An inexpensive set of LEDs is the best way to upgrade your beautiful new TV

People buy a lot of TVs this time of year. In 2016, Target sold more than 3,200 TVs per minute during the Black Friday sale. And as prices drop and screen sizes increase, the temptation to trick your home theater footprint increases.

While that shiny new TV is probably an upgrade from your old set, it's not perfect out of the box. In fact, there are many steps you can take to ensure the photo looks the best it can. But one hack involves more than just digging through the menus: Your new TV could benefit from light shining on the wall behind the screen. This is called bias lighting and fortunately it doesn't cost you a lot of money. Here's our list of the best LED lights for TVs that you can buy once you've realized the benefits.

Coming out of the dark

It's a logical choice to turn off the lights when you're about to watch the latest movie Fast and furious tap your new screen. After all, you don't want the reflections of your lights to disrupt Vin Diesel's meticulous tank tops, and you really want the color and contrast to pop in Jason Statham's steely eyes.

But it turns out there's a downside to looking at a screen in a completely dark environment, and it stems from the natural limitations of your eyeballs and your brain.

The American Association of Ophthalmologists suggests that with a screen that is much brighter than the surrounding area, your eyes have to work harder to see. Your eyes adjust to let in more or less light depending on the brightness of a scene, and movies or TV that constantly vary in brightness force the eye to work overtime.

In addition to the long-term effects, the shift from dark to light can also physically hurt as your eyes try to quickly adjust to a quick jump from dark to light. Increasing the ambient light around the screen allows your eyes to establish a more reasonable baseline that doesn't require as much adjustment.

Adding some ambient light also helps your eyes see the sharpest possible image they can produce. “In a darkened room, your pupil is larger than average, and that will worsen any optical abnormalities in your vision,” says Andrew Iwach, a clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “If your prescription is incorrect or you have undiagnosed eye problems, this may seem even more obvious.”

Pain doesn't hurt

For some viewers it may be worth straining their eyes to get what they think is the best possible photo, but it turns out that looking at a black wall with a glowing rectangle on it actually detracts from the overall image quality, thanks to the perceived contrast. .

Televisions have come a long way in recent years when it comes to recreating the color black. Older sets had less efficient backlighting that could not produce as deep dark tones as modern models. Since the lights couldn't always go completely off, the blacks on the screen looked more like shades of gray, and that takes away some of the impact of dark objects on the screen, like Batman's suit or Batman's car (and other non-Batman related stuff). ).

Modern OLED TVs use individual pixels that provide their own backlighting and can be turned off completely, making their black levels more attractive and increasing the overall contrast of the screen. But even those pixels struggle to look truly black when competing with a pitch-black room.

By adding a relatively dim light that immediately surrounds the screen, the dark parts of the screen look blacker, rather than washed out, compared to the inky blacks in the room. Keeping the lights dim enough also gives the bright whites of the TV a chance to literally shine without scorching your wide-open eyes.

Philips uses built-in lighting on some of its TVs to adjust the content on the screen. Phillips

What kind of light do you need?

Just about everything related to high-end home theater technology is expensive, but getting started with bias lighting is a surprisingly affordable endeavor, especially compared to how much it can improve the perceived picture of your expensive new television. You can check out our list of the best LED lights for TVs, or consider the following variables when shopping for yourself.

Colour

Light color is an essential part of the bias lighting purchasing decision. The most common approach is to use lights that are color balanced so that they resemble natural daylight. This means something in the color temperature range of 6500K. Your brain and eyes perceive this as a neutral color, which makes your TV look neither warm nor cool in comparison. For some people this will look too 'cool' or blue, especially if the typical lighting in the room uses traditional incandescent bulbs which tend to have a much 'warmer' light.

If you're not sure which color of light best suits your preferences, you can opt for something with a variable color balance. It may make your super-high-end home theater nerd friend (the one always trying to explain why $300 HDMI cables make sense) cringe, but your overall enjoyment is the goal here.

There are other options that go beyond simple bias lighting, such as Philips' Ambilight TVs, which actually attempt to mimic the overall color on the screen and extend it beyond the edges of the screen itself. This made more sense back in the day when regular TVs weren't as big as small mattresses. If you're just getting started with bias lighting, a better (and much cheaper) bet is to go with simple, neutral light.

Seeing it

Brightness

While brightness is generally a desirable feature in a TV, you can't just adjust that setting in the hope of getting the best out of your picture. There are even specific brightness standards at which the content must be viewed. There's a rule of thumb that goes all the way back to the days of LaserDiscs that says the bias lighting around your display should be no more than 10 percent of the brightness of your display's maximum setting.

For HDR sets, the picture parameter values ​​for high dynamic range television for production use and international program interchange standard say that the brightness of the bias lighting at the edge of the screen should only be about 5 nits. That's hard to visualize though, so you can do something like the Spears and Munsil HD Benchmark Blu-Ray Disc, which displays various test patterns for visually calibrating your TV. One test pattern contains a dimly lit patch that indicates the ideal brightness for your bias lighting. You can match the two with your eyeballs.

Price

You can spend hundreds of dollars on special lighting for the back of your TV, but unless you're really going over the line, it's not necessary, at least to start. There are multiple options with great reviews on Amazon for under $30.

If you want to improve the quality a little, you can go for a kit. Kits range from $30 to over $100 depending on the size you need and the options you want, but they are very well regarded, even among high-end publications and installers.

Related Posts

  • Technology
  • June 15, 2024
  • 40 views
  • 8 minutes Read
How bad weather forecasts can drive up your grocery bill

This story was originally published by Grist. Sign up for Grist weekly newsletter here. It's no secret that a warming world will cause food prices to rise, a phenomenon increasingly…

FTC Chair Lina Khan on Startups, Scaling and 'Innovations in the Field of Possible Law Violations'

FTC Chair Lina Khan was the youngest person appointed to her position when she took over in 2021. But once her term ends in September – after which she will…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You Missed

FAA is investigating suspected titanium parts used in some Boeing and Airbus jets

  • June 15, 2024
FAA is investigating suspected titanium parts used in some Boeing and Airbus jets

COVID vaccine companies told to focus on KP.2 variant for drop shots, according to FDA announcement

  • June 15, 2024
COVID vaccine companies told to focus on KP.2 variant for drop shots, according to FDA announcement

There are sharks in the Seine – mon dieu! : NPR

  • June 15, 2024
There are sharks in the Seine – mon dieu!  : NPR

South Africa's Ramaphosa is re-elected after the ANC signs a coalition agreement

  • June 15, 2024
South Africa's Ramaphosa is re-elected after the ANC signs a coalition agreement

How bad weather forecasts can drive up your grocery bill

  • June 15, 2024
How bad weather forecasts can drive up your grocery bill

Supplemental Security Income marks age 50. How benefits can change

  • June 15, 2024
Supplemental Security Income marks age 50.  How benefits can change

G7 confronts China on trade, Pope talks about AI

  • June 15, 2024
G7 confronts China on trade, Pope talks about AI

British couple who traveled to Spain were flown to Lithuania instead after being escorted to the wrong plane

  • June 15, 2024
British couple who traveled to Spain were flown to Lithuania instead after being escorted to the wrong plane

Judge halts ban on injection programs in El Dorado County

  • June 15, 2024
Judge halts ban on injection programs in El Dorado County

Intermittent fasting shows promise in improving gut health and weight management

  • June 15, 2024
Intermittent fasting shows promise in improving gut health and weight management

New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez's strategy to blame his wife in a bribery trial could have pitfalls

  • June 15, 2024
New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez's strategy to blame his wife in a bribery trial could have pitfalls