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3 Tips for TV Room Lighting

The TV room/living room can be a versatile room which makes balancing form and function a bit difficult. On one hand you may want dim, comfortable lighting for watching TV while, on the other hand, you may require task lighting to enjoy a good book or get some crafts done with the family.

It is important to evaluate what you’re using the room for and structure the lighting to serve those needs. The best way to serve all your needs in the TV room and avoid the frustrating reflections on the TV is to layer your lighting. Here are 3 top tips to achieve the most effective lighting for this versatile room.

1) Make the Most of Your of Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting, or general lighting, provides the majority of the illumination in the room. This uniformed lighting level helps to mimics natural light.

A great option for the ambient lighting in the TV room is actually a combination of 3 elements:

1) Recessed downlights - Evenly distributed across the ceiling to create the uniformed lighting.

2) Anti-glare downlight holders - These help reduce the glare created by downlights.

3) Dimmable downlights - Perfect solution to serve the variety of needs this room generally has.

This above combination allows one to enjoy dim, glare-free lighting for TV time as well as bright lighting for a games night or projects with the kids.

2) Carefully Plan your Task Lighting Placements

Task Lighting works along side ambient lighting by providing increased light for specific tasks in a room. As the TV room/living room's main activity is usually TV watching, minimal task lighting is needed and encouraged as task lighting means more reflection on the TV which ruins the experience. However, a reading or table lamp positioned smartly can cater for the various activities that occur in the room.

Smart placements:

1) Behind your seat - This will provide the necessary focused light needed to read and allow you the comfort of the couch. It also might help shed some light while hunting for a lost remote in the couch. Remember though, this will need to be switched off while watching or the reflection will be obvious.

2) Beside the TV screen - If positioned slightly back, this spot won't cause glare or reflection but create a soft light for those who do not prefer a completely dark room while watching TV. This will also help reduce any eye strain caused by the high contrast in brightness between the TV and the dark room.

3) Along the same wall as the TV - A floor lamp or wall sconces on the same wall as the TV is another option to create that soft light in the room while avoiding the glare or reflection on the TV.

A helpful note is to ensure that task lighting is on a different circuit and switch from the overall ambient lighting so that one can pick and choose which lighting option best suits the activity for the evening, whether it be reading, watching or playing games.

3) Minimise Accent Lighting, Choose Bias Lighting

Accent Lighting should be kept to a minimum as the purpose of this lighting type is to highlight objects by directly illuminating them. This would cause glare, reflection and distraction thus hindering the otherwise immersive experience one tries to create for watching TV.

If you wish to do accent lighting, rather do it on the same wall as the TV to avoid reflection and glare. Alternatively, switch it off during TV watching to reduce all three hinderances.

Bias Lighting is form of lighting that illuminates and highlights around the TV in order to offset screen brightness. This can be in the form of strip lighting, light bars, etc and should be placed behind the TV. If correctly done, it creates a soft light that counterbalances the screen light while not directly shining at viewers. This is a great solution to help reduce one's eyes straining in your dark TV room and maintain that cinematic feel.


Take these tips and transform your TV room into a peaceful place to read your book or the perfect cinematic atmosphere for a movie night or a brilliantly lit room for a games night. This versatile room can serve all your needs with the right lighting. Remember, if you require any lighting products or advice visit one of Northside Electrical’s branches or call and chat to a sales consultant to personally assist you with your specific lighting needs. Northside provides the KZN region with superior quality electrical, lighting and security products and remarkable service.

Red Hill - 031 569 1005

Ballito - 032 946 0977

Durban North – 031 564 5692

Hillcrest – 031 765 4140

Umbilo – 031 942 7755

Alternatively, email

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