Lighting and Electrical Trim-out
The recessed cans get their typical trim kits, with black reflectors and white trim. I painted the trim to match the ceiling and walls.
I purchased my rope from 1000bulbs.com, which was 1/3 the price the local guys quoted.
TIP: Unroll your rope light, wire it up, (it can get too hot if powered on the roll) and turn it on for 5 or 10 minutes before trying to put it into position. The heat will soften up the rope, making it much easier to get around corners and seat flat. (can't take credit for this tip, either - it came from 1000bulbs.com)
At this point, I've temporarily wired in some simple light switches, but I wanted to see the room with actual lighting!
The only real "fixture" to pick out for the room was the sconce lamps. I had picked out a number of Kichler fixtures in the rest of the house - so I started with their catalog at the lighting store to see if there was something there I could use. The problem with the catalogs, of course, is the colors. There's so many definitions of "antique bronze"! A lot of these fixtures have a yellow tone (brass-like). So when I found a fixture (Kichler, again) with the color as "old bronze" - I lucked out. I had that finish on another Kichler fixture, which helped to make the sight-unseen decision much easier.
Here's the sconce lamp, and a good close-up of the carpet:
Electrical trim-out finishes with brown or black wallplates and keystones. Brown for the electrical outlets surrounded by stained woodwork, and black for anything on the painted wall. One other little hard-to-find item is also now installed - a Honeywell thermostat in *black*. It actually came with 3 "designer" color plates, and was the only one I found in black...
As I said earlier, if I did it again, I probably would have gone with an 8-zone GrafikEye. Although with RadioRa2, I may just expand the system with some "hidden" Ra2 dimmers in the attic space (a real benefit of having that panel where I can get to it!). And to repeat earlier comments - getting all that romex into a 4-gang box is a real challenge!
LESSON/MISTAKE: With all the recessed lights on, it's still not bright enough in the room to read comfortably from the seating locations. Not an issue for theater use, but I ran into it many times with instruction manuals! I can crank up the sconces, but the direct glare from those at full power doesn't help the situation.
IF I DID IT OVER: I probably would have added 3" recessed can lights in the soffit above the seating locations, which of course would also have helped force me to the 8-zone GrafikEye.
Here's the GrafikEye (and the matching black thermostat!) from the entrance (photo taken recently):
Both the GrafikEye and the SeeTouch wallstation controls are 5-button models, which allow for button-access to 4 scenes plus 'off'. So it's time to plan out the scenes I'll use. The goal was to have a sequence of scenes to allow guests to adjust to the lower light level of a darkened cinema. For sports viewing, image brightness is never a problem (really no "dark" scenes in live sports), and I wanted a higher ambient light level since there's more coming and going - for beer...
I struggled to come up with a word for the first scene - "Entry", "Welcome", ick... Then my human factors background reminded me of what should have been the obvious answer: "On". Also makes it obvious to anyone else looking at the control panel how to turn the lights on and off.
My scenes as mapped on the buttons (I may create some more scenes accessed by IR/iRule only):
- On - All zones on at maximum desired (100% on cans and rope, 20% sconces).
- Pre-Show - Screen Wall off, side cans 30%, rear cans 30%, rope 85%, sconces 10%
- Cinema - Screen Wall off, side cans 20%, rear cans 30%, rope 40%, sconces 10%
- Sports Bar - Screen Wall off, side cans 30%, rear cans 50%, rope 70%, sconces 15%
The step lights are on 50% in most cases, but as I'll change this around soon, I expect they'll be on 100%, as they're only 15W and don't cast light up on the screen anyway.
LESSON: Lutron includes a certificate with the GE and the SeeTouch wall stations for free custom-engraved buttons. They suggest waiting for a while after installation before ordering them, so you (the client) figure out what the "correct" scenes are. I almost ordered them immediately, being "very sure" what my scenes would be called. Bzzzzt! Now, 9 months later, I still haven't ordered them, but my confidence level is approaching 100%.
So when I turn the projector on, I move from 'On' to 'Pre-Show', which stays through the opening cartoon and obligatory THX trailer. Then I switch to 'Cinema', which by that time doesn't seem that dark. I'll likely adjust this down further, as it's still more than bright enough in the room to navigate around the furniture (especially with the step lights on).
At some point I'll add another scene or two, controlled only from iRule, for "post-show/credits", raising the rope light level and perhaps the rear cans - but keeping the side cans low to not wash out the typically-black credit crawl.
Up next, Rack Installation...