CORSAIR iCUE LT100 Smart Lighting Towers Review
An iCUE-Enabled Lighting Option To Enhance Your PC
CORSAIR has expanded their lineup of iCUE-enabled lighting products with the new LT100 Smart Lighting Towers, with the starter kit offering a pair of these devices to provide either accent lighting or ambient effects.
These new lights join the iCUE LS100 Smart Lighting Strips for your complete RGB
breakfast desktop experience. The starter kit is $129.99, with expansion kits available for $59.99 to add an additional tower, with up to four towers supported in one system.
Features from Corsair:
- Immersive Ambient Lighting: Extend your PC’s RGB lighting, illuminating your environment with diffused colors and intricate lighting effects to create an immersive backdrop of ambient lighting.
- Integrate with Games and Media: Synchronize your ambient lighting to dynamically match the on-screen action in games, movies, and videos, or turn your room into a living visualizer for your music.
- Everything You Need to Shine: Includes two connected 422mm-tall towers with 46 customizable LEDs each, an external power supply, a 1.5m extension cable, and a removable headset holder.
- 11 Preset Lighting Profiles: Illuminate your space immediately at the push of a button with 11 profiles available out of the box.
- Part of the iCUE Smart Lighting Ecosystem: Powered by CORSAIR iCUE software, enabling fully customized and synchronized RGB lighting across all iCUE-compatible CORSAIR devices in your system and all external iCUE Smart Lighting devices.
- Reversible Orientation: Face the LT100 forward for more vivid, intense lighting or backward for more subtle illumination of your space.
- Built-In Light Diffusion: LEDs are housed in a sturdy, light-diffusing casing that softens and blends light for a continuous and smooth effect.
- Removable Headset Holder: Attaches conveniently to a lighting tower so you can hang your headset within easy reach.
- Easily Expandable: Enhance your iCUE Smart Lighting Ecosystem with additional LT100 expansion towers that connect directly to your existing towers.
LT100 Starter Kit
- Reversible Tower 1 (with button): With controller, White diffuser silicone, Aluminum post and base,
46 RGB LEDs
- Reversible Tower 2 (without button): No controller, White diffuser silicone, Aluminum post and base,
46 RGB LEDs
- Preset Lighting Effects: 11 preset lighting effects with push-button control
- Max. Towers, RGB LEDs: Up to 4 Towers (Total of 184 RGB LEDs)
- Starter Kit Dimensions (L x W x H):
- 422 x 95 x 95 mm (without the headset holder)
- 423 x 95 x 106 mm (with headset holder)
- Straight RGB Cable: 1.5 meters
- AC Adapter: 5V, 1.8 meters
- Micro USB to USB-A Cable: 1.5 meters
- Removable Headset Holder: Plastic
LT100 Expansion Kit
- Requirements: Requires iCUE LT100 Smart Lighting Towers Starter Kit, sold separately
- Reversible Tower (without button): No controller, White diffuser silicone, Aluminum post and base, 46 RGB LEDs
- Max.Towers, RGB LEDs: Up to 4 Towers (Total of 184 RGB LEDs), requires iCUE LT100 Starter Kit
- RGB Y-Cable: 1.5 meters
- Expansion Kit Dimensions (L x W x H): 422 x 95 x 95 mm
- Warranty: 2 years
- Starter Kit: $129.99
- Expansion Kit: $59.99
Included with the LT100 Starter Kit are two of the smart lighting towers – one with an embedded lighting controller and one without, a cable to connect the units together, a micro USB to USB-A cable, and an external power supply.
The cables are of moderate length, with 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) for the RGB and USB cables, and 1.8 meters (5.9 feet) for the power cable.
The towers and bases are both constructed with aluminum, and while lightweight they do feel sturdy. The optional headphone hanger is plastic, and you have the option of more permanently mounting this to one tower using a supplied adhesive pad.
The bases have a polished edge chamfer that would make Jonny Ive proud, and the overall look of these components could certainly be described as ‘high end’. I will note that the white diffuser silicone has a tacky surface, and time will tell if this ends up picking up dust to any significant degree.
