What to Consider Before Saying “Yes!” to a Home Theater


Having a home theater system can be an exciting upgrade to any living space. Watching movies, playing video games, and listening to music from a specially created space is a great way to relax and enjoy yourself in the comfort of your own home. However, before you install one in your house, there are some important things to consider, such as your budget, the size of the room, the acoustics of the room, and your current electrical system’s capacity. By doing this careful planning ahead of time, you’ll have the perfect setup for enjoying all kinds of entertainment with family and friends. Our skilled electricians at Lightning Bug Electric have extensive experience installing custom home theaters and are here to help you develop a plan of attack for your build.

7 Considerations to Make When Installing a Home Theater

  1. Budget

While it may not be everyone’s favorite part of the process, establishing a clear budget before installing your home theater will help the process go much more smoothly and avoid any sticker shock down the line. Begin your budget by mapping out price points for:

  • Audio/visual equipment, such as speakers, projectors, TVs, and control panels
  • Lighting upgrades
  • Furniture
  • Electrical system upgrades
  • Storage and organization equipment
  • Mounts
  • Soundproofing
  • Specialty items
  1. The Size & Acoustics of the Room

Measuring the size of the room will help you determine how many people can enjoyably share the space and be a great starting point for establishing your seating layout. Additionally, having an understanding of your room’s acoustics will help you orient your speakers and give you an idea of how many speakers are needed. There are many acoustical room calculators online that can provide a minimum coverage range and an experienced home theater installer can provide added clarity and guidance.

  1. Types of Display Systems Desired

From 8k flat screens to mounted projectors, your choice of display screens is nearly limitless. It is even possible to integrate multiple display screens into your space, which can be particularly helpful for things like LAN parties and game nights. Remember that before you choose the type of screen to consider:

  • The distance and angle between the viewer and the screen.
  • The height and width of the wall the screen will be on.
  • Your desired resolution.
  1. Surround Sound Options

Having the right surround sound setup is key to creating a truly immersive home theater experience. While your budget and room layout are important factors when choosing a system, another aspect to consider is the number of channels used. One of the most common surround sound setups is comprised of a 5.1 system, which consists of two pairs of speakers, one center speaker, and one subwoofer. However, 7.2 systems are also available—with the thought being that the higher number of speakers, the more immersive the experience will be.

  1. Wired vs. Wireless Connections

With a few smart technology additions, you could dim the lights, lower a projector screen, and activate surround sound all with the click of a button. Additionally, control panels and smart technology integration can lessen the amount of bulky, unsightly wires, making for a more streamlined look. However, wireless options are often at a higher price point. An electrician might be able to suggest what types of wireless options to splurge on within your budget for an economical and stylish choice specific to your needs.

  1. Lighting

Proper lighting can enhance the viewing and listening experience by providing just the right amount of illumination to make it comfortable without distracting from visuals on screen. When choosing a lighting setup, there are several factors to keep in mind, including what type of lights you will use, where they should be placed in relation to the seating area, and if you want them to integrate into a smart system. Often, a combination of lighting types can be the best approach, and might include overhead recessed lighting, wall sconce mounted lighting, and dimmers.

  1. Electrical System Capacity

By adding TVs, audio equipment, smart technology, and lighting, a home theater can greatly impact your home’s electrical system. If your property’s electrical panel is already at capacity, these large additions can overload the system leading to short-circuiting and other electrical hazards. An experienced electrician can not only rewire your home to update wiring as well as replace and upgrade panels to effectively regulate and distribute electrical current.

If you are ready to say “Yes!” to a home theater, turn to our trusted team at Lightning Bug Electric. From initial planning to final installation, we handle every aspect of your project with the utmost care and attention to detail. To learn more about our home theater services or to schedule an initial consultation call our team at (404) 471-3847 today!