Installing Home Theater Lighting

Design and installation tips for home theater lighting fixtures

When done well, home theater lighting enhances your entertainment experience by setting just the right mood in your media room and letting you adjust lighting levels with pinpoint precision. The first thing you'll want to do is come up with just the right plan, which should include not only the types of lights, but also their orientation and controls.

Installing home theater lighting depends on the type of lighting you select. First, familiarize yourself with the many options, then make your choices and finalize your plan, taking your home's electrical infrastructure into consideration.

Home Theater Lighting Options

Some of the most popular types of home theater lighting fixtures include:

  • Home theater sconces. These are especially effective if you're trying to create an authentic "movie theater" feeling in your media room or living room. Home theater sconces are wall-mounted fixtures which can be attached to switches or dimmers, allowing you to place lights in key areas or at regular intervals throughout the room.
  • Rope lighting. This convenient option allows you to suspend light bulbs from ropes, which you can extend as far around the room as you wish. It's an ideal way to create a specific mood in your media room, and it's also excellent if you're looking to create even but carefully controlled lighting levels throughout the room.
  • Home theater LED lighting. If you're looking to cut your electricity costs and do the environment a favor, home theater LED lighting is a great option. LED bulbs last far longer than conventional light bulbs, and use far less electricity.
  • Recessed lighting. This is one of the most popular lighting options for media rooms. Recessed lighting is often used for ceiling lights, or as accent lighting if you want to highlight a particular room feature.

From a design standpoint, it's a good idea to have your seating areas and your system control areas well-lit, so be sure to prioritize these areas when you think about your lighting layout. Also, it's recommended that you use dimmer switches to control your media room lighting, as these give you added control and let you make customized adjustments to your lighting levels.

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