When I’m ready to immerse myself in a movie or game, one of the first things I like to do is dim the lights. It helps to provide a cinematic mood, but flipping off every light switch can have some negative consequences. For starters, staring at a bright screen in a darkened room for extended periods of time can and will fatigue the eyes. And without an expensive, high-end display, imperfections with black uniformity, richness, and contrast become more apparent. One uncomplicated way to mitigate those issues is the addition of bias lighting behind an entertainment setup, and Power Practical’s Luminoodle Color Bias Lighting is one of the better kits of its kind.
Typical bias lighting consists of a strip of LEDs that adhere to the back of a monitor or television. They’re easily cut to size and are powered via a USB connection. The Luminoodle is no different, but what it offers is a welcome plethora of options and ease of interactivity. Its LEDs can be toggled between 14 distinct colors and several lighting modes, including the ability to dim them all. Furthermore, the package includes a small, wireless remote for quick configuration.
Installing the Luminoodle bias lighting takes only a few minutes. The only decisions to make are strip size and route. One, two, and three-meter lengths are available for purchase, but you’re free to cut them down to any length you need with a pair of scissors. The second consideration is to plan the route or placement of the Luminoodle. For example, I decided to place mine straight across the middle back of my display. If you’re unsure of what configuration you’d like to use, the manual features a handy graphical list of display sizes, strip lengths, and recommended routes for each. All that’s left to do is remove the tape backing, attach the lighting, and connect it to a free USB port. Props to Power Practical, too, for using a USB connector that is not direction-specific.
The strip itself has a control unit near the USB end for changing colors and lighting modes, but what I really love is the wireless remote. It’s nice being able to adjust settings from anywhere in the room, be it a couch or gaming chair. Everything the Luminoodle can do is controlled by that remote, and there are a healthy number of options to select.
As previously mentioned, there are 14 colors to choose from. These range from white to several shades of yellow, orange, purple, green, and blue. They’re further customizable with eight different brightness levels. The Luminoodle has a max output of 350 lumens. It’s plenty bright enough for a darkened room and the colors are vibrant. There are four lighting modes, as well, for those that like to show off. In particular, the smooth transitions of the cycle option look great. Finally, four lower buttons grant quick-access to the standard RGB and white colors.
My work often sees me bleeding my nights into early morning, bright white documents open or games playing in rooms far too dark. Adding bias lighting to the equation has definitely helped reduce the strain on my eyes. Better still, I don’t notice the flashlighting effect from the lower corners of my displays quite as much when the Luminoodle is turned on. I can’t say it’s not fun selecting a lighting color based on what area I’m in or faction I’m playing in a game, either.
Bias lighting is something I couldn’t recommend enough for anyone’s setup. And Power Practical’s Luminoodle easily makes the top of the list. That said, it’s also one of the pricier kits. The large, three-meter size will cost you $30. There are cheaper options out there with similar feature sets. But I keep coming back to the Luminoodle for its quality of construction and professional design, from the remote to its USB connector to the well-done instruction manual.