Improve Your Display Immersion with Lytmi Synced RGB Lighting

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Disclaimer: this article includes sponsored promotion, but all content, opinions and commentary are our own


Any tech enthusiast out there has some kind of RGB lighting nowadays, surely! You’ve got RGB lighting on case fans and PC components, on many gaming monitors, in your light fittings and lamps…But what about on the screen you probably spend most of your evenings staring at – your TV? Personally I currently have an LG CX OLED TV (2020 model) in my lounge, but in the past I’ve had other LCD TV’s from LG and Philips, and one thing I did particularly enjoy when I had a Philips TV was their Ambilight feature. This offered built-in RGB lighting around the back edges of the screen which lights up in sync with the content on the display. It casts a colourful glow behind the TV that matches the screen content, which can increase the immersion in games and movies, providing a relaxing but engaging glow to enhance your viewing experience. At first you might think it’s a bit gimmicky, but after a while you start to enjoy it and find that it can enhance your viewing experience in many situations. I was a bit sad to lose Ambilight when I moved later to an LG TV although the move to OLED was of course a big upgrade in other areas.

What about if you’ve got a non-Philips TV though, and don’t have Ambilight? There are plenty of third party lighting systems that can be added to your TV to meet a range of budgets. The most basic options consist of low cost LED light strips that you stick on the back of the screen and control via an included remote control or a smartphone app. There’s loads of those around, like here on Amazon. But these only provide a fixed colour, and are not synced with the content on your screen. They can look quite smart and can help reduce eye strain and tired eyes, but the better and more immersive option is to have lighting that matches the content on the screen.

There are quite a few synced lighting options available. There are really two approaches to how this works, those which feature a small camera to “watch” what’s happening on the screen and sync the lights from there, and those which use an HDMI sync-box to control the lights based on the source signal passing through it to the TV. We will talk about both options a bit more in a moment, but one particular system we want to look at today is from Lytmi (pronounced “Light Me”), with their “next level smart lighting” and sync-box system. We’ll run through their product range, and also give you our honest opinion and findings from using their system over the last couple of weeks to see how it performs and whether it can enhance your viewing experience.

Synced RGB TV Backlights – Camera or Sync-box based

Camera based solutions need a small camera that attaches to the top of your TV and watches the content being shown

There are two approaches to providing RGB TV backlights, each with its own pros and cons. The first is a camera-based system, where a small camera is mounted to your TV (usually at the top) which watches the content on your screen and controls the backlight from there. This is a good future proof solution as it is purely watching the screen content, and it doesn’t matter what the source input is – it will work with the in built TV tuner, smart apps, your games console plus whatever else you are watching on the TV now and in the future. It will work with all formats and content types, it is purely reading what is shown on the screen. These are also lower cost systems compared with sync-box options (by quite a lot) which makes them more widely accessible.

The Govee camera based system is shown above. Not everyone wants a camera attached to the top of their TV!

They aren’t without some limitations though. Firstly you have to have a camera attached to the top of the screen which may spoil your viewing aesthetic or be distracting during viewing. That’s a deal breaker for many people and attaching them to screens with ultra thin profiles and bezels might be a pain too. Because the camera is trying to observe the whole screen, sometimes the lighting effect can be less accurate, with some colour oddities on occasion. This is especially true if you have other external lighting or try and use it in the daytime, as that may impact the camera and lead to problems. Some camera systems may also be less responsive than others, with a lag between the reading of the screen, and the changing of the LED backlights. A popular camera based system would be the ‘Govee Envisual’ packages, pictured above and available from Amazon here.

Sync box solutions don’t need the camera mounted to your TV, but have their own limitations and tend to be more expensive

Then there’s the sync-box solutions. These instead require you to connect your devices in to an HDMI box, and then that box connects to your TV. The devices are being passed through the sync box, allowing the source content to be accurately analysed, and the lighting adjusted. These tend to be more accurate and quicker to respond, but they do cost a lot more money generally. You also don’t need to have any ugly camera attached to the screen which is a big positive for many people.

