My current case has a window on the side of it that lets me gaze upon the components whirring away, performing their duties as they go from day to day. But yet, I've never thought about lighting up the inside of this case (not least because my cabling was half-arsed at best). There was a time where I wanted all the lighting I could get my mitts on, a couple of CCFL tubes inside my PC offset the LEDs in the fans. Hell, even the front of my PC had some "bubble tubes" on the front that lit up in the same shade of blue.
I guess somewhere along the line, my tastes changed - instead, I wanted a more toned-down PC, something that didn't look like an offshoot from the Fast And Furious franchise. But now I've taken to the subtleties that RGB lighting can provide, giving a more gentle colouring than the CCFL tubes of old. This is where the NZXT AER RGB120 comes into play.
Comprising of two 120mm fans and a HUE+ control box, the AER RGB120 kit also serves to better the airflow in the case. They're PWM fans so they are manageable via your mainboard or software, with fluid dynamic bearings and winglet tips so they should stand up to a decent amount of usage. They have a noise level of 22dBA, so they're also nice and quiet.
But that's not why you're here, is it. You want to know how well the RGB lighting on these work. Each fan has eight RGB LEDs housed within its casing, behind a cover that disperses the light out for a more even distribution across your case. The HUE+ control box allows you to run two separate chains of lights, either four of the RGB light strips (sold separately), or five fans which allows you to synchronise their lighting effects through the CAM software on your PC. There's a whole raft of lighting effects available, from bog-standard single colour mode, through to breathing or fading through colours, up to KITT style marquees of lights, one that imitates a flickering candle, and differing modes that synchronise with the audio output.
The lighting modes, whilst plentiful, are totally outshone by the game mode through the CAM software. At the moment, there's only support for CS:GO, but I'm hoping to see this expanded in the future. In short - it ties the lighting to actions in game. By default, this is a gradient green to red that's linked to your current health. You'll also be on the receiving end of a bright white case in the event you're suffering from a flash bang grenade - and planting the bomb and watching it time out is a treat that you need to witness to truly appreciate.
When you're feeling "all lighted out", the software can also disable the lighting, allowing you to return back to an unlit PC -- that could be useful if you leave your computer on overnight and sleep in the same room, for example.
The CAM software that's required to control the HUE+ and the attached lights also measures different statistics of your computer's components. Whilst I didn't find much of a difference in the ambient temperatures inside the case after installing it, I did find that the fans were more efficient in the task of pushing air around, meaning they didn't need to run at anywhere near as high an RPM to maintain the same cooling. The bonus here is that the computer becomes quieter as a result. It's nice to have this information at the fingertips of this software, instead of requiring another piece of software for the same information. It also has features for watching your FPS in game as well as a panel for overclocking your graphics card.
NZXT AER RGB120 Case Fans Review
In summary, the NZXT AER RGB120 kit made my computer quieter whilst maintaining the same ambient temperature. Added to the customisation of being able to have nearly any colour lighting up my case puts this as a clear winner for case customisation.