Upgrade your TV with colorful LED backlights and immerse yourself in your favorite series or game!
Backlighting Your TV with LED Lights
What better way to switch things up than with a little mood-lighting? You could be in a movie theater, then an Esports arena, and then an aquarium. Your furniture might not change, but with a little creativity your lighting, visuals, and sounds can create a truly immersive environment.
Start your day off with cold tones of blue that gradually transition to orange and yellow. Choose the setting for your living room: is it a gaming room, a home theatre, an office…? Pick a setting and jump into that atmosphere.
What is a TV Backlight?
TV Backlights refer to LED light strips installed behind a TV or computer monitor. They provide control over the lighting in a room, changing colors and atmospheres. These responsive TV backlighting LED light strips are thin, flexible strips dotted with small LED lights throughout.
Several brands offer responsive LED TV backlighting DIY projects that can be set up in an afternoon. They simplify the process by providing a box set that includes light strips, a controller, and a power supply. Thus, the difficult part of choosing the correct individual components is over before you begin.
For TV backlighting, some adapters are USB compatible so they can plug directly into your TV’s USB ports (if applicable).
Why Would You Backlight a TV？
It’s easy to list out the benefits of backlighting your TV. For starters, ambient lighting looks great. It allows you to play with the feel you want for your room.
Imagine you’re watching your favorite team play in the finals. The TV’s bright screen shines across the room. The announcer shouts in excitement. The light from your screen bounces off your lucky shirt and adds a glisten to your eyes. As the players get into position for the final play, the team’s colors glow fiercely from behind your TV.
Alternatively, if sports aren’t your thing, then bring that same passion into something you do enjoy. Watching a horror movie, for example. You could get lights that react to sound and watch the movie surrounded by a sea of red that breathes with the music.
Or, you could move in a completely different direction and throw yourself into a game! Switch on your PC or console and start playing. Fiddle with the lights until the room feels like you’re “in the game” and enjoy.
Building an atmosphere matters. Your experience can either be average or you can raise the bar on how you choose to appreciate your time watching movies and playing your favorite games.
Fight Off Eye-Strain
We already know colorful hues that magically glow from behind your TV help build a livelier atmosphere. However, that’s not all they do! Ambient lighting can prevent eye-strain by increasing the average light in a room.
Jason Fitzpatrick explains, in a “How-to-Geek” article, that our eyes adjust to the average amount of light in a room. When our eyes focus on a bright screen in a dark room it can strain them. Eye strain leads to eye dryness, eye fatigue, headaches, and just an overall feeling of discomfort.
Ambient lighting, or bias lighting as Fitzpatrick refers to it, doesn’t just help you lose less snacks between the couch cushions. It adds a brightness to the entire room that makes it easier on your eyes.
How Does TV Backlighting Work？
Backlighting spruces up your TV and gaming setup by adding new life to it! With only a basic understanding of how these lights work, you can transform any area in your home.
*For a more in-depth description, see our “How to Install LED Lights?” guide.
LED Light Strip Fundamentals You Should Know: There Are Different Types of LED Light Strips:
There are single-colored LED light strips and multicolored LED light strips. As their names imply: one supports a single color while others can change between an entire spectrum of colors.
Different lights have different quantities of copper connector/soldering pads. They range from having two copper pads, a positive (+) and a negative (-), to having five copper pads, a positive (+) and four negatives (-) RGBW (Red, Green, Blue, and White).
Dimmable and multicolored lights will need a controller, to adjust their settings, and a power supply/adapter that converts a house’s AC electricity into DC so as not to damage the lights.
Installing Your LED TV Backlights
Setting up your LED lights is pretty straightforward. Your LED light kit should already provide you with an adapter and controller. Just remember to measure the area before purchasing to figure out what length you’ll need beforehand, then buy and install them.
Here we’ve laid out the general steps you’ll follow to get the job done:
- Measure the total surface length the lights will cover. Behind your TV, start by measuring out a rectangle that reaches all four corners. Factor in additional slack for corner loops and to reach the power supply. You’ll either connect directly to an electrical outlet with an AC/DC adapter or take advantage of one of your TV’s USB ports (if available).
- Test the lights:Plug them in; check that everything works as it should. Once you’re certain they work well, you can unplug them for safe installation.
- Make sure the length is sufficient:Extend and hold the light strip over the area it’ll cover to ensure it is the correct length.
- Clean your “sticking area”:With a dampened cloth and a bit of cleaning alcohol, wipe the area down to remove dust particles. Ensure it dries completely before continuing.
- Peel and stick: Peel back a portion of the 3M adhesive tape behind the strip. Set the strip in place and gently press down to secure it. Press down firmly but carefully to prevent damaging the strip itself or one of the LED’s.
- Make loops to turn the corners:Avoid bending or twisting the light strips. Instead, loop the strip loosely and ensure either end of the loop is firmly adhered into place. You could use additional 3M adhesive clips, if necessary.
- Repeat: Continue the same process until all lights are in their desired position.
- Plug them in and switch them on:Just like that, you can start testing out different light settings and playing with your environment.
Which TV Backlight Type is Best？
As you finish reading through this guide, it’s only natural you’ll begin to imagine all the different atmospheres you’ll create throughout your day. Now, if you’ve measured your “sticking area,” the only question left is, “which are the best TV LED backlights?”
A very good question, indeed.
Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer that works for everyone because each person has different needs. The kind of lights you want, your TV’s size, the available power connection points, the length you want to cover, etc. are all factors that will influence your purchase decision.
There are many brands that have their own LED light kits, like the Samsung TV Backlights and Philips Hue TV Backlights. These generally offer high quality products at equally high prices.
Other brands focus on providing their customers with the same high quality while keeping competitive prices. Govee products, for instance, provide responsive and smart LED TV lighting kits. These lights use RGBIC and ColorSense technology to recognize the colors on the TV screen and instantly apply them to the backlights!
With these LED lights you can create awesome-looking gaming rooms and theater-like movie nights. Govee also provides their own app, filled with lighting presets. Once installed, you can pick and choose the setting you want from your phone. You can even pair the lights with Alexa or Google and just say what setting you want!
A Note on Fixing LED Light Strips
Twisting, bending, or any rough handling of the lights could potentially damage them. Make sure the lights you buy come with a guarantee. A quality product should come with a warranty and customer service team that can help you work through any issues.
Make those Movie and Game Nights Better!
You’re officially ready! You’ve learned the basics and are now prepared to install those strips of tiny bright game-changers. Once they’re installed and you’ve spent the necessary amount of time staring at them, start playing with the color settings.
When you get a feel for the spectrum of colors you have at your disposal, start imagining which lights you’ll use for each event: movie nights, house parties, games, spa days, working, reading, etc. Improve all of them with a little change in lighting!