When Designing a Home Theater -Lighting Is Everything. (except screen, projector, acoustics, color,

By creating a lighting design that highlights your theater décor and creates the desired ambiance… you and your guests can more fully enjoy everything else you put into your theater!

Your audio system rocks. Your chairs and carpet evoke a sense of royalty. The beautifully crafted columns and exquisite crown molding provide the sublime feeling that this place is something special. You are sealed off from the irritations of the world outside. It is your HT sanctuary and you are ready to indulge in the experience.


The room darkens for optimum sensory input... but wait. You have just diminished the visual elements of your home theater masterpiece by lighting your room with the light from your screen, or a few dimmed can lights. Mood lighting and accent lighting take the home theater experience to a whole new level. Rope light is your friend! Use it to emphasize the raised floor, the screen hearth, a cove ceiling. Use low voltage cans that allow you to wash the columns or marquis, without seeing the light source. Decorative wall sconces can provide you with enough light for cleaning, yet can dim to a very low level as illuminated wall art. Do you want to take it up one more notch? Create an illusive night time theme... Be it a drive in movie theater, or a classic Tuscan open air theatre... by adding a fiber optic starfield.

There are many ways to do this depending on your budget, patience, and room structure. Prefabricated Starfields are by far the easiest way to go. You can now purchase ceiling domes and ceiling tiles with all the messy work done for you. The fiber optic stars are mapped out and installed, so that all you do is plug it in, or wire like a light fixture. You can even get domes complete with an illuminated sky mural and a cove light for a sunset effect. -Tie this into your dimming system -and the movie always starts at sunset!
Tiles install by either installing a T -bar ceiling, or adhering tiles directly to the drywall ceiling. Star tiles are available with the LED light source embedded in the tile, or with a fiber whip that you route to an illuminator box.
For those do -it -yourself diehards with attic access, you can drill holes and glue in fibers, then route them to a plug in illuminator in your attic. It turns any room into an oasis. You can even buy star fiber with different size fibers and even map out constellations for a more realistic starfield.

To get the most out of your lighting, bite the bullet and get a lighting scene controller. Systems like the Lutron Grafik Eye allow you to set your favorite scenes, with slow fade, at the touch of a button.

By creating a lighting design that highlights your theater décor and creates the desired ambiance… you and your guests can more fully enjoy everything else you put into your theater!

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