Man Cave Lighting Tips: Game-Day Essentials

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Let’s face it: if you live in New England, then Sundays are all about football. Whether you watch with the whole family in the living room or you hang out in your man cave with your best buds, we have some lighting tips that will enhance everyone’s viewing experience.


Understand lighting basics.

  • Ambient lighting is general lighting, or the main lighting that exists in the room.
  • Accent lighting is a fun way to personalize a media room or living room. For example, light a display case that features your favorite player’s jersey. Or use sconces for a decorative touch, one that can also provide just enough light to navigate to the snack table and back.
  • Task lighting helps you do certain tasks. We typically talk about task lighting in the kitchen (for doing things like chopping veggies) or bathroom (shaving, applying makeup), but it also figures into our entertainment spaces. “Bias lighting” alleviates eyestrain that results from watching TV in a dark room. Backlighting your TV with LED tape or rope light will help provide a neutral light level so that your eyes can more easily adjust from a dark room to the TV screen.

Think in terms of layered lighting.

Layered lighting is just that it uses different types of lighting to create the perfect effect for that particular space. You’ll use a combination of ambient, accent, and task lighting. Psst: a lighting designer can help you layer your lighting perfectly. 

  • Pro tip: Recessed lighting in a media room or home theater can be particularly useful as a light source that reduces glare against the TV screen. We love this living room designed by Marcia Summers, below.

 Joe Radio Ra-1.jpg

Integrate lighting controls.

Reduce the need for multiple banks of switches and dimmers by integrating and consolidating controls. You can even compose lighting “looks” for your space from “all on” to “all off” to “game day” and create pre-set light “levels” that will help diminish the need to fuss with dimmers and switches (and possibly miss a great play in the process).

  • Pro tip: Lutron controls offer integration with your smartphone or tablet for easy control from the couch.

Consider installing electronic shades to help reduce glare on the screen.

Motorized blinds or shades not only save energy day to day, but also help reduce glare from the sun as you’re trying to watch your big screen TV and all through the click of a button. You can easily integrate your motorized shades with your lighting controls for total control. (Trust us: your friends are going to be impressed.)

Some final considerations for your game-day space:

  • If renovating, consider how you already use the space. Where do you normally access keypads and controls? Do you use the room for other activities that might require different layouts or the need for different light sources?
  • Examine your room at different times of day. If glare from the sun is an issue, shades that diffuse or block out light might help mitigate glare on your screen.
  • Stop by one of our showrooms. We recently merged with The Boston Shade Company and System 7 to bring you compatible integrated solutions for your home.

Interested in working with a lighting expert? Make an appointment now.


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