View Full Version : DIY Backlight / Ambilight
12-12-2006, 12:52 AM
Just thought I'd post up what I used for my DIY back light. I watched the CNET video: http://reviews.cnet.com/DIY_Home_Theater_Backlight_your_TV/4660-6449_7-6220102.html and ended up finding the following pieces:
Home Depot: GE Basic 18" Flourescent Light Fixture. (~$8.00) It comes with a warm light... simply remove that and install the following.
Menards: Westinghouse Realite Full Spectrum 18" bulb (6500K) (~$8.00)
I was lucky enough to have a switched wall outlet right behind the TV, so I can turn it on/off easily. Here's what it looks like. Give me your questions/feedback!
12-12-2006, 01:01 AM
What's on the screen, a nuclear blast?
12-12-2006, 01:42 AM
LoL. It's actually an HD cable broadcast of a boat in the Arctic... but my camera sucks, so I had to focus on the wall first, and then take the pic of the screen, to keep the backlight effect from completely washing out in the pic.
12-12-2006, 08:33 AM
Well, tell us what you think about it. Did you have problems with eye strain prior to the backlight that you no longer have? Does it enhance the PQ? How does it look to you?
12-12-2006, 08:47 AM
not to sure about the ambilight thing i feel distracted by it. but am interested in hearing what it does for ya
12-12-2006, 09:16 AM
For those who are not DIY inclined, the ideal lumes (http://www.cinemaquestinc.com/ideal_lume.htm). I personally use two of these, one behind my home theater tv (34in tube) and one behind my computer monitor (24in tube). They are both 6500k bulbs, and I believe the bulb is 18in the whole thing is a little over 20in.
I can't use my HT without it, I thought it made a difference when I first got it, but then forgot to turn it on once. After about an hour of playing Black my eyes hurt and I didn't want to play anymore. The next time I went to play I realized the light was off, switched it back on, and then played for about 3 hours no problem.
I have no idea if it really improves picture quality, but it is definitely more enjoyable and I no longer have eye strain near the end of the movie. I used to watch movies and play games in total darkness, now the only light is the back light.
12-12-2006, 09:19 AM
looks really nice, have you noticed a difference?
my previous roommate did something similar and it really helped with eye strain, i never noticed a difference in PQ though.
12-12-2006, 10:15 AM
Reminds me of a car coming over the hill, right behind the TV.;)
12-12-2006, 11:51 AM
The whole claim at improving PQ hasn't been apparent to me, but I definitely feel more comfortable watching movies and shows. I like to have all the lights off when we're watching a flick. My wife on the otherhand wants a little light in the room. It seems to be a good common ground.
I use the ideal lume...I dont think a backlight really does all that much for eye strain for me but it does look nice in a dark room...The rule of thumb according to ideal lume is to project 10% of the light that the tv is emitting.
12-12-2006, 09:59 PM
Yeah, I think I need to tone it down a bit yet, but I just got it set up before bed last night. I guess tin foil is an effective way of taming the light, so I'm going to experiment with it over the next few days.
All in all, I think it adds a nice effect. And I definitely prefer it to having a lamp on somewhere in the room. It only cost $16.xx, so if I decide I don't like it anymore, it's no skin off my teeth.
12-16-2006, 07:46 PM
Do you notice any humming coming from the light? I checked HD and they had the basic $8 fixture and a ~$28 fixture that was specifically labeled NO HUM.
Still pretty cheap but just wondering if I should go for the more expensive version.
12-27-2006, 05:44 PM
Thanks for this one guys! I just ordered the ideal lume.
It's not something I probably would have noticed before reading this, but realized that with the Christmas tree up and the lights turned on (about 3 feet left of the TV area) the TV is more enjoyable to watch. Probably sounds cheesy, but I'm a sucker for this type of stuff!
06-09-2007, 12:09 PM
Is that just one bulb behind your TV or did you use multiple? I am putting my LCD up on the wall and afraid that having just one bulb might get interfered shining down because the LCD bracket is in the way.
06-17-2007, 10:23 AM
Alright, so I have been looking high and low for a fixture to put behind my LCD on the wall, however, they are all too thick.....anyone know something that has a really low profile?
06-17-2007, 10:51 AM
I have an Ideal Lume thingy in the closet. I used it but it was too distracting. Hmmmm...I should probably sell it.
06-18-2007, 11:12 AM
Tried using rope light today.....complete failure, just not bright enough, maybe try another color :)
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