How to improve TV black levels and reduce eye strain in one easy step.

How many hours do we spend staring at our TV’s or monitors? Whether it be for gaming or watching TV we all spend hours of our lives staring at a bright glowing box. What if there was one cheap and easy hack you can use to make that experience more enjoyable in a number of ways?

BIAS lighting is a thin strip of LED lights that you place behind your TV or monitor to illuminate the screen from behind and using them gives two immediate benefits.

1. Improved Black Levels

So lets start by checking out this image:

Focusing on the grey bar in the centre, the right hand side of it looks darker right? And the left considerably lighter? Well, place your finger in the middle of the bar and you’ll see that it’s actually the exact same colour throughout. This is a simple optical illusion, the light background causes the grey bar to appear darker and the darker background makes it seem lighter.

This same principle applies to BIAS lighting. If you have a bias lighting kit behind your TV, the light emitted from behind causes a similar effect to the example above, making blacks seem even blacker than before. Currently a massive selling point of current high end TV models are strong black levels and with this you can take any TV set and dramatically improve how good the black levels are.

Now, some colours work better than others in this respect. I found that with my multicoloured BIAS lighting kit, the best colour for improving the black levels was a sort of blue cyan colour and the worst was red. Red tends to amplify the greyness of the TV as you can see below:

2. Eye strain

When you watch TV or use your monitor in a dark room, you have a single rectangle of bright light to focus on, though our eyes are made to adjust the the average light levels of the whole room, so one bright box in an otherwise dark environment isn’t good. In fact having a bright light in a dark room can lead to our eyes quickly becoming tired or dry as a result of not being able to adjust correctly to the light source you are focusing on.

One way of overcoming this is to turn the lights on in the room but this can introduce its own issues, such as glare on the TV as well as reducing the atmosphere if the light is too bright or even introducing haze to the image because contrast is decreased.

BIAS lighting being located behind the screen means that the light originates out of the viewers sight line and so you have a room with increased light that blends with the TV to prevent your eyes from straining.

There is one final benefit of having BIAS lighting too….

3. Looks Awesome.

 

So turns out having a colour changing strip of LED’s behind your TV looks incredible and most BIAS lighting kits come with a remote to easily change the colour depending on what your watching. Hey, even when you’ve finished setting it up behind your TV why not go one step further like I did and kit out your whole game room with BIAS lighting?

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