Best LED lights for your TV: Why installing lights around your entertainment system is a bright idea

Want a truly theatrical experience? Enhance ambiance and renew your view with the best LED lights for your TV.

Sometimes, when you’re aimlessly scrolling through Netflix, it feels like you’ve seen it all. But there is a way to shed new light on streaming services, gaming, Blu-rays, etc.: LED TV lights. At their simplest, LED TV lights will create a soft, adjustable backlight behind your television, enhancing the ambiance of your home entertainment and reducing eye strain. At their most thrilling, the best LED lights for your TV will connect and sync in real-time with the colors and sounds you’re streaming. LED lights can create a custom visual experience that complements movies, music, and gaming, providing you with a bright spot of entertainment to look forward to after a long day.

How the best LED lights for your TV can improve your home entertainment experience

The best LED lights for your TV use technology that has trickled down from commercial applications and now offers anyone flexible ways to experiment with light. The majority of these lights come in the form of LED strip lights, which are essentially flexible circuit boards that illuminate. Think about all the times you’ve walked down the aisle in a movie theater, or had your eye drawn to a particular part of a store display; the same lights used to define those spaces are now available at home. These lights are small enough, light enough, and bright enough to illuminate your space with almost no weight, and minimal power. Most LED lights for TVs are designed specifically for use with Smart TVs and customized to work with the size of your screen. The strips plug in through a USB port on the back or side of the TV, offering a clutter-free appearance. With an average lifespan of about six years, these lights should be able to cycle through many movie nights.

When it comes to quality, look for TV LED lights that will provide a brightness of at least 450 lumens per foot, equivalent to a T8 fluorescent lamp. In order to allow for theatrical lighting effects, colored LED strips should offer hues across the entire visible spectrum. Higher-end LED lights are designed to not only illuminate, but to sync with your viewing experience. You can find WiFi-enabled lights that are controlled via an app on your smartphone or with voice command, as well as simple lights that operate with a remote control. Lights that expressively sync to the music, movie, or game you are playing can do so via a hub that connects to the TV’s HDMI connection, or with a microphone and video camera technology. Whether you want adjustable backlights or a fully immersive lighting experience, we’ve selected some of the best LED lights for your TV.

Related: Upgrading your home entertainment center? Grab one of the best soundbars for immersive sound

Quick installation doesn’t mean dim options with the best LED lights

If you are looking for an immersive experience, you want to get the best LED lights for your TV that offer syncing to sound and image. There are a couple of ways that this can be achieved, but if you’re looking for the most compatible, economical setup and you don’t mind seeing a small apparatus, consider a syncing system that uses a built-in microphone and a small camera attachment.

The miniature camera, mounted to the center, top, or bottom of your television, processes the images and then automatically changes the LED light colors. A built-in microphone can also be used to sync lights. And the best LED TV lights synced with a microphone and camera offer a WiFi connection and can work with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. 

Best LED TV lights synced with microphone and camera: Govee WiFi TV LED Backlights with Camera

Light and Music Sync

This camera-based system syncs up theatrical lighting, you just supply the popcorn. Amazon

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This handy LED lighting system offers WiFi connectivity so can be controlled by hassle-free voice command. Different settings (video or music modes) use the system’s built-in microphone and/or small 1080p mounted camera to adjust and customize your lighting experience based on how you are using it. RGBIC technology lets you customize each strip segment for multiple colors simultaneously, and multiple user profiles can be saved. It is important to note, however, that the camera can sometimes have a slight delay in color change, or when multiple colors are used on the TV screen. 

Ready to expand your color palette and possibilities? Consider an HDMI Sync Box

When you want to set up an entertainment center with multiple devices, and perhaps multiple smart lights, you should consider an HDMI Sync Box. A Sync Box, or hub, acts as the command center for all your LED lights and gives you the most customization in lighting design. Not only can hubs be used with LED lights for TVs, but they can also be used with any smart bulb or fixture. Multiple connections allow you to connect, sync to, and control a plethora of compatible devices, such as your Smart TV, streaming devices, Blu-ray player, and gaming system. 

Using a hub can give you more nuanced controls and can be accessed with an app on your smartphone. Creative settings and modes can be customized to allow for your lights to dance, dim, brighten, or even flash along to the games or movies you are using. While setting up your LED lights for your TV with a hub-based system is a more expensive option, you get more options and connections for other devices. A Sync Box is an additional purchase from your LED lights for TV and other smart bulbs, but it helps with more deeply integrated devices. 

Best LED sync box: Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box

Control Center

Connect multiple HDMI devices, each with a custom, whole-room synced light experience. Amazon

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When you are looking to use your LED lights with more than one device, this hub can control and connect them all. Not only will your lights sync to your Smart TV, but they will also work for gaming, streaming, and music. While a more expensive option, this Sync Box gives you voice-activated and smartphone control for your LED TV lights, as well as compatible smart bulbs throughout the room in traditional light sockets.