On the other hand they have their own limitations as they will only work with devices you connect through them to display on your TV. That means they won’t work with built in TV apps or tuners unfortunately, only external devices. That’s probably the main limitation in today’s market of smart TV’s and streaming apps. You may instead want to switch to using a streaming stick like an Amazon Fire or similar.

One of the other key considerations for sync-box based systems is the HDMI capabilities of the box itself. Many modern TV’s now support true high bandwidth HDMI 2.1 connectivity up to 48Gbps, and offer support for 4K 120Hz gaming along with features like VRR (Variable Refresh Rates), ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) and eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel). With all those features available, you don’t want to introduce a sync box in the middle that which will limit your functionality. Unfortunately many of the current sync box systems only have HDMI 2.0 connections, with the main drawback then being the lack of support for full bandwidth resolution and refresh rates like 4K 120Hz. The support for different formats and features will vary, which is something you don’t have to worry about with the camera-based systems.

We will talk about some of the sync-box systems a bit more in a moment.

Camera based systemsSync box based systems
* Work with whatever the TV is showing, even from built-in apps and the TV tuner
* Cheaper
* Don’t need to worry about features and formats supported (e.g. HDMI 2.1, VRR, eARC)
* No need for a camera sticking to the top of your screen
* More accurate colours
* More responsive generally
* Can be used more easily in different room lighting conditions
* The attached camera may spoil your aesthetic
* Less accurate colours
* Less responsive generally
* External light sources or daytime usage may impact the camera
* Only works with the devices feeding through it to the TV
* Won’t work with the TV’s built-in apps or tuner
* May restrict features from your devices or TV such (e.g. high refresh rate, VRR, ALLM etc)
* More expensive

Lytmi Fantasy Series TV backlight kits

That brings us on to an RGB lighting system we’ve had chance to use and test recently, and that’s from manufacturer Lytmi. They have a fairly small product range available which is focused mainly on two TV sync-box based lighting systems, plus a couple of additional light strips and bars. For TV sync boxes, they’ve got the ‘Fantasy TV backlight kit’, and then their new ‘Fantasy 3 backlight kit’ which promises a load of enhancements. We’re not really sure what happened with the ‘Fantasy 2’ generation! 🙂

The kits promise an “ultra-responsive capture of screen colors…with no transition delay” according to the product pages, as well as being able to “achieve smooth and balanced colors and match the luminance for every corner of your TV”.

Fantasy Package (HDMI 2.0 version)

The Lytmi Fantasy package includes the Neo sync box with a single HDMI 2.0 input

The original ‘Fantasy’ package is a lower price, but has more limited capabilities that may have previously put off some buyers. It may still suit lower end TV’s and those looking for a cheaper solution. The box itself is referred to as their ‘Neo’ box and it has only a single HDMI 2.0 input, and then the HDMI 2.0 output back to your TV. You can connect more devices to it if you want, but you’d need to purchase a separate HDMI multi-port switch, which could then add another level of complexity in terms of what features work properly, and of course mean more cables and things to plug in as well as more expense.

The fact it uses only HDMI 2.0 means you would be limited to 4K 60Hz resolution, or it can still support 1080p at 120Hz as there’s enough bandwidth for that. No support for 4K 120Hz though which is the main gap with modern games consoles now supporting that. HDR10 and Dolby Vision formats are supported according to the specs, but other capabilities like VRR are not supported.

The LED light strips in the basic Fantasy package are a bit more limited than the Fantasy 3 package

The light strip which comes in that package has 48 LED’s per metre and it’s split in to four distinct sections as shown above, capable of offering from 64 – 94 colours apparently.

The Lytmi Fantasy HDMI 2.0 package contents

The Fantasy package is available from Lytmi direct at a RRP of $169 at the time of writing. If you’re ordering from Lytmi’s website we also have an exclusive discount code for our readers which should give you 5% off. Use code TFTCENTRAL5 at checkout. It’s also available in some regions including the USA from Amazon (affiliate link).

