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How to Create a Private Cinema at Home

The living room is an essential space for family gatherings and pronounces the tune of your home. It is not just the place where the family spends the most time together, but also a communal space where we connect with friends. In the past, the lighting design for the living room was predominantly utilized ornamental lamps to enhance the brightness and ambience of the living room. However, this style may look a bit dreary and somber for young people. For example, many young people prefer the concept of having their living room work as a home theater, allowing them to enjoy the pleasure of a cinema-like experience at home. How to create the best lighting for watching movies? By researching the lighting design for movie theater and private cinemas, which has become a trend nowadays, we may employ smart lighting solutions to create an exclusive cinema in the living room. In addition, smart lights may sync with smart TV, displaying the colors of the TV show in real time, allowing a more immersive experience.

What’s the Best Lighting for Watching Movies 

Colored Light for Watching Movies—A Dramatic Effect

Whether it is a large cinema or a private cinema that has emerged in recent years, proper lighting and illumination design can modernize the theater and create an outstanding viewing experience for movie-goers, which in turn will result in a higher attendance rate. Whether it is the cinema light design shown in Fig. 1 or the private movie-watching light design as in Fig. 2, the interior decoration and lighting effects echo with each other, and the dramatic impact is amplified when illuminated with colored lights. I like how the facility looks now; it’s ready to provide moviegoers with new and exciting experiences.

best lighting for watching movies

Fig. 1 Cinema Lighting Design (Image source: Pexels)

Fig. 2 Private Cinema Lighting Design (Image source: Pexels)

Colored Lights that Sync with Movies

Downlights and spotlights are often used in cinemas to brighten the audience’s entrance and exit routes for practical lighting reasons. Cinemas frequently utilize colorful light strips for ambient lighting, which has a distinct aesthetic feel to it. There are a growing number of cinemas that employ commercial-grade smart lighting systems with dimmable light strips. Rocker switch is recommended for compact spaces, whereas lighting distribution boxes are commonly utilized for big ones to provide automated switchover. The theater will dim the lights according to the sort of film being exhibited so that the audience may enter into the movie’s ambiance with the immersive lights. Cinemas typically decrease the lighting to a single color, such as red, blue, or purple. Some theatres have the ability to regulate a number of lights at the same time to provide a layered color appearance. Lighting colors for different types of film are listed in Table 3 for your convenience.

Replicating the Secrets of Cinema Lighting Design

Meeting Mode: The Basis of Lighting Design for Movie Watching

When we want to turn a living room into a private cinema, we have to be mindful that the main role of the living room is still a shared area for the family and a gathering place with visitors. Let’s identify the universal purpose of a living room as “meeting mode”, which refers to the gathering and active area for the family and visitors. Therefore, the lighting layout of the movie mode has to be based on the general lighting function of the living room, so that the two modes may be achieved using one lighting arrangement. 

The general lighting of a living room contains downlights, spotlights and strips to meet fundamental lighting needs. Colored light strips can be the backbone of the ambience for the movie mode while working as basic illumination. Wall washers may be used to brighten the TV wall and the wall behind the sofa. 

Under the “meeting mode”, suitable color temperature and brightness may produce a cheerful and welcome atmosphere (see Fig. 4). Further, we may employ the zoning feature of the lamps to establish various brightness for different places, thus accentuating the layering of the room.

Color temperature: ceiling spotlight/ lighting grid/ light strip 3500K

Brightness: ceiling spotlight/ lighting grid/ light strip 100%

Fig. 4 Pseudo-color diagrams of the lighting effects and illuminance for the “meeting mode”

Movie Mode: We can dim the overall ambient light when designing the color tone of the movie mode, while the brightness of the downlight above the coffee table can be slightly brighter, making it easier to reach the snacks and beverages on the table during the movie. As in Fig. 5, we have taken a cue from the cinema’s colored light design and set up colored ceiling light strips, which are blue in this case. The strip lights under the TV cabinet are red. The immersive color light scheme as such gives us the impression of sitting in a cinema. 

Color Temperature:2700K

Color: Blue ceiling light strips 

Red light strips underneath the TV cabinet 

Brightness: 5% light grid; 20% light strips 

Fig. 5 Pseudo-color diagrams of the lighting effects and illuminance for the “movie mode”

Smart Color Picker: Jump Out of the Screen 

People won’t get tired of looking at the screen because it’s wider than their field of vision. A normal television set’s screen, on the other hand, is smaller than the viewer’s field of vision, so a transition in brightness between the bright TV screen and the dark background is required to keep the image from becoming too intense even when viewed for extended periods of time without compromising color resolution. Installing light stripes behind the TV, on the other hand, will make things easier on the eyes. 

