Another TV Ambilight Project

Hello.

Recently i finished my TV Ambilight project using WLED and Hyperion and i thought to share with you the result. Before i continue, i would like to thank everyone that has worked on WLED for their awesome results. So about the project.

We like to consume our content mostly using KODI on a small computer that is directly connected to the TV. Having the computer hooked up to the TV makes this project easier because you don’t need a capture card or an additional device (Raspberry Pi) to run the software (Hyperion) on. Here is a list of parts i used:

  • Intel NUC - This is the computer that runs KODI and serves the video content
  • About 3,5 meters of WS2812B 60LEDs /m IP30 strip. I purchased this item.
  • A NodeMCU ESP8266 micro controller to control the LED lights.
  • A USB phone adapter of about 2A

Software:

  • Obviously KODI to serve the content but any other player will work
  • Hyperion - Is the software that grabs the screen and controls the lights. You can use HyperHDR in case your TV and content is in 4K.

Under Hyperion settings, you can set the LED instance as WLED and wirelessly they will communicate. I haven’t noticed a significant delay in the ambilight. The good with this is that you don’t necessarily need a capture card if hyperion is installed on the same machine that provides the video content.

Installation:

  1. Flash the NodeMCU with WLED.
  2. Install Kodi (Windows).
  3. Install Hyperion (Windows).
  4. Set WLED as a LED instance in Hyperion.
  5. Count the total number of LEDs and set them in Hyperion as well as the number of LEDs on top. left, right and bottom of your TV. Also, make sure to set your first LED position in order to have correct direction of the lights.
  6. In Hyperion, under Capturing Hardware set QT option and make sure the resolution is the same as in Windows - This will grab your screen.

Now clean your TV very well from dust before you apply the LEDs. This will help the adhesive tape to stick well. I have used double sided tape as well. Mark and place the position of the NodeMCU.

Here is a video of the Ambilight in action:

BTW, the project is fully integrated with Home Assistant and i have the following automations running in regards:

  • When a movie starts to play, i receive a notification on my phone asking me if i want to activate the ambilight.
  • If my answer is yes, all the living room lights will turn off and the WLED and Hyperion will turn on.
  • In case i pause the video the WLED turns to a static warm light so i can have some more light in the room. It will continue again as long as i resume the playback.
  • In case i leave the room and one of my motion sensors pick motion (for example in the kitchen) the movie pauses and the automation above turns the lights to the warm light.
  • When i stop the movie (or the movie is finished), WLED and Hyperion will turn off and the lights of the living room will turn on returning to the state it was before.

In case anyone is interested about these automations i can provide the code.

Final words.
Although it is a very easy project, i really liked working on it and it added up to the movie watching experience!

Hope this helps
Regards
M

3 Likes

Here is a picture that displays the back of the TV.
You can see on the left side the Intel NUC while on the upper right side is the NodeMCU.