Lighting—An Important Component to a Home Theater Experience

April 1, 2014

This post comes to us from Lisa Montgomery, Senior Editor at Electronic House and freelance home technology writer.

A home theater conjures thoughts of a dark, secluded space where the screen is the only bright object in the room. While movies always look best in the dark, lights can still play a dramatic role in the performance of your home theater. Lighting that fades out at showtime is only the start of what’s possible when you tie the fixtures to a professionally installed and customized home automation system.

Here are a few other lighting effects to consider when designing and controlling your home theater:
  • Intermission: To help theater-goers find their way to the powder room or snack bar, the step lights can brighten to a low intensity level.
  • Clean-up: Popcorn kernels and Milk Duds are easier to spot when the lights are on full bright.
  • Sports: You’ll want a few lights on during the big game so you can see the snacks and exchange high-fives with your friends.
  • Entertain: If your theater will also function as a space to relax with music or a game of billiards, a scene that illuminates the area for both activities is a must.
  • Zones: So many different types of fixtures can be incorporated into a home theater; rope lighting around the crown molding, step lights, wall sconces and LEDs around movie posters to name a few. Use a home automation system to establish lighting zones. You’ll be able to turn on and off groups of lights individually, or all at once should you choose to.
  • Colors: Colored LED lighting is making inroads as an illumination option in homes, and the theater is a great first place to incorporate it. Tied to a home automation system, the hue can be changed from red to green, yellow to purple or any combination of colors you like.
Take a look at this family-friendly media space, which provides a perfect building block for whole-house automation: Home Theater Kickstarts Automation Project