Build Your Own Ambient Lighting With the Raspberry Pi

Introduction: Build Your Own Ambient Lighting With the Raspberry Pi

About: Awesome Electronics Tutorials, Projects and How To´s

I wanted to build an Ambient Lighting System for my TV ever since i bought the Raspberry Pi one year ago. After I finally managed to order the necessary special WS2801 LED strip, I started the build and everything went better than expected.

This is a tutorial which I splitted in 3 parts for endurable video length and clearer structure.

In the first part I talk about the led strip, how to position it and how to solder it. Also I install the Raspbmc on the SD Card and get everything ready for the Boblight plugin.

The second part is the most complicated one. It is all about configuring the Boblight plugin and connecting the GPIO headers to the strip. After this part you will be able to recreate the project.

The third and final part is all about optimizing. I modify the case and made everything much compacter and user friendly.

Step 1: Watch Part 1!

I think part 1 is very simple and there is not much explaining to do. Just be sure to get the right parts and you can download Raspbmc with this link:

http://www.raspbmc.com/download/

Step 2: Order Your Parts!

Step 3: Watch Part 2!

This time it is more about the software aspect. Get the necessary software in the next step and configure your Ambient Lighting.

Step 4: Download the Software!

Download the BoblightConfigTool right here. And you can also download my boblight.conf file to use it as a reference. You can download PuTTY and WinSCP with the links:

PuTTY: http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty...

WinSCP: http://winscp.net/eng/download.php

After this part 2 your project is done. But be sure to check out part 3 to optimize the Ambient Lighting.

Step 5: Watch Part 3!

Take a look at the next step to find more information about the "wire" part.

Step 6: Get the Connections Right!

I did not create a schematic for this. But I took a lot of picture so look carefully to get all the connections right.

Step 7: Success!

You did it ! Your very own Ambient Lighting. I hope you liked this project.

Feel free to check out my Youtube channel for more awesome projects:
http://www.youtube.com/user/greatscottlab

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for news about upcoming projects and behind the scenes information.

https://twitter.com/GreatScottLab

https://www.facebook.com/greatscottlab

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    71 Comments

    0
    Arty Fishel
    Arty Fishel

    Question 2 months ago on Introduction

    I currently use Kodi as my main video source (pi4, hdHomerun backend). Can I use this solution by connecting to the gpio on my pi4?

    I've seen a bunch of other systems posted that require a hdmi spliter and more.

    Hoping i can power a led strip off the usb on the phone and be controlled by kodi on pi4


    0
    JeffM348
    JeffM348

    Question 4 months ago on Step 7

    Hello, How would I go about connecting multiple inputs? Looking to conenct HDMI cable Box, and Chromecast to the Raspberry pi, then to the TV. Thank you

    0
    Tom De prins
    Tom De prins

    3 years ago

    I keep getting the message 'This add-on requires a bynary library'. I installed 'libboblight.so' in the usr lib folder but it doesn't work. Hyperion works and connects etc. But boblight keeps hurting my feelings ;p. Anybody who can help me please?

    0
    vern.wolf
    vern.wolf

    Reply 7 months ago

    debian based, the correct folder is /usr/share/lib on any other linux distro, /usr/lib is fine

    0
    DavidinCT
    DavidinCT

    3 years ago

    Looking over the WS2801 strips, there are 2 models, One is $60, one is $35, I cant tell the difference, Is the $60 one much better and how ? The ebay one is $25 but, is only for 1m (3.3 feet), so that wont do.

    0
    vern.wolf
    vern.wolf

    Reply 7 months ago

    The difference between them is density. The more expensive one will most likely have double the LED's on it than the cheaper one. Look at the product picture, does it seem a bit scant on the lighting? is there one LED then a cut mark? is there a crap ton of
    "empty" space around the LED between the cut marks?
    sample pictures here. the white spool is 5m but only has 150 LED's on it. you can see the empty space. the black spool has 300 LED's for the same length. you can see that it looks much denser.

