Lighting layout

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Building DIY' started by rhysw1981, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. rhysw1981

    rhysw1981
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    Hello, All,

    The build started on my garage/entertainment room yesterday. I need to start considering the lighting layout, I will be using dimmable spotlights, I was thinking:-

    Two groups of lights, so that the group near the screen can go off and the group at the back can stay on but dimmed right down (this will make it easier to grabs drinks etc). I have been told that I need to keep the spotlights away from the path of the projector, meaning not to have them centreline? The ceiling is going to be mat black thus I will probably need quite a few lights so that it not too dark when not using the projector.

    I also need to think about speaker placement, going with Atmos 7.1 with either 2 or 4 ceiling speakers.

    Any ideas would be appreciated, I have included a diagram with some notes on the placement of either item.
     

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  2. Navvie

    Navvie
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    My room is a little narrower and longer than yours and I used two rows of five 7w GU10 'anti glare' downlights. Each row in from the nearest sidewall by a quarter of the room width, and the lights spaced equally between the front and rear walls. Took a bit of trial and error with string to get the spacing right and avoid joists.

    Gives a good coverage of light. Plenty bright enough to work by as I continue putting plasterboard on the walls. Currently on a simple on-off switch, but will swap to a dimmer once we're ready to use the room properly.
     
  3. The Dreamer

    The Dreamer
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    Just a couple of notes....

    If you use LEDs in your downlighters be sure to use sufficient to present an acceptable load to your dimmer. Many dimmer switches require a minimum load to work properly, if you use too few on each circuit you run the risk of the LEDs 'strobing' (LEDs being a much smaller load per bulb than traditional incandescent or halogen bulbs). I'd suggest at least 5 LEDs per circuit to mitigate this (we have one circuit in the house with just four bulbs, and it flickers at certain dimmer settings).

    I have all my downlights in the cinema on one circuit (8 lights in total), and they dim very well with this load - I use Philips WarmGlow LED GU10's and would highly recommend them; they dim far lower than any other LED we have in the house, and, as their name suggests, have a nice warm glow at lower levels, just like halogen bulbs.

    I've used 3 sets of RGB LED strip lighting elsewhere for accent lighting, which has a very pleasing effect.

    HTH
     
  4. rhysw1981

    rhysw1981
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    Thanks for the advice so far. The Dreamer, where have you mounted the RGB strips out of interest?
     
  5. The Dreamer

    The Dreamer
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    I built a 'feature' ceiling to hide my air vents and Atmos speakers at the front of the cinema, and a 'feature' surrounding the projector hush-box to do the same at the rear. The RGB strips are hidden behind 'lips' that I created on each of these 'features'.


    Cinema Build-1040828.jpg
    ^^^ RGB lighting at the front of the cinema

    Cinema Build-1040832.jpg
    ^^^ and again at the rear.

    Each strip of RGB LEDs is controlled by a separate controller, so can individually change colour - if I want (but I haven't bothered yet)!

    HTH

    PS My room is 5.5m long x 4.5m wide
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
  6. ufo550

    ufo550
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    If I may offer some advice on LED dimmers.

    Whilst it is true LED dimmers will require a minimum load to operate correctly, which wasn't an issue as such with halogen lamps with their higher wattage use, recent LED dimmers now have a minimum load as low as 10w (some even suggesting even lower). Indeed there is a consideration about the maximum switchable load for LED lamps, due to the initial inrush on start up. If the circuit is not designed correctly, this can cause the over current device (e.g. mcb) to trip.

    If installing sealed unit LED down lights, the manufacturer may specify compatible dimmers. LED dimmers have improved rapidly over the last few years. I would recommend Varilight & Zano dimmers, they also offer good technical advice;

    VARILIGHT Dimmers, Switches & Sockets
    The Answer to LED Dimming

    As regards placement of down lights, I can't comment for cinema rooms, but in general the lumen output, colour temperature and beam angle of the lamp all play a part. In a normal room, to provide a good spread of light, I would recommend a maximum of 800mm from walls & 1200mm between luminaires, although there are some downlights which designed for larger measurements, i.e. JCC FGLED10.

    Lastly, and stating the obvious, not all LED lamps and luminaires are suitable for dimming.
     
  7. Navvie

    Navvie
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    Given what @ufo550 has posted, my spacing might not be ideal. I read various guides that said one light every 1m², one light every 1.5m², room square footage times 1.5 giving the number of watts required, divide that by the wattage of your bulbs to get the number of lights required.

