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be quiet! Light Wings, review: now finally with ARGB

However, they have not left performance behind and although it is also true that they are not the highest performance fans on the market (or in this manufacturer’s catalog), they are capable of moving up to 56 CFM of air flow and of generating up to 1.49 mm / H2O of static pressure, so in this respect we can say that they are within the average of the high performance fans for PC.

Finally, it is worth noting what we have already said before: they are the first fans with ARGB of the brand. To achieve this, as we will see immediately, the manufacturer has installed an addressable LED light ring (that is why it is ARGB and not just RGB) that gives them light from the front, but also integrates lines that make the lighting also be seen from behind. . We will see it in detail in a moment.

Unboxing and external analysis

As we mentioned a moment ago, in this analysis we are going to show you the 140mm Essential kit, which means that there are three fan units plus the ARGB controller. Thus, we have a black soft cardboard packaging on the front side of which we find an image of the fans, with their brand and model and with the side, in silver, indicating that we are in front of the Essential kit.

In the back we only have an image of a fan on, leaving the rest of the information for the sides: in one we have a description of the manufacturer and the technical specifications table, while in the other we find a QR code that will take us to the product page, where among other things we can find the instruction manual.

As soon as we open the box, the first thing we come across is a small black box labeled “ARGB HUB”, the ARGB controller. Inside we obviously find this controller, but also the hardware for the fans, a double-sided tape to anchor the controller to the PC case, the controller’s own cable and an instruction booklet.

Let’s take a closer look at this controller. At first, you can see that a cable comes out from one of the sides, which is a power cable since it ends in a SATA power connector. Right next to the output of this cable we find a connector to connect the supplied cable itself that we must then connect to an ARGB connector on the motherboard, while on both sides we have three ARGB connectors on each side, for a total of 6 fans supported.

The fans are encased in small open boxes made of thicker black cardboard, which protect them from impacts during transport. As a detail, on one of the sides it includes the name Light Wings, in case anyone had any questions.

Here you have one of the three units that come in this Essential kit. As we mentioned before, the fan has dimensions of 140 x 140 x 25 mm, the standard for this fan format; be quiet! It has included details such as rubber inserts in the eight anchors (four on each side) to absorb vibrations, and the 7 blades are grooved, something quite characteristic of all the fans of this manufacturer. Finally, the translucent white lighting ring that surrounds the entire circumference of the propeller is obvious.

On the opposite side, we can see that the ball-bearing motor is held by four supports, one of which is simply a conduit for the wiring. Here, as we indicated before, we also have rubber inserts in the anchors, but the curious thing here and that is almost not seen with the naked eye are the lines through which the lighting ring “peeks out”, making the lighting in these fans not be only on one side but on both.

Finally, and this is the bad part of ARGB products, we have the wiring. Two cables come out of each of the fans: the usual 4-pin PWM power cable, and the ARGB connector which, in turn, is divided into two to allow us to connect several ARGB devices in series (that is, we have a male and a female).

ARGB connectors

Below you can see the three fans included in the pack together, but soon we connect them and proceed to test how well they work.

How do these Light Wings work?

Logically and since be quiet! You have sent us the Essential kit of these new Light Wings, we have used the included ARGB controller for the lighting connection. This means that each fan is connected to the ARGB HUB (we could also connect them in series and then the last one directly to the board), which is connected to the board. The bad part, due to the issue of channeling the wiring, is that this HUB is only for lighting, which means that the PWM power connectors must be connected to the board (or to another controller).

Controller connection

Initially we have mounted the fans “in the air”, to be able to test their noise and air flow without restrictions, so we took the opportunity to show you some shots of their lighting in operation.

Here you can see the fans on both sides, where you can see their “main” lighting and that of the rear, logically much dimmer.

The spectrum of colors displayed by these fans is very wide, and since you can configure the effects with the lighting software on the motherboard (and also synchronize it with other connected ARGB products you have) you can virtually create the color ecosystem of your choice. .

As we have mentioned before, we have tested these fans in the air, so that at all times we can capture both the noise and the air flow emitted by the fans themselves and not the rest of the hardware elements of the PC case. In addition, we wanted to compare them with other fans that we have in the test bench to be able to have a basis on which to base ourselves when giving our opinion of their performance.

