Look in to the light… Zonbu burns blue

Blue LEDSomething that may not be obvious in the various photos of the Zonbu is the searing blue LED power light on the front.

I just got back from dinner with friends and when I walked in the house, the only source of light was my mighty Zonbu.

That little pin-hole light was bathing my living room in an errie blue glow.

To say it is bright is an understatement. Believe it or not, my Mother has a strong opinion on this…

That eerie glow

A few years ago I helped my Mom pick out a new PC.

She went with an entry level e-Machines system from the local electronics superstore.

While she has enjoyed the PC and it has met all of her needs, there is one thing that drives her nuts. The blue light ring that surrounds the “e” logo on the front.


Like a lot of people, she puts her machine in stand-by when she goes to bed. She doesn’t want to have to wait for it to boot the next time she comes back.

Frustratingly, the blue light glows on and off when the machine is in stand-by, and that irritates her at night when she’s doing other things around the house that don’t involve the PC.

It bothers her so much that she’s asked me what I can do to “fix” it. Repeatedly.

I did some quick Googling and found a LOT of people complained about this light.

The suggestions seemed to be either paint it black with an indelible marker, put a piece of black tape over it, or simply snip the power wire inside the case.

Zonbu: Always on – always lit

I talked before about instant-on strategies for the Zonbu, and basically concluded there isn’t really a compelling reason to turn it off, except perhaps over night. Other than that, it uses so little power you can just shut off the monitor and speakers and leave it running.

It doesn’t get any more instant on than that.

The problem is, if the unit is on, that furniture melting light is on as well.

That is going to annoy my Mother and a lot of other people too.

Real life with the Zonbu Mini-PC

This may seem like nit-picking but this is the kind of thing that comes up when you’re living with a piece of equipment versus testing it.

Don’t believe me? I did a quick google search on the issue to illustrate my point.


I think the light is stylish and it looks ok, but it will definitely be an asethetc irritation over the long term.

Something more muted would be a good idea on the next spin of the hardware.

-Mr. Zonbu


3 Responses to Look in to the light… Zonbu burns blue

  1. Gary says:

    I don’t know why people insist on using blue lights, it’s very hard on the eyes…while red is very easy on the eye’s and is used in situation’s where adjustment’s to night or dark situations are needed.

  2. Dave says:

    Red = error.

    I think most people don’t use Red for that purpose alone.

    I have a modem provided by my internet provider which provides us phone and internet connectivity in the house, and it has this huge W sign of the company brand that always slowly lights up and dims again, in a never-ending loop. I’ve grown used to it (and it’s tucked away under my desk), but it’s not really that pleasant if you’re trying to sleep in the same room..

    My LaCie hard drives both have one tiny light that shows up orange when on, and green when actually doing something. This light is clearly visible if you’re looking at it, but other then that you’ll never notice it, it’s not like its very bright or so. That’s all we need, right? Even my monitor light isn’t all that present, nor is my macbook pro’s standby light (I always have it on, either standby or really on).

  3. everlong says:

    I am also irritated by very bright LED lights. It can be very distracting watching a movie on your computer and having your speakers or monitor shining so brightly in the dark. Trying to sleep with them glaring in your eyes can be hard too.

    My solution is to cover them with stickers, which mutes them considerably, but still gives you some power indication. For a Zonbu–which I plan on getting–I’ll mount it behind my screen with the LED facing the wall. This indirect setup should provide a nightlight-like glow.

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