Introduction: Home Automations Pop Up TV Lift Cabinet in Under Three Hours

Picture of Home Automations Pop Up TV Lift Cabinet in Under Three Hours

How to build a home automations Pop Up TV Lift cabinet using an off-the-shelf dresser drawers and an off-the-shelf Pop Up TV Lift Kit from Firgelli Automations

You could easily spend many thousands of dollars on a custom built cabinet with Pop Up TV Lift, but for about $500. You could spend more, depending on the ready-to-build furniture you buy, but ours was quite inexpensive. Its the ideal Home automations project

Step 1: Build the Main Portion of the Cabinet

Picture of Build the Main Portion of the Cabinet

First thing to do is build the main structure of the cabinet/drawers. This will vary from project to project based on the cabinet you get, but you essentially want to put together the unit so you can identify what needs to be modified in order to fit the Pop Up TV Lift.

Our cabinet had a middle support that had to be trimmed to allow the Pop Up TV Lift and the LCD TV to fit in.

Step 2: Liftable Top or Hinged

Picture of Liftable Top or Hinged

We went for a hinged top, where a portion of the top hinges at the back and opens as the TV lifts out of the cabinet.

I've heard of people having a section of the top lift straight up with the TV, you'd just need to have a bracket or something to attach the top of the lifting column to the under side of the cabinet top. Either way will work, as long as there's an opening for the TV to come out of. Kind of pointless otherwise! ;-)

So we cut a portion of the top based on how far out the TV lift column and the TV came.

We then used some 2x4 attached on the inside of the cabinet on either side for the hinges to attach to. Make sure you drop the 2x4 down a touch to accommodate the hinge so the cabinet top can still be flush with the hinges attached (see photo).

Step 3: Mount the Pop Up TV Lift Column

Picture of Mount the Pop Up TV Lift Column

Next thing we did was mount the Pop Up TV Lift column to the inside of the cabinet. You may need to leave a tiny bit of room to add a backing, depending on how you do it. We left the backing off for the time being.

You'll want to make sure the Pop Up TV Lift column has a very sturdy support at the base. Because we used an inexpensive (read cheap) cabinet, the bottom was particle board and not strong enough. We put a large piece of wood underneath, where there would normally just be dead space. This gave us a very sturdy support at the base.

Step 4: Completing the Cabinet

Picture of Completing the Cabinet

Next we finished building the cabinet by adding the front drawer faces. We attached them with finishing nails, but you could attach them from behind and not have any evidence on the outside.

Step 5: Attach the TV and Finishing Touches

Picture of Attach the TV and Finishing Touches

Next thing we did was get the TV mounted onto the Pop Up TV Lift. This was fairly straight forward with the universal TV mount that comes with the Pop Up TV Lift Kit.

We placed the power/control box inside the cabinet and attached the cable to the Pop Up TV Lift column, then plugged the power box into the wall.

A push of the remote control button and things were under way!

A couple of tweaks here and there, including adding a section of 2x4 with a rounded corner. You can see in the photo that it's placed on the top of the column so that the lid can hinge. Chances are you can do a much more graceful and nicer looking 'lid lifter', but this was good for the meantime.

We also attached a flap of cardboard to the back side of the TV lift so the hinged lid wouldn't catch when the TV was coming down. Again, not high tech, but got the job done.

Step 6: Done! Pop Up TV Lift in Just a Few Hours.

Picture of Done! Pop Up TV Lift in Just a Few Hours.
Now the TV is lifting smoothly out of the cabinet with the push of a remote control button. Rising up to the viewing position in under 30 seconds it makes for a nice distraction in the office or at home.

Check out the Pop Up TV Lift at


ikeaengineer made it! (author)2014-12-24

I made this, it was a piece of cake, the TV lift Mechanism works very well too. Thanks Firgelli for the tech support when i needed it too

ikeaengineer (author)2014-12-24

Carolynod (author)2014-01-04

Troy. Did you remove the drawer frames and attach the fronts with glue? Also where did you find your cabinet. I'm having trouble finding a cabinet that doesn't cost more than the lift. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Muyi (author)Carolynod2014-03-26

Hi, may i know you do the electric TV lifts for business? What kind of the remote using? your TV lifts would control by your TV original remote directly?

Ole bally (author)2010-10-08

Ok this sounds like a cool plan!! The question I want to ask is can the TV 'lift' not work on those 'rams' used for lifting rear door hatch back car doors? It would mean manually pushing the TV down to 'stow' it but would make it pretty fool proof?! This is a good security thing in a country where if anythings not nailed down proper, it's fair game! Welcome to Africa!

hmacris (author)2008-01-10

As a warning to all reading this: I have been through not one but two Firgelli TV lifts within 4 months These lifts are not built to good standards at all ( or any standards ). The first one we got did not even work at all. After some hassles they sent out a second unit. I had just begun installing the unit today. It had gone up and down about 4 times total since I recieved the unit (not one with an actual TV on it). It then magically stopped working again. I plan on calling Firgelli again tomorrow about this problem. The lift is going on a yacht and to have it break randomly is completely unacceptable. I have spoken with Troy and he himself does not know anything about these units. I took the first unit (non working from its inception) apart to have a look inside and everything is completely amateur-esque. Not good craftsmanship at all. The worst part is as soon as I asked Troy how to fix the lift, he himself had absolutely no idea as to its construction. He will sell you a lift willingly, but absolutely knows nothing about them. This is just to alert you, your money may be better spent else where. These lifts are made overseas (China) and simply imported and dumped into the hands of consumers. Be cautious. We also were able to snap a few photos of the problems inside the lift (a rubbing wire which wore through the insulation and frayed, perhaps during product testing ;) ) After going through 2 lifts and never getting one to work with a TV on it, I must suggest you seek to spend your money on a quality lift. To everyone; you get what you pay for, especially when it comes from China.

