The ultimate guide to home theatre lighting design - Lifestyle NZ
The ultimate guide to home theatre lighting design

The ultimate guide to home theatre lighting design

Do you have a home theatre or media room?

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

Here’s what to do, what not to do, and how to incorporate the latest in innovative LED lighting design to create the perfect cinematic experience.

Home theatres are increasing in popularity due to the unprecedented viewing uptake of platforms such as Disney+ and Netflix. Rather than head out to the cinema, the opportunity to watch the latest blockbusters in the comfort of your own home - many of which are now released only on platforms such as these - is a drawcard. 

It’s for this reason home theatres and media rooms are a sought-after element in many contemporary homes. However, they’re also one of the most difficult to light - requiring the ability to create a darkened, moody space devoid of natural light and reflection, while also creating a relaxing haven with adequate lighting for when the screen is not in use. 

What are the key things to consider for home theatre lighting?

The most important things to think about are comfort, mood and functionality, Archilight’s Sanna Li says. “In media rooms in particular, it’s vital to get the lighting right to make sure you can create the best viewing conditions at any time of day. Lighting can mean the difference between a great viewing experience and an uncomfortable one.”

Setting the mood

“To create the right ambience in a home theatre, you need to create mood lighting so you and your guests can enjoy a great cinematic experience,” Sanna says. “For this, you’ll need the right ambient lighting. Cove ceilings are popular in media rooms and by adding LED strip lighting around the inside of the lower part of the ceiling that create a soft light reflected from the ceiling is a great way to do this.”

Low beam angled downlights also help to create the right mood as these types of light will create less glare than other types of lighting. “They also create a sense of drama, with areas of darkness and shadow contrasted with areas of brightness rather than having a uniform level of brightness across the room.”

Functionality and light placement in a home theatre

Placement of lighting is a central consideration in a media room. “There are simple ways to ensure the lighting enhances rather than impacts on your viewing experience. For example, placing lighting close to the walls with light directed onto the walls that will then reflect off them into the room and create less glare. Similarly, placement should be considered in terms of function. In the case that someone needs to get up during a viewing, what is the best placement of lights to allow for enough illumination for a person to see to move through the room?”

Integrating LED lighting with smart home automation systems

“Home theatre lighting can easily be integrated into smart home control systems, with technology in this area developing incredibly fast. For example, a user can preset various aspects of a media room and control them simultaneously with one command,” Sanna says.

“This command could, for example, make the screen come down, turn the projector on, close the blinds or curtains and dim or change the colour of the lighting simultaneously.”

Find out more about home theatre lighting design. 

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