Having ambient TV back-lighting is not something most people consider when setting up their home theater. LED and OLED televisions are extremely vibrant and bright and watching them in a darkened room for an extended period of time can cause eye strain. Adding back-lighting reduces eye fatigue and just plain looks awesome. Below are the steps to install an affordable ambient lighting system in you home theater.
The Steps To Install Ambient TV Back-lighting include the following:
- Decide which kit is best for you.
- Measure the perimeter of your television.
- Purchase an appropriate ambient lighting kit.
- Install the ambient light kit and select your color.
Finding The Right Back-light Kit For Your TV
Note: The kit installed in this tutorial is the Megulla Bias TV Lighting Kit Accent/Ambient TV system.
You can buy LED strip-lighting for relatively cheap in a 25-foot roll, but in most cases these will plug into an electrical outlet. Our experience is you want an ambient TV back-light kit that has a USB connector and plugs directly into your television. This kit will automatically power on when you turn on your TV. If you have to find another remote control or flick a switch to power up the LED lights, chances are you will not use them–so be sure to buy the kit that plugs directly into a USB port on your television. You can always unplug or power them off with the remote if you do not want the effect.
The most important part of installing a back-light kit for your HD television is to buy the right size for your TV. In most cases you can buy a kit online that gives your exact television size, such as 65-inch, but measure the perimeter of the back of your TV about an inch or so in all the way around. You do not want to go too far in when measuring because installing the ambient TV back-lighting too far in will reduce its overall effect. Lastly, the closer you are to the wall, the more dramatic the effect will be. The television in the picture above is approximately twelve inches from the wall.
Once you have purchased the kit you want to install, carefully lay the lights out before installing. The lights come in sections as pictured below and these can be directly connected to each other to make a contiguous cable or you can also use the connector cable to turn corners, etc. You can cut the cable at the end if it is too long, but you have to cut it at the designated area marked on the strip. This particular kit comes with corner connector cables you can use to go around the corners and provides male to male fittings to attach the pieces together as shown below.
Our experience with these kits is the adhesive connectors to hold the lights in place do not work for long. Do not bother attempting to remove the peel and stick tape on the back. We have found through multiple installations with various kits that Gorilla tape works the best.
Gorilla tape has a thick adhesive bed and can adhere to televisions that do not have a smooth back. It can also be removed easily without leaving behind a sticky residue. In this installation, we did not want to use the corner connectors, as we needed maximum lighting and wanted a continuous run of lighting around the edge of the TV.
The great thing about LED lights like these is you can set them to practically any shade of color you want, depending on the room lighting and paint color on your walls. We ultimately went with this light blue shade and have left it there ever since, as it provides a soothing color and atmosphere no matter what time of day.
If you have any questions about adding an ambient TV back-lighting effect to your home theater setup, let us know on our forums and we will be happy to discuss our experiences. Overall, we are very pleased with the results and all of our visitors remark on it when visiting our home.