Alright so you have a raspberry pi and xbmc (with Raspbmc). But wouldn’t it be awesome to have Ambilight with it? I thought it would! So after i read some about it, i thought there should be a clear and easy guide. Also I don’t like to buy stuff when I can use parts that are lying around the house. So I use an usb cable and usbcharger.
This is a guide for raspbmc with boblight.
Update 10 Februari 2014
Changed the colours for more red/yellow.
Update 27 March 2014
Installed Hyperion instead of boblight. Read more here:
How to install Hyperion on the Raspberry Pi
The guide is for the Raspberry Pi B (512MB) version! If you want to use version A, try hyperion and don’t use the DNC pin. The A version only has 1 ground, version B has multiple grounds.
First you need some parts to make this happen:
(Click on the image for a bigger size)
- 5V 2A power adapter. There are a lot of USB poweradapters, but most of them are 1A. Use one with 2A!Something like an iPad charger.
- Something like a floppy power connector. See picture below.
- USB cable (Male to male or male to female)
- A board or a frame, a bit smaller then your television. This is for attaching the led lights on.
- Raspberry Pi, or Arduino, but this guide is for the raspberry pi.
- Leds. Especially de WS2801. You can get them pretty cheap with no shipping fee from ebay:
Click here for the item: WS2801 Leds 50 pc 12mm. These are 50 leds, big enough for around 42 inch i think, i’m not sure.
Putting the hardware together
Alright, after you got the parts, you can cut the usb cable up, to connect to the leds.
Powering the leds
- Connect the usb cable to the led as you can see in the image
Connect the leds to the raspberry pi
To connect the leds to the raspberry pi, you can use a floppy power connector. The left one in the image.
As you can see on the next image, the leds have green for CLK and blue for data. I forgot to mention that the yellow one must be connected to the white one for ground.
Image of the pins on the raspberry pi.
- So the green cable goes to pin with
SCLK, the blue one to
The ground cable (white) from the power, can go to the
When you’re done, it will look something like this:
- Alright, thats for the wiring part.
Placing the leds in the right order
Leds placement configuration
To create and see how to place the leds, you can use the Boblight Config Tool (Windows)
Vertical/Horizontal block blur in %:block overlap
Vertical/Horizontal Block Depth:the range in depthsize of the block to analyse
Border top/bottom and right/left:start of range on the sides to detect color
Click on generate
boblight.conf and name it
Click here for my boblight.conf file
Now you need to edit the file so the top will look like this, it’s also for the best colour experience 🙂
color red ambilight 1
color grn ambilight 2
color blu ambilight 3
hscan 43 50
vscan 80 100
As you can see the word
green is grn and
blue is blu. This is since the new update. The names must be 3 characters! See my boblight config above.
Backplate for the television
3. Configure Raspbmc for ambilight
boblight.conf file must be place under
/etc/, So it will be:
Enabling PiBob in Raspbmc
Enable Pibob on the raspberry under
Add-ons -> Program Addons -> Raspbmc settings
Since the new update, boblight somehow doesnt work, so you can download boblight-dismanx from another site. The old options was to use a file in
/home/boblight.conf. That doesnt work anymore, boblight-dispmanx needs to be started with the options enabled as you can see below.
Log on raspbmc with ssh.
Install CA certificates first so you can download from https
apt-get install ca-certificates
Then you download a working version of boblight-dispmanx with
Give the file the right permissions
chmod 755 boblight-dispmanx
Now we change another file to point to the downloaded version of dispmanx
And change to the following:
exec /home/pi/boblight-dispmanx -o interpolation=1 -o speed=70 -o threshold=5 -o autospeed=0 -o saturation=1.70 -o value=1 -p 100 -i 0.1 -f /dev/null
Or download the file here
You can change the speed, threshold and saturation if you want. I think this is the best setting when used with the boblight.conf settings above.
Click here to see what the option means.
If something doesnt work, check this website for updates, etc:
Reboot! If done, your lights should start working after a minute raspbmc is on.
Example video of boblight on the raspberry
When video doesnt work use this link: