I’ve previously mentioned that I was initially using this code by James Bruce to drive the ambilight. While I was waiting for the circuit board components to arrive, I thought I would take some time to expand on his work, fix some bugs, and add a few features I thought Read more…
Overview The goal of this project is to build a dynamic backlight, also known as an ‘ambilight’, for my PC monitor. An ambilight changes colors based on the content onscreen, extending your monitor to the wall behind it. By reducing the contrast between the monitor and the background it can Read more…
So far the hardware side of the Adalight setup has been a nest of wires on my desk, with the Arduino on a breadboard and the power running through a terminal block. Now it’s time to wrap up this project by getting everything off of the breadboard and onto a dedicated PCB in its own custom case!
Once the LED strip has been soldered together and attached behind the monitor, the next step is to configure the software on the PC. The communication protocol for Adalight is quite simple, which means there is a variety of PC software that can send color information to the Arduino. There are other options, but the two I’ll cover are Processing and Prismatik.
The first step in taking the Arduino-based ‘ambilight’ from concept to completion is to modify the LED strip so it fits nicely around the monitor. Like most addressable LEDs, the 5m roll I’m using has cut lines where you can trim it. Because each pixel is its own self-contained circuit, you can arrange them in any shape or number you can think of so long as you connect the three wires: power, ground, and data.
As I do more and more coding for the Footwell NeoPixels project, my mind started to wander with ideas of what else I could use addressable LEDs for. One such idea is to create an ‘ambilight’ – a backlight for a TV or LCD monitor that reads the color data onscreen and creates a glow around the bezel which matches or ‘extends’ the color to the surrounding wall. The idea is that it adds ambiance (hence the name), though it also helps with eye strain by reducing the contrast between the bright screen and the dark wall behind it. I had put a strip of single-color white LEDs behind my previous monitor and it helped tremendously with eye strain, but I figured if I was going to do the same I may as well take it up a notch.
I keep getting distracted by other projects and ideas, but I wanted to post a brief update on the footwell NeoPixels project. I’ve been working on the data structures and color patterns, but today I wanted to cover something simpler.
For the time being I’m not planning on changing the color of the tC’s interior lighting, which is a nice burnt orange. I’ve toyed back and forth with the idea of replacing the tC’s cubby light and adding a few lights to the cupholders, which on a default setting should match the rest of the lighting. This gives us today’s problem: how do we match the NeoPixel’s color with the other LEDs?