Is it music that lights up your life? Consider lights that sync with audio

Your movies, music, and games come to life with a great surround sound system. And with the best LED lights for your TV, your favorite songs are even more lively. Properly calibrated, LED TV lights can change color and pulse to the rhythm of a favorite album or a film’s soundtrack, elevating an immersive, emotional experience. 

While expensive hubs can deliver this feature exceptionally well, it is possible to purchase LED TV lights with embedded microphones that offer this feature for less cost. And, like with hubs, these enabled LED lights use a WiFi connection and work through app controls, as well as with voice activation through Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and SmartThings. Customizable features include dimming, color change, party and holiday light settings, scene-setting, and modes designed for movies, games, or music.

Best LED lights synced with audio: Sengled 13.12Ft Smart WiFi TV LED Backlight

Sync to the Beat

An embedded microphone and Smart LED features bring these lights to life. Amazon

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Quick and easy setup, no hub required. Customize your lights through the app or voice-activated commands. Whether you want to maintain a dark viewing area with some added low lighting, or you want a couch concert beamed into your face, sync features can take you to a new level of fun. 

Want TV LED lights that aren’t a strip? Consider a light bar

While most TV LED lights on the market are designed as light strips, which are flexible and mounted with tape, there are options that provide this same type of experience but are designed as a freestanding light bar. 

The best LED light bar will provide a full spectrum of lights, dimmable and synced to your movies, music, and games. These bars can be lights behind the TV and offer a similar lighting experience to the strip design, or they can be placed in other locations around the TV. For example, two light bars can be used on either side of the TV, projecting a light show onto the surrounding back wall. Or, light bars can be placed on the floor to have your lighting experience splay up the wall and ceiling. Some light bars operate independently, and others are designed to be used with a hub or Sync Box. 

Best LED light bar: Philips Hue Play White & Color Smart Light

Versatile Smart Bar

Sync light bar to expand your entertainment experience. Amazon

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This voice-activated smart light bar works with the Philips Hue Hub and Smart Home Device. It can be used behind the TV for custom backlights or be creatively placed wherever it works best in your space. Controls and settings are controlled with the Philips Hue app. 

When it comes to the best LED lights, lightweight doesn’t mean low impact

Even on a budget, the best LED lights for your TV will offer a customizable backlit light, be easy to install and set up unobtrusively, and create a cool ambiance while gaming, watching movies, or listening to music. LED technology has come down in price over the years, so it is possible to set up your home entertainment system with this LED backlight look for under $40—though you will often lose Smart features. 

If you are on a budget, getting LED light strips that offer basic controls with a remote is a good solution. While these designs do not have the ability to sync with music and action on screen, you can manually adjust colors and brightness. With an easy USB connection, premeasured lengths that work out of the box with your specific TV size, and long-lasting bulbs, these are a good choice for enhanced, yet affordable ambiance.

Best budget LED TV lights: Luminoodle Color Bias Lighting – USB LED TV Backlight

Easy to Install

LED TV lights controlled by remote and easily connected via USB. Amazon

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You’ll be the one glowing as you change colors and brightness according to your mood. Installation is an easy peel-and-stick attachment to the back of the TV, and settings are controlled with a remote. While there are no sync options, this offers a good TV backlight for an entertainment center.

Best LED lights for TV FAQ: people also ask

How do you stick LED strip lights to a TV?

LED strip lights are very simple to attach to the back of your TV; it’s really just a peel-and-stick process with self-adhesive backing tape attached to the back of the LED light strip. If you need extra tape, a 3M product is a good choice.

Can I cut LED strip lights?

Many LED strip lights can be cut, but check with the manufacturer and follow the directions carefully. Cuttable light strips will have specific areas where the strip can be cut. However, try to look for lights suited for the size of your TV, and you won’t have to worry about any cutting.

How do you keep LED strips from falling off the TV?

If your LED strip lights don’t maintain a secure connection to the back of your TV, you should clean the TV with a microfiber dust cloth, being careful not to let the TV get damp. Once clean, 3M self-adhesive tape should work, or if you require a stronger bond, you can look for a foam tape. 

Related: How to set up a 4K TV for the best possible picture 

A final word on shopping for the best LED lights for your TV

The best LED lights for your TV turn your entertainment center into a true centerpiece. They offer an immersive, customizable ambiance through WiFi connections, Smart features accessible via voice and/or apps, and amazing effects bring movie theater-style into your home. From basic backlights to hubs designed for multiple lights and devices LED TV lights can bring a lot of style and fun to your gaming, movies, and music.