Television Bias Lighting…

Aside from the implementation of efficient lighting fixtures, dimmers, and lighting control systems, there is another consideration for rooms with a television. While training with The Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) I came to understand an essential part of the viewing experience that is often overlooked. While I could offer proper calibration of many televisions creating the most accurate picture possible, few people consider how their viewing environment affects their experience. Our perception of color and contrast as well as our comfort while watching something in the dark can be improved with a fairly simple solution called bias lighting.

So what is this exactly? Bias lighting in this application is placing a light source behind the television. However, it is not just as simple as finding an unused fixture in the home and placing it behind your television, if it would even fit. The light source must display the proper color “temperature” in order to not change your perception of colors on the screen. The light source also needs to be able to be adjusted in brightness for the correct 10% or less of the brightest white that your television displays. Ideally, you don’t want to have to turn the light on and off separately from the television. The light would simply turn on with your television.

The Ideal-Lume lights I install create the most accurate color temperature and are thin enough to be placed behind televisions even when mounted on the wall. They include a simple solution to adjust brightness. In addition, I install bias lights with a switched outlet device that turns them on and off automatically with your television.

What are the proven benefits of correctly implemented bias lighting?

1. Reduces or eliminates eye strain and viewing fatigue in dark viewing conditions.
2. Eliminates image contamination due to reflections, haze and glare on the screen from conventional room lighting.
3. Enhances perceived black levels, contrast ratio, and picture detail by enabling dark adapted viewing.
4. Preserves correct color perception of the video image by the viewer.
5. Prolongs monitor phosphor life by enabling dark room viewing and lowering of screen brightness requirements (phosphors are used in CRTs, plasmas, and LCDs with CCF or white LED back lighting).
6. Provides a low level of illumination in the room for movement and peripheral activities.

Here is an implementation of bias lighting in a StudioSKY project:

Feel free to give me a call and ask any questions about bias lighting, how it may be implemented in your home or visit Cinema-Quest’s website for more technical information. StudioSKY is the authorized local dealer.