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Ideas and Inspiration

Nov 7, 2014

Lighting Tips

5 Steps to the Perfect Media Room Lighting

How-to Get into the Game and Provide Comfort for All

The media room is perhaps the most lived-in area of your home.  Whether you are watching TV or reading a book, the lighting should be comfortable, energy-efficient and beautifying.  Tune in to a picture-perfect setting with lighting tips from Capitol Lighting’s professional consultants.

5-Step Plan to Perfect Media Room Illumination

1. Track and Recessed:  General or ambient lighting is a must in any room, but it is especially important in a multi-functional space such as a den or media room where there will be a wide range of activities that call for specific light settings.  Overhead lighting should be installed as part of the initial room design.   Oftentimes, a standard grid lighting pattern does not work well with your seating and furniture layout, so it is best to draw up your lighting design in the initial stages of planning.

NOTE:  In general, recessed cans should be installed 30 inches away from the wall and 4-5 feet apart.

Track heads, recessed and/or rail lights should be strategically located so as not to create glare or cast unflattering shadows upon individuals in the room.

railres_CGa rail lighting by WAC

Rail lighting from WAC Lighting highlights artwork;  hanging pendants provide soft ambient illumination and artistic accent light.  Rail and track lighting are highly versatile and allow for easy adjustments if you decide to change your decor.

2. Wall Lighting: Wall lights work well in a media room as they expand the space and provide an evenly distributed balanced illumination. media room images

Image from “Must-see Media Rooms”

jaxon_steelblue wall light troy

“Jaxon” wall lighting from Troy Lighting, available in a variety of color options

3.  Portables:  From sturdy reading lamps to decorative table lamps, portables are a useful addition to the multifunctional media room.  They provide individualized task light, as well as general illumination throughout the room.

better den shot

Room design by Sandra D’Amata International

10040-0 ambience tl

Ambience table lamp (shown above), Frederick Cooper “Script Reader” floor lamp and Minka-Aire’s “Great Room” fan from Capitol Lighting


4. Control Systems:  Dimming and automated control systems are a must for the media room.  Even if you have programmed your lighting controls into your Smart phone, wall switches with a variety of room settings and dimming capabilities are a good idea and are available in a choice of colors to complement your rooms’s decor.

337011wh kichler light dimmer

Dimmer switch from Kichler Lighting

5. Special Considerations:  LED bulbs and LED light fixtures are suitable for media room lighting designs, just be careful to choose all your light sources with the correct color rendering, color temperature and shielding. Look for LED light sources that are dimmable and in warm (2700K)  color temperatures. *

2625-ch holtkotter fl

LED torchiere floor lamp from Holtkotter

* Solid State Lighting and LED light sources are being refined so that predictable color rendering and color temperature will be more visually accurate.  A new metric to measure LED illumination is in the works:  The Color Quality Scale (CQS) will help to identify the visual characteristics of LED light sources more clearly, but right now–a bit of trial and error may help you find LED light sources that are complementary to your media room’s decor.

3 Keys to Remember:

*  Avoid having sharp areas of contrast between dark and light–illumination should be evenly dispersed with slight variations that allow your eyes to transition from reading a book, conversing with friends or watching  TV.

* Make sure lighting/fan controls are easily accessible–opt for a remote control system in addition to wall switches.

* Go for the most energy-efficient light sources, but do not sacrifice the overall look of your room.   If you are not using fluorescent or LED light sources, opt for eco-halogen or top quality incandescent bulbs in portable light sources.

For personalized attention and a complimentary lighting design for your media room, visit with a professional lighting consultant at a Capitol Lighting showroom or