Article: What is Bias Lighting for TVs?

La Finta Nonna

Active Member
I expect that bias lighting might just be justifiable for LCD tellys but I can see no point in using them with OLED tv. Many times there are conversations on this site regarding the watching of television in the dark and numerous people will mention that it can cause eye strain. Medically speaking what does that actually mean and how many scientific studies have been carried out into this alleged problem?
 

Indiana Jones

Moderator
I expect that bias lighting might just be justifiable for LCD tellys but I can see no point in using them with OLED tv. Many times there are conversations on this site regarding the watching of television in the dark and numerous people will mention that it can cause eye strain. Medically speaking what does that actually mean and how many scientific studies have been carried out into this alleged problem?

Google is often all you need...

Watching too much TV affects our eyesight resulting in TV eye strain because we are focusing on a small, bright object in a dark room. The dark room causes your irises to open wider to let in more light. Yet the irises do not close as much as they should to focus on the bright TV screen.

So by having bias lighting your iris does not need to open as wide thus reducing the amount of eye strain.
 

AdamAttewell

Well-known Member
Been using a Medialight for over a year now & have been very happy with it.

My room has a TV & a projector so was a little tricky to implement a bias light as the whole room is blacked out for the projector.

I built a frame around the TV & painted it with Munsell N5 grey paint so the reflected light is the same as what is used in grading/edit bays.

Also the brightness of the bias light is also important in comparison to how bright you have calibrated your display.

The recently revised SMPTE standard is 5 nits (candellas per square meter) +/- 0.5 nits. This is not a perceptual percentage but must be measured with a spot luminance meter or spectroradiometer.

The level of that ambient illumination being reflected should be adjusted to 5 nits in order to comply with the recent SMPTE standard specification for reference viewing environment conditions. This is after the display itself is calibrated for dark room viewing.
 

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terb

Standard Member
I really want to get one of the MediaLights, particularly after reading this article, but my TV is wall mounted (LG 65C9) with about 7cm between the back of the panel and the wall, around the edges where the light would go. Does anyone with experience know whether it will be possible to fit the light strips without having to remove the TV from the wall (I just can’t face that)?
It would be tricky ,if the bracket doesn't pull out a little ,but you might be able to do it , i put my media light flex 2 on my lg oled before fitting
 

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sosen13

Well-known Member
Luminoodle multicolour strip fitted 2inch away every edge of 65xh9505, quite impressed

IMG_20201212_155134.jpgIMG_20201212_155222.jpgIMG_20201212_155542.jpg
 

MrMrH

Active Member
I got one of the Luminoodles a year or two ago and it helps a good bit, but with my TV there’s no way it was going to fix the terrible light bleed (I’d need a flood light to improve the blacks on my set).

I actually like it as it means we can still see the things in the room (remote, cups, etc) which is another advantage. I do shut down the other lights in the room, including the LEDs on a tree beside us.
 

sosen13

Well-known Member

richardsim7

Distinguished Member
I expect that bias lighting might just be justifiable for LCD tellys but I can see no point in using them with OLED tv. Many times there are conversations on this site regarding the watching of television in the dark and numerous people will mention that it can cause eye strain. Medically speaking what does that actually mean and how many scientific studies have been carried out into this alleged problem?
 

jumpman 1972

Standard Member
I'm a bit late to the discussion but i have a Philips Ambilight television and have it on follow video mode. The effect when playing video games is absolutely incredible and is so good i am willing to wait until Philips release a good gaming TV in the future to buy a new TV.
Fingers crossed that will be this year or next.
 

quake5

Novice Member
You also need to account for the colour of your walls' viewing environment. Grading suites have dark gray walls and bias light with a high CRI. Much different from the more generic white living room (mine, at least)

edit: just read AdamAttewell's post. I would have quoted him...
 

silent ninja

Well-known Member
Google is often all you need...



So by having bias lighting your iris does not need to open as wide thus reducing the amount of eye strain.

What is "too much TV" that causes eye strain mean anyway?