    Rightly or wrongly I had already pulled the old ceiling down before starting to think about the lighting layout. I had some off-cuts of plasterboard and used these to work out the position and number of lights and, importantly, got SWMBO's agreement before I started putting the new ceiling up. I have to lift floorboards in the rooms above to fit acoustic/fire boxes over the lights and speakers so I'll add more lights in at that stage if we feel it's necessary.

    My LEDs are dimmable and I got a varilight dimmer too.
     
  8. ufo550

    ufo550
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    As I said Navvie, requirements for a kitchen or living room, would different I guess to a cinema/games room?

    Also unfortunately, different lamps/luminaires have different beam angles/lenses. I bought two different makes of downlights for my sons extension to trial, because we had a limited depth in which to fit them. One had a wider beam angle, with a higher lumen output, to another with narrower angle less lumens. The later lit up my 'whitegoods' iPhone app more than the former, when my phone was sat directly below it. We picked the former as it seemed to have a whiter light (both were supposed to be 3000k), and better spread.

    Having the ceiling down, makes things easier to locate downlights, joists, pipes & cable runs always are, where you want to put a downlight :mad:
     
  9. RobbieD

    RobbieD
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    I also used Recessed Baffle GU10 fittings to avoid reflections off the screen.

    Another vote for the Philips WarmGlow / DimTone GU10 Lamps. I tested 8 different dimmable GU10 lamps, and these had by far the smoothest dimming, and were the only lamps able to dim virtually to zero with no flicker. (In fact I managed this with only two lamps on one circuit - using trailing edge dimmers.)

    I've done exactly this, and it works well.

    The Phillips lamps allow me to have the downlights above the seating on around 3% brightness - so dim that the room is virtually pitch black, but you can just see a glass on the side table or snacks on your lap.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
  10. ufo550

    ufo550
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    I prefer the sealed LED luminaires from the likes of JCC, Scholmore, Collingwood or Enlite, etc. IP rated, fire rated and most come with a extended warranty, and the manufacturer specifies compatible dimmers.
     
  11. RobbieD

    RobbieD
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    I agree that they have their advantages, and did consider them myself.

    But I ended up taking the route of standard GU10 downlights; Partly due to cost, but partly because I was unsure of many aspects of what I wanted (beam angles, colour temperatures, required wattages, etc).

    With GU10 being the most widely available standard fitting, they easily allowed plenty of options for trying/changing different lamps to try different beam angles/widths, colour temperatures, dimming capabilities (as I have done in my quest to find the best lamps) and also to easily upgrade to better lamps (& new tech, such as Hue) as it comes on the market in the future.

    Sealed luminaries have less options, and once specified you are fixed in terms of beam angles/widths, colour temperatures, dimming capabilities, unless you want the work & cost of replacing the whole fitting to "try" something new, or possibly better in the future.

    But it's horses for courses.
     
  12. ufo550

    ufo550
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    Whilst I agree with you, that once you have 'picked' your sealed LED DL, it would be more expensive to replace than you average GU10 lamp, but a GU10 lamp (good quality one) is not cheap either. Replacing them at a later date because of dissatisfaction, is not really being efficient; that should have been decided upon at the design stage. I have both types of fittings in my own home. I was an early adopter of GU10 LED lamps, some that I have are nearly 10 years old, and still going strong.

    The beam angle should be taken into account, when designing the placement of your downlights. As should colour temperature, there are now of course colour changing downlights (sealed), either selectable at installation or after to change the mood lighting.

    It seems we have lost sight of the conception of LED lamps, i.e. operational life time or longevity.
     
  13. RobbieD

    RobbieD
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    Hence my comment "horses for courses". - Some people (such as yourself) will already know exactly what beam angle, colour temperature, wattage, etc. that they want. But, as my first such installation, & having to decide before construction of the space was complete (let alone equipment/furniture specified) a route that allowed easier "trial & error"/experimentation suited me.
     
  14. ufo550

    ufo550
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    Wasn't trying to be clever with my response. The 'sealed' unit downlights tend to have a larger beam angle than the GU10's, and the manufacturers will give a dimmer compatibility list, which along with attributes of the actual can, think they are a better option IMO.

    Edit, 'sealed units downlights tend to have a larger beam angle than the GU10's', not quite correct, so ignore that bit :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017

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