A pool or billiard table has become a staple in bars and restaurants, giving customers a fun activity while waiting. To play a good cue sport, you need the right table specifications, playing equipment, and lighting. Nevertheless, some people may ask, “do you necessarily need a pool table light?”

To answer that question, yes, you need to have a pool table light. Installing one can significantly improve your pool or billiard game with your family and friends. However, there are some considerations when getting the proper light fixture for your pool table. Read on to know more about these factors and on installing the pool table light.

Do you Need Lights?

If you’re an avid player of pool or billiards, you need to install a light fixture atop your pool table. This furniture has been around for centuries, and its first use dates to Louis XI of France’s reign. A pool table is usually placed indoors and sometimes in a not well-lit room like a basement.

A pool table or the whole billiards experience could not be completed until there’s proper lighting. Though having ideal light fixtures atop the pool table is not the only factor in a comfortable playing environment. However, it will, beyond doubt, make a significant difference in your cue sports.

How to Find the Perfect Pool Table Light

There are no specific parameters or factors for light fixtures on billiard tables. Some billiard or pool organizations set some rules for pool table lights. These rules are used to standardize the lights placed in tournaments.

Most avid pool players follow an organization’s specifications to mimic the same playing environment as in the professional tournaments. Here are some considerations when finding the perfect pool table light:

  • Distance – this factor involves the space between the light and the pool table’s surface. Light fixtures need to be placed between 30 to 42 inches from the table’s surface.
  • Light intensity – Some professional pool players use lights with wattage between 40 to 60. As a rule of thumb, the light intensity should not exceed 465 foot-candles or 5000 lux.
  • Illumination distribution – you want the illumination to be well-distributed. Pool table lights with diffusers and reflectors can make an even distribution of light.
  • Length and number of lights – pool tables have different sizes, but the widely used dimensions are 9×4.5ft and 8x4ft. You need to have a light that is not too long or short and has the right number of bulbs. For a 9×4.5ft, you need to have a light spanning 60 to 75 inches with 4 to 5 lights.

Cost and Pool Table Light Style

It would help if you also considered the cost and the style of the light fixture. Typically, a pool table light can cost around $100-$1,000, depending on the length, illumination, and design. You can also DIY it or order a custom-made one, which is fine as long as it serves its purpose.

There are different styles of light fixtures for your pool table. It can be a Tiffany-style that uses stained glass or a Modern or Contemporary one. There are also other style considerations to know:

  • Single shade – these are light fixtures with multiple bulbs in one housing or shade. A single shade pool table light needs extra support for the weight of the housing and the bulbs.

  • Multi-shade – each bulb has its shade or housing and is usually connected with a bar.

Installing a Pool Table Light

Placing the light fixture on top of your pool table can be challenging. Before buying a billiard table, you need to consider first the light you’ll hang above it. It would help if you mapped how the electric wires would go to the ceiling.

The light fixture should be directly hanging in the middle of your pool table. When finding the center of the table, do not include the rails. Only measure the playing area where the balls will be.  Also, do not hang the fixture too low or too high.

 If it’s off by a little bit, it can result in unflattering shadows and lighting in parts of the table. You can also hire professionals to install the pool table light for more accuracy.

A pool table light is a staple when you have a pool table. Consider the given points when choosing the right one for your billiard table. Installing light fixtures on top should not be a distraction and can provide the right amount of illumination.

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