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3 key design considerations for home theater LED lighting

The smell of popcorn, the fizzle of a soda and the soft squeak of theater chairs are all synonymous with movie theaters. These are subtle nuances that together create the movie-viewing atmosphere for many. But, there’s one important thing missing from the list – lighting. Once the candy is purchased, seats are found and the previews are over, the subtle dimming of wall sconces lets the audience know the movie is about to begin. 

Lighting can play a key role in creating and recreating an enjoyable atmosphere. Here’s how to bring that movie theater experience into the home with lighting design. 

Color temperature

The lighting color temperature can have a direct impact on the quality of home theater video. If the color temperature is off, it can affect the color fidelity of the image on screen. Color temperature can be manipulated with LEDs to create the perfect home theater viewing experience.

Lighting zones

It’s a good idea to zone your lighting, so you can dim the main overhead lights and still have separate control of lighting in other areas of the room. Even though you will want no light on the theater screen, you may want light in other areas of the room for ambiance, or for a wet bar, etc.

Dimmable LED bulbs and fixtures

Dimmable LED bulbs and fixtures are perfect for home theater lighting. They can be fine-tuned for the perfect level of light before, during and after movies. A home theater room may have multiple functions, doubling as a living space or playroom. Adequate task and theater lighting is necessary, and dimmable LEDs are the perfect solution. Look for LED bulbs or retrofit modules that go down to at least 5 percent dimming.   

Here are potential lighting fixtures for a home theater:

  • Recessed lighting
  • Wall sconces
  • Ambient lighting
  • LED lighting strips in the floor or baseboards
  • Task lamps next to seating

Mood lighting for different genres

In a home theater, a variety of genres may grace the screen. Include mood lighting for different types of genres, such as news programs or movies. For example, a news scene keeps full light on for multi-tasking. A movie scene dims wall sconces, turns off overhead lighting and keeps pathway LEDs lit.

Lighting design will change the experience of a home theater, so a holistic approach is key. From color temperature to fixture type, the perfect home theater atmosphere can be achieved with proper lighting design.  

Source: HGTV: Home theater lighting ideas & tips