Home Theater Lighting Done Right
Your home theater may have the coziest seats around, cutting-edge audio technology, and a high-resolution big screen, but without the right lighting, it still falls short of a complete home theater design. For ease of use, lighting used for a home theater should be dimmable and preferably remote-controlled.
Typically, you want to watch a movie in a dimly lit room, but it’s important to be still able to see and navigate the room in case someone needs to use the restroom, get more snacks, etc. So dimmable lighting is best to have the ability to limit the amount of glare but still be able to move around the room when needed.
The beauty of having a home theater—besides avoiding outrageous ticket prices—is that you get to make it your own. That means you can choose not just functional home theater lighting but lighting that’s also customizable and fun. Whether it’s using LED strip lights under chairs, on steps, and in coves or adding dimmable LED bulbs to can lights, there’s an LED light that you can use in every way imaginable for your theater.
Dimmable LED Bulbs and Fixtures
Dimmable LED bulbs are great for easily updating your existing home theater lighting. These bulbs can be fine-tuned for the perfect light level during, before, or after viewing a movie. Your home theater room might function as a playroom by day or where you do video workouts. In those cases, you’d need adequate task and theater lighting.
Dimmable LED bulbs are available in various shapes, sizes, and in several color temperatures that are perfect for a theater atmosphere, such as warm white and ultra-warm white.
To find the perfect bulb for your home theater, use our Universal LED Bulb Finder!
Recessed LED downlights are perfect for any home theater. Downlights are easy to install in retrofit or new construction applications. We recommend getting recessed downlights with TRIAC dimming. TRIAC dimming allows you to effortlessly dim the lights from full brightness to off when it is movie time, just like at the movie theaters. Plus, our downlights have a frosted lens that distributes soft and uniform lighting.
We Recommend: 4” Selectable CCT Recessed LED Downlight with Nightlight Trim
The 4” Recessed LED Downlight with Nightlight Trim is the perfect downlight for your home theater.
These downlights by ETi have an innovative nightlight on the outer edge of the fixture that produces ultra-warm white ambient lighting that delivers the perfect amount of lighting to see your surroundings and not interfere with the movie.
These fixtures are TRIAC dimmable with three different color temperatures and are also available in a flush mount version:
Shop all of our recessed downlights here!
Adding wall sconces to your home theater will give it a traditional movie theater look. Typically, wall sconces deliver uplight that provides sufficient glare-free task lighting. By illuminating the top half of your wall and your ceiling, your ceiling will look taller and the room will look and feel more complete or refined.
This is perfect for home theaters because the uplight effect will not create a glare on your screen. Wall sconces will help make the room feel like a traditional movie theater if that is what you want.
Wall sconces can also have both up and down lights– providing an upscale modern lighting design. The addition of downlighting from wall scones adds both decorative lighting and task lighting to your theater. Having task lighting in your theater is important, especially around any steps you may have. You want steps to be illuminated for added safety, either before, after, or during the movie.
Installing wall sconces only on the sides of the room will make your television the focal point, the dark space around the TV will draw your eye to that area. This installation technique will also improve your viewing experience if you choose to have the wall sconces dimmed during your watch party. Because the wall sconces are to your side, the light and colors of the program will not be altered.
We Recommend: Up / Down Wall Sconce
Our Wall Sconces with an uplight and downlight are the perfect choice for home theaters. These have a sleek, contemporary design with integrated COB LED’s for smooth, uniform light distribution. These have a warm white 3000K color temperature, perfect for adding unobtrusive, ambient light into a home theater. The LED wall lights are 120 VAC and can easily be installed in your home.
LED Step Lights
LED step lights are a great way to add useful safety lighting to your home theater. Add them to the bottom of walls as pathway lights, or use them on step fronts or alongside them. They’re available in a variety of intensities, color temperatures, and shapes. Choose decorative trim options to match your decor and direct light exactly where it’s needed.
We Recommend: Eyelid Step Lights and STEKO Aluminum Channel
This eyelid deck light directs all the light downwards, providing the perfect amount of light for increased visibility without affecting the screen. The black finish is sleek and has a contemporary design.
