Bias Lighting or Ambient Lighting ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 07-03-2013, 02:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Our new Samsung TV has a lot more reflective screen than our old Sony. Problem is I see a lot of reflections from the kitchen which is opposite the family room. I don’t see the kitchen ceiling lights but do see everything that they illuminate such as the refrig, stove, wall, cabinets.

If I turn off every light in the house the TV looks great but I feel like I’m in a cave. I thought about bias lighting but maybe some ambient room lighting might be better. IOW get rid of the cave look.

One thought would be to have some type of a perimeter ceiling light where the bulbs are not visible & only reflect the light off of the ceiling. However I have not seen any cheap way to do this other than remodeling.

The next best thing I could think of is a sconce light fixture on each side wall that only shines the light upward. Again something where the only light is that which is being reflected from the ceiling. I’ve looked at various wall light fixtures at Home Depot but did not see anything that would the job.

Will bias lighting throw off enough light in order to lighten up the whole room a bit? I'd like to be able to get up & get a drink & snacks without stumbling on something. Or has anyone seen a lighting fixture that can provide some indirect ambient light?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Thanks.
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post #2 of 29 Old 07-04-2013, 01:10 PM
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There are lots of ways to setup bias lighting. Is your tv wall mounted or on/in a console? For example, my tv is on a media console so I have my bias light setup behind the tv. The light is evenly distributed along the entire wall and ceiling (cathedral) behind the tv which give us adequate light for the room without being distracting. You can't read but your not depending on the tv as the sole light source. No eye strain and it seems to work quite well for us. There are other options for wall mounted sets that are just as effective.
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post #3 of 29 Old 07-04-2013, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
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My TV is on a console. I'll try a bias light, just have to figure out some way to mount it on the back of the TV or wall. Sometimes my wife reads while I watch TV which is one reason I'm looking for what is probably more light than most people would use.

What did you use for a bias light?
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post #4 of 29 Old 07-04-2013, 08:45 PM
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The base of my tv is rather thick so the light fits quite nicely behind it and you can't see it all. The light fixture is a Hampton Bay Round Back Uplight ( model 275 707). The bulb is a 15W CFL with a temp rating of 5500k daylight (but no CFI given so I don't know how accurate it is). The fixture is adjustable so you can angle the light off of the back of the tv or the wall (which is what we do). Works well for us. The on/off for the light is one of those funky wheel switches but I just leave it on because it's plugged into an outlet behind the console which is controlled by a switch on the opposite wall. Primitive but effective. Cost about $20.
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post #5 of 29 Old 07-05-2013, 12:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info. I searched & did see your model lamp. That would have worked on my old Sony but the new Samsung has the 4-leg stand which you can pretty much see through.

I did try my fluorescent trouble light which I believe is 15W. It's certainly not a daylight bulb & makes the off white wall look slightly greenish. But it does light up the wall quite nicely. About 45 minutes into a movie my wife asked about the light in back of the TV. Until then she did not notice it so I take that as a positive.

If yours is 15W & presuming mine is 15W (it's enclosed so I have to take it apart to verify) then that gives me a starting point on how much wattage to use. I'll have to see what I can find that can be attached to the back of the TV.

Thanks again. I think a bias light is the way to go. I may not use it all the time but it would be there when I wanted/needed it.
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post #6 of 29 Old 07-05-2013, 11:31 AM
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15W CFL is about a 60W equivalent. A neutral colored wall is also best and it seems you got that covered. I know there have been some really creative ways to install LED strips along the back of the tv that seem to have worked for some so you'll just have to experiment to see what works best and which temperature you prefer. Keep in mind that temp ratings on lights are only approximate for most bulbs so you'll have to just use that as a guide. If memory serves me correctly (which it doesn't always), if you have a bulb with a temp rating and a CFI rating of 90 or better, then you can be relatively assured that the temp rating is accurate. Hopefully if that's not quite right someone will correct me. However, I could never find a CFL bulb way back when that had a CFI rating on it. I'd like to replace the CFL with an LED so I'm looking for one to fit my needs.
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post #7 of 29 Old 07-06-2013, 12:22 AM - Thread Starter
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This LED bias light frequently comes up when doing a search. Looks like it has mostly good reviews but a few say the color temperature is way off. One picture looks like it lights up the wall quite a bit but the other photos show minimal light.
http://www.amazon.com/Antec-HDTV-51-1-Inch-BIAS-LIGHTING/dp/B007TG5EG8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1362681974&sr=8-1&keywords=antec+hdtv+bias+lighting+kit

In this video the light also appears minimal.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MevY8Vq8CG0

