the video above and let’s wrap this review up.
SilverStone fills an important niche in the RGB world. Hardware control means no buggy software and less chances of compatibility issues. In fact, that’s the number one reason PC builders try to avoid extra software at times. Even if the software works properly, compatibility issues can cause other programs to crash, particularly games. Hardware controllers can lack good customization, but SilverStone overcomes that challenge with a plethora of options.
Beyond the lighting control which was emphasized here, you have extra features like fan control and remote power control. That said, this box will set you back nearly $60. It’s not a terrible price, but ease of use and great lighting are what SilverStone excels at here. As a result, we happily award the LSB02 RGB & Fan Controller the Hardware Hounds Great Style and Great Function Awards.