    I went for the much denser strip for the best effect. i'll add another comment with pictures of when i finish this up this week

    light strip.png300 strip.png
    0
    Tom De prins
    Tom De prins

    3 years ago

    IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO OSMC USERS:

    Username and password are different in OSMC. So if you use putty use this information.

    Username: osmc

    Password: osmc

    GreatScott, maybe you can edit your instructable and mention this?

    Knipsel.PNG
    0
    i-blaze
    i-blaze

    4 years ago

    Hey guys i wanting to make this for my PC dual monitor setup.

    just wanted to know that do i need exactly this same components sine it will be connected to my PC not TV?

    0
    Ardutronico
    Ardutronico

    4 years ago

    I'll make this project when I have individually addressable LEDs and my Orange Pi (I will hopefully receive it next week). BTW, you should have soldered the strips before pasting them on your TV.

    3
    JohnM801
    JohnM801

    4 years ago

    Nice project. But how do get the video into the raspberry pi? or are you using the raspberry pi to play the video?

    0
    SimoneU2
    SimoneU2

    4 years ago

    Hello, I want to do this project, but I do not understand some things, okay the raspberry pi 3 model b? LEDs are fine WS2812B? Best 60 LED / m or 144 LED / m? the system is the same for TV 4k? The system is independent and works with both tv that with the PC?

    0
    MichaelG75
    MichaelG75

    5 years ago

    Does anyone know if this is the same led strips just updated? 1m WS2812B RGB LED Strip, 60 Addressable Pixels, 60 per metre, DC 5V https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00WONANSA/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awd_ejcaxbZT57ZZS

    0
    KeithC57
    KeithC57

    5 years ago

    Will this work with a Raspberry Pi 3 (RPi3) Model B?

    0
    Humveeforce
    Humveeforce

    6 years ago on Introduction

    I have followed your instructions. Great tut. However, I am using Kodi now and a 50" TV with all 4 sides with LEDs. I am also using PiB+. So, almost everything is slightly different, but theoretically should work. Problem is, I only get the first LED to light. Sometimes red, green or white. I have tested that 5V is going all the way to the last LED so I know it has power. Any ideas?????

    0
    keshav2
    keshav2

    Reply 5 years ago

    hello,did you sort it out? I am having same problem here! I am kind of desperate please help me

    0
    ForssFägerström
    ForssFägerström

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Do you have a 5V buffer driving the I/O? If not, I would reckon that the 3.3V RPi I/O is just is not enough for the first WS2801 chip. If you have a buffer, check that your refresh rate (clock frequency) does not exceed WS2801 specs.

    Anyway, an oscilloscope is always useful in debugging off-chip signals.

    0
    Humveeforce
    Humveeforce

    Reply 6 years ago

    I followed the instructions in this video and the refresh rate is what is stated there and in the boblight wiki.

    0
    ForssFägerström
    ForssFägerström

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    OK. I fast-forwarded through the videos, but did not see any mention of an output buffer. Thus, the system described here will work only by accident, i.e., depending on the length and thickness of the wires from RPi to the 1st WS2801, process variations, Vcc levels etc.

    The WS2801 specs state that Vih=0.8*Vcc...Vcc, i.e., the lowest input voltage that is recognized as a logical one is exactly 4V with a 5-volt operating voltage. As your RPi has (apparently, I have only RPi2) an I/O voltage of 3.3V, the first WS2801 will correctly recognize '1' only by sheer chance. Getting erratic lighting functionality and the inability of the 1st IC to regenerate the input would very much fit an I/O voltage problem.

    You can try reducing the Vcc for the LED strip until 0.8*Vcc is somewhere near 3.3V, but this would be rather stupid. I recommend using any 5V buffer IC that has a 3.3V-compatible input (or a lower 'high' threshold). A logic level converter would obviously also work, but I reckon a single 74-series IC harvested from an old junk PCB would be the best DYI solution.