Heat is the bane of any PC enthusiast and we all go to great lengths to ensure our systems don't cook themselves. Need a little assistance keeping those temps in check? Corsair thinks it can help with its new Corsair Commander Mini control unit. It's a compact device that mounts inside your PC, is powered by a SATA connector, and comes with a cable to connect to a USB 2.0 header.
Not everything in life is clear-cut. Take LED lighting in your PC for instance; some people love the look of colorful bulbs, while the same effect makes others want to claw their eyes out with a molex tool. If you fall into the former camp, NZXT's new "Hue" LED controller might just be up your alley. It's a premade lighting solution that seems flexible enough to satisfy DIYers who want custom rave club-like effects without worrying about inverters and grounding wires.
We first spied Corsair's Link software at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas...in 2011. An official announcement would follow later in the year at the Computex convention in Taiwan and we were told Corsair's Link Cooling and Link Cooling and Lighting kits would ship in July. Well, better late than never, right? As CES 2012 wraps up, Corsair is putting the word out that its Link system is now available to purchase.
When we review something, we assign a verdict based on the strengths and weaknesses of that product relative to the other products in its field. When there are no other products in that field, things get a little weird.
Such is the case with the Cyborg Gaming Lights, the latest member in the rapidly expanding family of Mad Catz PC gaming peripherals. This pair of lights uses amBX ambient technology to enhance gaming. It's a little hard to visualize the Gaming Lights without seeing them in action, but the effect is actually surprisingly pleasing.
Corsair used the Computex convention in Taiwan to introduce its 'Corsair Link' technology, which is a "modular hardware and software system that provides comprehensive monitoring and control of PC cooling and lighting." Towards that end, Corsair also unveiled its Link Cooling Kit and Link Cooling and Lighting Kit, a couple of products that can best be described as highfalutin fan/light controllers that go above and beyond other fan controllers.
The answer to our question is "both." Joby, a company you may recognize as the designer of the Gorillapod line of camera tripods, launched its Gorillatorch Switchback, a combination lantern/headlamp that uses LED lighting.
"We wanted to create a lighting product that encourages strong social interaction in the same way that a campfire does," says Joby CEO Forrest Baringer-Jones, "Our deep research into the needs of skiing, surfing and climbing guides as well as extreme backpackers inspired us to create an entirely new product that combines a lightweight headlamp with a social lantern utilizing the same LED lighting engine. Our friends on the mountain told us their existing solutions didn’t work, so this piece of revolutionary design is for them and many others."
The Gorillatorch Switchback comes with 5 LEDS (including a 130-lumen CREE XLamp XP-G LED spotlight), 6 brightness settings, and an adjustable dimmer switch.
Joby says the device is powerful enough to illuminate an 8-person family tent or even a small cabin, and when switched to headlamp mode, can illuminate a trail up to 60 feet ahead.
Scientists at the University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine) are exploring ways to image cancerous lesions using LEDs, according to a report in Science Daily.
What the scientists hope is that LEDs will advance a techniques for treating cancer called photodynamic therapy (PDT). PDT involves injecting photosensitizing chemicals that absorb light into a tumor, which is then exposed to light. The chemicals generate oxygen radicals from the light energy, wiping out cancer cells in the process.
Towards that end, UC Irvine has designed a new device with an array of five different colors of LEDs that light up the skin with distinct intensity patterns. The resulting images reveal the biochemistry of the tissue.
"Through this imaging modality, it is now possible to assess how the therapeutic light will travel throughout the affected tissue, quantify the drug present within the lesion, and monitor its efficacy during treatment," says Rolf Saager, who works in the lab of Anthony Durkin a the Beckman Laser Institute at UC Irvine.
The hope is that this imaging technique will draw out a better map for targeting and optimizing photodynamic therapy for basal cell carcinoma, which is the most common type of skin cancer.
Excuse us for being punny, but according to Royal Philips Electronics, LED lighting has a bright future ahead of it. By the end of 2010, Philips reckons LEDs will account for over 5 percent of the global lighting market, more than doubling its 2 percent reach in 2009. That would make LED lighting a $4 billion business.
That figure will seem like chump change once 2015 rolls around, assuming Philips' crystal ball is even semi-accurate. By 2015, Philips predicts LEDs will account for half of the total lighting industry.
At that point, LED lighting will be a $100 billion business, and that doesn't even include LEDs in automobile applications. Architectural lighting drives almost a third of the LED lighting business, though with government promotions and free-falling prices, LEDs have begun replacing traditional light bulbs. In Japan, for example, LED light bulbs now account for 62 percent of the total sales of light bulbs.
GE claims to have developed an LED light bulb that distributes light like an incandescent bulb, but doesn't need to be changed for 17 years (4 hours per day). The bulb sips just 9 watts and provides a 77 percent energy savings, all while providing about the same light output as a 40W incandescent, GE says.
"This is a bulb that can virtually light your kid's bedroom desk lamp from birth through high school graduation," says John Strainic, global product general manager, GE Lighting. "It's an incredible advancement that's emblematic of the imagination and innovation that GE's applying to solve some of the world's biggest challenges."
The LED bulb sports a funky aesthetic, and there's good reason for that. According to GE, the fins around the side help direct light downward on the intended surface and all around rather than beam light out the top of a lampshade like most current LED bulbs do.
Look for GE's LED bulb to ship this Fall or early 2011 for around $40 to $50.
Take a survey of all of your electronics, whether in the computer room or your living room, and you'll likely notice a whole bunch of blue LEDs. Now commonplace, the cost of these little lights might soon be going up.
Citing sources within the LED chip market, DigiTimes says manufacturers are thinking about increasing the ASP (average selling prices) by 10 percent. The reason? The recent surge in demand for LED backlighting has put the squeeze on upstream suppliers who are unable to ship materials on schedule.
In addition to higher prices, Lee Biing-jye, chairman of LED chip maker Epistar, says this year's worst shortage of LEDs will come in the second quarter. He didn't offer up any specific numbers, but current supply is already about 30-40 percent short of demand.
The continued shortage might also be a reason why Samsung is considering lowering its shipment goal for LED-backlit TVs.