Six Home Theater Lighting Tips

Home theater lighting requires more than a bulb and a lamp. Use these expert tips to enhance your own theater.

Home Theater Lighting Tips

Installation by Dream Theaters of Huston, TX

Being able to brighten and dim the lights is a great way to add drama and excitement to a home theater. But effective lighting also requires good lighting design. The style of the fixtures and the bulbs, as well as the positioning of the lights, all have a direct impact on the overall effect.

A professional lighting designer can help you select the perfect fixtures and arrangement for your home theater. Here are a few pointers offered by Tom Dearborn of Tom Dearborn Lighting Design in Portland, OR:

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  • Introduce a lighting designer to the project early, and be sure he or she collaborates with the audio/video designer, the interior designer, the cabinetmaker and the architect.
  • Leave a few lights on at very low levels during a movie. Soft recessed lighting overhead will ensure that you can see your bag of popcorn, while lighting around the perimeter will help you see the walls and floor so you can enter or leave.
  • Use a cove ceiling as a hiding spot for small light fixtures. The fixtures will still illuminate the space but without producing any spotting or shadowing on the walls or video screen.
  • Cover any windows with blackout shades.
  • Choose low-reflective fabrics and wall colors, such as black, dark blue and deep burgundy, that won’t cause glare.
  • Use miniature recessed lights mounted flush with the floor surface to accent columns, artwork and other details.
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