Or another way to add lighting to your steps is to install LED strip lights at the end of the stair tread. Install your strip lights in the STEKO Aluminum Channel by KLUS. The aluminum channel is designed to be installed on the edge of a stair tread. They have a non-slip tread and are perfect for adding safety lighting on the steps of your home theater.
The STEKO Aluminum Channel and the 5m Warm White LED Tape Light are perfect for step lighting. The warm white strip light has a small width to fit inside the slim aluminum channel. Pair the strip light with a dimmer for subtle step lighting.
LED Strip Lights
It is no secret that you can use LED strip lights in many different ways—from ambient cove lighting to decorative bias lighting. Strip lights are versatile and are available in an array of colors.
For ambient lighting installations, it is best to use tape lights in a single color or a warm white color temperature.
Using LED tape lights in a warm white color temperature, ranging from 2700K to 3000K, will make the room comfortable and inviting. Warm white lighting has a yellow hue to it, making the light easier on your eyes, especially after the movie when you turn the lights on. This is the reason why movie theaters use this temperature of light. Although it produces lower visibility, it ensures a relaxing movie-viewing experience.
For a more unique in-home theater, use single-color strip lights in any color of your choosing– red, green, blue, amber, pink, yellow, or UV blacklight. Although it isn’t conventional, these strips will make your home theater one-of-a-kind. Plus, with the versatility of strip lights, you can pair the strip to a controller or dimmer, customizing the intensity and brightness of your choosing.
For even more customization, select tunable white, RGB, RGB + White, or RGB + CCT strip lights.
Tunable white strip lights provide a range of colors from warm to cool white.
RGB strips use red, green, and blue LEDs to create thousands of different colors.
RGBW strips have separate white LED chips so that they can produce a single color white in addition to a range of RGB colors.
RGBCCT strips produce a range of RGB colors as well as a complete range of white light, typically 2700K-6500K.
For areas where the strip lights will be visible, install the strip light in a Klus Channel. Aluminum channels, or extrusions, are high-quality linear tracks you install LED tape lights in for a decorative installation. They are available in a range of lengths, widths, mounting types, and finishes. Plus, most of them include a lens that can diffuse the light output and create an even, uniform light distribution.
LED cove lighting provides upscale lighting to your home theater without creating a glare on your screen. This type of lighting can be added behind molding on the top or bottom of walls or at transitions in wall surfaces.
For a seamless look, install cove lighting using LED strip lights. Customize the colors of the strip to match movie color schemes or match the colors of your favorite sports teams.
Click here to learn how to install LED cove lighting in your theater.
We Recommend: Eco Series Tape Light
Since cove lighting is typically used as ambient lighting, we recommend using the Eco Series Tape light in 3000K.
Bias lighting is backlighting behind a theater, TV, or computer screen and is used to reduce the strain on your eyes. It acts as a baseline so that your eyes don’t have to constantly adjust to light and dark scenes. LED strip lights are the perfect bias lighting solution; they’re easy to install and come in lengths long enough to cover all sides behind your screen. Aside from the fact that bias lighting with LED strips looks great and saves your eyes some work, it provides room lighting that doesn’t impact what’s on the screen.
For them to be truly beneficial in relieving eye strain, bias lights need to have a color temperature that’s as close as possible to 6500K, which is a cool white color—essentially daylight. If you’re more interested in bias lighting for the look of it and not necessarily for eye relief, your color options are endless.
To learn more, see our bias lighting post.
We Recommend: Black PC Board LED Strip Lights
The black PC board of these strips seamlessly blends into the dark surface on the back of the TV. The 6500K color temperature is perfect for reducing eye strain. The 5-meter (16.4ft) strip light is perfect for televisions up to 75”.
Dimmers and Controllers
Selecting the perfect dimmer and controller for your LED strip light can be difficult. We offer a range of standard remotes, Wi-Fi hubs, and smart controllers that function with smartphone Apps. After selecting the strip lights you want there are a few ways to select the perfect controller or dimmer.
First, visit the “Accessories” at the bottom of the strip light product page and search through the hand-selected dimmer or controllers.
Second, visit our article “How To Choose The Best Controller and Dimmer for LED Strip Lights” for more information!
Third, contact one of our in-house customer service team members at 866-590-3533 to speak with one of our knowledgeable representatives.