To measure loudness we have used a Protmex PPM-SM001 sound level meter at a distance of 50 centimeters from the fans, exactly what is necessary so that the result obtained is in dBA. We have made two measurements: one with the maximum speed of the fans, and another leaving them connected to the motherboard so that it is the PWM controller that dictates its operation (that is, in this scenario it would be the result that anyone would obtain naturally when have them on the PC). This has been the result:

Sonority

In the technical specifications, be quiet! It said that the loudness of these fans is 23.3 dBA, and the result that our sound level meter has given us is basically that (those 0.2 dBA difference may simply be due to the measurement range of the device itself). The interesting thing is that in PWM mode the fans barely emit 19.5 dBA of noise, so once they are inside the case they will be practically inaudible. In any case, look at the difference with the rest of the fans at maximum speed, where only the Noctua NF-A15 surpasses it, but because it works at a much lower speed.

In case these dBA measurements don’t tell you much, we leave you the following reference table so you can get an idea:

Sound source dB Effect
Plane taking off at 25 meters 150 Eardrums rupture
Take-off runway from an airport 140 Pain threshold
Take off of a military fighter at 20 meters 130 Pain. It is 32 times more intensity than 70 dBA.
Horn of a truck at 1 meter. Live concert. 110 Average of human pain. 16 times more intensity than 70 dBA.
Electric lawn mower. Helicopter 30 meters. 100 Eight times more intensity than 70 dBA. Maintaining this level for 8 hours causes damage to the eardrums.
Motorcycle 10 meters 90 4 times more intensity than 70 dBA. It can damage the eardrums if it is exposed for more than 8 hours.
Dishwasher. Factory (average). 80 Double the intensity of 70 dBA. Threshold of what is usually annoying.
TV audio 70 From this intensity, it is already annoying for many people.
Conversation in a restaurant 60 Half the intensity of 70 dBA.
Normal conversation in a house. fifty Four times less intense than 70 dBA.
library 40 One eighth the intensity of 70 dBA.
Rural zone 30 Sixteen times less intense than 70 dBA.
Whisper twenty Barely audible if you are not very close.
Breathing 10 Inaudible to most. Human beings do not normally listen to their own breathing.
Absolute silence 0 It is literally impossible for a human being to “hear” absolute silence, but this is the threshold of hearing.

We now go to the performance in terms of air flow, for which we have used a HoldPeak HP-866A anemometer. For this measurement we have performed two tests again: one with the fan at maximum speed, and another with the fan speed set at 1,000 RPM. This has been the result obtained:

Air flow

Actually, the data that we should look at in this comparison is in the light-colored bar, which reflects the test at 1,000 RPM. The reason is because these fans have very different maximum speeds (for example, the Corsair ML140 runs at 2,000 RPM while the Noctua model runs at 1,200 RPM), where we can see that these Light Wings fans from be quiet! They are not capable of moving as much air as their more direct competitors, although it is true that they do move a fairly decent volume.

Conclusion and verdict

These Light Wings are the first iteration of be quiet! with ARGB lighting on their cooling devices, and we can’t help but applaud the result. We are facing top-quality fans that, as usual, take as their first objective to provide the quietest possible operation and, as always, they succeed.

They also achieve an extremely silent operation with a fairly decent performance, which without becoming the best fans on the market remains in the average of what we can expect from 140 mm fans but with a quite striking configurable ARGB lighting, so no we doubt that be quiet! you have done your homework very well with these Light Wings. Special mention to those fine lines that make the lighting also reach the back, a detail that not all manufacturers of this type of product take into account.

be quiet light wings

In short, we are not looking at the best fans on the market at all, but we are looking at fans that are good at everything (especially speaking of the sound level) and that are certainly recommended for all those users who are looking for good performance but maintaining noise to a minimum, and with that plus of ARGB aesthetics so fashionable today. In addition, we have to say that in terms of quality of materials, they are the best we have seen to date.

For all these reasons, these be quiet! Light Wings 140mm Essential Kit deserve our gold accolade, as well as our recommendation for both performance and design.

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