Reseller website: www.maplin.co.uk.
Retail price: £2.99 for 1x20W bulb.
QL90X - Red
QL91Y - Blue
QL92A - Yellow
QL93B - Green
The bulb is 35mm in diameter; it runs off 12v using 20w, through a G4 base fitting.
They're available in Bl00, red, green and yellow. At only £2.99 in price, this is something that can't be missed. Let me point out before we continue that these are halogenic, they get really hot, and some people won't put these in their cases. Not me, I'm stupid, but that's probably why I break too many things.
Now, wiring this baby up is a piece of cake (you can't wire this up wrong as it's a bulb). I sacrificed an old 40mm fan for the 3 pin plug on the end...
The three pin plug on the end will come in handy later. But for now let's get wiring - snip the 3 wires on the 3 pin plug short. Make sure you get rid of the middle wire completely, leaving the 2 outer wires. Now plug the bulb's two pins into the outer holes on the three pin connector. You should have something like this below...
Told you the plug would come in handy, now...
Wire up some twin core wire. This can be speaker wire or whatever you want; I used an old power supply lead with the mains plug cut off. Wire it to the 2 wires left on the 3pin plug on the end of your bulb, now wire the other end up to the yellow wire and the other wire to the black next to it on a molex connection.
Fire it up and avert your eyes!
That's me shining the bulb at the wall from a distance, yes it looks blue!
This baby is bright, I mean REALLY bright. DO NOT look straight into the bulb as you won't be able to look at anything for a few days without seeing a yellow blotch. These get really HOT, so take precaution handling them as we don't want burnt fingers do we?
Lets have a look at the final product...
Before - with a purple neon.
After - with the dichroic bulb.
As you can see, this is a lot brighter than a neon, brighter than a cathode, and cheaper than both. But are you willing to pay the price in temperature and use of your power supply? Well I have mine on a switch so whenever I feel like having it on, *click* there you go, I'm sure you'll do the same.
A few words from TheCheese...
I first saw these bulbs when SuperScrubber
pointed them out to me in Maplin's latest catalogue and asked my opinion - I wasn't sure but at less than £3 a pop he bought a couple anyway. Since then, having finally seen them up and running, I have been very impressed by the brightness of these little bulbs - Slink isn't kidding when he warns not to look at them!
They beat cold cathodes on price and performance (and ease of installation, no invertors here) but the cost it seems is 20W of power consumption, and 20W of heat production (about the same as a celeron processor I think). If your PSU can cope with the former then a little clear moddin' should deal with the latter; the advantage of Dichroic bulbs over other bulb types is that nearly all of the heat they produce is radiated backwards, so they don't heat their subject. Mounting one of these bulbs in the front of your case, so that the body of the bulb lies between the case front and the front panel of your case, with the bulb shining into the case should give the same result as Slink showed but eliminate any heating of your precious components :o)