How to Perfect the Lighting in a TV Room - post image background.

How to Perfect the Lighting in a TV Room

When designing a TV room, lighting is one of the most important factors to consider. A variety of lighting options will allow one to create the perfect viewing atmosphere and reduce eyestrain, whilst also being able to fully illuminate the room for cleaning or setting up equipment.

A TV Room lighting ideaOne of the key factors to perfecting a TV room is perfecting the lighting | Designed by Minotti Studio for © Minotti London

When contemplating TV room lighting ideas, consider how the room will be used. If it is exclusively a cinema space, lighting can be kept to a minimum for an authentic cinema feel. However, if it is also to be used for watching sports, or as a child-friendly space, one may wish to turn up the lights every now and then.

There is a common perception that dark rooms are best for maximising focus on the screen, but this isn’t strictly true. The stark contrast between a bright screen and dark surroundings can strain our eyes and actually make the viewing experience less comfortable.

With that in mind, perfecting the lighting in a TV room is a must for creating a space for optimum comfort and entertainment.

5 TV Room Lighting Ideas

In this guide, we’ll look at five TV room lighting ideas which will explain how to avoid lighting pitfalls and give examples of lighting which will make the TV viewing experience that much better.

Consider the Overall Scheme

A TV Room lighting ideaWhen deciding how to light a TV room, the entire design of the room itself must be taken into account | Designed by Rodolfo Dordoni for © Minotti London

When considering TV room lighting, the first step is to look at the overall design scheme. This covers screen placement and furniture arrangement for optimum views, but one should also consider ambient light. Even with the modern flatscreens, light from windows and ill-placed lamps can hamper the viewing experience.

Avoid putting recessed ceiling lighting over seating areas, as this will potentially cause reflections in the screen and interfere with viewing enjoyment. Instead, place it around the perimeter of the room, so the light hits the floor and illuminates the room.

Consider using accent lighting to highlight any architectural details in the room – this might be cove lighting or rope lighting within a trough which will allow light to wash over the ceiling without creating any glare.

Control Unwanted Light Sources

Reflections on the TV screen can ruin the viewing experience. By exploring lighting factors that can optimise the quality of TV viewing, one can avoid unwanted reflections in the TV Room setup.

Windows are a common issue, as they allow light to reflect off the screen. The most effective way to control this is with blinds or curtains. Dark-coloured window dressings work best and blackout blinds are effective at eliminating almost all external light.

Lamps can also be problematic and placing them so that their light doesn’t reflect off the screen is crucial. It is best to place lamps on either side of the TV screen instead of in front of it, to cast a soft glow – this not only helps reduce eyestrain but also creates a calm ambience.

Bias Lighting

Bias lighting is an innovative TV room lighting idea that involves an ambient light source placed behind the TV. The light radiates outwards in a diffused fashion and creates an ambient field of light that doesn’t shine directly toward the viewer but works to  counterbalance the light from the screen.

Bias lighting allows for a softening of the light coming from the TV screen, which reduces eye strain and gives the viewer’s eyes a more neutral reference point for colours and contrast in a dark room.

Bias lighting kits can be attached to the back of a TV and the strip LED lights can be connected to its USB port, allowing the lighting to turn on and off with the screen and allowing the user to control the colour and brightness of the bias light.

Layer Lighting

A TV Room lighting ideaWith layered lighting, one has many ways to light a TV room to set a multitude of different moods and atmospheres | Designed by Minotti Studio for © Minotti London

Layering lighting in a TV room gives lots of options to alter the mood of the room, based on configuration and brightness levels. A rough guide is that the area surrounding the TV screen should be 20-40% of the brightness of the TV itself.

In a room that is primarily used for TV entertainment, consider the following layers of light for the space:

  • Ambient lighting: Dimmable lighting is perfect for general illumination and ensures distracting hotspots stay out of sight. One might consider flush spotlights, chandeliers, recessed cans, large pendants and track lighting.
  • Task Lighting: In a TV room, minimal task lighting is needed. A table lamp positioned by the seating area could be useful for navigating remote controls or sharing snacks but won’t be needed once the TV is on.
  • Accent Lighting: These fixtures bring small, adjustable bursts of light to little areas that need it. Wall sconces and smaller pendants are popular, along with specially focused recessed cans and track lighting. Keep accent lighting to a minimum, as the wall washes and shadow-casting they create can divert attention from an immersive TV viewing experience.

Layering the lighting will allow a variety of moods and atmospheres to be created, depending on what the TV room is being used for.

Smart Bulbs

Installing smart light bulbs will allow one to dim and brighten the lights using their smartphone or tablet as a remote control. Many smart lights also have the ability to change colour, which will help to set the ambience and make movie night more fun. Some colour changing bulbs can also sync with certain movies and TV shows, and adjust the mood lighting accordingly.

Smart bulbs offer a degree of control and interactivity, such as scheduled timers and remote control options, to enhance the TV viewing experience. With some connecting to smartwatches and virtual assistants, it is much more convenient than getting up and going to a wall switch.

Summary: TV Room Lighting Ideas

From considering the overall layout of the room through to the use of the most innovative modern technology, this guide has discussed these TV room lighting ideas:

  • Consider the overall scheme
  • Control unwanted light sources
  • Bias lighting
  • Layer lighting
  • Smart bulbs

By considering these ideas when designing a TV room, one can ensure the space is optimised both for the quality of the viewing experience and minimising eyestrain caused by substandard lighting.

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