Bias Lighting for Home Theatre

After reading about Philips' marketing of something they call Ambilight, which creates a diffuse backlighting behind their fancy plasma TVs, I decided to look into the concept behind it (excuse the pun). Turns out the idea of 'bias lighting' is pretty prevalent in the home theatre community. The diffuse light behind the TV reduces eye strain and improves your perception of the TV image by creating another light source in your field of vision. Digging a little deeper, it seemed pretty non-trivial to create my own DIY bias lighting using an old fluorescent light fixture bought from a flea market for €5. I also cleaned up the visual field behind the TV by hiding some wires with cable tubes and a white bed sheet. The experts recommend a 6500 kelvin temperature colour bulb, which I've ordered from the aquarium shop down the street (though the damn thing costs over €20, which throws off my bias lighting on the cheap concept just a bit). bias lightingSo far, even with the standard fluorescent bulb, I can really appreciate the difference when watching TV in the dark, and there's no nasty reflections of the screen that lights in front of the TV create.  I'm not sure that the current position is ideal, though. Right now, the fixture is installed shining down from a shelf behind the TV, though in the future I may attach the fixture directly to the TV stand and have it shine backwards against the wall.

Posted on January 22, 2006 and filed under Flat, Geek Gear, Television.