Imagine that while you’re sitting on the couch watching a movie, the colors on your TV screen are being synced in real time. You’ll get the best watching experience ever with this all-encompassing encounter (Fig. 6).  You’re bathed in golden light when the movie depicts a stunning sunset scene, for instance. It’s conceivable, but yes, if you have smart lighting.

Color temperature: 2700K

Color: blue ceiling light strip; red light strip under the TV cabinet; TV wall’s color syncs with the TV show

Brightness: 5% light grid; 20% light strips 

Fig. 6 Pseudo-color diagrams of the lighting effects and illuminance for the “movie mode”

Xiaomi Smart TV and Yeelight Smart Lighting’s colorful luminaires can be readily connected to other smart lights through a smart light connection. Zone A, Zone B, Zone C, and Zone D, as shown in Fig. 7, are referred to as the four hot zones by color picker. It is possible to beam a different hue light gadget into each hot spot. Its color is the same as the sum of the RGB color values found inside this hot zone. As a result, the TV image appears to be oozing out of the frame. When watching sci-fi, action, or animation films featuring vibrantly colored sequences, the color selector enhances the whole viewing experience.

Fig. 7 Introduction to the smart color picker (Image source: Yeelight)

An Easy Guide to Create a Private Cinema

Step 1: Create a lighting scheme for the space.

Use spotlights and light grids (double-headed spotlights) for the primary lighting and light strips for ambient lighting if the lighting design of the living area needs to satisfy both the “meeting mode” and “movie mode.” Both lighting settings discussed in this article are primarily intended for use in living rooms. As a result, many lighting situations may be created in the same home with the same set of smart lighting items, depending on our individual needs.

Step 2: Purchase of luminaires and smart linkage devices

The list of luminaires to be purchased is shown in Fig. 8. Additionally, smart curtains are an excellent investment if you’re looking for the best possible viewing experience. When you say “I want to watch a film” to the smart speaker, the smart curtain closes automatically and the smart lighting system turns on the “movie mode”. Even during the day, you can enjoy the same atmosphere as if you were sitting in a cinema.

Fig. 8 Recommendations for luminaires for “movie mode” and “meeting mode” (Image source: Yeelight)

Fig. 9 Purchase recommendations for smart devices for “movie mode” and “meeting mode” (Image source: Yeelight, Xiaomi)

Step 3: Set up lighting mode and smart linkage mode 

The following settings are developed based on the designs shown in Fig. 5 and 6. To be clear, this is merely a broad overview of how the device works; the particular stages depend on the device’s current configuration. 

1. Connect the smart home system to the device. 

In accordance with the advice provided in the product manual, hook up the smart luminaire, smart curtain, and speaker to your smart home system. 

2. Put lights and lanterns in a logical arrangement.

Group the downlights or spotlights except for the light above the coffee table, and group the ceiling light strips, so that the light groups can be operated in a unified manner in the future.

3. Set voice control and lighting control modes.

See Fig. 10 for an example of Xiaomi smart speaker settings. Get started with voice control of your smart home by opening the ‘Xiaoxia App’ and activating the training mode. Initialize using “I want to watch a movie” as a voice command. Afterwards, add a command to the light and curtain motors to control the lights and curtains: shut them, dim the light above the coffee table, and convert the ceiling and TV cabinet light strips blue and red.

Fig. 10 Voice control commands and lighting control modes for “movie mode” (Image source: Xiao Ai app)

Step 4. Turn on the LAN control mode

For the smart color picker behind the TV to operate, you must activate the Yeelight App’s LAN control of the light strip (Fig. 11) and ensure that the light strip and the TV are connected to the same network.

Fig. 11 Opening the LAN control of the luminaire (Image source: Yeelight App)

Step 5. Activate the smart color picker 

Turn on your Xiaomi TV and find the “Yeelight TV Companion” app, as shown in Fig. 12. The software scans and immediately adds the light strip, as shown in Fig. 10. In order to get it into position, utilize the remote control’s directional buttons. There can only be one hot zone per strip, although there can be several devices per hot zone. As a result, if there are four light strips, each one can represent one of four hot zones: A, B, C, and D. With simply one or two light strips, one or two hot zones may be represented. 

The private cinema has now been erected to a satisfactory level of completion. Find your favorite movie and have a great time watching it with your family as soon as possible!

Fig. 12 Demonstration of the smart color picker (Image source: Yeelight TV App)

The future of smart lighting is here! 

 

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Hassan Usmani

Yeelight Tech Expert & Blogger

Why Choose Yeelight?

Yeelight, the best smart lighting brand in the world, has successfully shipped over 50 million products to over 200 countries and regions globally. The brand is widely integrated with major IoT platforms, such as Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Samsung SmartThings, Apple HomeKit, Razer Chroma, IFTTT, etc. We endeavor to bring you the best lighting experience you may imagine!

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