Lytmi Light Stick (HDMI 2.0, not compatible with light bars and light strip)

The new Lytmi Light Stick package

We should also briefly mention the new Lytmi Light Stick package here, a smaller and lower cost sync box device with just a single HDMI 2.0 input. This has similar features and capabilities to the Fantasy 1 package described above, but the device cannot be used with the additional light strips and light bars talked about a bit later in this article. Think of it as a trimmed down version of the Fantasy 1 package without that support. The device itself is smaller in size though and makes connecting and hiding it behind your TV a bit simpler.

The Light Stick package is available from Lytmi direct at a much lower RRP of $79 at the time of writing. If you’re ordering from Lytmi’s website we also have a discount code for our readers which should give you 20% off the stick during the next 2 weeks. Use code STICK at checkout. It’s also available in some regions including the USA from Amazon (affiliate link).

Fantasy 3 Package (HDMI 2.1 version)

The Lytmi Fantasy 3 package includes the new Neo 3 box with 4x HDMI 2.1 inputs

The new ‘Fantasy 3’ package is what we have with us for testing and is a more capable and up to date option that will meet more of the needs of modern TV and device owners. The box looks physically similar, although the ‘Neo’ branding seems to have been replaced simply with ‘Lytmi’ now, although Lytmi still refer to it as the ‘Neo 3’ box on their website. There are thankfully now HDMI 2.1 inputs on this box which are advertised as supporting 8K 60Hz and 4K 120Hz which is a key selling point compared with the original box. This brings support for modern games consoles nicely. There’s also four of them in total now too, meaning you don’t have to buy separate HDMI adapters, and the box can handle 4 input devices simply and easily.

The Lytmi Fantasy 3 box has 4x HDMI 2.1 inputs now

The light strips have also been upgraded and have 72 LED’s per metre, reaching a bit more to the corners than before and offering brighter and purer colours than before. Packages are available with light strips to accommodate TV’s from 55″ to 90″ in size.

The Lytmi app allows you to control the lights and scenes

The sync box still supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision content, although the Lytmi website does say that Dolby Vision passthrough doesn’t work from a few LG TV’s, the C9, C2 and E6 range so it’s wise to check the website before you order. While there is support for the higher bandwidth of HDMI 2.1 and 8K 60Hz or 4K 120Hz from the new box, sadly it cannot support VRR, ALLM or HDMI-CEC. For audio, eARC can work depending on your configuration, and we will discuss these features and their impact a lot more in our independent testing video review in a moment. The Lytmi sync boxes both work with voice control too from Alexa, Google Assistant and Samsung SmartThings by the way, or you can control them using the free app.

The Lytmi Fantasy 3 package contents shown above

The Fantasy 3 package is available from Lytmi direct at a RRP of $199 at the time of writing. If you’re ordering from Lytmi’s website we also have an exclusive discount code for our readers which should give you 5% off. Use code TFTCENTRAL5 at checkout. It’s also available in some regions including the USA from Amazon (affiliate link).

Additional Lighting Products

As well as the two packages discussed above, Lytmi also have a separate 16.5 ft light strip that is designed to be used around the home to provide ambient lighting. It comes in a starter kit which includes the light strip, plug and a small controller. Additional extensions are also available and you can extend the whole thing up to 65 feet in total length if you want. You can also cut these light strips if you want to make them shorter (unlike the TV light strips), but you can’t extend them once they’ve been cut.

The controller that comes in the starter kit has a basic on/off button to control the lights, or you can connect it to your Wi-Fi and then control it properly using the Lytmi app. That allows a wide range of colour selections and modes. So you can use it to set different moos or enhance your home in a number of different ways.

They also have a light bar kit which includes two 13″ light bars that can be positioned horizontally or vertically and used either as standalone lights, synced with the TV content using the sync box, or paired with the TV and strip lights even to offer even more lighting around the room.

