Philips LivingColors / Hue lamp brightness increase with a LED strip

Philips LivingColors is a great lamp for creating colorful lightning effects depending on your mood. It is also a fun gadget to impress your friends. However the brightness of the lamp can be too low to fully light up the room. One solution is to get few Philips LivingColors lamps and place them around the room. The disadvantage of this option is the need to invest a few hundred bucks just for the lamp. The other more cost effective option which I wanted to describe here is increasing the lamp brightness by adding an extra LEDs.

Philips LivingColors with LED strip

The modification requires building a simple circuit on breadboard and soldering few wires to the lamp LED drivers. 

Philips LivingColors brightness modification step by step


The final effect and instructions how to perform the modification can be seen in this video:

Please remove the power supply  from the lamp first before doing any soldering!

Step 1:  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

Philips LivingColors and LED strip connection schematic

I have used four IRL3705N transistors because of the gate threshold level compliant with 3.3V logic level. But you could use different transistor type with a gate threshold level below 3.3V. The 100R resistors values are not critical and can be replaced safely with resistor values within 50 to 200 Ohm range.

Step 2: Disassemble the lamp by removing the front plate to get the access to the PCB. Locate the suitable points for soldering the wires to the external transistor amplifier circuit. The LED colors with soldering points are shown on the following picture:

Philips LivingColors Led drivers

Step 3: Solder the wires to the RGB LED drivers on Philips LivingColors lamp PCB to the amplifier circuit prepared in step 1.

Step 4: Connect the transistor amplifier board to an LED strip. In the picture you can see an RGBW LED strip with 12V power supply. When selecting the LED strip please note that the common positive power supply should be connected to diode anode. This means that you have one +12V input and you drive all LEDs by shorting the RGBW lines to ground.

12V RGBW LED strip

That’s all! I hope that enjoy the colorful lightning effects with your enhanced Philips LivingColors lamp.

Another Philips LivingColors with LED strip YouTube video

Audio Matrix Switch with 8×8 balanced XLR inputs/outputs and remote control

Balanced XLR 8×8 Audio Matrix Switch from LinkBone is a perfect choice for switching analog audio or digital signals. It contains a collection of passive switches arranged in 8×8 relay matrix configuration. All 16 balanced XLR ports are biridectional. Meaning that each port can be used as a signal input or output.

XLR 8x8 Audio Matrix SwitchThe user  can control the state of each relay switch individually by a touch screen on device front panel or Infrared remote control. For remote  applications the device can be controlled via Ethernet or RS-232 serial interface.

Passive Audio Matrix Switch internal relay switching network

The architecture of LinkBone Matrix internal switching network is shown on figure 1. The device includes 64 passive relay switches with gold plated contacts for ensuring high signal quality. The state of matrix internal relay switches does not change after interruption or disconnection of power supply.

Illustration of Audio Matrix Switch internal network (Relay Matrix)
Figure 1: Relay Matrix interconnection diagram.

The typical matrix signal bandwith is 50Mhz which is far above standard 20Khz audio spectrum. This means that switch can be used for standard audio and for high frequency signal switching(e.g. Video). Figure 2 shows 10Mhz square waveform signal routed through 8×8 relay Matrix switch. The blue waveform represents original signal. The yellow waveform shows signal routed via 8×8 XLR Audio Matrix.

8x8 Relay Matrix Switch 10Mhz Square signal

Figure 2: 10Mhz square waveform signal routed through 8×8 Relay Matrix Switch

Additional benefit of using passive relay matrix switches is wide range of acceptable signal amplitudes and low signal distortion. The LinkBone switches accept +/- 24V signals. The maximum current rating of each signal patch is 1.5A.

8×8 XLR Audio Matrix Switch remote control


LinkBone Relay Matrix remote interfaces(Ethernet, RS-232, Remote control)

Figure 3: LinkBone Audio Matrix switch remote interfaces

LinkBone 8×8 XLR Audio Matrix can be controlled remotely via telnet or serial text commands. The set of commands can be used for automatic matrix configuration via a configuraiton scripts. The text commands are described in chapter 7 of LinkBone 8×8 Matrix Switch user manual.

Audio Matrix Switch Web interface (Ethernet)

 Figure 4: 8×8 XLR Matrix Switch remote control HTTP interface.

The user can control the matrix also via visual HTTP interface shown on figure 4. The state of each relay switch can be changed by setting checkboxes representing internal switching network. After clicking apply button the matrix switch changes it state.

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