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How to improve a living room darkness?


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13 replies to this topic

#1 of 14 OFFLINE   ascanio1

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Posted August 05 2012 - 02:09 PM

Hi, Happy Girlfriend, happy life... I can eliminate all light sources from my living room when I switch on my HT but the walls and ceiling are completely and absolutely white and I'm not allowed to tamper with the aesthetics of the room! Any improvement must be something that disappears once I finish watching my HT (non reflecting white paints, side curtains, etc...???) which will keep girlfriend/wife happy? A new, grey, screen would a possibility but I need custom size (16:9 with 175cm height) screen to keep the room perfectly dark (window behind screen) and replacing it would mean having one made to measure: a rather expensive solution... Any advice?

#2 of 14 OFFLINE   Jim Mcc

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Posted August 05 2012 - 03:26 PM

First off, who's house is it? If it's yours, do what you want. I suggest you paint the ceiling a flat black. If she's keeping you from doing this, I can only imagine how things will be if you get married. :confused:

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Posted August 05 2012 - 04:05 PM

Unless it is a dedicated HT room, it's hard to go with flat black, even if you are a bachelor.


At any rate, there are somethings you can do to help with light reflections.


1) You can use paint that has sand in it.  Before I had a dedicated theater, the other half would not allow black paint.  She would however allow Polo River Rock paint.  Back then I had something similar to the Swamp Willow color.  The sand in the paint diffuses bounce back of the light.  The paint is extremely difficult to apply though, best to get a professional painter that has experience with it.

2) Get a dark color carpet.  We had an olive green short shag that helped alot.
3) I wanted to do this but didn't get a way with it, you could get a large piece of black suede fabric, put grommets along the edges and put hooks in the ceiling.  Then you would hang the black suede on the ceiling.  You would only need to go maybe 4' out from the screen.  If you are close to side walls, you could do the same thing hanging from the wall.  This would allow you to eliminate the worst of the bounce back of light to the screen, but only have it when you are watching a movie.



Hope the above helps.  I know what you are going through.  Now that I have a dedicated HT, the other half has no say in what I do in that room.  :)



#4 of 14 OFFLINE   ascanio1

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Posted August 06 2012 - 07:35 PM

Jim, Yup... you're actually right! :rolleyes: I'm very worried: and that's why I'm letting her have a big say in it - today it's still my choice to let her have a say, once I get married it won't be such a free choice. :( I'm testing how much I'll have to give up to make her happy and how much of it I can handle. :) Besides... I love her and I actually do want her to be happy so, if I can compromise with whims which I consider absurd, and still be happy myself, it means that I can give up enough to make this relationship work without mortifying or curtailing my own (or hers). :D But, you are 100% right! I can't imagine how it will be in the future and I'm pretty scared! :confused:

#5 of 14 OFFLINE   ascanio1

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Posted August 06 2012 - 07:46 PM

1) You can use paint that has sand in it. 

Looking into the costs of this solution

get a large piece of black suede fabric, put grommets along the edges and put hooks in the ceiling. Then you would hang the black suede on the ceiling. ... you could do the same thing hanging from the wall.

Excellent idea! I was thinking of curtains but this might even be better as it will be totally invisible once I remove them! As for the carpet I can't: the whole home is carpeted with one identical material & colour. Can't touch that. But, from your previous Idea, I can also lay on the floor a dark carpet when i watch and remove it when I don't. I wonder how long I will last putting everything on and removing... we watch movies every night... but it's a start to think about... an idea to explore. Better than nothing. Thanks!

#6 of 14 OFFLINE   ascanio1

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Posted August 06 2012 - 07:47 PM

BTW, how do I change my login name? It was created by default! I tried to do so in the edit profile menu but no such option!

#7 of 14 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted August 06 2012 - 10:47 PM

Tommy,


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Let me know what your current username is and what you want it changed to.


 

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#8 of 14 OFFLINE   ascanio1

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Posted August 07 2012 - 12:39 AM

thanks. Have done.

