Mood Lighting For Gaming

Long before Vaporwave was a thing, I’ve been big into aesthetics. I’m old enough (yikes) that I was around for that style when it was new, and I’ve loved it ever since.

Some of my fondest, and fuzziest, memories from youth have to do with dark and crowded arcades. The neon, the music, the excitement, I loved it all.

Back home (Portland, OR), one of my favorite places, period, is Ground Kontrol. It’s the most bitchin’ arcade/bar. Years back, they redid their space in a Tron-esque theme (see above), and this year, they opened an expansion (which I have yet to see in person!) themed in an intense red neon glow.

I love that the two spaces have such different aesthetics. Something about playing games surrounded by beautiful colors of neon and loud and delightful music greatly appeals to me.

All that got me thinking about how I could adjust my gaming space at home to incorporate some of those elements.

When driven to play Destiny’s multiplayer (the Crucible), I often put one earphone in my left ear to listen to certain playlists that keep my energy up (I am not a huge fan of multiplayer). When I’m using online party chat, I always have my earpiece in my right ear. With my music in my left ear, I don’t bother anyone else, but I am still able to enjoy it.

So, music and lighting, both important to my gaming experiences.

Quick side note: something I’ve come to appreciate this generation is sound design. With being able to use headphones easily with my system and controller, I’ve been able to really hear the beauty of a rich sound design, and I’ve been able to hear those scores and soundtracks even better. Gaming scores are some of my favorite music out there.

Back to lighting.

I scoured Amazon for some multicolored lighting alternatives. I came across some inexpensive touch lamps that allowed the colors to be changed at will:

I bought two of them, and I have yet to really test them out in a mostly dark room. I’m thinking with the launch of Destiny 2 and all those beautifully colored environments, I just may need to manhandle the lamps to find some color coordinated inspiration.

I also found some color changing light bulbs (with remotes, no less!) on Amazon:

I bought a four pack with every intention of putting them into my floor lamps. I have yet to install them, but I’m thinking this weekend is the time! I’d love to play around with them a bit to see what color schemes look as rad as I think they might.

Really, when I think about color schemes, the first one that comes to mind is pretty much Blood Dragon:

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon had an aesthetic that rooted itself in my brain from the moment I played it. If I somehow had richly colored neon lights at my disposal, I can guarantee they would be all over my gaming space.

Until that dream becomes a reality, I hope my lamps and specialty bulbs will suffice.

What is your gaming area setup like? What do you like to have nearby? Do you like playing with a high quality headset to take advantage of the robust sound design? Do you have specialty lighting to put you in the mood for whatever game you are playing? What would your ideal gaming setting be?

I once drove past someone with a big a** television in their garage and I thought how fun it would be to game with all that fresh air. :)

10 replies »

  1. Hey Rebekah! Interesting article as usual. I just finished Sniper Elite 4 as I comment on your blog. As for sound setup, I just use the headset that came with the console. It suffices for me. Now, in regards to listening to music I have a set of Sony headphones that work beautifully, no matter the genre of music that I am listening to at that moment. Lastly, having a decent sized television, never hurts either. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Richard!

      Congratulations on finishing Sniper Elite 4! What do you think you will play next?

      A good headset and a decent television make a HUGE difference, no pun intended. The first time I played a game on the television we got a few years back, I was like…WHOA. :)


      • Hey Rebekah! Thinking about playing either Telltale’ Batman series or Uncharted: Lost Legacy next. Not sure which game I’ll play next. What game(s) are you considering next for play? I agree when it comes to a decent television & headset. What are your thoughts on a stereo system? I am considering Bose; I can’t seem to justify that amount of money for a sound system like that. You know?!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Which game did you wind up choosing?

          For me it’s all about Destiny 2. It’s all I can think about in a big one-track way.

          Oh man, a Bose system is WAY out of my price range. I mean, if you can afford it and you want it and live somewhere you can make use of it, more power to you. But I bought a small subwoofer system (which I rarely use) a few years back and it sounds great. I think I spent just under $100 on it.

          Actually, I just checked on Amazon to see which one I ordered exactly and it is now selling for $40! A steal for the sound!


          • Thanks Rebekah! You only live once! It was a stretch; God is able to provide. I haven’t decided yet on which game to try next. Thinking Batman to see where the story goes next. Then, it’s Uncharted then maybe I’ll get Knack 2. Hope you enjoy Destiny 2. You have your gaming setup like you want it? 🤔🤔

            Liked by 1 person

  2. What a neat idea to have colored lighting for video gaming! I’ve a video game chair with nearby shelving for my games and collectibles. I’m tempted now to add a fun lamp. For sound, I’ve a Turtle Beach headset that I’ve largely given up on resting comfortably on my hearing aids but I’ll use the adapter that amplifies the sound even more with my hearing aid peripherals. I’ll use it when I’m making it a point to hear the game such as audio cues in multiplayer or if my wife wants to nap and not wake up due to video game gunfire (I can mute the TV for her but have sound for me). It’s such a cozy feeling to relax with a blanket and a coffee to settle in to play games for a time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was pretty affordable, and hoo boy, does richly colored lighting make a difference! Almost nothing screams RAD to me when I go somewhere as good and atmospheric lighting.

      That sounds like a really nice setup! I like that you have a gaming chair! I always sit on the couch and sometimes I wind up all stiff from sitting funny during a tense sequence or something.

      I can’t even imagine how uncomfortable it must be to wear a headset over hearing aids. I’m glad it gives you some options though for when your wife wants to sleep without the noisy gunfire in the background. :)

      That DOES sound cozy! I’m actually going to do something very similar in short order! I’m just not sure what the game will be yet.


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