Lighting for Gaming

In looking to offer a lighting solution for the gaming enthusiast, this editorial may have been more beneficial if it was written by someone who has at least some experience of gaming, however in answering that comment, and with having never taken this up, the content may offer a more balanced viewpoint from the perspective of the lighting, rather than the personal thoughts and requirements of an individual gaming enthusiast. 

I am informed that it is the intention of all gaming enthusiasts to create the ideal environment in which they can achieve most from the gaming experience and it would appear that performance can be directly attributed to having an ideal lighting installation within the space. It is a known fact that lighting influences well-being and installing a lighting solution which places the gamer within an environment in which motivation and performance can be enhanced allows the gamer to maximise the benefits gained from the experience. I am also informed that it would appear that much gaming is undertaken in the evenings and during the hours of darkness, or in darkened rooms where electric lighting could be the only form of illumination, thus making it more important to get it right.

Being reasonably sure of the accuracy in making the comment, that many gamers are at home, either in the spare bedroom or a space somewhere else in the house where the opportunity to completely decorate and re-configure a space to create the optimum environment is in many cases not possible. Creating that optimum environment needs a different approach and the solution is by electric lighting, where the ambience can be created by the use of appropriate lighting equipment which can be used during the periods of gaming and switched off when not. 

Thankfully, the development in the technology of LED lighting offers the opportunity to create a solution which provides the optimum environment for gaming, however like many lighting applications, its not a one solution fits all type scenario as there will be an amount of subjective input from then user in creating the environment which works best for one individual and which may be very different for another.

Let’s look at where to start the process, firstly LED light sources are ideal, in being small and with the ability for the gamer to incorporate light fittings which can be easily controlled in dimming and/or in changing colour, either from warm to cool or in using a pallet of  colours best suited to the environment and the gamer.   

Firstly, warm colours, especially those which are providing low levels of illumination within the space can induce an atmosphere of relaxation, a situation which is probably avoided by most in gaming, whereas the cooler colours of a higher colour temperature towards that of daylight, alongside the introduction of higher levels of illuminance are considered as being more beneficial in creating an environment where the gamer can concentrate and remain alert over longer periods of duration, whilst also enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the space.  For those who wish to have the benefit of being able to vary the ‘whiteness’ of the light from warm to cold, so as to offer that relaxing atmosphere between games, there are many options available with switched tuneable lighting and combining this with the opportunity of adjusting the level of illuminance, can create an environment which works best for the gamer offering different solutions, dependent upon the game being played. Also, consider the contrast between the illuminated screen(s) and the background view behind, and so as to reduce the effects of wide variances of contrast between screen and background, provide some additional illumination either fixed to the back of the monitor or alternatively in washing the back wall, which will assist in alleviating the tiredness gained from the eye in attempting to constantly adjust to the large differences in contrast  between illuminated screen(s) and background.  

For some gamers, introducing colour into the space can provide a whole new solution, however this is a subjective topic, in that there will be some gamers who play best under a white light and those who prefer to introduce colour into the environment, where it seems that the use of violet light is a popular selection of colour.

Using LED to create a coloured lit environment rather than decorating the space offers a much-preferred solution, as colour can be varied and tailored to meet the requirements of the gamer and for the game being played, whereas paint cannot. This also provides an ideal solution for those who reside in buildings where decoration is difficult or restricted, such as in many rented properties. Rather than just providing downward area illumination, consider washing the walls with light or uplighting onto the ceiling to gain reflected light, whilst also considering the required colour(s), the selection of which will be to the personal choice of the gamer,

The most important part of any lighting installation is its control and certainly where lighting needs to be varied frequently depending upon the time of day or night the games are being played, the state of health and mood of the gamer and in considering to match the aesthetic effect of the lighting to the game being played. To that end, it is suggested to consider the OCTO system, as its flexibility and control options offer the gamer the opportunity to create an environment which is ideally suited to their well-being and allows maximum focus on the game being played.

In concluding and in being a non-gamer, it may be suggested that having little comprehension of the environment makes it difficult to offer some advice, but everyone’s requirements are different and something that works for one person may not work for another, however it is safe to that that this is a fairly complex lighting project, so it may prove beneficial to take some time to plan out the lighting for the space. Look into the equipment available and see what works best for you, rather than just copying someone else’s ideas, then consider the best positions for the installation of the lighting followed by the control system, by looking at what is required and how it can be operated so as to offer that ultimate control, along with much future success in the world of gaming.

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