The dynamic backlight “Ambilight” is well-known to many technology enthusiasts. The Dutch company Philips introduced it a few years ago and integrated it firmly into its televisions. Today Ambilight can be retrofitted with products from a number of external suppliers. We show you how it works!
What is Ambilight?
There are more accessories for home cinema than TV furniture and fancy keyboards or universal remotes. Ambilight is a Philips-developed screen technology that extends the color of image content beyond the TV screen.
The built-in system allows the LEDs to respond to the displayed image on the screen, dynamically adjusting the colors of the backlight to match the image. The aim is to enlarge and improve the viewer’s field of perception.
Reduce Eye Strain
In addition, eye complaints that occur during television are to be reduced many times over. Ambilight technology does not only have a single concentrated light source, but the light source is evenly distributed. In this way, the eyes are no longer overstrained.
Ambilight adapts to the environment
The innovative technology only works so well because it reacts to its environment. Dynamic is the key word here, because it is not enough just to switch on the lights. There are light sensors at the edge of the screen that detect how much brightness there is in the environment.
The stronger the ambient lighting, the brighter the TV screen becomes. Conversely, the lower the ambient lighting, the darker the screen. This automatic adjustment of brightness makes watching television more pleasant.
Retrofitting Ambilight lighting
Philips has patented Ambilight technology built into their TVs – which is because other manufacturers do not incorporate these dynamic LEDs into their devices. Fortunately, the lighting technology can be imitated with external technology.
External Ambilight sets exist from many manufacturers who offer retrofit lighting systems. External kits have to be retrofitted to the TV. The various Ambilight kits for retrofitting differ from each other, particularly in terms of the effort required to set them up and the price. Here everyone must find the ideal solution for themselves.
To make this easier, we present a few Ambilight sets with which you can retrofit the feature.
Our Ambilight Alternatives
Raspberry Pi 3 Kit
For those who are a little more technical and have some time on their hands, we recommend the inexpensive Do-It-Yourself version: the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Plus.
This kit already contains the most important accessories for Ambilight technology – but you have to buy LED strips! The Raspberry Pi only takes care of the programming side of Ambilight. The supplied instructions will explain step by step how to assemble the device.
This Ambilight kit is a real bargain – yet on one hand a certain degree of technical skills is required for the installation. On the other hand, you have to take into account the time and purchase of the LED strips.
Check out this detailed video demonstrating how the Ambilight-Kit from Raspberry is build.
Another very popular Ambilight-Kit is made by DreamScreen. Here you have the choice between a DIY set or an already assembled product. Furthermore you can choose between a HD or a 4K version for the finished product. In addition, Dreamscreen also offers a so-called “Side Kick Lights“, which helps to shape the light around the entire television. Dreamscreen offers by far the largest product selection, with varying degrees of effort for the assembly and those are also just in the mid-price segment.
DreamScreen gives you by far the widest selection of products and the ability to customize the Ambilight kit to your needs. In terms of price, we are in the good midfield here.
Simple and good – LED light chain
You don’t need dynamic LEDs that adapt to the TV picture, but just want to add a little flair to your living room? Try a chain of LED lights.
The health benefits are just as good here as with Ambilight: the existing background lighting protects the eyes when watching television and reduces discomfort. With a small investment, atmospheric lighting can also be provided in the room.
The LEDs do not necessarily have to be attached to the television set, but are also suitable as a practical addition to the skirting board. The brightness and light color can be easily controlled by remote control.
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