#9 of 14 OFFLINE   Jim Mcc

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Posted August 07 2012 - 10:54 AM

Looking into the costs of this solution Excellent idea! I was thinking of curtains but this might even be better as it will be totally invisible once I remove them! As for the carpet I can't: the whole home is carpeted with one identical material & colour. Can't touch that. But, from your previous Idea, I can also lay on the floor a dark carpet when i watch and remove it when I don't. I wonder how long I will last putting everything on and removing... we watch movies every night... but it's a start to think about... an idea to explore. Better than nothing. Thanks!

Don't worry about the carpet. It's much more important to have the ceiling a dark color. And it's best to run the black fabric all the way to the projector, if possible. And if you watch during daylight, you need to have blackout curtains or something similiar.

#10 of 14 OFFLINE   Stan

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Posted August 07 2012 - 12:46 PM

May sound kind of weird, but I use red incandescent light bulbs in several of the lamps in my living room (think they're 25 watts). Kind of like old fashioned developing rooms for photographers. Just enough light to see by when you need to walk around, but no glare and at least for me are very compatible with movie viewing. Have a feeling they may be getting kind of rare with the newer CFL bulbs, etc. so I always stock up on a few here and there when shopping. Easily swapped out if you've got guests visiting or just want to go back to regular lighting. The store I usually shop at was out once so I tried orange, which was no good. Definitely ditto for blue or green. I've got dark burgundy wall to wall carpet, but white walls and celing, along with a large floor to ceiling mirror, but have no problems viewing when I use the red bulbs.
Stan

#11 of 14 OFFLINE   ascanio1

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Posted August 08 2012 - 03:52 AM

hmmm:( ceiling may be a problem... Not sure that I can convince my girlfriend to a black ceiling and I don't want to hang a black 3.6mx4.9m cloth (too large). I thought of a sliding ceiling curtain but I'm not sure that I can pull off a good, elegant, and practical solution. If you guys had some pictures of a sliding ceiling curtain or some other ideas, it would be great! @stan Red lights + white walls and ceiling? Wow... that seems very bright to me... I have white walls and ceiling and when I watch a movie I almost don't need any light to have dinner in that room. I only keep the door ajar and it's already ample light from the screen!

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Posted August 08 2012 - 04:50 PM

Originally Posted by ascanio1 

I wonder how long I will last putting everything on and removing... we watch movies every night... but it's a start to think about... an idea to explore. Better than nothing.
Thanks!


Too see if it is worth it, find a great scene (i.e. the opening chapter to the Matrix when the police are trying to handcuff Trinity).  Pause on a section of that.  Look at it with the treatment, then remove the treatment on and look at it again.  Notice if some of the detail in the black has returned or if the black seems inkier.

If it does and it is noticeable, then you know the effort is worth the return.


It's hard to say on all of this depending on the PJ that you have.  But since you are looking at getting a JVC, then you would most likely notice the difference.



#13 of 14 OFFLINE   ascanio1

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Posted August 08 2012 - 07:11 PM

Kevin, I'm pretty sure it's worth having. My room is completely white! But, thanks for the test scenario. I will use it for reference.

#14 of 14 OFFLINE   Stan

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Posted August 15 2012 - 10:22 PM

@stan Red lights + white walls and ceiling? Wow... that seems very bright to me... I have white walls and ceiling and when I watch a movie I almost don't need any light to have dinner in that room. I only keep the door ajar and it's already ample light from the screen!

Like I mentioned, sounds kind of weird, but it works, at least for me. Ceilings and walls are semi-gloss white so not highly reflective, most of my problem was other lights in the room, a lot of glare. Also have full length light blue drapes on two walls, so they're somewhat neutral. One entire wall is left side drapes, center is four foot wide floor to ceiling beveled mirror, right side another full set of drapes (inherited from my grandparents so not my design). Even with a couple of red lights it's not quite bright enough to enjoy a dinner, but light from the screen provides just enough while at the same time making it a very intimate, comfortable setting. Certainly not a family chit chat room and turn on more lights during social gatherings, but excellent for films and TV shows.
Stan