Luminoodle LED TV Backlight
What started out as the search for a “white elephant” gift for Erin’s holiday party last year, turned into an item that I didn’t know that I needed but now absolutely LOVE….it’s the Luminoodle LED TV Backlight. An inexpensive (under $20) item, ordered online that Frank easily installed on all our TVs in our house. Not only does it look cool, but it makes for a more enjoyable TV watching.
Below is an exerpt from article posted on How-To-Geek where you can learn more about Bias Lighting (TV backlighting) and why you should be using it.
There’s a good chance you’ve been watching television and working at your computer for years in a way that fatigues your eyes, increases your chance of headaches, and overall decreases your enjoyment and comfort.
Why Screens Strain Our Eyes
When we watch television or use a computer work station in a completely dark or significantly darkened room we create a less-than-ideal viewing situation wherein our eyes are staring very intently at a small window of very bright light that is floating in a sea of darkness. Despite the fact that we accurately perceive the screen to be very bright in relationship to the rest of the scene our eyes take in, our eyes attempt to adjust based on the average brightness across the entire field of view and not the average brightness of the screen (or, conversely, the dimmer off-screen area). As a result our eyes become rapidly fatigued and with extended exposure we experience dry eyes, general discomfort, watery eyes, and even tension headaches radiating out from the temple area. In worst case scenarios with extended exposure some people experience ocular migraines, extreme headaches that result from intense eye strain.
How Bias Lights Relieve Strain
So how do we avoid our inevitable exposure to bright light in the form of TV viewing and workstation time frying our poor eyes? The key is to increase the general luminance in the room without introducing problems that arise from just indiscriminately flipping all the lights on.
In your typical living room/workspace you have ceiling lights, floor lamps, and table lamps, all of which are typically located either above (as in the case of ceiling lights) or located in front of the screen at roughly the same height as the viewer’s head like the table and floor lamp seen in the image above.
While turning on these lights while viewing the television does in fact mitigate the issue of the bright screen framed against a very dim room it introduces a whole new host of problems. Lighting that is to the side or behind the viewer projects light onto the viewing surface and decreases contrast, introduces glare and haze to the image, and creates its own kind of eyestrain as a result. It may not be as intense as the kind of eyestrain you get staring bleary eyed at a bright TV in the dark, but it’s eye strain nonetheless and it makes the picture look worse.
Bias lighting is the lighting that is placed behind the screen you are viewing such that it raises the ambient light levels in the viewing area without directly shining light toward the viewer nor shining light past the viewer toward the screen (where it could create reflections and other viewing problems). Because the light originates outside of the sightline of the viewer and is not in a direct path to reflect onto the screen, you get all the benefits of increased luminance in the room without the problems of glare or light shining directly from the source into your eyes.
The Additional Benefits of Bias Lighting
If you still need some convincing that extends beyond saving your poor eyes from fatigue, then consider the benefits of bias lighting beyond simply relieving your eyes. In addition to warding off eye fatigue there are two great benefits. First, the additional indirect lighting provided by the bias lighting increases the contrast of the on-screen image. Eye fatigue reduction, better looking images, and a longer life for your monitor’s backlight? What’s not to love about bias lighting?