Give Your HDTV the Philips Ambilight Effect on the Cheap





Introduction: Give Your HDTV the Philips Ambilight Effect on the Cheap

I love those Philips Amiblight HDTVs - you know, the ones with the rear backlight that projects colours onto the wall behind the TV? Not only does it look pretty, but if you're gaming or watching a film in low-light conditions then the backlight reduces eye strain.

I do suffer from eye strain. Mainly because I watch DVDs or game with only a lamp on. After an hour I'll start to get a headache. Problem is that the lights in my living room are too bright.

I'm perfectly happy with my Hyundai 32" HDTV and don't want to shell out for a Philips one... so it's Ikea to the rescue and you can get a similar effect for under $40.

Step 1: Get the Lighting From Ikea

OK, first up we need lighting. The lighting is called TRETTIOEN which comprises of 4 LED light strips, the mains adapter and some bendy wires for corners. It's available from all good Ikea stores.

I live in the UK where it costs £21 for the set which come in White, Green or Blue.

Step 2: Mounting the Switch

The lighting strips come with a mains adapter that has a rocker switch for easy access. If (like me) you've got your TV standing on a TV cabinet, simply use some of the leftover adhesive strips and stick it to the rear of the cabinet. It'll allow you to easier manage the cabling as well as turn the lights on/off with ease.

Here I've got the switch running parallel to (but lower than) the top of the cabinet. It's out of view but I can easily reach it.

Step 3: The Finished Result

That's it! Please bare in mind that due to cabling issues, my cabinet isn't stood right against the wall. If it were then the light would be a lot brighter... plus I took really quick shots with my camera :)

Step 4: The Finish #2

Here you can see it in action with a Wii. (Please note that the lights are much brighter... due to the light from the screen and no flash on the camera, the light is a little dimmer than it really is - but you get the idea).

Now there you go - it took 20 minutes and trust me, it does reduce eye strain. I prefer to play Wii Sports or Xbox Live with only a lamp on and this lighting system does help.



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    Nice, simple fix to reduce eye strain, but you're only going to get white light this way -- not like the Philips Ambilight displays, which adjust the lighting according to what's on the screen. Fortunately, if you've got some technical aptitude you can get the same effect on any TV.

    The use of an Arduino to control a string of colored LEDs has been pretty well documented -- search "ambilight arduino clone" or look up Amblone. The only problem is, most of these projects were designed for ambient lights on your monitor, based on software that runs on your computer. If you want to do this for a cable box or a Playstation, for example, you'd have to run the display through your computer via a capture card.

    please, visit my web site -
    i developed ambilight for dvi,hdmi,display port

    This is a good idea no matter how you look at it. I'm used to CRTs and just got a 26" HDTV and it was great when it's light out but as soon as it got darker I'm like "wow this thing is crazy bright". I could turn down the brightness but it looks better as is. I happen to have a coil of rope lights I got from home depot but never used. They are easy strung around the TV or behind it and they are less than $20. Having more light behind or around the TV is better than having a light on for the whole room imho. The changing ambilights on the Philips TV is havoc on those of use who are easily sickened from things like that. :)

    Did you post this exact comment twice?

    To try it out, you should try a basic lamp pointed from behind your monitor to the wall behind it.

    I did this, except with green cold cathodes meant for computer lighting @

    I have purchased today a blister of "dioder " at ikea store with the change of colors ,and assembled on my Toshiba LCD 32". In Italy a blister of "dioder" cost 59.90 euros,but the effect on tv is cool ! I prefer watch tv with led trimmed light blue or violet. Thank you for this Instructables

    I did this in an even easier fix simply by purchasing a string of LED xmas lights (blue color), then plugging them into the usb port on the back of the tv, and taping them on the back of the screen using masking tape. Its an easy fix, comes on when the tv turns on, and goes off when the tv goes off. Only costed a dollar, and 100% removable.

    Theoretically, if you have an RGB or VGA output on your video source, you could build a simple circuit to drive each of 3 light strings. The brightness would be based on the average level of each color line between vertical sync pulses. With high impedance inputs it wouldn't even interfere with the display. It would be a much more complex circuit to do it with component outputs (P Bg Yg) and even more complex with composite, but still possible.