Top 6 Pool Table Lighting Options to Brighten Up Your Game Room
Specific lighting for a pool table is vital if you plan to play to any decent standard or with a professional feel to your games. If you stick to the lighting in the room you will probably not be playing in suitable conditions, and uneven lighting that probably doesn’t provide enough brightness is far from ideal when you are practicing or playing with others. Finding the right lighting can be tricky as some lights are too narrow or hang either too high or low from your ceiling, making the correct light levels difficult to achieve.
Reasons to get top-quality pool table lighting
Good lighting for your pool table is not just about making it look nice. It is about being able to play the game to its full potential and create a suitable playing surface within your own home. A table which sits in darkness, or partial darkness, is going to lead to an unfair game, and have a negative impact on the experience you have when playing.
It can be tempting to skimp on the lighting, especially if you have just had to pay a lot of money for a pool table, but it can have such a negative impact on your experience. Avoid this temptation. You don’t have to spend the earth to get a good light which can fit even a full-size pool table.
Features to consider when choosing lighting for pool tables
The following are the most important features to consider when it comes to pool table lighting, and what might be most suitable for both your table and the space in which you will be fitting them.
The look and style of the lamp are very important. Some of the models on this list are a set of spotlights, perfect for creating an even spread of lights, while some are farmhouse-style lights which could also sit above a kitchen table, for instance.
How do you want your rec room to look? An awesome design can go a long way to creating a feature and giving a certain feel to your room. For instance, the RAM Game Room 55" Bronze Billiard Ball 3 LT Fixture has an excellent look to it which is specific to billiards, using a row of dummy pool balls to give a fun feature for your game room.
Number of bulbs and type of bulbs needed
Each of the lights mentioned above uses multiple bulbs. It is rare to find a pool table light which has a strip light or similar method of lighting the whole unit, instead, there are likely to be between three and five bulbs built into one central unit. For instance, the RAM Game Room Tahoe Billiard Light has four different bulbs whereas the more affordable RAM Game Room 60" Toledo 3 LT Billiard Light has three.
The more bulbs there are, the more even the coverage is likely to be, depending on the shades and how the light is diffused around the table. However, it also means more maintenance overall as lightbulbs may blow and need replacing.
It is a bonus if the lights take eco-friend LED bulbs such as the E26 light bulbs which can be bought from supermarkets and hardware stores with ease, so you can always have a supply. Having such an economical bulb can mean that your energy use doesn’t go up a huge amount when you have a light like this installed, and the fact that most use multiple bulbs should mean you still get enough light coverage.
Ceiling to lamp distance
The ceiling to lamp distance is really important. It is very difficult to get this exactly right if you don’t have an adjustable light. Those which are on a chain usually have some sort of bracket system which allows you to adjust the height from the ceiling up and down.
The importance of getting the right distance from the ceiling is not just because of the fact that you need to ensure it fits, and that your head can fit under the light without getting any annoying bumps, it is also important in terms of ensuring the spread of the light. The higher from the table, the further the light should diffuse. It is advised that an even spread of light covers the whole table.
The overall dimensions give you a very good overview of whether the lighting unit is suitable for the space you are working with. It will also allow you to make some mockups and measure exactly whether the unit in question will fit in the space you need it to. Some lights can do just as good a job as lighting for pool tables while covering a smaller space. A big, chunky unit such as the RAM Game Room 44" Tiffany Billiard Light Lounge is wonderful, but not the most suitable option if space is a little tight or you are lacking in headroom.
Considering the materials of the lamp will help you with maintenance. A lot of the lampshades are made out of metal, with anti-corrosion coatings designed to help them last a number of years. Others are made from wood, and may need polishing or even varnishing from time-to-time to keep in good condition.
Installation and adjustability
Installation should always be thought about in advance. A lot of people purchase their pool table lighting and then when it arrives have no idea how to put it in place.
Some options come with very good instructions, but if you don’t know anything about electronics and fitting electrical goods then you should probably still work with a professional electrician to get the unit installed.
Most are hard-wired and need to be fitted as an additional light in your home, rather than being plugged in from a power supply. The best pool table lights should be adjustable. We’ve already talked about this a little in terms of the height, but some of the top models out there are able to adjust to the slope and angle of your ceiling, too. If you are installing in a room with imperfect ceilings then this can be a real life-saver. If this isn’t the case, some of the options out there are compatible with adapters, that can turn a sloped, angled surface into a flat one which you can then attach your lighting to. This isn’t easy, but it is certainly an option.
Some of the products on the list don’t specify any warranty at all, whereas others have up to two years. With any electrical product, there is a chance it could break, and that something within could be faulty. A long warranty is preferred, it will allow you the peace of mind that if something is wrong, you can go back to the manufacturer for a fix or replacement.
Tips on using and installing your pool table lighting
- Installation should be done in conjunction with the official standard which is provided by the World Billiard Association. However, it is tough to do this as it needs a light meter. Instead, make sure the table is lit evenly all the way across, including the center of the table all the way to the rails and the pockets. Nothing should be significantly brighter than the rest of the table.
- Installing a dimmer switch will give you a lot more control over the light and allow you to customize it to your specific needs.
- Never put yourself in danger trying to install if you are not confident doing so. It is always advisable to get the help of an electrician if you are in doubt.
Wrapping It Up
The RAM Game Room 44" Tiffany Billiard Light is our editors pick, and this is a light which it is very hard to find any fault with. We’ve rated it 9.9/10 due to the fact it is durable and sturdy as well as providing plenty of even light and being available in multiple designs, with three different color schemes to choose from.
That sums up our guide to the best pool table lighting. Whatever your preferences, we hope we’ve helped you to find the best light for your games room!
*Joseph Prunty, Research Writer
*Ryan Stephens, Expert Consultant (Ryan Stephens, Expert Consultant Ryan knows everything when it comes to gaming, both online and offline. Since his early years he’s been in love with arcades, air hockey, and foosball. Finally, he’s given the opportunity to share his knowledge and opinion on the hobby of his life (and even get paid for it!).
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