Hi, i’m scott newnam, ceo of audio advice, we’ve installed over a thousand home theaters and support customers all across the nation in designing their home theaters. This video on home, theater lighting best practices is part of our home theater design. Series of videos and reviews that you can find at audioadvice.com, along with hundreds of buyers, guides how to’s and product reviews. Now, let’s get started with home, theater lighting you’ve been dreaming about your ultimate home theater room for years.
After countless hours of pouring over reviews and articles, you’ve got all your equipment picked out and can’t wait to hear and see it. Even though it’s months until construction finishes, you have the seating all picked out, then you get the call from your builder saying the electrician. Will start tomorrow and he wants to know where you want the lights to go while many times home, theater lighting is overlooked to the last minute. Hopefully this video will inspire some ideas. You had not thought about and help you add some great finishing touches to your dream.
Home theater room home theater lighting actually serves several purposes. Some fixtures perform more than one task, while others are dedicated to just one purpose. I will take a look at the different tasks and what type of lighting works best for those tasks, starting with the most fundamental and working our way up to the really cool stuff. By the end, let’s start with task lighting, you may ask: what in the world do you need task lighting in a home theater for isn’t a movie theater dark, that’s true, but not when you have to clean it or if you’re doing some other things in the Room in our experience, the best type of fixture for theater task lighting is usually a recessed ceiling. Can most brands of recessed cans have a dark trim ring that will be perfect for the dark ceiling in your home theater for the most light, when cleaning a typical home theater will need three to four rows of cans with the can spaced about three to four Feet apart, if recessed cans are the only form of lighting you plan for your theater due to budget constraints, we highly recommend you put your recessed cans on at least two different circuits, so you can dim or turn off the front ones, so they don’t spill too Much light on the screen, while the back ones provide more light.
The type of lamps used in recessed cans should also be considered if you’re not going to use separate circuits, think about a narrow beam spread for the ones closer to the screen and a wider spread for those over the seats. The narrow beam will keep light off. The screen, of course, if you have all separate circuits this is not as big a deal. Let’S move on to safety lighting. If your home theater has risers it’s very important to make sure the steps are visible to protect you or your guests from stumbling in the dark.
There are many decorative types of step lights available on the market. We highly recommend you choose a type that casts an indirect light. Most people will choose to leave their step lights turned on at a dim level during the movie. You would not want to have any kind of light that shines directly on the screen. Our audio advice team has come behind some theater installations, where a bright step light was positioned on the vertical riser shining right at the screen, which you really want to avoid.
If you can position the step lights off to the side and make sure they have louvers or some type of element to direct the light downward, if your seats are not fully blocking a riser drop off, you might also consider using some kind of indirect lighting under The lip of the riser options here could be rope lights or a new led strip. Just like with the step lights, you want to be sure they do not shine on the screen at all. Adding a small lip under the riser can help block direct light, allowing them to shine down providing the safety light you need. Without hitting the screen in audio advice’s revolution, theater seats. We have built-in floor lighting that can be set at different dim levels.
This can be a great solution if you don’t have other safety lighting check out our video on revolution, home theater seats at audioadvice.com to learn more now. Let’S move on to accent lighting, which is the more fun part of home, theater lighting, creative accent. Lighting can take a mundane looking room and give it a more natural look with oohs and ahhs. We have a phrase at audio advice that will help you out when planning your accent.
Lighting go for the glow, indirect accent. Lighting will give your theater that cool look and keep any of it from shining directly on your screen. One thing i should point out here is that you should definitely plan to put all of your lights on dimmers, ideally controlled from a remote control, no matter how well you plan, i assure you that you will want to play with different levels of dimming for watching A movie versus a super bowl party, etc. This of course, means you need to make sure your lighting is dimmable, so i’m going to walk you around really quickly and just show you in one of the audio advice showrooms in north carolina, some examples of theaters with some sconces and other indirect lighting. Okay.
So i’m here actually in our raleigh showroom if you go into raleigh and charlotte showrooms, just to show you a couple examples, so you see sconces here and the trick is that the bulbs are not exposed on these sconces and you can actually see the use of Down lights, coming as well again, the trick is now. Obviously, we’ve got all the lights on full blast now, which you would not have in a theater just so you can see me, but this is a good example of how you do it. Let me walk you over to another one of the theaters and show you another example: you’ll see and we’re just going to focus on this side wall here. This is another great way to do. Sconces again, you can see it’s ambient light coming from them, and here we’ve even got an uplight which, as you saw in the last theater, we had a downlight.
