The Best Lighting for Watching TV & Movies - Everything You Must Know

What is the proper lighting for watching TV? Home theaters can no doubt transform your living space and level up your home. If designed well, they can be the go-to space for friends and family to gather in front of surround sound, high-definition visuals and comfortable chairs. If furnished well, they can serve as a form of escape, a safe haven from the outside world.

However, in this industry, what we regularly witness is that many home theater owners fail to install proper lighting for watching TV. To ensure the vibe of your home theater is on point, you cannot overlook fixtures; they're equally as important as the entertainment system.

The right lighting for television and film can align with the aesthetic of your room, limit distractions and level up the viewing experience. Below, we'll cover the best lighting that can do exactly that.

Should a light be on when watching TV?

If you're like most of us, you probably like to watch some blockbusters or series in a dark room for the full immersive effect. While this can be gripping in the short term, it can have implications on your health in the long run.

TVs are bright, causing your pupils to automatically adjust to the light that enters your eyes. When this happens, your eyes strain, and you may experience fatigue and headaches.

You can, of course, turn on other lights in your room to alleviate eye strain. However, the reflection from other fixtures will likely bounce onto the tv, causing spillage and affecting the color and contrast.

One way to stop this from happening is installing Bias lighting. It's an ambient form of lighting that can be installed behind your TV or on the wall itself, being an easier adjustment for your eyes.


We recommend: Haylen is an LED fixture that acts as a bias light for your home entertainment system. It can be easily installed horizontally above your TV, softly diffusing light downwards. You can also install two vertically on either side of your home entertainment system, taking away little attention. 

The best part? The Haylen comes in various lengths from 12"/30cm-94"/240cm, being a great side light for your home theater. 

How have LED lights changed movie and TV lighting?

Nowadays, many homeowners and theater owners are using LED lights for rooms that have TVs or projectors. LEDs are more energy efficient and last longer than conventional lights like halogen or tungsten.

These lights can quickly reach 100% brightness, whereas traditional lights can take up to three minutes. Plus, a wide range of color temperatures and intensity can be changed to match certain scenes, shooting conditions and visual effects.


The Haylen RGB is a perfect example of this, with seven different options to change to single and multi-colours. For instance, if you're watching a thriller, you can change the lights to yellow or green to heighten the intensity, or if you're watching a romantic comedy, the purple setting can induce a light-hearted energy. 

What's the best lighting for TV watching?

In addition to the bias lighting we mentioned earlier, a few types of lighting are ideal for TV watching in a dark room. Here are our top picks:

Wall sconces

Wall sconces are minimalistic fixtures attached to your wall, providing soft and indirect lighting. They also provide subtle illumination in your theater, allowing people to walk easily without falling over cables or furniture.


We recommend: A wall sconce that we're confident will fit any home, the CadelA sleek surface-mounted black aluminum light can be positioned at any angle on the wall of your choice. Its black color makes it easy to compliment any wall, interior, and furniture. If you wish, you can even install multiple lights to create subtle lighting zones throughout your theater.

Task lighting

In case you haven't guessed already, minimal fixtures are the best lighting to have in your TV room. Task lighting is complimentary lighting that is best installed alongside existing ambient lighting. It helps provide subtle illumination for certain tasks like finding a TV remote, illuminating coffee tables to find drinks or snacks, and even accentuating certain furniture (if you wish).


We recommend: The Angelica table lamp, is one type of task lighting that may work well between seats or even placed on a side table. The luxury bronze and copper brushed gold finish easily pairs with any decor and adds a premium viewing experience.


Other fixtures that provide a subtle illumination are Luna and Halo. They both double up as an artistic piece while infusing a comfortable glow.

Dimmable lighting

Do you recall earlier when we said bias lighting can help reduce eye strain? Well, so can dimmable fixtures. Dimmable lighting fixtures give you more control over changing the light intensity to compliment the film or series you watch.

After all, different scenes can post different contrasts and intensities. Dimmable lighting also gives you full control over the ambience, adding coziness to your room.


We recommend: While many of our fixtures at MOD Lighting are dimmable, we highly recommend installing wall sconces like the Aurelius Sconce on your wall. Its edgy, bold, black, icicle-like design can be placed on a wall, subtly highlighting seating or tables below. 

Choose MOD Lighting for your TV room

When choosing lighting fixtures for watching TV and movies, it's always wise to factor in a combination of lighting. Install bias lighting to reduce the risk of eye strain and headaches, dimmable lighting to control the ambience and task lighting to decrease the chances of accidents.

Alongside all of this, always consider the overall theme of your room to ensure the design of the fixtures fits with the interior and ambience. Whenever possible, control unwanted light sources, i.e. sunlight from windows with drapes or curtains, to avoid spillage.

If you're seeking for further fixture inspiration to compliment your TV room or home theater, try shopping by style. With designs ranging from Scandinavian, minimalistic, metropolitan, post-modern and oriental, we have you covered!