I like the way my long fluorescent tube lights up the width of the wall. Home Depot’s website shows an under cabinet fixture for $11 which takes an 18” 15 watt bulb. I’ll have to see what they have in 6500K bulbs.
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post #8 of 29 Old 07-06-2013, 09:33 AM
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Like I said, it's ultimately what looks best to you. There are some very definite scientific principles that one can apply when setting up bias lighting but sometimes it's not easy, or cost effective, to do those, so you just have to do what works best.
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post #9 of 29 Old 07-07-2013, 09:20 AM
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I would suggest that you buy two florescent under-counter lights. The kind that can connect to each other. Get some 2" velcro. attach the two lights to the top back of your TV with the velcro. If you like the effect, you can embellish it with more lights along the sides. Then get a foot switch. The kind they sell for Christmas trees, to turn them on and off.
Your eyes will thank you. The stable amount of light constricts the pupils, making the TV appear to have a greater contrast with darker blacks, because less light reaches the retina. I like this effect after the sun goes down.
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post #10 of 29 Old 07-09-2013, 12:05 AM - Thread Starter
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I bought the 15W, 18" under-the-cabinet fluorescent lamp from HD. I knew the included bulb would be too warm & it is. The wall is lit up sort of brownish looking. The greenish wall from the shop light is not accurate either but is more pleasant to look at.

So I bought a 5000K fluorescent tube at HD, the coolest they had. It helps & puts the HD fixture on par with the fluorescent shop light - greenish looking.

Then I tried a GE 100W Reveal incandescent bulb. It had no specs listed but makes the wall slightly warm but not as bad as the other warm lamps.

The fluorescent tube does have a wider horizontal light pattern than the incandescent bulb, but I think either one would work. But so far I cannot find a cooler fluorescent tube so may have to go with a CFL. Menard's near me has a lot better selection of 5000K & 6500K CFLs than HD & will have to stop there & get a 6500K.
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post #11 of 29 Old 07-09-2013, 11:10 AM
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I found that the selection of CFL bulbs when I was looking was limited, with none of them giving the CRI (Color Rendering Index) so the temp was not as exact as I would have liked. I found two that worked for me. One rated at 5000k and the other at 5500k. The wall behind our tv is off-white (Navajo White) and I really couldn't tell the difference. 5000k seemed to be a bit better to my eyes. The 5500k seemed to be a bit more bluish but the overall effect on the wall was a neutral color. It may take a week or so for your eyes to adjust.
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post #12 of 29 Old 07-09-2013, 06:55 PM
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This is an excellent bulb: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Cree-9-Watt-60W-A19-Daylight-5000K-Dimmable-LED-Light-Bulb-1-Pack-BA19-08050OMF-12DE26-1U110/203991776?N=bol#.Udy-OUFnHUY Cree basically invented high output LED lights and have some of the best CRI numbers in the business (most of their bulbs are 90+). Being LED they don't change color temperature as you dim them either.
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post #13 of 29 Old 07-10-2013, 01:04 AM - Thread Starter
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I did look at those Cree 5000K bulbs. However the 5000K, 15W fluorescent tube makes the wall a bit greenish.

I bought a 6500K, 15W fluorescent tube & a 6500K, 13W CFL. These are better than the 5000K I tried but still every so lightly greenish. I guess my off-white wall is more off than I thought. And maybe the yellow in it combined with the supposedly blue-ish 6500K makes it lightly green. It's tolerable but I thought for sure it would much closer to white.

I don't know if I'm looking at this correctly, but on a color wheel green is opposite the red hues. Would it make sense to lay some type of red plastic or cellophane over the 6500K bulb in an attempt to make the wall look whiter?

Here's the bulb I'm trying, the CRI is 94 per the manufacturer, FWIW.
http://www.westinghouselighting.com/light-bulbs/fluorescent/linear-fluorescents/15-watt-t8-linear-fluorescent-light-bulb-3651500.aspx
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post #14 of 29 Old 07-10-2013, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post

This is an excellent bulb: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Cree-9-Watt-60W-A19-Daylight-5000K-Dimmable-LED-Light-Bulb-1-Pack-BA19-08050OMF-12DE26-1U110/203991776?N=bol#.Udy-OUFnHUY Cree basically invented high output LED lights and have some of the best CRI numbers in the business (most of their bulbs are 90+). Being LED they don't change color temperature as you dim them either.