The LED light strips can also be paired with the sync box and TV lights for further effect

You can also combine the strip lights and light bars with the Fantasy and Fantasy 3 sync boxes (but not the Light Stick package) as lighting around the room instead of just behind the TV for a complete lighting setup.

Lytmi Fantasy vs. Philips Hue Play

The Philips Hue Sync box

One of the best-known HDMI sync-box TV backlighting systems on the market comes from Philips with their ‘Hue Play’ sync-box. This is part of their Hue ecosystem, but it’s not cheap. The sync-box alone has a RRP of $249.99 on Philip’s website, at the time of writing (although you can find it cheaper online – check latest pricing in your region on Amazon here via our affiliate link), and that’s without any actual lights! You’ll need to buy the light strips separately which are another $249.99 for their 55″ TV ‘gradient lightstrip’ (a bit more for larger TV sizes) that you need for this kind of use (Amazon pricing here). Oh, and you’ll also need a Philips Hue Bridge which is another $59.99, so unless you already have Philips Hue lighting at home with the hub, that’s another added expense. There’s some starter kits available which will save you money, but the whole system can get very expensive.

The Philips Hue sync-box has 4x HDMI input connections but one of the main drawbacks of the current model is that these are only HDMI 2.0. That means a max 60Hz refresh rate for 4K resolutions, or if you want 120Hz then 1440p and 1080p are supported. That’s fine for TV viewing, streaming sticks etc, but will be limiting for PC gaming and modern games consoles like the Xbox Series S/X and PS5, if you have any 4K 120Hz content to play and assuming your TV has a high refresh rate support. While HDMI-VRR is not supported from HDMI 2.0 devices it seems from user reports that VRR does work from the Xbox console using FreeSync, but support may vary. For HDR input sources, HDR10 and Dolby Vision formats are supported, and audio passthrough supports Dolby Atmos and eARC too. Really the main gap it seems with the current Philips Hue sync box technically is the lack of HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, and so the missing 8K 60Hz and 4K 120Hz support that would bring.

You can control it via the Hue mobile app, your voice or a TV remote control, but there’s no physical buttons on the box itself which is a shame unless you’re tucking it out of the way somewhere behind the TV anyway. Being able to control it via your infrared TV remote is handy though to switch functions and control the lighting. There’s been rumours of a newer box to support 8K 60Hz and 4K 120Hz, but nothing official yet and it will of course continue to be an expensive setup.

Lytmi Fantasy 3 sync box setup

Lytmi’s Fantasy 3 on the other hand is far more affordable for your average user, retailing for $199 USD at the time of writing direct from the Lytmi website, although you may also want to keep an eye on Amazon pricing for your region here. That is a package that includes the sync box and LED light strip, no need to purchase any hub or lighting separately – unless you also want to add on room light strips or light bars from their range. The box has HDMI 2.1 connections as we discussed earlier, bringing 4K 120Hz and 8K 60Hz support for compatible devices like the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. On the other hand support for some added features like VRR, ALLM and HDMI-CEC are not available which is a shame. We will talk about the performance and the features more in our testing video below.

Our Testing and Review

While this article includes sponsored promotion of the Lytmi product range within it (all content and opinions are our own), the following video review of their Fantasy 3 package is entirely independent and in no way sponsored. All our reviews remain completely independent and based on our own honest objective and subjective assessment.

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The Fantasy 3 package is available from Lytmi direct at a RRP of $199 at the time of writing. If you’re ordering from Lytmi’s website we also have an exclusive discount code for our readers which should give you 5% off. Use code TFTCENTRAL5 at checkout. It’s also available in some regions including the USA from Amazon (affiliate link).

We may earn a commission if you purchase from our affiliate links in this article- TFTCentral is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to,,, and other Amazon stores worldwide. We also participate in a similar scheme for, Newegg, Bestbuy and some manufacturers.

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