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What Type of Lighting Is Best for a Pool Table?

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Most pool players are very finicky when it comes to their pool or billiard table lighting. And rightly so: after all, the wrong lights increase shadows on the table and impact one’s perception, ruining their aim and subsequently, their shots. But what type of lighting is best for a pool table?

The best lighting for a pool table enhances vision, improves the players’ aim, and .prevents glares There are a few different options to choose from. You could go with traditional light bulbs, which provide plenty of light but can be quite limiting. Alternatively, you could choose LED lights, which offer more flexibility in terms of brightness and tone.

Whether your pool table is in the basement, a game room, or in a commercial game bar; you need the right kind of lighting for it to create the right atmosphere. But no matter what type of lighting you choose, make sure that it is bright enough so that you can see the balls clearly.

Picture of pool table lighting in a pool hall.

In this guide, we will cover topics like:

  • Do you really need special pool table lighting?
  • What is the best lighting for a pool table?
  • Best lights for pool tables

And a lot more…

Do You Really Need a Pool Table Light?

Yes, proper pool table lighting can enhance not only the atmosphere of your billiards game room; it can also help improve your play.

Yes, pool table lights serve two main purposes: to provide adequate lighting for the pool table so that players can see the balls clearly, and to create a desired ambiance in the room. While some people may question whether a pool table light is really necessary, the truth is that it can be a valuable addition to any pool table setup.

In terms of function, a good pool table light will evenly illuminate the entire table surface, without creating any glare or hotspots. This not only makes it easier to see the balls but also reduces eye strain and makes it easier to line up shots.

In terms of atmosphere, pool table lights can add a touch of class and sophistication to any room. They can also be used to create different moods, depending on the type of lightbulb that is used. So whether you’re looking for functional lighting or a way to spruce up your game room, a pool table light is definitely worth considering.

The World Pool Association has the following recommendations for pool table lighting:

  • If the light fixture is non-movable, it should be hung no lower than 65 inches above the bed of the pool table.
  • If it is movable, then it should be hung no lower than 40 inches above the table bed.
  •  Pool table lights should not be so bright that they hurt the players’ eyes. Ideally, the brightness should be 48 footcandle of light or 520 Lux.
  • The pool table light’s bottom fixture should be level with the player’s nose.

Pool table lights are readily available in the market. These days, you can buy specially designed lights for 7’, 8’, and 9’ tables. Good pool table lighting comes with the following features and benefits:

  • Most lights use 40 to 60 W bulbs. They use CFL or incandescent bulbs. These bulbs can give you 450 to 800 lumens of light. 40 W bulbs are brighter than 60 W.
  • Pool table lights are often adjustable – so you can get them at the right height and not too low or too high.
  • With good pool table lighting, you can cut the glare, reflections, and shadows. This is important to avoid perception issues and also prevent headaches.
  • Lights hung over the pool table help you clearly see the balls and pockets.
  • They can help you improve your aim and accuracy. With time, your gameplay will improve considerably.
  • Pool table lights come in various styles so you can choose stylish and elegant designs to enhance the existing decor and create the right atmosphere.

Types of Lighting for Pool Tables

When it comes to pool tables, lighting is an important consideration. Poor lighting can make it difficult to see the balls, resulting in missed shots and frustration. There are a few different types of lighting that you can use to illuminate a pool table, and each has its own advantages.

Fluorescent lights are often used in pool halls because they provide bright, even illumination. However, they can also produce a lot of glare, incandescent lights are another option, but they can produce a yellowish light that can distort the colors of the balls.

LED lights are becoming increasingly popular for pool tables because they offer bright, focused illumination without producing much glare. No matter what type of light you choose, be sure to position it so that it doesn’t cast any shadows on the table surface. With proper lighting, you’ll be able to enjoy your pool games to the fullest.

Here are some of the common types of lights used to illuminate pool tables:

Strip lighting

Many gamers prefer this type of lighting for their pool table. It can transform your room into a futuristic design and some strip lights can also cycle through different colors. These days, LED strip lights can be controlled via smartphone applications. They come in the form of adhesive strips which make them super easy to install.

LED strip lights run along the perimeter of your pool table and can easily be installed as a DIY project.

Overhead Pendant Lights

Hanging pendant lights are the most common style of pool table lights. They really focus the light on the table bed, so you can see every hole and ball properly. They can help players improve their perception and aim. Hanging pendant lights also cut shadows and glare and reduce headaches.

