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3 Tips for Lighting a Home Theater

Man in his home theater
A home theater is about high-quality images and impressive sound, but it's also about the overall feel of the space. Few elements impact the tone of a room more than lighting. To design a home theater that looks and feels great, here are some helpful lighting tips to get you started.

1. Color Temperature
The temperature of the lights in a home theater directly affects the caliber of the images on the screen. When the temperature is right, the picture looks better, but when the temperature is off, the quality shifts downward.

When shopping for lights, you’ve probably seen a reference to warm or cool options, or a Kelvin temperature rating, such as 1000K, on the packaging, which notates the temperature of the light. One reason that color temperature is so critical is that it can alter the appearance of colors.

For example, with a 2500K light, a white wall can appear yellow, and even look green under lights at other temperatures. If the light can alter the appearance of the fixtures in the room, it can definitely adjust the color appearance of the images on the screen.

Factors like where the light fixture is installed and the elements in the room can all affect the appearance of the lights' colors temperature, so it's best to have a professional work with you to find the right balance for the space. 

2. Reflective Fabrics
A home theater is not the place for highly reflective or shiny fabrics. Highly reflective fabrics do one thing you want to avoid in a theater setting — they reflect.

For example, have you ever seen a person with a shirt that had sequins on it or even someone with a belt with a large metal buckle? Whether you were outside in the sun or indoors, if the light hit these areas right, a bright glare will reflect out at your face. A small area of reflective fabric can disrupt the view of just some of the people in the theater, but a large area can create a glare on the screen that disrupts every person's view.

Have you ever noticed that many large theaters are designed with black, burgundy or other dark colored elements? The reason is that these darker shades are non-reflective. Veer towards darker shades when selecting the fabric for your chairs. Darker hues are also great for painting the walls.
 
3. Architectural Highlighting
You can bring the space to life by incorporating light fixtures that highlight architectural elements in the room. If you don't have a large budget to add a lot of decorative elements in the room, then architectural highlighting can offer much of the same benefit. This form of lighting is all about thoughtfully installing light fixtures that showcase unique design elements.

Take a tray ceiling, for example, installing recessed lighting around the lines of this element bring it to life and make it a decorative focal point in the room. A room with wall column molding could have recessed lights around the edges of the columns. For a more dramatic effect, install lights in varying colors that coordinate with elements in the room.

In addition to highlighting the design of the room, this lighting style can double as safety lighting and help people move safely around the room while a movie is playing and the larger lights are off. 

Use these tips to create a home theater that looks and feels like a work of art on its own. Our home theater specialists at Lee Electrical Enterprise are here to help you with your lighting and other home theater needs. Give us a call to learn more.