Most people really enjoy the experience they have when going to the movies. This form of entertainment is something that is enjoyed by patrons of all ages. So, having the right movie theater lighting helps ensure a pleasant movie going experience. Below are some suggestions on how to achieve the best possible outcome when it comes to movie theater lighting.
For a movie theater setting, the right ambient lighting is crucial. When patrons first enter a theater their eyes have to adjust to lower light levels, so the use of ambient light allows eyes to adjust without any issues. It also allows patron's eyes to readjust after the movie as well, since they've had to stare at a brightly lit screen for several hours. We recommend ambient lighting with lower lumen outputs than conventional lighting. Also, the color temperature of the lighting that is being provided plays an important role as well, since most movie theaters opt for yellow toned or bluish lights.
If a movie theater has a cove in the ceiling or raised molding, adding some additional lighting to these places is an ideal solution. This will help add ambiance while also providing enough light for people to find their seat during previews. We also recommend using a dimmer or timer for this area of lighting, this will allow the light level to be adjusted once the movie begins and then brought to full brightness when the movie ends.
Even though the appearance of the lighting in a movie theater are important, safety comes first. For instance, if the theater is poorly lit, accidents or injuries can occur from patrons slipping or falling. So, you should take into account the areas that see high levels of traffic such as stairs, seats, and exits. For example, runner lights should be added to the stairs that run the length their full length, while having additional step lights above each step. For runner lights, we recommend the use of LED tape light, which can be added indiscreetly with the use of extrusions and lenses. You'll also want to have backlighting underneath the seats for a better view of their location. Don't forget that exits need to be clearly marked with emergency exit signs for the safety of patrons as well.
You need to avoid fixtures that provide too much direct light. Instead, movie theater lighting needs to be gentle on the eyes. We recommend using wall sconces, which will provide you with a mix of up-light and downlight. For example, even though overhead lights provide a better spread of light, it can be too direct. Using a mix of up and downlight cast, will help protect patron's eyes.
While ambient lighting is ideal for the safety and appearance of a movie theater, there are other types of lighting needed as well. We recommend adding overhead lights to the movie theater to help with illumination for staff to clean. However, these lights shouldn't be operational during the movie. Going from a dimly lit theater to one that's brightly lit would be too jarring on the eyes of patrons. Also, we recommend easing movie goers into the lower lighting levels they'll see in the theater. For example, the lobby should be bright because that's what most patrons expect. However, the hallways leading to the various theaters should be dimmer than the lobby with the entrance to each individual theater being even dimmer to help make the transition an easier process.