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Backlighting a 32" tv on an entertainment center

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeremy Anderson, Jul 19, 2001.

  1. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson Screenwriter

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    I have a 32" tv on an entertainment center/dual bookshelf unit (don't worry... my speakers aren't in it!), and I've been meaning to backlight it somehow to help with my all-night DVD binges (and save my poor straining eyes).
    I'm going by Home Depot on my way home from work, and was wondering what exactly I should look for in the way of a fluorescent fixture and bulb. The wall behind the entertainment center is flat white (but looks about 80% gray), and the bookshelves to either side of the TV area cover all but 1 foot from the ceiling and about 4 feet to each side wall. The TV fills the entire space horizontally between the bookshelves,and vertically there's 4 feet above the screen (where my center channel resides, angled down) and 2.5 feet below (where my sub is) of visible wall.
    1) What temperature and CRI bulb do I need? I don't want it to be overly bright, and with the white wall I'm not sure how to achieve that.
    2) What width fixture?
    3) Are the fixtures safe to mount near my television? There is a small area where my TV sits where the light could rest behind it. Or should I just mount it to the wall back there somehow?
     
  2. Usong

    Usong Auditioning

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    I personally don't utilize backlighting on RPTV as I enjoy the complete darkness of my HT room. However, my friend installed several of those battery-operated press-on fluorescent lights behind his entertainment center, which I thought worked very nicely.
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  3. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    Jeremy, use the search function on the Hardware board; lots of refs.
    Generally, you can mount yr own from a Home Depot 14- or 16-in Daylight bulb marked 6500K with a generic fluorescent electric base. Ready-made internet packages are $35 to $44!
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  4. Thomas_A

    Thomas_A Second Unit

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    I like using candles ... smells good and gives off great lighting...
     
  5. Marianne

    Marianne Supporting Actor

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    I have a similar situation. My TV is in a cabinet and there is no room to put a backlight inside. The cabinet is too heavy to move for bulb changing if the light is behind it on the floor.
    So, I put the light on top of the cabinet facing the back wall (which is a corner) with something in front of it to conceal the actual light housing. It is plugged into my receiver and switches on and off with it.
    I got a switched 18" (1" dia.) unit from Home Depot (or Lowes?). I am using a fish tank bulb at 6000K (15 watt) until I find a 6500K bulb.
    Anyhoo, it works pretty well. [​IMG]
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    Marianne
    "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here,
    this is the War Room Home Theater Forum!"
     
  6. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson Screenwriter

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    Okay, I picked up an $8 18" all-plastic fixture, and the closest my Home Depot had to a 6500k bulb was a GE Sunlight bulb (which is 15 watt, 5000k, 90 CRI).
    Oddly enough, with my white wall and this bulb, the color comes really close to the backlighting color guide on Avia, so I'm pretty happy. I rechecked the calibration of my TV with Avia while the backlight was on, and after a few minor adjustments, popped in Fight Club. You really can tell the difference in the way colors are affected by having a backlight, even with my CRT television! It also seems to help with shadow detail. Also, I managed to watch two movies tonight with all the lights off except the backlight, and NO EYE STRAIN!
    Needless to say... I am very pleased with the results. I plugged the light into the switched receptacle on my digital cable box, and now my whole HT switches on and lights up with one button. It's amazing how a little thing like this can make me so happy. [​IMG]
     

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