The whole concept is we’re not shining the light on the screen, but we’re providing accent lighting. So, let’s go and we’ll actually go into our third theater here and again. Obviously, if you’re in raleigh or charlotte come to our showrooms, you can see a lot of examples of this. This is the largest of the three and you’ll see examples both of our sconce lighting on the sides. Here we actually have rope lighting.
If you can see a little bit behind these chairs here, you’ll be able to see rope lighting, that’s lighting, it’s safety for the stairs and then also you’ll, see we have traditional lighting. These front ones, as i said, should actually be on a separate dimmer than all of the rest, these recessed ceiling ones, which they are so when we turn down the lights in this room, those go completely off and then there’s a little bit from the top. The sconces are on and then the rope lighting on the floor, indirect column lights can also be a very cool lighting feature. They require some planning, but imagine a column that has a soft glow coming from both of its vertical sides. This kind of accent can even run up a side wall across the ceiling down the other side.
The new types of led strip lights have made it possible to do all kinds of neat things with indirect lighting. Cove lights are another great way to add some wow to your home theater, and you can actually see this in the theater i’m in right now, cove lighting can be done with either rope lighting or led strips and is a great way to give your ceiling a Soft glow, cove lights are also one of the most effective ways to add some light into a room when you do not want it fully dark without having any light spill onto the screen. Finally, there is star field lighting. This type of lighting can give your ceiling the look of a starry night and in some cases, you’ll even see, shooting stars. Starfield lighting adds very little light to the room as it is created using fiber optics.
However, the cost of a great system can be more than your front projector, so we would only recommend this if your budget is not limited. It is a super cool look, but just bear in mind. It’S a big expense and in most cases you are better off putting that money into a better projector speakers or electronics. There are a few other lighting considerations. We always bring up with our installation, customers and those purchasing from audioadvice.
om for diy. The first is keeping light out of the room. You’Ve never walked into a movie theater with windows. So bear that in mind when planning your home theater. If your theater room will have windows in it, consider a way to totally block out the light coming in.
This. Can be done with heavy blackout, curtains or shades motorized shades can also add a cool wow factor to your room if you program them to darken the room, as you start the movie. The next thing to consider is light reflections. If your movie theater has a front projector you’ll want to be careful about what you have around the screen itself. If your screen is just mounted flat to a wall, you’ll not have much to worry about.
However, if it’s recessed in any type of cabinet or just has a cabinet or any type of surface directly under it, you’ll need to think about those surfaces. A front projection screen reflects light back to our eyes and it does not just go straight out the light bounces off the screen at a pretty wide angle, so that even sitting to the side of the screen, you still get a great picture. The downside of this is when your screen has anything around the sides. This reflected light could also hit. I walked into a theater one time where there was polished black granite on top of the cabinet.
Just under the screen. The entire piece of granite looked like a mirror, which was a huge and terrible distraction. If you surround your screen, make sure the material is a matte finish that will not reflect or use some sticky out felt like material on the surfaces around the screen. Let’S talk about wall color briefly, this gets into personal taste, but the darker you can make your walls. The less light will reflect off of them, giving your picture more pop go for dark, grays, blues, browns or blacks for the best result.
We also like to see the ceiling painted a dark color as well. Sometimes one shade down from the main color of the room will give it a great look. The paint should not be gloss or eggshell, but a flat or matte finish if possible. Have your electrician put all of your theater lights on a different breaker than the circuits that will be used for your home theater equipment. This will help prevent any fixture noise from making its way into the audio of your system.
If, at all possible, you want all of your lighting loads to be controlled with dimmers from your remote control. Imagine this! When you turn your theater on all of the lights come up to a nice glow. After a couple minutes, they fade to a completely dark room, except for a very soft glow from your step lights. If someone needs to get up for a break, you push a button on your remote and the cove or sconce lights, light up enough for them to see their way out.
When the movie ends you push power off, your lights fade up then, after five minutes, all the room lights shut off. There are just so many cool things you can do with lighting when you add control to the system. I hope this brief overview has helped. You understand how well-planned lighting design can take your home theater to the next level. If you have any questions, give us a call or chat with our experts at audioadvice.
om or drop by one of our super showrooms in north carolina. If you liked this video, please give it a like and subscribe to our channel to get all of our latest content on home, theaters and home audio thanks for watching