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MGE-USA Liquid CCFL

If you are a regular reader you probably have noticed it's been a while since we looked at a CCFL here at MHW. This wasn't because we have lost interest in case modding, but rather I felt we had said most all we had to say about CCFLs. The Liquid Plasma CCFL, though, has changed that feeling somewhat. While its basic design (light tube, inverter, switch) are the same as countless other CCFL, the LOOK that it produces is totally different.

Magiclight Box

The clear plastic shell packaging seems reasonably robust. The pictured cardboard insert, while attractive, doesn't offer many product details. No instruction sheet is included either; realistically, though, installation is simple enough that 95% of you won't need any. Not much product info is available for this product on the manufacturers website either.

I guess we should call this the "Where is Waldo?" Picture. Since I had to retake numerous pics that the cat was obscuring I figured I would leave this one in for your enjoyment. The funny thing is that I have three cats and only this one seems to do this.

Magiclight And Cat

Features

Liquid CCFL Light
Encased in a 100% acrylic shell
Includes on/off switch
4pin pass-through connector
Enclosed inverter Casing
Very Low Heat Output (3Watts)
Long Lifespan

A few things I noticed when I took the MGE Liquid CCFL out of the package and examined it are that the wires are longer than some of the other CCFL I have used in the past and should be long enough for most users. The next thing was that the small black box housing the inverter has air holes in it to aid in keeping the inverter cool. This should also extend its lifecycle. Lastly, the CCFL tube has a wire that runs the entire length of the tube. Although I can find no confirmation, I believe this wire provides a current that causes a gas inside the tube to light in a wave-like manner.

Wave Like

Installation is relatively straightforward: Situate the CCFL tube in your case where you want it, attach it to case with the included double-sided tape, plug in Molex pass through connector, cut ugly hole in case to mount power switch. Huh?! This kit would benefit greatly from the newer style PCI bracket mounted switch. Some users may even choose to remove the switch from the loop altogether and direct-wire the CCFL to run all the time, rather than cut a hole in their case.

Magiclight Switch     Magiclight Switch Mounting Stuff

Subjectively speaking, the liquid CCFL is as bright as any other CCFL I have used. What makes it so fascinating, though, is not its brightness, but its random wave-like effect.

It's Alive 1     Its Alive 2

Still, pictures just don't do it justice. Make sure to check out the small, short video clip I made so you can see for yourself what I mean.

Conclusion:

The MGE Liquid CCFL is a unique lighting product saddled with an outdated switch design, and little real documentation. Still, this is unquestionably the best-looking CCFL I have seen to date. While I did notice that when I sat the CCFL on my monitor it caused some EMI interference, no interference was observed with the CCFL in my case though.

The Liquid CCFL reviewed here was provided by Crazy PC and is available on their site for 17.95. If you are in the market for any modding supplies, make sure to check Crazy PC out.

Pros:

  • Unique lighting effects
  • Very low heat output
  • Minimal inverter hum

Cons:

  • Mounting switch requires cutting a hole in your case
  • No instructions

 Crazy PC

Added: January 23rd 2004
Reviewer: JimAdkins
Score: 8  
Hits: 11900
Language: english

  

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