Introduction: Ambilight for Apple Thunderbolt Display

For this class "Smart Objects" I want to design a frame for my 27" Thunderbolt Display which will contain multiple LED's. In combination with an Arduino I want to create the "Ambilight" effect just like Philips did. See the pictures for the cardboard prototype to give you an impression how it's gonna look like! Stay tuned to this page for updates!

Step 1: First Design

So I started with a little sketch how I wanted the LED's to be positioned and ended up with a first CAD model made in SolidWorks. Will definitely be adapted but gives you a look how I want the frame to be. See pics for the proces!

Step 2: Design 1.0

Made some progress so time for an update! I've cut the first design with a 3D cutter and glued it together with a small amount of hot glue. After that I pressed the LED's in the holes and connected it to the arduino and the 5V DC adapter. Now it was time to attach the frame to the Thunderbolt Display, therefore I used double sided tape, which is easily to remove! After that it was time for the first test, see the pics and videos for the process!

Step 3: Design 1.1

During the first test I compared the custom Apple Ambilight to my Philips Ambilight television. The LED's on the Philips Ambilight were so much brighter then the LED's on the custom ambilight. I wanted to do a test if more LED's would deliver an brighter light. So therefore I attached the 25 LED's to just a single bar. Had to adjust the original code to make it work. See the pics and video for the process!

Step 4: FINAL DESIGN Thunderbolt Display

After making a few prototypes and doing a lot of tests, I made the perfect design so far... I also upgraded my Thunderbolt Display with an VESA desk mount, which also makes it easier to attach the frame to the back of the monitor. In this design I upgraded the model from 25 LEDs to 100 LEDs. This time I decided to use triplex because it's stronger and snaps less easily than Acryl, which I used in previous prototypes. At the moment I'm still waiting for the other 75 LED's to come in. Therefore I didn't complete the code yet, will do that when I got all the parts. In the meanwhile, see the pics for the process!!

PS. In the meanwhile I also made a Adalight frame for my MacBook Retina 15", see this page to check it out!!