View Full Version : Imitating Philips Ambi Light

09-24-2004, 09:59 AM
There may be a better place to post this thread, but everyone here is knowledgable and helpful so I'll give it a shot.

The other day I saw a short segment on a new 42" LCD tv from Philips. A TV like this is WAY out of my price range (~ $9000), but one of its features was something called "Ambi Light". here's a link. (http://www.philips.com.sg/article-14328.html) In a nutshell, there are LEDs on the back of the TV that backlight the wall with the overall color and intensity of the image on screen. This seems cool, but a little corny honestly. But it did give me an idea!

What I want to do is get two strips of white LEDs, or cold cathode, or something like that and affix them to the back of my humble yet reliable 32" Wega. This would give me a clean white back light for movie-time at night with the rest of the lights off. Obviously, it wouldn't change colors or intensity, but I don't know if I'd like that anyway.

Now, would any of you with some electronics skills be able to point me in the right direction as to where to get the materials or how to start? It doesn't have to be too elegant, but i'm basically thinking: two lights, a switch, an A/C adapter, and some double-sided tape. :)

What do you think?


09-24-2004, 10:36 AM
You should be able to get all your parts at radio shck. The most expensive thing would be the AC/DC converter (~$7) Everythin else (a resistor, LED's, small wires, electrical tape) might run about $15 more. Should be a simple project that would take about 15-20 minutes once you have the parts.

Just wire the resistor and LED's in series interspaced with the wire, tape it to the back of the TV, and your done...

09-24-2004, 10:46 AM
Let us know how this works out. I have been trying to come up with a good way to produce ambient light for eye adjustment at night.

Post some pictures and schematics if you can so others might be able to do the same thing if they want to.

09-24-2004, 11:15 AM
I know it isn't high tech but this worked alright for me.
Used a CF bulb (4 watts) to keep the heat down. Some rubber tray liner to keep the lamp in it place.

Good luck


09-24-2004, 12:14 PM
That ambient light feature on the Philips set does look corny as hell to me too. Somehow, I've been able to watch movies for years without the need to have the wall changing colors......:rolleyes:

09-24-2004, 12:21 PM
My backlight is pretty simple-a single 18" fluorescent fixture layed on the back of the TV. I use one of the "cool blue" bulbs that has both very high CRI and temperature so that it's not yellow at all. Makes it a lot easier on the eyes watching movies at night and doesn't wash out the image at all.

09-24-2004, 04:02 PM
i use all the blue lights in my room except for the blacklight and strobe lights. http://clubpolk.polkaudio.com/showcase/view.php?userid=38451

i dont think you are going to get the same effect as the philips tv because the LEDs are right aginst the wall. sony wega are massive and are sort of trapizoidal in shape so i think even if you put the lights on the very back of the tv is wouldn't spread out very much.

09-24-2004, 04:41 PM
subtle lighting is fine.......

building lighting into a tv that changes with whatever's on the screen is corny as hell........period

09-25-2004, 08:03 PM
The ambi-light idea is awesome! I bet it really sets the mood of the movie.

What they really need is ambi-enviroment technology. I have been thinking of this for a long time.

Picture this:
A cool wind blows by in the movie. In the room a puff of air (electronically directed by a dedicated track on a dvd) gives you a chill. In a snow storm you feel a very cold draft. Various food and other smells are available such as frying bacon, italian food smell, spicy pepper smell, skunk scent, factory chemical scent, burning tires, hospital smell, etc. What was the movie where the guy walks out of the bathroom and says "you really don't want to go in there". Well you get the point.

I originally got the idea after going to a stones concert where I almost froze to death. It was fun though with friends around. Later when I picked up the DVD of it I set it up on a projector, turned down the lights and opened the door to the winter weather outside. Felt just like being there. :)


09-25-2004, 09:14 PM
Originally posted by madmax
It was fun though with friends around. Later when I picked up the DVD of it I set it up on a projector, turned down the lights and opened the door to the winter weather outside. Felt just like being there. :)


I need some of what your smoken Max;)

HBomb getten a beer after this read:p

09-25-2004, 10:07 PM
The funny thing about the stones concert was that since we had bad seats the "home" experience was much better than the live one. I know it sounds strange but it was so cool watching it in my livingroom with my coat on while watching my breath steam. It did kinda suck once it was over and I had to go to bed with the inside temp at about 40 degrees. I'm sure my electric bill was higher that month too. You married guys never get to have this much fun for fear of your better half having you committed. I only have to deal with strange looks from my neighbors :)

09-26-2004, 01:03 AM
Originally posted by madmax
You married guys never get to have this much fun for fear of your better half having you committed.

worse than that Max... my wife would make me quit drinking beer:eek:

09-29-2004, 11:57 AM
Thanks for all the info (Stones concert comments aside;) ). I did some tests with a cold cathode light, but it just wasn't bright enough. I think this is mainly because, as Airplay355 mentioned, the sides of my Wega where the lights would be mounted are too far from the wall. I don't have the soldering skills (or the desire) to make a strip of LEDs w/ a switch.

I ended up with a more ghetto solution by putting can-lights or up-lights on the TV stand behind the set and aiming them at the wall at an angle. It works pretty well for movie lighting with all the other lights off. The only thing I'm not happy with is that the light has a "yellow" tinge to it and I'd like a more pure white light. I'll probably try fluorescent (sp?) bulbs instead, but its okay for now.

Good luck to anyone who wants to give my original idea a shot!


09-29-2004, 02:25 PM
Maybe those led's they are using in newer flashlights. They are certainly bright enough. Rope lights would work too.

09-29-2004, 06:37 PM
i put rope lights behind my tv once....didnt' work so well, they got pretty hot so i just took them down and hung them up somewhere else. i think leds would be better.

10-06-2004, 08:53 AM
The local costco just started stocking white led christmas lights. $10 for 2 ropes. Might look cheesy but that might give you the strip of leds. Not sure how bright they'd be though.



10-07-2004, 01:49 PM
I found a thread on AVS forum which goes into a lot of detail on this subject. Thought you might be interested.