Still not sold on bias lighting. Sure Hollywood producers might use it, but they're watching 8+ hours straight because of their job. That doesn't mean we need bias lighting at home. A movie is 2 hours. I don't get eye strain during a typical movie and I suspect most people don't - and they'll switch on a lamp in the corner. I find it hard to believe a lamp potentially several metres away could discernibly distort colours of a TV. If you need measuring equipment to measure the distortion, does it even matter?

If you get eye strain, maybe you're watching too much TV?
 

Jagjit

Active Member
What is "too much TV" that causes eye strain mean anyway?

Still not sold on bias lighting. Sure Hollywood producers might use it, but they're watching 8+ hours straight because of their job. That doesn't mean we need bias lighting at home. A movie is 2 hours. I don't get eye strain during a typical movie and I suspect most people don't - and they'll switch on a lamp in the corner. I find it hard to believe a lamp potentially several metres away could discernibly distort colours of a TV. If you need measuring equipment to measure the distortion, does it even matter?

If you get eye strain, maybe you're watching too much TV?
You are right. I used to have the lamp on in the corner. But a personal opinion that I prefer the bias light since adding it around 3 months ago. I got the cheaper luminoodle for £25 but would consider the more expensive MediaLight if/when the TV gets replaced.
 

barkzz

Active Member
The medialight stuff is fantastic. I've got it hooked up to downstairs 65" Q90R, and now upstairs on 2x Dell 2K 27" PC Screens. I wouldn't live without it now.
 

Garioch

Well-known Member
Thanks Steve for this highly informative article. I have been interested in bias lighting ever since it was discussed a few podcasts ago.

If a TV is already professionally calibrated, does introducing bias lighting invalidate the calibration? Or would the TV require a recalibration?

My OLED TV is in a living room with a light grey wall. But I can completely black-out the room (I have good black-out curtains). Would I still benefit from bias lighting?

Thanks once again.
 

chiro81

Active Member
I also found the luminoodle too bright . Have now got Hue Lightstrip for 3 sides (2m + 1m extension). Can set to 6500k and other colours and control via my Harmony Remote

how can you set hue to a specific number like 6500?? It’s just a guessing game with the hue app...
 

tazg101

Active Member
how can you set hue to a specific number like 6500?? It’s just a guessing game with the hue app...

As I mentioned earlier:

download an app called Yonomi. You can set 6500K via here. Then once your light is set, open the Hue app and save current light setting as a new scene.
 

Indiana Jones

Moderator
What is "too much TV" that causes eye strain mean anyway?

Still not sold on bias lighting. Sure Hollywood producers might use it, but they're watching 8+ hours straight because of their job. That doesn't mean we need bias lighting at home. A movie is 2 hours. I don't get eye strain during a typical movie and I suspect most people don't - and they'll switch on a lamp in the corner. I find it hard to believe a lamp potentially several metres away could discernibly distort colours of a TV. If you need measuring equipment to measure the distortion, does it even matter?

If you get eye strain, maybe you're watching too much TV?

Not everyone has perfect eye sight, for some even watching a small amount in a dark room could cause eye strain so having an additional light source be it a lamp or bias lighting will without a doubt help.
 

Roohster

Distinguished Member
Not a fan of bias lighting myself, I like to see just the screen, not the room when I'm watching a film.
Scientific reasoning aside, it's my preference.

I'd like to mention though that the last post production studio I worked at had a grading suite next door to my studio... with a dark room, no bias lighting.
 

Gilga

Active Member
Phillips created Ambilight to hide imperfections than could be seen when watching in a dark room and sold it as a feature.
 

Jagjit

Active Member
Always wondered why nobody else added something similar to ambilight. Even the cheaper brands. Is the patent that tight or does nobody else believe it’s worth while doing?
 

Flynch191

Active Member
With an led tv and watching a film in the dark HDR or HD with the lights off, my eyes start to strain towards the end.. eye fatigue??
I could put a lamp on etc but I find the bias light works for me... once I got used to seeing a light around the TV. Blacks seem to look better.. maybe because my eyes aren’t hurting I enjoy the screen more.
Either-way these lights get my approval.
 

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