Thursday, July 09, 2015


There was a time when the TV dominated the room in every sense of the word: people sat across from the “tube” and marveled at the picture that played on the 19” screen and didn’t mind that the seating had been arranged with the TV in mind, not comfort. Times may have changed — TVs are high resolution, big screen displays — but treating the TV as the main occupant of the living room, bedroom or den is still predominant. But the viewers of the past would turn off the lights, close the curtains and make sure that the TV was the only light coming into the room, so that they could see every iota of the picture. This is no longer the case and the lighting coming in from windows and overhead lights and other lighting isn’t expected to pay homage to the TV — in fact it’s not even considered. This means that the TV display must “fight” against this lighting, sometimes to the detriment of the viewers (raising the contrast to battle glare, for example, negatively impacts the picture). So lets attack this problem head-on.

The first thing to realize is that having a totally dark room is NOT a requirement — in fact most find that having a light near the TV (a dim one) makes for a more pleasant and healthy viewing atmosphere — it also avoids tripping over things when you move around, be they a wire or pet or that edge of a table that has your shin-bone in mind. But you don’t want your TV, whether it’s a 4K Curved or 4K Flat or HDTV, right up against a window that’s open and “throwing” light.


Closing the blinds makes sense when there’s too much light entering the room, but having to get up to close them and then go over to open them back up afterwards is more than just time-consuming; the blinds mechanism can be damaged from those doing it in a hurry or incorrectly. A better solution would be to get a professional installer service, for example, Just One Touch, to automate the blinds for you. This would mean that the blinds would automatically take care of cutting down on the light without you doing anything (certainly a big help with a big screen TV’s image, not to mention those who have a front projection system with a projection screen on the wall). This can be connected to when the TV goes on, or even for certain hours of the day. There’s even system now in place to use batteries (not AC) to control the motors that operate the blinds, making for easier professional installations that work to your best desires.

Eliminating all lighting is to be avoided — instead get a standing lamp or one that can be put on a table where the light itself is slightly to the side and behind the TV. Called a “Bias light” (to get technical), it will raise the ambient light in the room without affecting the TV adversely and will also lessen the eye fatigue that otherwise will occur. These lights need to be color-neutral (as the light’s inherent color subtracts that color from the TV: example a yellow casting lamp will make the TV look “less” yellow). That’s another reason why getting a professional installer’s help will guarantee that everything being done is right.
Layering the lighting in the room is another way to ensure the lighting doesn’t negatively impact the TV’s picture. Putting in track lighting or wall sconces can be used to “hit” the room with light without blanketing it overall — not just ruining the mood but causing so much light to bounce from the walls that the TV hasn’t a chance. Using dimmers on the light fixtures that you already have is another option too, and these can be used for more than just table lamps (you’ll have to do some research as to getting the right kind of dimmers for the lighting you want to control). Of course bringing in a professional installer to do the lighting allows for much more control overall, so that’s something to also keep in mind as you look at your options for controlling the lighting.

The purpose of watching TV is to enjoy yourself — something that can’t be done if you have to strain to see what’s on the display or take your life in your hands every time you move around. And at the same time, the purpose of the TV is to give you the best picture possible — something that can’t happen if the lighting is fighting a winning battle against the display. Help your TV out so it can be the victor. That means you win too.


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