Welcome to the official Amblone website!
Here you can find all the information on what Amblone is,
download all the sources and binaries for the Amblone system
and learn how you can build your own Amblone setup.
What is Amblone?
Amblone stands for Amb
and it is an open source 'Do It Yourself' solution for imitating
Philips Ambient Lighting Technology
It projects light on the wall behind your TV or monitor in the colours that are currently on the screen.
The lighting is achieved by a number of RGB LED strips that are mounted on the backside of the screen.
The strips are controlled by one Arduino microcontroller, which is connected via USB to a PC.
The PC captures the bitmap from the screen,
calculates the average RGB values of the screen, and sends the information to the Arduino.
It's also possible to select a static colour for the LED strips to output, or sweep the entire colour spectrum at an arbitrary speed.
Amblone is ideal for intensifying your gaming or movie watching experience, and adding atmosphere to your room.
Why should I choose Amblone?
Amblone is certainly not the first system that creates an Ambilight effect.
Some other solutions have been developed that more or less realize the same effect as Amblone.
Some of these are complete commercial products, some are DIY projects like Amblone.
For more information, go to www.ambilight4pc.com
However, we believe that Amblone offers some advantages that others do not.
- Amblone is very affordable. A simple Amblone setup could be achieved for less than €30,-!
If you build a setup like the one in the guide,
it will probably cost you around €60,-.
- Amblone can be used for a wide variety of applications,
including gaming, movie watching, web browsing etc. Because Amblone takes the colour directly from the screen,
it does not need any Directshow filters or special support by the video games, and works for almost anything that appears on the screen.
Amblone has an intuitive, easy to use graphical user interface, where various options can be selected,
such as the amount of RGB channels to use, which monitor to get the colour from, etc.
- Amblone is very customizable. It can be used with a variable amount of RGB channels,
allowing you to use 1 to 4 LED strips or lamps.
You can place them anywhere you want on your TV,
and choose which screen section you want them to get their colour from.
And if you want other modifications, Amblone is completely open source so you can change whatever you want.
- Making your own Amblone system is not hard to do. Following the guide, anyone should be able to do it.
It does require some soldering, but not as much as some other DIY Ambilight systems around,
and all the parts are widely available, and not expensive. Seriously, you can do this!
But there's no free lunch. There are also some drawbacks to the approach Amblone takes. We list them here to prevent any disappointments.
Getting the colours from your screen takes some CPU time.
If you try to run Amblone along with a high-end video game on an old laptop,
you will most likely not get the results you are hoping for.
The Amblone colours will change very slowly, which does not look good,
or the video game will not run smoothly.
However, you do not need a high end system for Amblone to get great results on playing videos.
For example, when we were running Amblone on a 2,2 GHz dual core laptop while playing a 1080p video,
Amblone was steadily running, making 29 loops per second, and the video was playing flawlessly at 24 fps, with 10 ms jitter.
- Amblone can only take the colours from your PC.
It does not work if your TV is not connected to your PC
(for more information, see below).
- Amblone does not function with DirectX and hardware acceleration.
Since the image isn't (entirely) created before it is sent to the video card,
there is no way to calculate the screen colours.
What do I need to create an Amblone system?
Amblone works by calculating the average screen colour of a screen that is connected to a PC.
For this reason, it does not work for standalone TV, DVD players or gaming consoles.
If you want to use Amblone on your TV, you will have to connect it to your PC, and play your videos from there.
A standard Amblone system consists of software, a microcontroller, RGB LED strips, and some electronic parts. Here's a complete list:
- Amblone software
- An Arduino microcontroller, for example the Arduino Mega
- A USB A to B cable
- RGB LED strips that can be manually controlled (make sure you are not buying some automatically coloursweeping strips!)
- Some transistors and resistors (probably 3x the amount of LED strips you have)
- A 12V adapter (or whatever your LED strips require)
- Some electrical wires
- Doublesided tape, or some other equipment to mount the LED strips
See the guide
for more details.
Philips and Ambilight are trademarks owned by Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V.
We are in no way associated with Philips,
and we do not suggest we are distributing an Ambilight system.
The names 'Philips' and 'Ambilight' are merely mentioned as a comparison with Amblone.
We are not associated with any vendors mentioned on this website.
We are not responsible for any of their products or services, nor the damage caused by them.
We are not responsible for any damage caused by following any directions on this website.