Room lighting control is an important aspect for home theaters - especially
if you have a front-projector and screen set-up. Video projectors often demand a
controlled lighting situation due to the lower light output of their displays.
Room ambiance is another important function of lighting during a viewing as you
most likely not want your guests to sit in darkness (unless it is a really
creepy horror flick). Reflected room lighting is a consideration as well as you
do not want a glare on the screen -- whether it be ambient light from a window
or merely reflections of a lamp within your room. Ambient window lighting is
major when determining your living room layout or designing a dedicated viewing
room. A dedicated room would of course be best without windows altogether -- if
you have the luxury of designing a room from scratch.
Glare Control and Picture Enhancement
Room lighting control is relatively easy with a little planning. If you want to
incorporate your home theater within your living or family room you will want to
postion your video display so that any ambient light upon the screen is
diminished or eliminated altogether. Each time we have moved to a new home one
of my first considerations (much to the chagrin of my wife) is where we will
place the TV in our living room. Since video is my profession I plan our living
room layout around the TV and entertainment center (again to the chagrin of my
wife). The TV is always placed at an angle away from the main window in the room
in order to eliminate window reflections on the screen. Our living room lamps
have shades that direct lighting downward and are not very translucent in order
to minimize their reflections. Since I have a front projector and screen display
in the living room -- in addition to the 32" Mitsubishi we use for normal
viewing -- we have vertical blinds which do a nice job of darkening the room. We
also have velour drapes which can pull to either side of the screen and do a
great job of providing a controlled lighting environment for our projector. You
will want to do much the same -- have your video display directed away from any
windows and use blinds with drapes to control daytime lighting from windows.
Setting the Mood
Wall sconce lamps located along the walls for ambiance during viewing in a
dedicated room is a nice touch and lends to the theater-esque atmosphere.
Depending upon the overall decor and theme of your dedicated room sconces can be
either plain or elaborately gaudy much like the movie houses of yore. Basic
sconces can be found at a local Home Depot or lighting store. More elaborate
theater-looking sconces are available at specialty stores. A dedicated room will
benefit from remote controlled lighting - or at least it will add a "touch of
class" to your theater. There are many varieties of remote controlled lighting
which can be controlled either by their standard controller or be included
within a macro-programmed command on one of the many all-in-one type
macro-remote controls such as the Harmony H659 which I am quite pleased to own.
Regardless of whether you are incorporating a system into your living room or
planning a dedicated room, the principles of home theater room lighting are the
same -- no glare or reflection on your video display and sufficient ambient room
lighting for your guests during viewing. If you have any further questions about
home theater room lighting feel free to use the contact form at Home-Theater-Systems-Advice.com/contact.html
and I will be pleased to answer any of your inquiries to the best of my ability.
You may also find more resources for home theater lighting and audio-visual
components at Home-Theater-Systems-Advice.com/more-resources.html -- from
beginner's tips to theater design and acoustical considerations.
|About The Author
Phil Taylor is a 27 year veteran in the Audio Video field and hosts
http://www.home-theater-systems-advice.com/ which offers sound
advice on selecting home theater system components and also includes
room design and installation information.