We now have all the perfect RGB gaming gear, but the software has no idea


Picture this: you are launching a raid in the middle of the night. Your health drops on one side of the screen and your mana builds up on the other, but you’re too obsessed with dodging big red markers and perfect spinning to notice your vital signs. And then your desktop devices explode in a flood of orange, letting you know that another beast is running towards you, and your walls start flashing red as your health drops to dangerously low levels.

Besides saving your eyes from the glare of a screen in a dimly lit room or spitting rainbows for sheer fun, that’s what a proper immersive RGB setup can do for you.

In theory, at least.

Ambient lighting has always interested me more than decorative RGB. Why would I want my keyboard to look like Nyan Cat’s Rainbow Expulsion as I sneak up on a dirty camper in Warzone or Doom Guy rams his fist into a demon’s chest? The latter looks fantastic, in fact, but still. When I was younger, I remember a show demonstrating Philips’ first amBX technology – a collection of peripherals from a vibrating keyboard, desk fans, and bright speakers – that promised to expand a game like Far Cry 2 beyond the screen. I was in love.

But like the Cyborg / MadCatz game lights that arrived shortly thereafter, lackluster software support stopped my dream of crisp ambient lighting in its tracks. Now that RGB is quite ubiquitous, but also better than ever, Corsair’s LT100 light towers hit me again with the ambient lighting bug. So I decided it was time to turn my dark and dismal play corner into a place that even a pixie couldn’t resist.

At the start of the week, my living room game setup looked like this; a 140cm IKEA Gerton worktop adorned with two mismatched Samsung screens, Logitech MX Sound speakers and a TKL G Pro keyboard, and a Razer Mamba wireless mouse on a generic desk pad. Tucked away in the corner was my mini ITX machine, punishing any occasional mouse hitting with a sturdy metal barrier. On the left, a 55-inch QLED TV for games or third-person movies.

The TV side was (mostly) good. The rest? Comfortable, a little crowded, but mostly dark.

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RGB gaming desktop setup

(Image credit: Avenir)
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Corsair LS100 lighting kit

(Image credit: Corsaire)
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Corsair iCUE Nexus

(Image credit: Corsaire)
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Corsair K70 RGB MK.II Rapidfire Keyboard

(Image credit: Corsaire)
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Corsair LT100 light towers

(Image credit: Corsaire)
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Corsair RGB mouse pad

(Image credit: Corsaire)
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Logitech G560 speakers

(Image credit: Logitech)

So I made it my mission to free my eyes from inadequate lighting and flood my space with as much ambient lighting as possible – to take whatever was on my screen and spread it on the walls behind. and the surrounding area.

The aforementioned Corsair LT100 towers can be reversed on their RGB sockets, so we now have two towers illuminating the wall behind the screen and two more seated on either side of my main screen to project a soft, gentle radiance directly into my peripheries. Logitech’s G560 2.1 desktop speaker system also takes over from the outgoing MX sound set, losing some volume while still finding room to include front and rear mounted RGB areas. ‘rear to diffuse even more light.

The LT100 towers do an admirable job on my clearly not white wall, which is an oversight that I’ll have to correct with some 3D panels that I need to learn how to cut first. The Corsair LS100 light strips, while a better option for backlighting, aren’t designed for my particular use case, but still find a way to (sometimes) work.

The two lighting channels that the single hub can manage are glued to pre-defined screen layouts, which means they are only suitable for a single or dual monitor or single ultra-wide panel setup. The latter worked well enough to suit my TV, but things were complicated by the weak as hell magnetic clasps struggling to keep the entire chain from falling to the floor.

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RGB gaming desktop setup

(Image credit: Avenir)
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RGB gaming desktop setup

(Image credit: Avenir)

On the desk itself, Corsair infiltrates a little further. The Polaris MM800 RGB positively overboard mouse pad easily eliminates a generic desk pad. Paired with the Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile Rapidfire open design keyboard, light now spreads from every inch of my desk. My reservations about RGB were triggered, however. I prefer the more streamlined look of my Logitech G Pro or something like the 60% Razer Huntsman Mini, but more touches means more customization.

Between four illuminated obelisks, bright speakers, a rainbow keyboard and mouse setup, and enough light strips to turn the interior of any PC case into a rave, I think I am. about as close to a perfect screen sync setup as I can stomach. It’s not that there is too much ambient light in my pupils, but the struggle with Logitech’s G Hub and Corsair’s iCue lighting software transformed my plan for quick and easy immersion in 30 minutes of troubleshooting with each game.

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RGB gaming desktop setup

(Image credit: Avenir)
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RGB gaming desktop setup

(Image credit: Avenir)
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RGB gaming desktop setup

(Image credit: Avenir)

The idea of ​​screen sampling for ambient lighting has been around for a while now, but nine out of ten times Logitech speakers or Corsair light towers and strips simply refuse to respond. Profiles refusing to save mean I can’t even reliably use the iCue Nexus touchscreen to switch between lighting setups when I switch between games on the monitor or TV. I ask for the immersion, I get a real life puzzle.

While my quest for the ultimate ambient RGB desk seems far from over given that even RGB chairs are a thing now, the personal lighting revolution is certainly upon us. If you’re just looking to personalize your space with your favorite colors, any amount of new peripherals on the market will come in handy, and the LT100 light towers are in a league of their own when they play ball.

But if you’re hoping all of those individually addressable LEDs will tell you when your Spartan is ready to drop dead, that’s still not a matter of the imagination being the limit – it’s about game developers choosing to implement APIs. specific lighting ecosystems in their games, which is a bet you should never base your setup on.

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