DaneDHorstead (author)hmacris2009-08-24

While I am not familliar with this lift type, I would like to mention that many of these TV lifts, are built using tubular motors (such as are used in electric awnings, and hurricane rolling shutters, etc.). Note the tubular motors are built with internal thermal control devices, that trip at a given temperature. Those motors are designed to be used fo a maximum of 4 minutes every hour (prefferably: 1 minute on, and 14 minutes off, for no more than 4 similar cycles per hour). Because these motor typed are tremendously geared down, heat is produced, through the gear reduction process. If the thermal devide trips, the motors need to cool, for approximately 30 minutes before again being used. When these units are first assembled, people tend to play with them, overloading the thermal protection of the motors. While I do not know for fact, that is the case, I highly suspect it to be so. Note I both build, and repair tubular motors, for a living. If anyone is interested, he can reply, and we can talk by private e-mails.

Actually Harrison, I do know how they are made. At the time you called (or Dini I forget) the tone of your phone call was very aggressive and it put me off balance to hear someone yelling and berating me. I understand you've had two units that you've had trouble with. I did everything I could to help, trying to find a solution that worked best for you. I found out about your most recent problem by reading it on Instructables. I personally pride myself in being helpful, not only when people call me at work but in my personal life. I've spent many many hours helping people through technical issues, and to see a comment like this is quite hurtful. So much for the 'be nice' comment policy.

Troy have you witnessed problems with these lifts? and would you stand behind a horrible product? thats the question? hoefully not, but if you have any suggestions for another lift could you please refer me to one thats near the same price range. my email address is

Troy, you must put yourself in our position...When we open up your lift and see wires that have worn apart among other problems we are extremely disconcerted. We are in the final weeks of a project that we have spent a year on and had the lift break (the second one) as soon as we had bolted it down. We didn't even get to put a TV on it. So that leaves us high and dry. I would love to discuss this further, privately, please feel free to email me at

shugg (author)hmacris2008-05-21

have you gotton the lift to work yet, because I'm working on a home project and am building these cabinets for a couple lifts, and was planning on selling them. I sure would hate to invest in garbage, an be out of my profit.....

sejest (author)2007-10-16

can this lift be used reversely as descending from attic or ceiling

treagh (author)sejest2009-03-18

Beware of attic heat on any television. If you place the box in the attic, be sure to insulate and provide air circulation or the life of the display may be shortened.

bombmaker2 (author)sejest2009-03-10

probably just need a GOOD support beam.

dubbin01 (author)2009-03-11

P.s. Will the heat being given off the TV be affecting the actual reading of your T-stat behind this set-up? I would probably move the t-stat out of the rear of the TV and maybe put it to the side of somewhere else (Obviously away from sunlight also)

dubbin01 (author)dubbin012009-03-11

Ooops! I just read this was for demonstrative purposes correct? If so, disregard the T-stat statement.

dubbin01 (author)dubbin012009-03-11

OOops! This thread is old as dirt. Nevermind!

iumad (author)2008-12-16

Troy, I have column lift like the one shown and wondered where I can get some info on it. It shows 24v input. Can I usr 12v, how to set up and down limits etc?

bombmaker2 (author)iumad2009-03-10

google the serial number

Firgelli Auto (author)2008-12-17

I made a google Sketchup 3d model of this build process but instead of using a linear actuator it uses a TV LIFT from Vector motions, the principal is the same and the modification to the cabinets the same just a different way to achieve the same results. just search for "Home automation POP UP TV LIFT cabinet installation instructions"

mefromliny (author)2008-09-29

Nice, but I had some pneumatic (Air) cylinders around and instead of using an electric lifting mechanism, I used a simple valve (Switch) and air cylinder. Even a 3/4" diameter (Body) air cylinder will lift a big TV. You can get a simple valve and cylinder for under fifty bucks form Ebay. My tv needed to be raised fifteen inches, so it was pretty easy to do. Good job!

dna60 (author)mefromliny2008-12-11

Mind telling me how? I have been looking for the "inexpensive" budget is apparently REALLY small compared to their "affordable" one. dna

aschoen (author)2008-08-20

I am trying to get a decorative plywood panel to lift up and reveal my tv behind it. Should I do a linear actuator or a standard motor with limit switches? I have a switched AC plug behind the panel that I was hoping would activate the lift when power turned on. Then, I was hoping when the limit switches or power turned off, maybe a relay could flip the polarity so next time it came on it move in the opposite direction. Any ideas how to accomplish this?

