Cold Cathode Light – The Bright Light for Your Computer

Written By: Greg Wirth

Cold Cathode Lights are vacuum tubes or gas filled tubes. Unlike other heater operated cathode tubes, there is no cathode heater in cold cathode tubes. There are many types of cold cathode tubes, some have beta radiation source to start the ionization process in the gas-filled tube. Others cathodes may have rare earth materials coating for enhanced electronic emission.

The neon lamp, nixie tubes, neon signage etc. are a good example of cold cathode tubes. Thryton tubes, krytron tubes, spytron tubes and ignitron tubes are also examples of Cold cathode tubes.Read more about cold cathode light. The cold cathode kits made exclusively for computers carry the cold cathode tubes. They are very reliable and have a long life of almost twenty years. You can find the cathode tubes in handy kits or on their own. The tube kit has an inverter box, as the cathode tubes need the power inverter to change the current to your your computer in a usable form. You connect the cathode plug to the box and plug the inverter box into a four-pin PC Molex connector. After this, you can stick the cathode with the adhesive backed Velcro pads or a two-sided tape.

In the forties and fifties, the mature vacuum tube or the thermionic technology was used while in the fifties and early sixties transistors caught everyones fancy and were actively developed. Transistors were the in things but came with a constraint, as they were costly.

Endless Options

You have many options available to mod your computer. Some lighting options are exclusively for computers while some are for automobiles, some are good and some are not so good. The beginners started with the neon kits of the automobiles. These kits were adapted for use in computer cases. Soon everyone realized that the amount of heat emission was more than light. We all know that heat is not at all good for the computer. Here the idea of cold cathode tubes struck to an imaginative soul. As fluorescent light does not emit too much of heat but gives enough light, these lights where the inspiration to make small fluorescent light to be used in the computers.


Cold cathode tubes or lighting is the safest lighting option for the computer case. Actually fluorescent light is colored. The two electrodes at the tube ends excite the gas by passing current. The electrons of the gas move to the different electrical states and in the process emit light. The process of light emission is quite efficient and provides lesser amounts of light than other methods. The light generated in the process is nice and bright. Cold cathode tubes are very durable, vibration and shock resistant. The bulbs are made of glass and are thin; they have polycarbonate or acrylic tubing. The tubes are very durable and can be used as accent as well as under car lighting. The life span of the cathode tubes is roughly twenty thousand hours. Cold cathode tubes come in different shapes, sizes and colors. They are brighter than neon tubes but with tubes the light can not be as directional. You can even sound activate most of the lights with an additional kit or many come with sound activation. You can switch it on and off, mount wherever you want. These tubes can really activate your creative mind when it comes to case modding.


About The Author

Greg S. Wirth writes articles on computer cases, case design, power supplies and case modding. A certified IT specialist, author and inventor he builds & mods his own PCs as well as others and is webmaster of http://www.cool-computer-case.com.

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