Introduction: Ambilight for 15" Apple Macbook Retina (ADALIGHT)

During this class 'Smart Objects' I designed a "Ambilight" frame for my 15" Apple MacBook Retina. In this instructable I will guide you how to build one for yourself. But first check out the pics/video to see whatsup!

Step 1: What You'll Need?

In order to follow this Instructable I advice to use the same materials as I did, what will you need?

  • Arduino Uno (with USB cable)
  • Arduino Jumper wires
  • WS2801 Digital RGB LED Pixels (25x12mm)
  • DC jack female terminal block
  • DC to USB cable (5V)
  • Piece of plywood
  • Double sided tape

Step 2: Cut the Frame

After we discussed al the parts we need, it's time to start building! To cut out the frame I used a laser cutter. You can download the template for Adobe Illustrator that I've used. With two bolts you can attach the Arduino to the frame. I had to press hard in order to fit the parts, but after that it was rock solid and didn't need to use any glue. See the pics for the proces!

Step 3: Wire It Up!

Finally it's time to wire the whole thing up! I started with pressing the 25 LED's in the holes, I advice to start at the bottom end of the Arduino. One of the connectors of the string of LED's must be connected with the Arduino. (Blue --> GND, green --> 13 & yellow --> 11). The other connectors must be connected with the DC terminal block and will be powered by the DC to USB cable. The next step is to program the Arduino and run the software! See the pics for the proces!

Step 4: Download & Install

The process of installing may be the hardest part of this tutorial. You will have to download the Arduino software from this site: https://github.com/adafruit/Adalight . First you need to install the Arduino IDE software on your macbook. Copy the CONTENT of the folders "ARDUINO" and "PROCESSING" to the folders the IDEs software created in your home folder. After that you'll need to launch the IDEs software to upload these codes to your Arduino. If this went correctly, the LED's should flash RED-GREEN-BLUE for one time. If not, something must be wrong with the wires.

Now you will be able to run my code in Processing, which you can download in this step. Make sure you place my code in the "Processing" folder you've created during the install of the Arduino IDEs software. You may have to change the USB port in this code. To do this search for the line "myPort = new Serial(this, Serial.list()[0], 115200);" and change the 0 to 1, 2, 3, etc. in order to find the right one. Run the code and you should see a window which shows your LED's in blocks and the LED's on your MacBook should lighten up in the same colors! ENJOY YOUR HOMEMADE AMBILIGHT!!!

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