Ambient Lighting in the Music Studio

Ambient lighting in the music studio can be a touchy subject. Some like to work in the dark with just the computer screen as the only source of light. Others though like to set an atmosphere with the lighting to help the creativity flow. In this article, I am going to suggest 5 types of ambient lighting. By no means are these the only types of lighting for the studio. There are others out there but this list provides the more popular choices available.

1. LED Strips

LED Strips are super useful and can be installed almost anywhere. Some allow you to cut the length to size. You should look at the manufacturer’s website first before cutting as not all versions allow this. For all out atmosphere, you should check out the Super Night LED system. This cycles through various colours at timed intervals. It is also cuttable and is provided in as 5 Metre roll, which should cater for most installations. This short youtube clip provides a quick demo.

LED strips; put them under the desk, behind the monitor screen or around your acoustic panels. Be creative to be inventive and you can set a nice atmosphere with these.

2. Philips Hue Bulbs

If you have a voice assistant like Amazon Alexa or Google Home you may well have already come across these. Hue bulbs fit any normal light fitting. The cool thing with these bulbs is that you can select the colour of the lighting through an app or voice assistant. You want the room to look blue like the ocean. Just a quick tap on the app or spoken word to your voice assistant and you will be immersed in a blue hue. There are 16 million shades of colour to choose from so you are bound to find something that works for you. Each bulb lasts for 25000 hours, which if left on all day works out at just over 2.5 years.

You can purchase accessories to control the lighting. There are dimmer knobs and switches so you can achieve the balance between being too bright or dark. One cool feature is if you link this to the Hue Motion Sensor. Imagine walking into your studio and the light coming on without you having to touch anything. Maybe creepy at first but it could provide that instant vibe without you being distracted by fiddling with the app on your phone.

3. Electric Candles

Having normal candles in the studio would have its own hazard. But you can get around that by introducing an electric version. These are the same height as your dumpy candles and are actually really convincing in use. There is that gentle flicker that you get from a normal candle, and unlike normal lighting, they can be positioned anywhere you choose without setting the place on fire.

They can be purchased in different colours so you are not stuck with one shade. I have a set of Philips electric candles, which can be purchased as a pack of three. I dot these around my immediate work area and they produce a soft yellow/orange glow.

To charge the candles takes anywhere up to 12 hours. This is achieved through what is called induction. Basically, they sit in a holder to charge and when done the central red light turns off. The charge time also approximately equates to the usage time. So 12 hours charge = 12 hours of usage.

4. Disco Ball

Okay, we are not talking about those giant balls hanging from the ceiling. This is more of a disco ball projector which cycles through a number of colours. However, you can have it change colour to the music for a constantly changing atmosphere. The particular version I have been looking at is a Joy Valley Disco Light, which is reported to last 200,000 hours. No, this is not a typo and equates to approximately 22.5 years if left on constantly. That is a long time.

Disco BallI would suggest putting this behind your immediate workspace to project onto the wall/ceiling that you are facing. The units colours are set by an attached remote control. So you will have to get up and set the unit if it is placed too far away, unfortunately, there is no app for that. I do note however that there does not seem to be a way to change the brightness level.

In total there are 7 colours you can choose from. 3 single colours and 4 colour combinations (red, green, blue, red/green, red/blue, green/blue, red/blue switching effect).

The really good news is that this unit is not that expensive. In the UK it retails for just £9.99.

5. Philips LivingColors

Well, here we are with the last offering in this short roundup. The Philps LivingColors range. These are not cheap at £29 a pop but are however lightweight and portable so can be put literally anywhere in the studio. The downside to these is that they require 3 x AA batteries to run. The plus side, however, is that at least it doesn’t take up one of those precious plug sockets in the studio. The units can display different colours and will respond to music. It depends which product in the range you choose as to how many colours are available. This can be anywhere from 8 to 64. When set to follow music it will cycle through the colours in time to the beat. It achieves this by diffusing the different colours available.

Philips Living ColorThese could easily be set into the corner of your studio to project outwards, providing a diffused glow/aura that is sure to set the right atmosphere and mood to help you get in the groove. You are able to control the brightness of these units and so can find that optimum level for your workspace.

Unlike other products from Philips these units cannot be activated using your voice assistant.

Rounding up

So there we have it, folks. 5 different types of ambient lighting for your music studio, which are sure to provide that atmospheric lighting. It is interesting how light can add so much to an environment, too dark and your music can take a turn towards the ambient chill vibe. Make it bright and its time to get your party gear on. I trust you enjoyed this little roundup. If you have any of these units described here leave a comment below as to your thoughts.

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