Ambilight Project

Ambilight Project

This is where I will document my 64 channel Ambilight Project.  I will be for my Samsung LE40C750 I have in the man cave.  The media center I have attached is my XBMC Live (must update to XBMCbuntu) based HTPC.

This is actually what I have produced (Second test):

My first test below:

Two problems here:

  1. The flickering and 3 of the rgb leds on the second strand are going bonkers when boblight is connected
    1. Solution:  This was because i had the baud set to 115200 when i set it back to 38400 it went away completely.  Note this needs to changed in the boblight.conf and on the arduino.
  2.  Testing the setup with this video HERE pausing the video allowed me to spot that my  LED’s are actually running from Right to Left not left to right as I assumed.
    1. Solution recreate the boblight.conf using this online calculator HERE.  Note my current boblight.conf is HERE
  3. you can see in both Videos the LEDs direct reflection in the transparent surround of the TV this was resolved by ensuring all the leds were facing 180 degrees to the screen ( in both videos they are at 90 degrees),  the pics below show after secureing the leds via the self adhesive back.


Parts so far.

  • 2x RGB LED Strip – 32 LED/m Addressable – 1m from HERE
  • 1x Arduino UNO from HERE
  • 1x 5v 4A PSU from HERE
  • 1x Sticky Velcro pad found in a Drawer.

Note the Direction arrow on the LED strips indicating the direction of data. I.e. your Arduino needs to be connected to the end that the arrow isn’t pointing at.

Ardunino velcro'd to back of the tele

Once the LED's are stuck to the back of the TV the reflection from the leds cant be seen when sat in front. allowing only the glow to be seen.



Arduino Code to check your strips are working with you Arudino i.e. no boblight required can be found HERE.  This code will send some random colour to your leds.  You’ll need to edit STRIP_LENGTH and the pins that SDI ( DAT ) and CKI ( CLK ) are connected to.

Arduino libraries

  • WS2801 from HERE
    • git://
  • SPI from HERE
    • git://
  • Amblight.ino code I used HERE originally from Michael Ficarra HERE

Install Boblight (Ubuntu)

Credit to Memphiz alot of the content here is lifted from the xbmc forum post HERE

sudo apt-get install libx11-dev libgl1-mesa-dev libxrender-dev libxext-dev portaudio19-dev libavcodec-dev libavformat-dev libswscale-dev libavdevice-dev subversion g++
svn checkout boblight-read-only
cd boblight-read-only/
./configure --without-portaudio --without-opengl --without-x11 --prefix=/usr
make && sudo make install

Create a boblight.conf mine HERE, original source from Chris Oates HERE
There is an online calculator for generating part of the boblight.conf file HERE

sudo vi /etc/boblight.conf

To test boblight I ran the boblight daemon in the foreground with


then from a second terminal windows ran boblight-constant

boblight-constant FF0000

if alls well all the LED’s should light up red. change the HEX for any other Colour i.e. FFFFFF for white.

Note: to stop boblight-constant command you’ll need to kill it with ctrl+c

In order to get your boblight daemon to start at boot you will need to add the following to your rc.local ( /etc/rc.local), obviously change <XBMC USERNAME HERE> to the user that your xbmc will run under.

chmod 777 /dev/ttyACM0
sleep 5
su - <XBMC USERNAME HERE> -c "boblightd -f"

Note: I have chmod 777 the tty as with since I upgraded to Ubuntu 12.04 i didnt have permissions to read or write to the serial port.

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