March 10, 2021
 by Paul McGowan

One of the more overlooked aspects of the home listening room is lighting. Too often we take no pains at improving room lighting and take what’s there.

I am as guilty as the next. In Music Room Two we went to a lot of trouble and expense to optimize the lighting options: soft wall sconces, directed cans, specific color temperatures, low noise dimmers, etc. and yet when I come to listen, I just turn the lights on high.

Instead of taking the 10 seconds to set the lighting beforehand, I get compalcent. It’s only when the music gets intimate and I sense the soundstage can be improved that I get off my lazy ass and set the mood with lighting.

Most home settings haven’t taken the time or money to work with lighting. It’s often more an afterthought.

But let me assure you that in a high-performance 2-channel audio system one of the best tweaks possible is mood lighting.

Mood lighting enhances the stereo illusion.

Just think about how much you’ve spent over the years enhancing the stereo imaging with equipment upgrades. Spending a weekend installing dimmers, getting the right temperature LEDs to match the room’s aesthetic is likely chump change in comparison.

Sometimes its the peripherals we don’t even think about that can make a huge difference.

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One comment on “Lighting”

  1. This is a great thought. I really can’t listen closely or clearly unless I have the proper lighting. Something soft and ambient always allows my mind to rest a bit and immerse into the music. Too bright and I get anxious and distracted.

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