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LivingColors lamp hack to drive external LED strip

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fenixxxxx

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Hi guys,

recently I got an Philips LivingColors lamp. I wasn’t too happy with its brightness so I decided to do small hardware modification. I added few N-channel transistors to the LED drivers and connected an RGB LED strip. The effect was really impressive. The single lamp with a strip was able to light up the complete room. The control of the lamp is done via a standard remote control.

philips livingcolors with LED strip.jpg

Here is how to connect the LED strip to the lamp:
- The lamp includes four high power LEDs with PWM drives. Adding the additional load to the drivers can result in circuit damage. That is why to drive safely the external LEDs we need four N-channel Mosfet transistors to increase driver current capacity. Additionally the transistors allow to connect voltage drivers directly to 12V LEDs strip. Assembly the transistor amplifier circuit according to the following schematic on the breadboard:

Philips-livingcolors-and-LED-strip-connection-schematic.png

- Disassemble the lamp by removing the front plate to get the access to the PCB. Locate the suitable points for soldering the wires from the lamp LED drivers to the transistor board circuit.
- Connect the board output connector to the RGB LED strip

Here is the YouTube movie with final result:

Here is step by step instructions how to modify Philips LivingColors lamp with schematic:
Phlips LivingColors lamp brightness increase with a LED strip
 

SunnySkyguy

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Agree

Living Colors Lamp is pretty expensive and dead as is. but good for kiddie lights ;)

79 pounds ($120USD?) for a 10W in 3 RGB LEDs is the biggest size.
Yours may be even lower power. $12/Watt is pretty expensive but that's all in the remote control and fixture. When one can do it for $1/Watt , its way more fun. I suspect you are somewhere in between.

(I prefer to use $ per hundred lumen or $us/100lumen
100 lumen is good 1 Watt White LED (2RGB since R is less efficient and all together much less efficient than White LED but nice mood colors

Nice effect

Can you please comment on Remote Control lack of smoothness or linearity improvements you might prefer and also minimum range effects near zero and any flicker on level shifts?

I would consider button effects like accelerator on mouse motion or keyboard repeat rate.

Can you describe the remote control characteristics on light? ( besides just millions of colours)
 

fenixxxxx

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Hi SunnySkyguy,

thanks for your comments.

For the LED drives I used IRL3705N which can handle up to 89 Amps of current per G,R and B channels(at least theoretically). This means that you can drive a lot of LEDs on the strip and by that lowering the total cost.

You can linearly change the light by sliding the finger on the remote colour wheel. By just taping on the remote you get fast colour transition as seen on the video. The lamp LEDs are driven by PWM so you can unfortunately see the flickering. The PWM is running at few Khz so it is not very noticeable.
 

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