NewtonsThird (author)2008-05-21

You can also make your own TV lift yourself by getting a linear actuator, guide rails, a power adaptor and remote control. Think of a vertical drawer that slides out upwards. You need a piece of wood to act as the support for the TV bracket. You use the guide rails to support the 'drawer' so that it only moves straight up and down. Then you use the actuator to do the lifting. Most linear actuators are 12VDC, so you need a power adaptor. You can use a remote control or a rocker switch to control the actuator. If you want a rocker switch, make sure it has 6 poles on the back (DPDT) so that you can wire it to reverse polarity going to the actuator. This is the general idea, if you can't match the stroke length of the actuator to the distance you need you can use an external limit switch to stop it at the point you like.

aloknaik (author)2007-11-29

i too made an automated project...where i had 8 motors...these motors cud b made to work in any sequence depending on how its programmed...i programmed it using 4 bit stuff..

NewtonsThird (author)aloknaik2008-05-13

4 bit binary, now that's cool. When I was a kid we only had 1 bit binary.. kidding. Instructable for this?

pstauff (author)2007-06-13

Nice solution for a lift cabinet. Where do you locate the DVR, DVD player, and sound system?

Punkguyta (author)pstauff2007-06-15

This is just for show, not for actual "use".

No, you could build a shelf either under the TV or above and put your components there. Or you could potentially have one of those drawer covers (hinged at the bottom) drop down to reveal the DVD player, etc... Lots of ways to do this in a practical sense.

If you paid any attention, there is no room inside for components, and as far as buidling a cabinet underneath, well anything big enough for practical use would probably have the tv hitting the ceiling, and who wants their stereo on the floor anyways? That's where all the dust is.

salvete_omnes (author)Punkguyta2007-07-12

Depending on how slim the various components are, you might be able to fit a DVD player & a Comcast box or something like that.

Should be able to fit something down below, seems like there should be room.

n3rrd (author)Punkguyta2007-07-13

...paid any attention? He wrote it.

Punkguyta (author)n3rrd2007-07-14


zeck (author)Punkguyta2007-07-14

i think its really funny that you said "if you paid any attention"

Just_A (author)pstauff2007-07-24

You can use an IR repeater and house the DVR, DVD player and sound system in a near by closet or media cabinet. I did this for my plasma that I have mounted above the fireplace. It's easy to do, cost about $100 for the repeater. The real cost is for the HDMI cable that you will have to run. I had a 75 feet run the the HDMI cable cost me a small fortune. (author)2007-06-13

It looks like you could actually hinge the bottom two drawer fronts and mount components there.

NewtonsThird (author)

Good idea, there's probably room down there.

Belcher1035 (author)2008-04-14

I hope that's not the permanent location. Placing a large heat-producing piece of equipment right in front of your thermostat is a bad idea. Does your house get really cold when the TV's on?

6million$man (author)2008-01-01

Can this be used inside a wall? I have a half wall I would like to use this in , but i think I would have to widen the wall.

I don't see why not, but you'd want to have an access door or panel to the control box.

Yes, these things are very quiet. Easy to implement too.

Can this be used inside a wall? I have a half wall I would like to use this in , but i think I would have to widen the wall.

jfoltz (author)2007-10-15

Would it be possible to do this with a motor and assembly from a 'power window' in a car? I'm not sure, but it would seem like a computer power supply, the power window motor and the diagonal guide rails would do the same job as a linear actuator. If one isn't strong enough, you could always add more motors. Has anyone done this with a car window motor instead? I don't have a workshop to build anything.

killerjackalope (author)jfoltz2007-11-21

ummm car power window's motors are nowwhere near strong enoug without so much reduction gearing that the TV would take an hour to come out of the cabinet... You might be able to buy good linear actuators, I dont know much about their prices though. How about hydraulics though You wouldn't need a big pump or motor to move the TV, and you could even add extra dimensions to the movement...

reasonable (author)2007-10-18

This is a cool gadget but here is something to keep in mind. We're finally getting away from those hard to move tube tv's, to a flat screen, something reasonably easy to place and transport. Now, you stick it into a heavy wooden cabinet and were right back to the 1970's when tv were built into wooden cabinets, huge and clunky. I still think one of the coolest benefits of owning a flat LCD or plasma is the modern, minimalist, simplistic design. Also you're going to add another $500 to the cost of your TV, + the cost of whatever dresser / sideboard you buy. Don't you think that money would be better spent on the TV? What do you want, better picture quality and features or watching your TV go up and down? I guess if you've got money to burn, never plan on moving or re-arranging furniture, and need to hide your flat panel, this is the product for you.

MDWII (author)2007-08-16

Where can I purchase the actual remote lift?

they are sold at they are a complete plug and play system for $499

ImportAdvantage (author)MDWII2007-10-07

On our website, we offer our patent pending fully setup, heavy duty, rack and pinion lift that is UL Recognized (Underwriters Laboratory). Feel free to call us with questions: 877.377.5435

Check the TV Lift section at FirgelliAuto dot com

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