Introduction: DIY Build for an LED Backlight Behind TV for Under $20!
This easy and inexpensive project is a great way to really make your TV area POP!
For this project we add an LED backlight behind our TV mounted on the wall. We found this really cool, flexible, LED tape on Amazon. It is multi color with a remote and power supply and 16 feet of LED strip lighting for under $16! Search Amazon for: ADX 16.4FT Waterproof Flexible Strip Light Kit, 300 Color Changing RGB LEDs w/ IR Remote Controller.
We mount some boards to attach the LED light strip to. The LED lights come with a remote and display over 300 colors with several presets. This project took less than an hour to complete and less than $20 in supplies. Enjoy!
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies and Tools
Fort his project you need only a few items:
- Flexible LED tape lighting, with power supply and remote. (We purchased this on Amazon for $16)
- Masking tape or painters tape
- Some scrap wood pieces
- Tape measure
- Hammer & nails or nail-gun
- WEAR safety goggles!
Step 2: Masking Tape and Measure the Location of the LED Light Strip
You need to determine how far back behind your TV you want to place the LED light strip. You don't want it too far back because you want to see the backlight-- but you also don't want to be too close to the edge of your TV that you see the LEDs sticking out. ALSO you want the lights to the hidden back consistently behind your TV. You don't want it back 3 inches on the right and 1 inch on the left and 2 inches on the top.
To help ensure you position the lights consistently behind your TV, take some masking tape and draw a big square as an outline of your TV before you remove your TV from the wall bracket. After taping the "footprint" of your TV on the wall you can carefully remove your TV from the wall mount (Team Lift!).
Once the TV is removed, use the masking tape as a guideline to determine where to place the scrap boards that the LED tap will be "stuck" to. We marked 2 inches all the way around away from the masking tape.
So 2 inches in, we will place the board and the lights will stick to the boards, 2 inches behind the TV.
Step 3: Cut Your Boards
Be sure to wear safety goggles!
After measuring in 2 inches all the way around, you should have a rectangle box, 2 inches inside the larger rectangle box you made with the masking tape. Now you can measure for the 2 vertical boards and 2 horizontal board to make up your rectangle.
NOTE: Make one of your boards about 1/2 inch shorter to allow a path to run the power to the LED strip lights as seen in the image above.
Step 4: Attach Your Boards to the Wall and Stick Your LED Lights Onto the Boards
Using the guideline marks you made 2 inches in from the masking tape, position the boards you cut and nail into place. Be sure to dry fit it first to make sure the measurements were all OK and to ensure you have about a 1/2 gap somewhere to feed the power to the the LEDs.
Once the boards are attached, peel the paper away from the backside of the LED strip light. Ensure the wood edge is clean and ensure you start the power supply end in the 1/2 gap you left. Stick the LED strip light all around the edge of the boards. Apply pressure and go around 2 or 3 times to make sure the lights are sticking well.
When you get to the end- you can cut the LED strip light to length. MAKE SURE to only cut on the cut marks. Follow the directions for the LED lights you purchased. The extra LED lights left over can be coupled to another string or used in another project- so save the left over piece and save the little plastic clips that allow you to couple the strip to another piece.
Step 5: Ensure the LED Remote Receiver Sticks Out Beyond the Tape.
Depending on the type of LED light and remote you purchase, you may need to have a clear line of site to the remote receiver (which comes with the LED light kit). In the picture above you can see the with box with a white cord hanging off of it. This cord is the remove control receiver. For our unit, we needed a clear line of site to the remote receiver.
Mount the remote control recover near the edge and carefully use a staple (we used a romex staple) or some velcro to ensure the end of the remote receiver sticks out just beyond the masking tape. This way, when the TV is mounted back into place, the little remote recover will stick out just slightly and still function.
THEN- Plug it in and test it all!
Step 6: Replace Your TV and ENJOY!
Once you have tested everything, and made sure everything is plugged back in as it should, place your TV back on the mount. Be sure to align the TV with the masking tape (some mounts allow you to change the horizontal position)- you want to be sure the TV is placed back in the exact same spot.
Play with the remote. Our remote has Red, Blue, Green colors and many variations of each. There is also the options to flash, strobe and other presets.
We also made a video for this: