Simon Cohen/Digital Trends

Consumers spend a ton of money every year in search of a better TV viewing experience. We go all-in on 4K, on HDR, on bigger and better screens, and on more immersive sound. Top that off with our growing list of subscriptions to companies like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, and our obsession with in-home video starts to look like an addiction. But what if we told you that for the paltry sum of about $40, you could significantly improve your TV’s color and contrast, black levels, power consumption, while at the same time reducing your eye strain? And what if we then told you this one little trick works with any TV, no matter how old, or new, or big, or small?

Yes, we acknowledge that sounds like the lead-in to the click-baitiest article of all time, but stay with us — there’s real science behind these audacious claims — as we introduce you to the world of bias lighting, a professional tool that everyone should use.

Editor’s note: If this bias lighting stuff sounds familiar, perhaps it is because European TV manufacturer Philips once heavily advertised its Ambilight televisions. Now marketed outside the US as Ambilux, this take on bias lighting is slightly different in that it mimics predominant colors found in the content being displayed on the screen. The type of bias lighting we discuss here is a bit different in that it is static, and doesn’t try to trace on-screen color.

Who’s biased?

That tool is called bias lighting, and it refers generally to any light source that illuminates just the wall or surfaces behind your screen. Though the term “bias lighting” is relatively new, the concept has been around almost as long as the TV itself.