Overhead pendant lights for pool tables come in single or multiple pendants. Multiple pendant designs typically have 3 pendant bulbs although you could have up to 4 or 5 bulbs for longer tables. The shades of the pendant lights come in a wide variety of finishes and styles. 

Fixture finishes like oil-rubbed bronze, matte finish, and retro or vintage finishes are highly popular. Here are some of the more popular overhead pendant lights for billiards tables:

Tiffany Style Pool Table Light

Pendant-style Tiffany pool table lights are extremely popular for billiards tables. Their lampshades come in elegant glass designs that can instantly transform your game room’s decor. 

Modern/Contemporary lights

These can range from elegant chandeliers to pendants having playful and colorful motifs. You can also have shades with modern graphics that make your room look playful, modern, or futuristic.

Industrial lights

This style comes with retro industrial features. It uses rustic metal shades with a variety of textures and finishes. The industrial style can instantly create an authentic gaming atmosphere for your pool nights.

Picture of a pool table light fixture.

Considerations when choosing lights for your pool table.

The best lighting for the pool table takes the following factors into account:

Size

Most pool tables range between 7 and 9 feet so a light of 40-60 inches length is what you should look for. This is considered the optimum length to eliminate shadows.

Other lights in the room

Always consider the other lights in the room. Pool bars and billiard rooms should, ideally, not use any other lighting as that creates shadows or reflections on the table bed. This could interfere with players’ aim and perception.

Bulbs

CFL, fluorescent, LED, or incandescent lights are considered the best for pool tables. These are all available in energy-efficient lights, so they help lower your energy bills while providing uniform lighting across the pool table.

You can also choose bulbs with a rheostat or dimming function so you can adjust the intensity of the lighting.

Based on these features, we have 7 top-rated pool lights for your game room:

Best Lights for Your Pool Table – 2022 Top 7 Picks

Winner – Wellmet Billiard and Pool Table Lights 

Wellmet 59” pool table light will instantly transform your game room into a comfortable and inviting atmosphere. These traditional lights feature an eye-catching design that also suits most home decor. The lights have a row of billiard balls in their center which is sure to give your pool table a more professional look.

Wellmet easy-to-install pool table lights come with an adjustable hanging chain and are compatible with 7, 8, and 9 feet tables.

Features

  • Dimensions – 59.05 inch× 14.17 inch × 13.62 inch (L x W x H)
  • Adjustable chain cord – 35.4 inch (90cm), 31.50 inch(80cm) 
  • Dimmable 
  • Available in 4 colors
  • Require 3* E26 bulbs 
  • Option of hanging from the two end chains or center chain only

Pros

  • Versatile – can be used for kitchen island, pool table, bar, etc.
  • Stylish design
  • Sturdy

Cons

  • Some of the pool ball numbers are crooked or wrong
  • A few people needed an electrician’s help for hanging/installing these lights.

Expert tips

  • If your ceiling is 10 ft high, you may need extra chains since the hanging chains are only 24 inches long.
  • 40 W bulb provides adequate light

How it compares

Wellmet 59” Billiard and Pool Table Lights are stylish and sure to transform your game room’s decor into a professional one. They are extremely sturdy and well-made and come with clear instructions for installation. They easily illuminate 7, 8, and 9 feet tables. 

Best Budget – Westinghouse 6332500 Iron Hill Three-Light Pool Table Light

Westinghouse iron finish 3-bulb pool table lamp has an industrial look that is sure to enhance modern and futuristic game rooms. 

Their oil-rubbed finish can also create a rustic farmhouse atmosphere. Westinghouse iron finish 3-bulb pool table lamp comes with an adjustable pulley design that can be easily adapted to low or high ceilings. You can use them with any incandescent bulb although Westinghouse recommends the Westinghouse Timeless or Filament LED bulbs for a retro-style look.

Features

  • Adjustable
  • Oil-rubbed bronze finish
  • 31-15/16 x 39-15/16 x 12 inches (H x W x D). Max hanging length 58-15/16 inches, min length 31-15/16 inches – backplate/canopy against ceiling is 14.56 inches wide and 4.75″ high.
  • Compatible with 60-watt medium-base light bulbs 
  • ETL/CETL listed

Pros

  • Blends with any style – from farmhouse to vintage to rustic to industrial
  • Sturdy
  • Value for money
  • Fairly easy to install

Cons

  • The unit is heavy and the metal plate is not as sturdy (see tip below)

Expert tips

  • Use a brace similar to a ceiling fan in addition to the typical metal junction box

How it compares

Westinghouse 6332500 Iron Hill Three-Light Pool Table Light is attractive, easy to install, and affordable. It comes with clear instructions and you can use them with 60 W dimmable bulbs as well. Adjusting the height of the fixture is pretty intuitive as well.

