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What's the reason for ambiant lighting?

JamesenjoysHD
02-19-2009, 12:08 PM
I've heard several people tell me to have ambiant lighting while watching movies. What's the reason for this? Does it help you eyes adjust to the screen? What does everyone recommend for ambiant lighting?

daleb
02-19-2009, 12:28 PM
It generally easier on the eyes (less fatiguing?) not staring at one light source in a totally dark room. At least since the time I built a TV lamp in wood shop during high school.

http://www.cinemaquestinc.com/ideal_lumesb.htm

Spectrum lighting tends to be even more conducive to viewing. I've had one for years, and the cost was reasonable. The effect is fairly subtle, but I like it.
There's one outfit that sells colored flexible tubed lighting for highlighting your system, etc. Probably looks cool, but I would think it would be distracting at some point.

If you want to get very clinical about it..read this.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060425015643.htm

JamesenjoysHD
02-19-2009, 12:38 PM
thanks daleb, doesn't sound like it's that big of a deal. i guess i'll just dim my main light instead of paying extra$

tcarcio
02-19-2009, 01:50 PM
Some people are prone to get headaches when watching a large screen in a completley dark room and ambient lighting seems to help. I just put dimmers on my lights and turn them down.

Jim Bob Jones
02-19-2009, 02:28 PM
Best light would be placed directly behind the set, assuming it is of proper intensity.

tumbleweed
02-19-2009, 02:43 PM
Best light would be placed directly behind the set, assuming it is of proper intensity.

I agree, and you don't have to spend a lot to get one. I use an under-the-counter type fixture from Home Depot about, $15 to $20 with a 12" F8T5/D bulb. You will need to buy the bulb separately because the ones that come with the fixture are usually around 3000 degrees K and you need a 6500 degree K daylight bulb for best results. I control the light output by putting tape over the plastic cover on the fixture. I have it mounted on the wall directly behind the TV.

PFC5
02-19-2009, 03:35 PM
Best light would be placed directly behind the set, assuming it is of proper intensity.

I agree, and you don't have to spend a lot to get one. I use an under-the-counter type fixture from Home Depot about, $15 to $20 with a 12" F8T5/D bulb. You will need to buy the bulb separately because the ones that come with the fixture are usually around 3000 degrees K and you need a 6500 degree K daylight bulb for best results. I control the light output by putting tape over the plastic cover on the fixture. I have it mounted on the wall directly behind the TV.

Correct on both posts.

A little light is good when watching a movie that has great dynamic range and they frequently go from dark scenes to very bright scenes and can cause eye fatigue and even headaches. By putting the 65D light behind the display it helps and also can increase the perceived black levels on displays.

daleb
02-19-2009, 03:38 PM
Correct on both posts.

A little light is good when watching a movie that has great dynamic range and they frequently go from dark scenes to very bright scenes and can cause eye fatigue and even headaches. By putting the 65D light behind the display it helps and also can increase the perceived black levels on displays.

It does that well. It tends to 'balance' your viewing experience.

BrianO
02-19-2009, 04:15 PM
Back in the early 1950's Sylvania TV's had a feature called "Halo Light" where the bezel around the screen was lit, supposedly to reduce eye strain when watching TV in a darkened room. So the idea of using ambient lighting has been around for a long time.

newtodef
02-20-2009, 02:51 PM
My friends philips plasma has ambiant lighting and it works well as the screen shifts colors and IMO makes the tv look bigger, but his is actually built in and its like 3 years old but still looks good.

Scottnot
02-20-2009, 03:34 PM
. . . you need a 6500 degree K daylight bulb for best results.
I can't imagine any reason why ambient light should be 6500K, as long as it's not aimed at the screen.
Actually a warmer light may be better for dim ambient lighting.

erict
02-21-2009, 07:57 AM
Interesting idea. Has anyone ever tried using rope lighting on a dimmer switch before?

tumbleweed
02-21-2009, 10:48 AM
I can't imagine any reason why ambient light should be 6500K, as long as it's not aimed at the screen.
Actually a warmer light may be better for dim ambient lighting.

Because it matches the light output of a correctly calibrated TV set. I have only tried 3000K and 6500K and I prefer the 6500. But it should be whatever looks good to you.

Here is CNETs recommendation:

http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-11247_7-6217705-1.html

daleb
02-21-2009, 01:11 PM
Because it matches the light output of a correctly calibrated TV set. I have only tried 3000K and 6500K and I prefer the 6500. But it should be whatever looks good to you.

Here is CNETs recommendation:

http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-11247_7-6217705-1.html

May not be worth the cost of a quality 6500K lamp unless it is reflecting off a very neutral background (walls, curtains, etc.).

PFC5
02-21-2009, 04:51 PM
May not be worth the cost of a quality 6500K lamp unless it is reflecting off a very neutral background (walls, curtains, etc.).

Bingo!

I have a cranberry wall behind my plasma so this would not be a good background to reflect light off of so I do not. It was a compromise with the wife for the room. Damn WAF! :lol:

Scottnot
02-21-2009, 07:01 PM
May not be worth the cost of a quality 6500K lamp unless it is reflecting off a very neutral background (walls, curtains, etc.).
Yes, that's exactly the point . . . in fact, the background would need to be "pure" white following the 6500K logic.
Since most living room and home theater walls (and ceilings) are NOT "pure" white the color of the light will be of little consequence.