Home Theater Lighting Ideas & Tips

Set the mood in your home theater with these lighting best practices.

RX-LHT_1909-seating-shot_s4x3 © 2011 CEDIA. Used with permission.

A home theater is all about creating a dedicated viewing experience, so to limit distractions, ambient lighting is your best choice. Hanging or suspended fixtures and lamp lights can reflect on the screen or cause uneven lighting of a projected image. Lights should be dimmable, and remote controlled.

The following are preferred lighting options for a home theater:

  • Recessed lighting
  • Wall sconces
  • Ambient lighting
  • LED or fiber optic lighting strips in the floor or baseboards
  • Task lamps next to seating

With all lighting choices, but sure that any mounted fixtures are can be dimmed and remote controlled. Table lamps should have opaque shades and easy-to-find pull chains or switches.

Lighting in a home theater should be subtle and help create the theater atmosphere—but it should also be capable of fully illuminating the room for cleaning and other activities.

As with all electrical installations, it should be done by a professional and meet all building and safety codes. In-floor lighting should always be LED and not generate any heat.

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