Thanks. It's been awhile since I've looked for bulbs so I'm going to have to take a look at that one. Is the CRI listed? I didn't see it on the specs.
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post #15 of 29 Old 07-10-2013, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post

I found that the selection of CFL bulbs when I was looking was limited, with none of them giving the CRI (Color Rendering Index) so the temp was not as exact as I would have liked. I found two that worked for me. One rated at 5000k and the other at 5500k. The wall behind our tv is off-white (Navajo White) and I really couldn't tell the difference. 5000k seemed to be a bit better to my eyes. The 5500k seemed to be a bit more bluish but the overall effect on the wall was a neutral color. It may take a week or so for your eyes to adjust.
6500K (D65) is blue. 5000K is "neutral" - but if you use a 5000K light behind your D65 calibrated TV, it may influence your perception and make the TV look somewhat blue.
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However the 5000K, 15W fluorescent tube makes the wall a bit greenish.
This is the problem with CCT. 5000K covers a wide range of colors that range from neutral, to having a reasonably strong green or magenta tint. D50 would be neutral. CRI is not necessarily a good indicator of whether the color temperature is neutral or tinted.

This is why products like the "Ideal Lume" exist.

Personally I don't agree with the concept of bias lighting, and vastly prefer warm ambient lighting in the room instead (2750K Halogens) but if you want to do it right, that's what you should get, unless you own the instrumentation to measure the lamps that you're buying. (and the time & patience for it)
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post #16 of 29 Old 07-10-2013, 02:43 PM - Thread Starter
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I thought about ambient lighting but am not sure how to implement it and at the same time avoid screen reflections from the kitchen. The current generation of semi-matte (or semi-glossy) TV screens is working against me. They are just too reflective. I don't have anything fancy like a dedicated theater room. And spending thousands of dollars to remodel my family room is out of the question, especially when the old Sony with a real matte screen never really had a problem.

I have to light up the family room without having the light shine into the kitchen. I tried placing a light on top of the kitchen cabinet which would be behind the refrig & stove. Enough light was still bouncing around where I could still the refrig & stove reflected in the TV screen. Not as bad as when the kitchen ceiling lights are on, but reflections still showed up. I'm guessing the light reflected off the glossy TV screen & back into the kitchen which in turn illuminated things.

So far the bias lighting is working the best. It lights up the wall behind the TV which in turn provides some ambient light, & sometimes I think it's too much. But it's just very slightly green. I'd like to try some kind of filter over the bulb in an effort to make the wall look whiter.
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post #17 of 29 Old 07-10-2013, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronoptimist View Post

6500K (D65) is blue. 5000K is "neutral" - but if you use a 5000K light behind your D65 calibrated TV, it may influence your perception and make the TV look somewhat blue.

For us, the tv pic didn't have a "blue" tint to it, the wall behind it seemed to have a very light blue to it (almost imperceptible, but you know how anal some of us can be wink.gif). I was just playing around to see if I could achieve the bias lighting effect for my tv without introducing any color to the wall behind it.
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post #18 of 29 Old 07-11-2013, 03:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronoptimist View Post

6500K (D65) is blue. 5000K is "neutral" - but if you use a 5000K light behind your D65 calibrated TV, it may influence your perception and make the TV look somewhat blue.
This is the problem with CCT. 5000K covers a wide range of colors that range from neutral, to having a reasonably strong green or magenta tint. D50 would be neutral. CRI is not necessarily a good indicator of whether the color temperature is neutral or tinted.

This is why products like the "Ideal Lume" exist.

Personally I don't agree with the concept of bias lighting, and vastly prefer warm ambient lighting in the room instead (2750K Halogens) but if you want to do it right, that's what you should get, unless you own the instrumentation to measure the lamps that you're buying. (and the time & patience for it)

Is there a possibility my wall might still looks greenish with one of the "Ideal Lume" lamps? If so, is there a way to correct that, other than painting the wall?
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post #19 of 29 Old 07-16-2013, 07:10 AM
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I know I bought a cheap ($25) 6400k led rope light and put it on the back of my tv around the perimeter, and it looks very good. Using the Vizio e70 with the 9' led rope on a white wall.

