: Home Theater Lighting Options?
2006-12-13, 01:54 AM
Hello there, I am new to this site and so glad that I have found it, I have been doing alot of reading and have got some great information. I would like to get some feed back on various lighting that I could use in a home theater room I am currently building. It is in the bare bones stage now and is easily modified so now is the time to get it done right. I am looking for lighting that can be controlled off of a harmony 880, looking for main lighting as well as lighting for behind my plasma which is a TH50-PX 600. Any information would be a great help.
Thanks in advance
If you want lighting behind your plasma, search for bias lighting. It's been discussed a few times and people have used different items, including a fluorescent fixture with the appropriate 6500K bulb in it, or a string of LED lights from Ikea....
2006-12-13, 02:45 AM
Thanks 57 I have read the information on the lighting behind the plasma how about options for lighting for the room? Controlers, lights that may be controlled with the harmony 880. Oh 57 by the way great looking setup you have going for your AV room
2006-12-13, 03:12 AM
Hi Phil - welcome to DHC! Although I'm not a fan of Monster products, they have a new remote control that is based on the Harmony 890, and includes lighting control: http://www.engadgethd.com/2006/12/05/engadget-hd-review-monster-central-control-system-avl-300/
Also, the Harmony 890 is Z-Wave enabled, so you may want to upgrade to this remote. Enjoy!
If all you want for the other lighting is a dimmer function, you should be able to find dimmer(s) that are IR and controllable by almost any programmable IR remote.
I believe these are discussed elsewhere in this forum, but some are not compatible with some other equipment if I recall. I'm not well versed in this, that's why I only posted regarding the bias light.
2006-12-13, 03:07 PM
I.R. controlled dimmers that you can get at home depot etc. work well but are limited. They can't handle scene lighting and you need to be sure to point the remote at them. If they are included in macro's, often the remote isn't pointing the right direction when the code goes out.
X-10 lighting is the hobby level Power Line Carrier standard that's been around a long time. It's fun to play with but not real robust. It also isn't real friendly for the harmony remotes, though it can work. It can handle scene lighting and there are interfaces for serial and R.F. control so you can do a lot if you want to play.
Insteon and some other proprietary x-10 compatibles are more robust but likely similarly difficult with the harmony. Some have built in scene control and also dual communications such as Power Line Carrier and Mesh R.F. Like x010, these can handle scene lighting and there are interfaces for serial and R.F. control so you can do a lot if you want to play.
Lutron Grafic Eye is very robust. It works with I.R. or serial communications. Much more difficult for the hobbiest to integrate and it is expensive. Works great with control systems such as AMX and Crestron.
Vantage, Crestron, Lite Touch and some others are higher end centalized lighting control. Much more complex to integrate and expensive. Likely not viable unless you are building new. However, they are terrific once done.
2006-12-13, 07:03 PM
I recently switch from x-10 to Insteon and it does work MUCH better, you can set it up to use and x10 ir534 ir controller to be able to control it all using your remote. (I have yet to do this however, just need some time)
Insteon or x-10 is the most economical way to go since you want IR. And it does not acutally require wiring to install, other that the normal switches etc.
It will also work for any room in your house once you have the basic controller set.
On remotecentral there are some good threads on the subject of x10 and insteon IR control
2006-12-14, 02:56 AM
Thanks guys for all your input I am sure this will guide me into the right direction. As for getting the 890 I have already ordered an 880 and got a great deal at $157 and change shipped. I now have my panny mounted and things are looking a bit more in place. I am now thinking I could have got away with the 55" arrrrrrrrrr.
2006-12-14, 05:39 PM
Hi Phil. I have the Ideal Lume Standard Bias light and it works great behind my 61" DLP.
As for dimmers, I have the Lutron Maestro IR and it works just fine. Canadian Tire and Home Depot should have these and they sell for about $70. It comes with it's own remote control as well. With the Maestro remote you don't have to be aiming it at the dimmer switch for it to work. I also have the Harmony 880 as well and the Maestro 880 works perfect with it.
I have the Lutron Maestro IR dimmer working off my 880 as well and I agree with Fuzzy32. It works great. The only draw back I can see is that you can only have one dimmer in the room, as they all work off the same IR signal so if you try and dim one all of them would dim.
But if you want a cheap way to dim a single circuit from an 880 it works great.
2006-12-14, 10:32 PM
Thanks guys excellent help you are taking all of the hard work away now how will I explain where my "research time" goes on the internet to my wife LOL
2006-12-21, 11:13 PM
My last theater had a 6 zone grafik eye and it was fantastic. lots of preset 'moods', and you can easily 'embed' and emitter in it from your automation or RF remote so you don't have to point. Plus they aren't THAT expensive compared to Vantage etc. Say $800ish.