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Home Theatre Lighting Guide

by | Sep 3, 2020 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

When you think of a theater, most of the light is coming from the projector or TV. But lighting can make a big difference in the overall appearance and your enjoyment of your theater. Proper lighting reduces eye strain, which means you can make your movie night a double (or triple!) feature. Home theater lights also add a personal touch to the room. The great thing about your home theater is that it’s yours—so you have creative freedom to customize it with lighting trends you love.  Use this lighting guide to inspire your home theater lighting ideas for a well-lit space you’ll love.

Task Lighting

Task lighting provides illumination for specific tasks. For example, a desk lamp provides light for reading and writing. Task lighting is a necessary component for any room, including home theaters. 

Recessed Ceiling Lighting

LED recessed ceiling lights are one of the most popular task lighting styles for home theaters. When installed on different circuits and controlled by different dimmer switches, recessed ceiling lights give you control over where you need your lighting. Ceiling lights can double as ambient light while cleaning your theater. Or, leave a few of the lights on and dimmed for casual viewing, perfect for sporting events and award show watch parties.

LED Strip Lights

If you have stairs or steps in your home theater, LED strip lights make them much safer to navigate in the dark. You can also use this lighting trend under chairs to add a pop of light or color. LED strip lights come in a variety of color temperatures, shapes, and intensities. You can even choose different hues for a playful touch, or to coordinate with the rest of your decor. LED recessed ceiling lights are one of the most popular task lighting styles for home theaters. When installed on different circuits and controlled by different dimmer switches, recessed ceiling lights give you control over where you need your lighting. Ceiling lights can double as ambient light while cleaning your theater. Or, leave a few of the lights on and dimmed for casual viewing, perfect for sporting events and award show watch parties.

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting typically calls attention to decorative features, like architectural focal points and art. In a home theater, bias lighting reduces eye strain, while sconces and cove lighting add personality and style.

Image courtesy of Home Designing

Bias Lighting

Bias lighting is backlighting behind a TV screen. This reduces the eye strain caused by staring at a bright light in a dark room. Bias lights also improve your TV’s color and contrast and black levels, while highlighting the TV as the room’s focal point. Just be sure to select lights that have a color temperature around 6500K, since all TVs have their whites calibrate to this level.

Image courtesy of A Blissful Nest

Sconces

For the best effect, sconces should be fitted with dimmable LED lights should shine straight up or down, without an outward glow. Any exposed bulbs, while stylish, will cause glaring and eye strain in a home theater.

Image courtesy of Houzz

Cove Lighting

Cove lights line the perimeter of your ceiling, providing clean lines and a soft glow that won’t cause glaring or wash out your screen. This effect can be achieved with rope lighting or inset tube lighting, depending on the architectural structure of your space.

Keeping Lighting Out

Keeping light out is just as important as the lighting you install in your home theater. We’ve all been frustrated by giant television glare. With these simple tips, you can keep your home theater dark and glare-free. 

  1. Avoid reflecting light onto the screen. Be careful about the materials you place around your home theater screen. Shiny, reflective materials may cause light to reflect back to your eyes, making for a less pleasant viewing experience. 
  2. The darker paint, the better. Whether or not dark, moody paint is your design preference, bright, light walls reflect light. A dark color with a flat or matte finish is best for avoiding glare and keeping the room nice and dark. You may even consider painting your ceiling!
  3. Cover windows with blackout curtains. If your home theater is in a room with windows, you’ll definitely want to hang blackout curtains, preferably in a dark color. 

Controlling Your Theatre Lights

For an optimized home theater experience, ask your electrician to put your theater lights on a different breaker than the circuits for your home theater equipment. This prevents lighting fixture noise from interfering with your system audio, and makes it simple to turn out the lights while keeping your equipment running. For even more customization, ask your electrician to break up the circuits into lighting zones. For example, you can break up your recessed ceiling lights into two zones, one near the screen and one further back, so you can adjust based on the day’s needs. 

Dimmable LED Lights

Finally, dimmable LEDs are a must for home theaters. You may want full lighting during the day while you watch the news or play cartoons for the kids. But when it’s time for movie night or the big game, dimming down the lights will give you a more positive, special experience.  Controlling the brightness of your lighting with the slide of a switch is a benefit in any room, but especially in a room where lighting is so key to your enjoyment. 

Home Theater Lighting from TCP

TCP understands the importance of great lighting for your home theater. Whether you’re looking for dimmable recessed ceiling lights, bias lighting, or accent lighting for theater, TCP has what you need to make it your own.  Reach out to the lighting experts at TCP to discuss your home theater lighting design today. 

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