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DIY LED Ambilight Reduces Eye Strain, Looks Awesome

Put that eye-strain away for the night; get some ambient lights behind that TV. Oh, they look cool, too.

Watching your favorite television shows or movies in the dark usually means eye-strain on a level that's not exactly fun the next day. Did you know that adding ambient lights behind your television can not only help combat eye fatigue and strain, but also look pretty awesome when you have friends over?

I should probably point out that we're not really talking about your typical ambient lighting, although that can look pretty snazzy as well. What I want to talk about is creating an ambient lighting system that changes the ambient light colors to match the average color on your television screen, thereby softening the strain on those old eyes of yours. It was all the rage in 2007 and 2008 as Phillips and other companies began creating really pushing the technology pretty hard at trade shows. Philips called it Ambilight; we're just going to call it awesome.

Sure, you could buy one pre-assembled, but it certainly wouldn't be very geeky of you. Instructables user 'yonsje' shows how you can make your own ambilight.

It requires a little electronic know-how--you'll be working with an Arduino board, resistors, and other bits of circuitry, and you'll have a little code to write. The steps include instructions for the code you need, software you need to download to run the lights. and all the steps in between. We won't get into the specifics, since the tutorial on Instructables is pretty comprehensive.

It's looking like I may have just found my next long-weekend project.


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