Here is the led I tried.

http://www.budgetlighting.com/store/agora.cgi?cart_id=63608790.24264&p_id=G6185&xm=on&product=American%20Lighting&ppinc=csszoom1#.UeVRxG3ld8E
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post #20 of 29 Old 07-16-2013, 11:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I tried the 6500K fluorescent on other walls & it looks pretty neutral. However the TV wall is painted with a different paint. Short version: I had a paint store try to match the stock color of paint that the builder originally used on the walls. Not that it's a bad color, it's apparently just slightly more off-white & affecting the bias light. I guess a re-paint is what should be done for starters.
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post #21 of 29 Old 07-17-2013, 08:49 AM
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I think our walls were painted in a Navajo White (what ever that is) which seems to maintain its "neutrality" with the lighting that we currently have.
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post #22 of 29 Old 07-17-2013, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post

This is an excellent bulb: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Cree-9-Watt-60W-A19-Daylight-5000K-Dimmable-LED-Light-Bulb-1-Pack-BA19-08050OMF-12DE26-1U110/203991776?N=bol#.Udy-OUFnHUY Cree basically invented high output LED lights and have some of the best CRI numbers in the business (most of their bulbs are 90+). Being LED they don't change color temperature as you dim them either.

 

I don't believe the dimming/color temperature thing.  At least not for uncorrected LEDs.

 

Those household white LED's that are usually done dichromatically: a blue LED with a yellow producing phosphor.  The phosphor is excited by the blue which then undergoes a stokes shift downward toward spectral yellow.  The emitted yellow causes the red and green cones in our eyes to trigger, and the leaked through blue triggers the blue, hence the white appearance.  Now here's something I'm only beginning to understand: The more I read about that stokes shift, the more it seems that the problem is that with varying amounts of power, the shift is varyingly efficient.  This changes the dichromatic mixture ratio and causes color temperature changes unless corrected with an additional LED.


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post #23 of 29 Old 07-17-2013, 11:01 AM
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post #24 of 29 Old 07-17-2013, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgm1024 View Post

I don't believe the dimming/color temperature thing.  At least not for uncorrected LEDs.

Those household white LED's that are usually done dichromatically: a blue LED with a yellow producing phosphor.  The phosphor is excited by the blue which then undergoes a stokes shift downward toward spectral yellow.  The emitted yellow causes the red and green cones in our eyes to trigger, and the leaked through blue triggers the blue, hence the white appearance.  Now here's something I'm only beginning to understand: The more I read about that stokes shift, the more it seems that the problem is that with varying amounts of power, the shift is varyingly efficient.  This changes the dichromatic mixture ratio and causes color temperature changes unless corrected with an additional LED.

You may be correct about using an uncorrected LED. The phenomena of the Stokes shift is used, in part, in immuno-fluorescent chemistry methods which are way beyond the scope and purpose of this forum. There are some very sound scientific principles for the use, and implementation, of bias lighting. I think a lot of people just use the temp rating as a guide to see how the light "looks" on their walls and if it is adding to or distracting from the perceived pq. If they don't like it, they try a different rating.
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post #25 of 29 Old 07-17-2013, 02:32 PM
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Sure. I'm not even sure that the color temperature is even important though. I use an incandescent 40w behind it against a yellow wall with awesome results. I don't care if it gives an ISF calibrator a stroke. :-P

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post #26 of 29 Old 07-17-2013, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgm1024 View Post

Sure. I'm not even sure that the color temperature is even important though. I use an incandescent 40w behind it against a yellow wall with awesome results. I don't care if it gives an ISF calibrator a stroke. :-P
My first big screen was a single tube Sony front projector with about a 3 foot diagonal parabolic screen. For bias light I simply hung a couple strings of those little multi colored christmas lights behind the screen. Worked a treat.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgm1024 View Post

Sure. I'm not even sure that the color temperature is even important though. I use an incandescent 40w behind it against a yellow wall with awesome results. I don't care if it gives an ISF calibrator a stroke. :-P

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post #28 of 29 Old 07-18-2013, 12:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Here's a look at what's inside the award winning Philips LED bulb.
http://store.earthled.com/blogs/leds-on-the-inside/5869757-on-the-inside-philips-enduraled-a19-l-prize-award-winning-bulb-10a19-lprize-pro-2700-900#.UeeXyspqGih

Here's a look at their earlier available LED. I bought a couple of these before the "award winning" version was available & they look pretty much like a normal 60W warm incandescent bulb.
http://www.edn.com/electronics-blogs/readerschoice/4311242/Remote-Phosphors-Philips-LED-bulb-Tear-down-Part-II
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post #29 of 29 Old 07-18-2013, 07:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by tgm1024 View Post

Sure. I'm not even sure that the color temperature is even important though. I use an incandescent 40w behind it against a yellow wall with awesome results. I don't care if it gives an ISF calibrator a stroke. :-P
My first big screen was a single tube Sony front projector with about a 3 foot diagonal parabolic screen. For bias light I simply hung a couple strings of those little multi colored christmas lights behind the screen. Worked a treat.

 

LOL.   Colored Christmas lights!   I love it.....


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