The towers install without wires or tools, snapping into place with copper contacts handling the connection between base and tower. I was initially concerned about the use of snaps considering this design allows for the reversal of the towers, but it is a fairly low-resistance connection and I expect that it will hold up to repeated use.
After pressing the towers into position on each base it’s a simple matter to connect the cables to each unit. The next step is to connect the included USB cable to an available port on your PC and run the iCUE software.
Controlling the LT100 with iCUE Software
Configuring the lighting effects using iCUE is straightforward, and while I did have to cycle the cables in and out of the second tower and re-run the detection everything showed up properly. I was choosing my desired lighting effects just a few minutes after putting the kit together, and overall the experience with initial setup was excellent.
After basic lighting setup has been attended to the options for LED effects are vast. Between the predefined RGB patterns, static lighting, and custom controls you can spend hours creating your perfect RGB-infused desktop environment (or just playing around). The LT100 towers respond immediately to changes in iCUE, and the colors from these units are vivid.
Dynamic ambient effects are certainly an interesting alternative to conventional RGB lighting, and as we saw from NZXT’s Hue 2 kit last summer, software-enabled dynamic ambient lighting effects for games and video content is a viable technology. I will say that incorporating the lighting controller in the base of one tower is a more elegant solution than the controller I taped to the back of my monitor for the Hue 2 review.
The video lighting was less effective than dedicated ambient lighting solution like the Hue 2, but these light towers don’t have a very large number of zones (and the diffusion probably doesn’t help). Dynamic effects are an interesting addition, nonetheless, and the audio lighting function – with the units facing the viewer rather than the wall – is more impressive.
While the iCUE LT100 Smart Lighting Towers are not going to replace lighting strips for most streaming setups (Corsair also offers the iCUE LS100), they are an interesting alternative to traditional LED strips for things like ambient display effects. If you aren’t willing to stick lighting strips to the back of a monitor, this is a no-touch alternative, for example.
I didn’t find the ambient effects to be as immersive as others that I have seen, but these haveo 46 LEDs per tower so I wasn’t exactly expecting the lights to mirror what was on screen anyhow. I ended up using the iCUE LT100 towers to tie in to my existing iCUE-powered lighting setup from the Hydro X Series loop I constructed for our review last year, and it offered a very noticable enhancement to my system – when the room lights were down.
Lighting levels are more than adequate when they are directed forward, but when they are reversed the white silicone diffuser results in ambient lighting quite a bit lower than the generic LED strips I typically use. I did not attempt to remove the diffusers, and I suspect that Corsair’s iCUE LS100 is a more appropriate product for my particular setup (throwing light against the wall as a backdrop).
This brings up the division between normal users and streamers. Video involves lots of bright lighting, and even moderate room light washes out the ambient effect with these towers. Face them toward yourself (or the camera), however, and they are very bright – but controlled (thanks again to those diffusers). There has to be a tradeoff, and it makes sense to position these as lighting accents.
Overall I found the iCUE LT100 to be a well designed product with typically outstanding software integration, as iCUE control was fully featured and left me with no complaints. If you like what these offer the asking price isn’t out of line with other smart lighting products we’ve encountered, and while these are more of a companion to LED strip lighting rather than an alternative, they still offer some interesting effects of their own, and are very easy for anyone to setup and use.
This disclosure statement covers the way the product being reviewed was obtained and the relationship between the product's manufacturer and PC Perspective.
How Product Was Obtained
The lighting kit is on loan from Corsair for the purpose of this review.
What Happens To Product After Review
The lighting kit remains the property of Corsair but will be on extended loan to PC Perspective for the purpose of future testing and product comparisons.
Corsair provided the product sample and technical brief to PC Perspective but had no control over the content of the review and was not consulted prior to publication.
PC Perspective Compensation
Neither PC Perspective nor any of its staff were paid or compensated in any way by Corsair for this review.
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