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A quick lighting question for my home theater...

Old 02-07-05, 10:41 AM
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A quick lighting question for my home theater...

I have a small room devoted to my home theater and had a couple of lighting questions. (Moderator, if this is the wrong forum or if there is a better forum for this question, please move this thread. Thanks.)

I did a search but could not find an answer.

My room is approx 15' wide X 16' long with an 8' drop ceiling. This is in my finished basement. The room only has 2 normal walls and the other walls open into to adjoining rooms.

The ceiling has very bright florescent lights scattered in the rooms. They are too bright in the other rooms for watching movies and of course to bright in the room itself. I tried a couple of various lamps but anywhere I put them in the room would cause an obnoxious glare.

I was told or read somewhere sometime that you should have lights behind your TV to help on eye-strain and just normal "getting around" your room while it is dark.

I have a 65" HD RPTV. If the lighting statement is true, what are the best lights to put in. I was thinking of one or two small recessed dimmer lights above the TV but then wondered if that is correct. Should the light go below the TV and shine up? What are the best lights to get and best placement? Should I look at the lights you hang on your wall (sconces I think they are called)?

Any suggestions would be appreciated. I am looking for a quick and inexpensive way to get a small amount of light in the room but not enough to detract from watching the TV. Thanks!
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Old 02-07-05, 12:27 PM
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I have wall sconces high up on the wall behind my rptv. You are correct--should have some weak indirect lighting behind/around your tv. The eyes respond better than watching a tv in a totally dark room (although many people do this anyway). Any inexpensive wall sconce should work fine; just make sure the bulb is covered (frosted glass or an opaque shield directing the light) is fine. Use 2 or 3 along the wall, and definitely on a dimmer unless you can use fixtures with 15-25W bulbs by themselves.

One tv (lcd or plasma) that I read about has its own built-in backlight that emits different colored backlights.
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Old 02-07-05, 07:29 PM
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I use four wall sconces on a dimmer, two on each side wall.
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Old 02-07-05, 09:29 PM
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I took the cheap way out. I've got the white rope lighting that they sell at Christmas time looped and hanging off the back of the RPTV. It shines just enough light on the wall behind the TV to serve as ambient light and avoid eye fatigue. It might not be 6500k but it works. Many people recommend the Ideal-Lume lamp that comes with filters to set it to the correct amount of lighting for your room and hang this behind the TV.
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Old 02-07-05, 10:15 PM
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A 6500k light is the 'perfect' background light 'temperature'. As already mentioned, Ideal-Lume is one of the most popular options.

I went the cheap route, but still went with 6500k. I picked up a 24" 6500k bulb at Menards for something like $7, then bought a cheap housing at Wal-Mart. I have it plugged into the outlet on the back of my receiver, so as soon as I turn it on with my remote macro, the light turns on (I don't use the receiver very often for anything other movies/TV).

Home Theater Spot has a lighting forum for lots of great input and ideas.
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Old 02-08-05, 11:38 AM
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Put the 6500K light behind the TV for the best results.

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Old 02-08-05, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Sonicflood
Put the 6500K light behind the TV for the best results.

Sonic
Thanks for all the help & suggestions. I did not know about the 6500K light.

As far as the location goes...I know behind but how far up? Do you attach it to the TV with the light aiming up, towards the wall, or down?

I guess I shouldn't have a problem finding a 6500K light & housing at home depot or lowe's as well? Is a 6500K light normally just florescent?

Any problems with heat from the light?
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Old 02-08-05, 01:38 PM
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Actually, you might have trouble finding a 6500K light at Home Depot or Lowe's... IIRC, I looked at those places when I bought my 16X9 and had no luck. The best that I could do was a 5000K. YMMV of course (it's been a couple of years since I set up my lighting) but you may have to order a 6500K light from somewhere on the net. Next time I replace my bulb, I'll probably go that route... Although the 5000K bulb works just fine for me.

As for location, I just mounted my lighting about mid-level behind my set. It's a 18", IIRC, florescent in a plastic housing... I should mention that my set is 47", you may need a little more lighting for a 65". No problems from the heat.
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Old 02-12-05, 04:49 AM
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I went with the Ideal Lume and I have no complaints. If I remember right I think it cost like $65 for the kit which included a filter and the wall mounting brackets. I currently do not have it mounted on a wall ( it sits on a little shelf that happended to be right behind my set about mid level - so that it can't be seen when watching a movie - that is why it is a backlight) but I plan on mounting it back on the wall when I move into the house I am in the process of buying. There are no problems with heat at all and it definitely relieves eye strain.
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