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Movie Theater Lighting

movie theater lighting

While movie theaters have many of the same light fixtures and components as any commercial space, the needs of cinema designers are complicated by the nature of the business. Few other industries need high-powered, high-quality projection equipment, and customers that are stationary in one room for several hours.

About Movie Theater Lighting

Theater Areas

The most important part of any theater is... the theater. These areas utilize high-end projectors, using laser, LED, or lamp technology.

We work with projector manufacturers like Christie, Maxell, and more, and can help with choosing the right cinema projector. This can be a complicated process, involving picking a projector technology, model, lens, and more.

For theater projectors, we also carry a wide range of cinema projector lamps. These OEM or replacement xenon arc bulbs operate in wattages of 1,000 to 7,000 watts, depending on the projector.

Architectural lighting in theater rooms often include step lights to guide safe traffic up and down the stairs, and overhead and wall fixtures that dim and turn on/off at appropriate times.

Indoor Lighting

Most cinemas have now switched to LED lighting in indoor locations, either retrofitting existing fixtures with LED light bulbs or installing completely integrated LED fixtures.

One big advantage of LED is the energy efficiency. Another is the wide variety of colors, color temperatures, CRI, and versatility of shapes and sizes that LED has over traditional lighting.

LED lighting can be used to provide general illumination but also allows flexibility for theater designers to give certain areas a more unique feel. Fixtures, strip lights, and LED bulbs can all play a role here.

Air & Surface Sanitizing

Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the USA in 2020, air and surface cleaning has been a big issue. One way theaters can provide a safer environment is through the use of ultraviolet germicidal lighting that can deactivate pathogens in the air and on surfaces.

For entire cinemas, commercial UVC HVAC systems can be considered. They provide continuous ultraviolet irradiation of air as it circulates through a building. And for particular areas, UVC air recirculation units can be installed on a per-room basis.

For surfaces, cleaning staff can use handheld UVC fixtures. These can make it safer to clean electrical components that liquid-based cleaners may damage, including light switches, keypads and touchscreens, and seating controls. While most handheld UVC devices are corded, there are some cordless options now on the market using powerful UV bulbs.

For after-hours cleaning, a whole room UVC sanitizer may be used. These fixtures use multiple germicidal bulbs to provide high levels of UV irradiance, and can sanitize rooms in 15-60 minutes, depending on room size and power of the unit. They can only be used in unoccupied spaces, though.

Outdoor Lighting

For parking lots and garages, switching from metal halide to LED can result in better illumination, significant energy savings, and lower maintenance costs.

There are now a wide range of LED replacements for HID lighting, from wall packs to post tops and more. No matter what the outdoor fixture, there is likely an LED HID retrofit array, bulb, or replacement fixture now available.

Exit signs are also used inside of buildings to direct traffic to the closest exits. Older exit signs can be retrofitted with LED exit bulbs, or replaced entirely with an LED exit sign. There are also combination LED/emergency fixtures that can provide illumination in the event of a power outage.

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