For many PC gamers, making their rig and the desk it sits on look good is half the fun of the hobby. In an age when individual case fans can cost more than $30 a piece, what’s a gamer on a budget to do? Today, we’re looking at a pair of affordable DreamColor RGB light strips from MINGER that are ready to spice up your setup. With so many options on the market, though, are they better than the competition?
- MSRP: $18.99 (6.6ft), $31.99 (16.4ft)
- App controllable, built in remote
- Per-light RGB (individual LED RGB illumination - not limited to single color per strip)
- Built in mic for music mode
- USB-powered (6.6ft strip only)
If you watched our last video review, you’ll know that I recently moved house and put together a new office.
It didn’t take long before I realized that I needed an injection of color along that back wall. My first thought was to check out Philips Hue system but at $50 a light bulb, it was far too rich for my blood. I then looked into Razer’s Chroma HDK, (which ironically pairs with Philips Hue and we’ll be reviewing soon - go figure) but even that was $80. Having just emptied a huge chunk of our savings buying our first home, what’s a gamer on a budget to do?
That’s when I came across the MINGER DreamColor RGB Light Strips, courtesy of an awesome TechTuber by the name of TechBlock (he does great work, by the way, and deserves more subscribers, so go check him out). Like many of you, I’d looked for LED strips on Amazon but was always put off by the masses of lookalikes from companies that looked like they’d come out of a name generator. The MINGER DreamColors looked distinctly more professional though - have a look for yourself. I reached out to IHOMENT, the business behind MINGER, to see if I might be able to take a closer look before buying a set for myself.
IHOMENT agreed and sent over their 6.6FT kit for desks and PCs as well as their 16.4FT (5M) kit aimed at accenting whole rooms. The smaller kit, powered by USB, retails for $18.99 and the larger, adapter-powered kit retails for $31.99. At those prices, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see brown-box packaging, maybe printed on in another language, which has actually happened to me buying look-alike products more than once on Amazon.
Instead, the MINGER DreamColors arrived in nice, printed packaging with the LEDs ran on spools. They felt like something you could buy from a Best Buy with only a fraction of their price. Each spool comes with an in-line remote for adjusting the color of preset “scene.” They also default to music mode which uses the remote’s built in microphone to light up the strips whenever it picks up on sound. It’s a great way to show off the independent colors of each LED when most strips in this price range can only change the color of the entire strip.
One of the neatest features, however, is that they can also be controlled with your smartphone. The MINGER DreamColors connect to your phone via bluetooth. This is important because IR blasters or wired remotes (which is the backup here) are frankly a pain and can really limit how you mount your lights. With bluetooth control, the 6.6FT kit could easily be used as one of the cheapest ways to light the inside of your PC, so long as you remember to route the USB cable out the back. The 16FT kit could light up your entire desk and the back of your PC.
A word to the wise, though. These lights are bright. If you find yourself having to double up on runs along the back of your desk, you may actually find them too bright and cutting the strip isn’t advisable since lighting modes seem to follow patterns you might accidentally cut off.
Inside the app, you can control how the strip functions in three modes: Music, Color, and Scenes, as well as control the strip’s brightness. Music enabled the remote’s microphone, and depending on which pattern you select, can light up in one of four ways: energetic, rhythm, static, and rolling; color allows you to set the whole strip to a static color; and, scenes allows you to cycle through a handful of different preset mood lights. Romantic, blinking (which doesn’t actually blink but actually pulses colors in an odd timing), and candlelight all animate.
TechBlock’s review of the MINGER DreamColor Lighting Strips
The downside is that you can’t actually customize any of your own effect or assign colors to individual LEDs. So yes, your full strip customizations are still one-color, but since the presets make it clear that the LEDS can be assigned, hopefully this will come in a future update.
For the money, the MINGER DreamColor RGB Light Strips are just an excellent value. Even though you can’t assign colors to individual LEDs, the bluetooth connectivity for smartphone control really is a killer feature. The Music mode with it’s different patterns is also pretty cool, especially if you’re used to gaming with speakers. Put simply, these lights are a great way to make your entire setup look better without having to put off your next system upgrade to do it. Recommended.
Find out more
- Minger Dreamcolor LED strip light 6.6ft: http://bit.ly/2Hq5xty
- Minger Dreamcolor LED strip light 16ft: http://bit.ly/2sNyYQK
- DreamColor GIVEAWAY at the Govee Facebook Page
- Very bright and vibrant, especially against white walls
- Cheap - high value light strips
- Can be controlled by smartphone
- Microphone-based music modes
- Custom colors and scenes
- Can’t assign colors to individual LEDs or customize scenes
The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purposes of review.