Enhance your TV and gaming experience with these polarizing lights

Enhance your TV and gaming experience with these polarizing lights

Governess

Biased lighting is a great way to not only make using a computer or watching TV more comfortable, but also adding a bit of ambiance and style to your home office or living room. Here are some examples of traditional, smart, and adaptive bias lights for your home that are worth looking into.

What is bias lighting?

Have you ever heard of biased lighting? There’s no better time than the present to learn about lighting style that prevents eye strain. For an in-depth dive into the subject, including tips on lighting placement and color temperature, check out our guide to biased lighting.

In short, however, bias lias lighting in its most basic form is simply a relatively dim light source placed behind a computer screen, television screen, or even around a projector screen in a home theater. , which introduces a small amount of indirect light into the environment. without shining it directly into the viewer’s eyes.

This small amount of light helps your eyes work better and with less fatigue, both increasing your comfort and creating better contrast on the screen. And, when you get into the more sophisticated bias lights, you’ll even find cool features like adaptive lighting that syncs with on-screen content for a real wow factor.

Traditional bias lighting: Simple white for simple comfort

The most basic form of bias lighting is simply any white light, preferably 6500K lighting temperature, placed behind the screen. If your TV is at an angle in the corner, this light can be as simple as a 6500k LED bulb shining down the wall, but more traditional placement along the wall requires something thinner like an LED strip.

Thanks to the plummeting cost of LEDs, it’s cheaper than ever to add LED bias lighting to your computer monitor or TV. We advise you not to go too Cheap, though, because you still want to make sure the LEDs have good quality control and accurate color temperature.

Many people opt for a simple LED strip like this Hamlite model. It has a color temperature of 6500k, dedicated white LEDs and it is USB powered.

The more advanced options we’re about to look at are always-on power, so if you don’t want to fuss with switches or remotes and just want the lights to come on when the TV turns on lights up, using the USB port on the back of the TV (or on your computer) is a nifty way to tie the power state of the lights to the power state of the display.

To get all the functional benefits of bias lighting without the hassle or frills, you really can’t go wrong with a simple white LED strip or white LED bulb. There are, however, some benefits to switching to integrated smart home bias lighting and even adaptive bias lighting.

Smart Bias Lighting: Hey Google, it’s game time

A computer screen with smart bias lighting behind it.
Bias lights are also ideal for computer screens. Governess

While there’s nothing wrong with sticking with the most basic option, mixing lights with smart home integration does offer some benefits.

If you have the room set up for any sort of integrations related to watching movies, gaming, or similar activities, you can simply add the smart bias lighting into the mix to turn on when it’s on. movie time or whatever.

In my house, for example, you can say “Hey Google, it’s movie time” or “game time” in any of the rooms with smart bias lighting configured and the Google Home system will automatically adapt everything the intelligent equipment of this room for the task.

You can also use smart bias lighting in ways that aren’t directly related to media consumption or game playback. These same smart lights I have with all TVs and computer monitors can also be used for secondary lighting purposes. At night, LEDs can work as a perfect form of mood lighting in the room, whether you’re watching TV or not, or simply be incorporated into the general lighting of the room.

You can go basic and look for an option that includes simple smart home integration or you can spend more money on an LED strip with fancier features like pattern display, music syncing, etc. . Although even budget options include these features, there’s usually no reason to avoid them.

Govee TV Backlight

Despite its reasonable price, this small light strip includes smart home integration and other features.

For example, you can pick up a basic Govee TV backlight for $20-30 and enjoy integration with your smart home (plus app-based control, of course). The Govee app lets you set up light displays and if you want your space to have a rave mode, a little built-in mic will sync the lights to the music.

There are more expensive options, of course, like a more advanced RGBIC strip from Govee that features brighter LEDs with smoother color transitions. If you’re looking for affordable, smart built-in lights of all shapes and sizes, you really can’t go wrong with Govee. Despite my heavy investment in the Hue ecosystem, I still use Govee lights everywhere, including my backyard.

Speaking of Philips, you’ll also find options in the Hue smart lighting range, but their smart LED strips are quite expensive for what they are – just basic, albeit high quality, LED strips that fit to the Hue ecosystem. If you’re going to pay Hue prices, you really should upgrade to the last type of bias lighting – adaptive bias lighting.

Adaptive Bias Lighting: The Flashiest Option Ever

The rear view of a TV equipped with a Hue light strip and a Hue sync box.
Phillips

So far we’ve talked about basic home lighting and lighting that has some form of integration with your smart system for ease of use and added functionality.

If you want to spend a little more money and have a a lot more flashy experience with your biased lighting experience, you can switch from simple lighting bias (smart or otherwise) to lighting that changes in response to what’s on screen.

Call it adaptive, dynamic or reactive bias lighting, the result is the same and quite impressive. Adaptive bias lighting syncs, through various mechanisms, with the content of your screen, creating room-filling color that really makes the screen feel bigger and the action happening. unfolds there is more immersive.

The company that put this style of visualization on the map is Philips, with the introduction of its “Ambilight” system. Ambilight TVs have an integrated LED strip on the back that stays in sync, via the TV hardware itself, with the content on the screen. Once relatively popular, there are now very few Ambilight TVs on the market and the majority of people benefiting from adaptive lighting do so with third-party solutions added to their existing TVs.

Philips does, however, offer an expensive Hue sync box that can be paired with Hue LED strips, Hue reading bars or generally compatible Hue bulbs, to turn any TV into an Ambilight TV. The advantage of the Hue box is that it is a line-level integration with your TV, which means the LED strip around the set receives color data directly from the HDMI signal which is fed there.

The vast majority of people who use this setup are quite happy with it, and if they have any complaints, it’s about the high price, not the end result. The only downside to the Hue Sync Box, besides the price, is that it requires a video input. If you use your smart TV’s apps for all your streaming services, you’ll need to use a streaming device instead of feeding the signal into the box.

If you’re interested in the experience without the high price tag, by the way, you can do it much cheaper if you already have Hue products and add adaptive bias lighting to your computer (or have an HTPC connected to your TV).

Philips offers a lightweight app, available for Windows and macOS, called “Hue Sync for PC” that effectively turns your computer into a source of video stream data (no Hue Sync box needed). If you’re already a Hue household and have compatible Hue products like Hue Play Bars, you just need the free app and you’re in business. I use this setup on my gaming PC and it’s a great way to increase gaming immersion.

While Philips may have been first to market and still has a very impressive product lineup, there’s a much more budget-friendly alternative: the Govee DreamView. It’s not a line-level entry and the color matching isn’t as accurate, but I own it (and love it) and we reviewed it at Review Geek and they loved it there too.

Instead of a box intercepting the video signal (or an application on your computer), it uses a camera to monitor the screen in real time. While the Philips platform might win in a 1:1 color matching contest, Govee’s DreamView system costs around one-sixth the cost and the overall effect is still very pleasing.

Like the Hue Play system, you can add more lights to increase the ambiance in the room, but again, at a fraction of the cost.

But however you add bias lighting to your setup, whether it’s a simple strip of white LEDs or a more sophisticated adaptive system that wows your friends and family, your eyes will will thank. Once you start using the lighting bias for work and play, you can’t imagine life without it.


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