Best Rustic Pendant Pool Table Lights – Farmhouse Pendant Lights Pool Table Lights

Create a cozy farmhouse or rustic environment with these pendant lights from Unitary. They are extremely well-made, durable, and come with a 2-years guarantee. Unitary Farmhouse pendant lights can be hung over the kitchen island, pool table, or even on the porch. They use standard 3 E26 bulb sockets and work with Edison, incandescent, LED, and CFL bulbs.

Features

  • The diameter of the ceiling plate is 4.72 inches
  • 3 different length rods
  • The total length of the fixture body is 35.43 inches
  • The diameter of each shade is around 9 inches
  • Style – antique, vintage, rustic

Pros

  • Sturdy
  • Easy to install
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Crooked frame
  • Vague directions

Expert tips

Since there are three different pipe lengths, make sure to pick the right combination for the perfect height for your pool table.

How it compares

Unitary Farmhouse Pendant lights look great and give you good coverage for your table. The installation is fairly easy and its price is reasonable.

Best pool Table Chandelier – COTOSS Tiffany Pool Table Chandelier

COTOSS Tiffany pool table chandelier is made with a handmade lampshade. The colors do not fade and the stained glass is soldered at a high temperature using a soldering tin. This keeps the shade durable.

Features

  • Requires 3 x 60W incandescent bulbs
  • 47” Length x 12” Wide x 80” Tall – comes with a 60-inch chain that you can adjust as needed
  • 100% stained glass without plastic or acrylic

Pros

  • Elegant
  • Well-constructed; excellent workmanship
  • Easy to assemble
  • Great customer service

Cons

  • Expensive

Expert tips

The lamp can be converted into a swag lamp by adding more chains from the other side.

How it compares

COTOSS Tiffany pool table chandelier is handcrafted by expert artisans. The color of the stained glass will last for years to come. The light is focused and will give good coverage over your billiards table. The price is slightly on the higher side.

Best Pool Table Light Plug-In Style – Lovefindahomestore Plug-in Pendant Light Industrial Pulley Pendant Lamp 

If you do not want any major installation hassles, then this plug-in pulley lamp is ideal. Lovefindahome Store’s Plug-in pulley lamp can be installed easily with the included screws and other wall-mounted parts. You can also adjust the height of the lamps as needed which makes them super convenient for the pool table.

Features

  • The total length of the chain is 16.4 ft while the switch to plug distance is 39 inches. The diameter of the lamp is 10.6 inches
  • Can be used with incandescent, halogen, LED, CFL, copper wire, and smart bulbs too

Pros

  • Gives a cool industrial vibe
  • Easy to install
  • Value for money

Cons

  • The switch is near the plug. This could pose a problem if your outlet is behind the couch/table/piece of furniture. (See tip below).

Expert tips

Put remote control LED lights so you can leave the switch on if it is located behind a furniture item.

How it compares

Pulley-style plug-in lamps are great for illuminating a pool table. They require minimum drilling and installation hassles compared to other pendant lights. The price is attractive as well.

Conclusion – What Type of Lighting Is Best for a Pool Table?

Good pool table lighting can enhance vision, improve the players’ aim, prevent glares, reduce headaches, illuminate each ball and pocket, and also create the right atmosphere of a classic pool game room.

We recommend the Wellmet 59” Billiard and Pool Table Lights, as they are stylish and sure to transform your game room’s decor into a professional one. They are also sturdy and well-made and come with clear instructions for installation. Wellmet 59-inch lights can easily illuminate 7, 8, and 9 feet tables. 

Do check out our other recommendations as well.

Below is a helpful YouTube video showing you how to determine the proper height of your pool table lights.

FAQs – What Type of Lighting Is Best for a Pool Table?

How bright should pool table lights be?

According to the World Pool Association, pool table lights should not be so bright that they hurt the players’ eyes. Ideally, the brightness should be 48 footcandle of light or 520 Lux.

How do you light a pool table?

Overhead pendant lights or hanging/pulley style lights are the best way to light a pool table. You can also use LED strip lights running along the table’s perimeter.

How long should a light be for a pool table?

For 7 to 8 feet tables, the length of pool table lights should be about 52 inches total. For 9-foot tables, opt for 62-inch length combined.

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