Four Steps to Build an Ambilight for Projector Screen




A LED DIYer, and like to make kinds of lighting projects for household decorations.

I built an ambilight mounting behind my projector screen to sort of replicate the philips experience. This is obviously for people that do not put up their screen when not in use. I thought I would be putting the screen up way back when first building the cinema. I was even looking at electric screens, but the fact is we never put it up. In fact I will be getting screen material down the line and building my own screen frame. That’s the reason I used the LEDs all the way around the frame. The effect works well I think. It works best for TV and light viewing. I find it slightly distracting during movies.

All that’s needed include: 
5.2 meters of 5/8inch (16mm) wood. I used crap but free pallet wood.
A 5 meter smd5050 led strip with IR controller.
A roll of duck tape, sellotape, wall plugs and screws, tin foil, glue,
Some sort of thin board.
Plastic tiling edging. get it in any DIY store.

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Step 1: Make the Wooden Frame and Mounted It to the Wall

The measurements of the frame are 1700mm by 860mm with 100mm LEDs at the corners. I worked this out on CAD to get the most out of 5 meters. If you don't want the LEDs running along the top then you will have much more length to work with. The edges of the frame are 130mm from the outside edge of my screen. My screen is 86inch.

Step 2: Stick the Led Strip to the Frame. Easy.

Step 3: Stick Foil to the Boards and Place Them So They Align With the Black Edges of Your Screen.

I cut the board 200mm by whatever length i needed. The outside of the frame was 130mm from the edge of my screen. The wood was 90mm wide. So the inside of the frame to the middle of the black screen boarder is 200mm. There are 3 reasons for using the boards further on.

Step 4: Stick the Plastic Edging Facing Inwards at the Edge of the Boards and Block Any Gaps Where Light Might Get Through to the Front.

You can see I have two types of edging below. In my case the left type cut too much light. The pictures are in order below. The first is with no edging. The second is using the left type and the third picture is using the other one. It is the band of light reflecting off the left wall to the left of the three photos you should be looking at. The other band is coming from the screen.

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    12 Discussions


    Great project! I love Fringe, by the way... Unfortunately, it's over... :(


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Looks great :-)

    I hope no ducks were harmed when you stole their tape. Maybe use air-con "Duct" tape next time :-P

    4 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    It's actually called duck tape. Anyone that knows what they're doing knows that "Duct" tape is the worst thing to us on AC Ducting. It was never meant to be used on ducts. It was invented in WWII as a quick patch to ship hulls so is water resistant, and was the green color of a mallard's head, so it was called DUCK tape.
    Now you know.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Oh, so sorry; we only get duct tape in our small village in the Pyrenees...No one here has much to do with American affectations.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    If someone ever comes up with a way to put something in an hdmi cable that will control an led strip, for less than $20, they will be my hero. The only problem I have with these ambient light solutions is they all require control from the computer, and I watch PS3 mostly on my projector.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Why not use a Light to voltage sensor, some relays and hey presto covers at least red, blue, green. With an array, you potentially go to 2nd order colours.

    Something like....

    or this part number for more independant TCS3103FN



    7 years ago on Introduction

    It's Fringe! (i.e. the TV show, for those unfamiliar)

    You should enter this in the Hurricane Lasers Contest!

    why would they require control from the computer? "require?" seems like a harsh word... Arduino!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I like it. How well would it work in a wider room? I actually thought the light around the wall corners was coming from the edges of the room. Very nice effect.