Pick up a set of 8" Cold Cathodes
. The set I bought were the Logisys Computers brand. You need to slide the bulb out of the tube. I gave the ends a light twist and they came right off. I didn't have to do any cutting. There is some hot glue inside the tube holding the wire side of the bulb in place. I held a lighter up to the tube to heat up the glue again and then the end slid right off. Two holes need to be drilled for the wires to pass through the case. 1/4" worked perfectly, but 3/16" or even 5/32" would work if you do not sleeve the wires.
Slide the bulb through the hole from the inside outward. The bulbs fit almost perfectly into the side mesh screen. I had to drill a 1/16" hole into the plastic through one of the mesh holes on the right side to allow the bulb to fit down in completely. This could be done just as easily with a fine tip grinding or engraving dremel bit. The hole only needed to be 1/16" or less deep. In fact, the bulb fit in place without drilling at all, but I wanted to relieve any pressure from the tip of the bulb. I re-heated up that hot glue to hold each wire side end in place. The other end is held by one of the mesh holes.
In order to allow the light to flood the center screen section as well, it needs to be trimmed out leaving approximately a 1/4" to 5/16" of depth on each side. I looked at the effects of the cold cathodes before I cut out the sides and it looked great as it was, but that was not the look I wanted here. If anyone plans on doing this, I would recommend checking out the effect before you cut the center piece, because it did look good like that. Sorry about not taking a picture like that. Oh, and if I were to do this again, I would not have cut as far down on the sides because it flexes a little bit when I yank it off of the case as it is now. I would recommend cutting down to just above the lower posts that hold it into the case. Doing so, would eliminate that flexing issue. The top however should be cut as shown in the picture up to the top of the screen mesh.
Lights switched off:
And switched on:
Before I ordered these cold cathodes, I started a thread discussing the exact length of cold cathodes and how they are put together. Here's a quote from that thread that I thought would be helpful information to anyone considering this mod:
Originally Posted by radodrill
On some brands of CCFL tubes (notably A.C.Ryan) the end blocks are not glued to the tubes (friction fit) allowing them to be pulled off more easily, but you'd still have to either cut the block with the wires passing through it or desolder the wires to get them out of the block.
I used the Logisys Computers brand. No cutting was necessary. That thread is located here, if interested: