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.