I just can't stop staring at this hypnotic DIY Ambilight project

An Arduino powered Philips ambilight project
(Image credit: LPG Youtube channel)
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Colour me excited. This homebrew lighting project (opens in new tab) lets you imbue your boring, lifeless gaming monitor (opens in new tab) with the magic of your very own makeshift Philips Ambilight feature. And while it may not have all the titillating features of the Philips Momentum on our best 4K monitors guide (opens in new tab), it'll tide you over while you save up. 

It may be devoid of the Momentum's 120Hz refresh rate and 4ms response time, but this project (via Sweclockers (opens in new tab)) will provide a remarkably gaudy, somewhat spectral experience as you wander through the vast expanses of your favourite game worlds.

Built around an Arduino Uno (opens in new tab), and connected to a flexible Yunbo RGB LED strip that skirts the screen back, the project is not standalone. The connected PC utilises Prismatic software to read the colours shown on screen, which it sends through the Ardunio before each corresponding LED is assigned a colour.

Sounds easy enough right?

Screen queens

(Image credit: Future)

Best gaming monitor (opens in new tab): pixel-perfect panels for your PC
Best high refresh rate monitor (opens in new tab): screaming quick screens
Best 4K monitor for gaming (opens in new tab): when only high-res will do
Best 4K TV for gaming (opens in new tab): big-screen 4K PC gaming

Of course, it's a little more complicated than that. Accurate voltage calculations are necessary to ensure you don't blow anything up, and I expect there's a fair amount of soldering involved. Even attaching the lightstrip to the back of the TV with double sided tape looks fiddly as heck, but if you're feeling handy and want to get totally immersed in your game worlds, this will be the project for you.

There are other solutions if you want to turn your monitor into a lightshow (opens in new tab), but this is the brightest one we've come across recently, and from the video above looks more responsive than NZXT's lighting kit. 

In fact, this thing is so darn bright I'm convinced it could turn even the gloomy vistas of Metro Exodus (opens in new tab) into a freaking carnival.

Katie Wickens
Hardware Writer

Screw sports, Katie would rather watch Intel, AMD and Nvidia go at it. Having been obsessed with computers and graphics for three long decades, she took Game Art and Design up to Masters level at uni, and has been demystifying tech and science—rather sarcastically—for two years since. She can be found admiring AI advancements, scrambling for scintillating Raspberry Pi projects, preaching cybersecurity awareness, sighing over semiconductors, and gawping at the latest GPU upgrades. She's been heading the PCG Steam Deck content hike, while waiting patiently for her chance to upload her consciousness into the cloud.