What Should The Pool Table Light Height Be?
A pool table is an excellent addition to your home. You can practice your shots, or have friends over to play a game.
But it doesn’t feel quite complete until it has lights. RIGHT? Not to mention, good lighting makes playing much more pleasant.
Some may say it doesn’t look like it belongs until it has a light fixture. It’s just as essential as having a good cue stick.
But how high should you hang the light fixture? Surely it has to be low enough to give the effect that you get in a bar pool table.
Proper Height of Pool Table Lights
Some factors to consider for the height of the lights would be how tall the player and the table are.
The BOTTOM OF THE LIGHT should be around your nose height (A.K.A., the average person).
If it’s too high, the bulbs could end up shining in your eyes, which is not a great idea as it can be distracting.
So one thing you should take into consideration is how tall you and the people you’ll be playing with are.
Here are other guidelines to help you:
- The bottom of the lamp shade is usually around 62-66 INCHES from the floor.
- As for the table, 32-36 inches from the bed of the pool table is usually the appropriate height.
So taking all of those factors into consideration, you should be able to find the appropriate height for the light fixture.
What Is the Standard Height of a Light Over a Pool Table?
While there are suggestions for a casual setting, if you want to fit the tournament standard, some will want to look at the World Pool Billiard Association standards.
- The slate bed and the rails should get AT LEAST 48 foot-candles (520 lux) of light at each point.
- The light fixture should be adjustable. Depending on the players, the referee can adjust it. But the distance SHOULD NOT BE LOWER than 40 inches from the playing surface.
- If the light fixture is fixed, it cannot be fixed lower than 65 inches from the surface of the table.
- The light cannot be more than 465-foot candles (5000 lux). This is considered blinding.
- The bleachers and the background should not get more than 5 foot-candles (50 lux) of light.
These are basic guidelines for lighting, but if you check their website, there are even more guidelines, even for standardized billiard tables.
Why Does the Height Matter?
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first.
If the pool table light is too low, then you might hit your head on the bottom of the lampshade when playing. It could also hit your cue stick or a jump ball shot if it gets THAT low.
If the light is too high, it doesn’t look that nice anymore.
But is that all there is to it?
The point of a pool table light is actually to eliminate any shadows and light up the table. So it has to at least cover the whole top of the pool table, including the rails.
Some may say that without the right light height, the shadows can actually ruin a game.
What Is the Proper Height for Billiard Tables?
The height varies between 29 1/4 inches and 33 inches. It usually gets higher as the length and width of the pool table increase.
Pool tables have standard sizes. Depending on what type of table you need, you will want a different size. In general, here are the standard sizes and measurements of billiard tables.
- 12-ft (snooker): 140″ x 70″
- 10-ft (oversized): 112″x 56″
- 9-ft (regulation size table): 100″ x 50″
- 8-ft+ (pro 8): 92″x 46″
- 8-ft (typical home table): 88″x 44″
- 7-ft+: 78-82″ (198.1-208.3 cm) x 39-41″ (99.1-104.1 cm)
- 7-ft: 74-78″ (188-198.1 cm) x 37-39″ (94-99.1 cm)
- 6-ft: 70-74″ (177.8-188 cm) x 35-37″ (88.9-94 cm)
For a better illustration, this is what a snooker with lights could look like:
Whereas a 10ft oversized table would have 4 lights:
What Light Size Is Good for My Pool Table?
Getting the right-sized pool table light is essential since you want it to be able to light up the whole area so you can play well.
It’s just as essential as getting the right-sized cue. For the light size…
It DEPENDS heavily on the table size.
If you have a 7 foot or shorter table, a 3 light bar shade should work. But if you have a 9 foot or longer table, a 4 bar shade is much better.
There are many pool table light shades to choose from. They come in different designs. So do pick something that fits well into your room. Consider the size, shape, and color you want.
Do I Need Lights?
No, you don’t NEED pool lights.
You will have a harder time visualizing shots if there are shadows, especially if the lighting in the room is offset. Overall, lamps make a game more pleasant.
And not to throw any shade, but pool tables without a light fixture look amateurish. If you want your pool table to be the centerpiece that it truly deserves to be in your home, then get lights.
Some pool light shades also look highly attractive and can add to any room design.
Just think of it as glasses. If you need glasses, it’s not impossible to get the right shot. But it sure would help…SIGNIFICANTLY.
But that’s for a home setting. In a bar setting, we would say that good lighting is a must. This is because a bar is dark, and you need to actually see the table to play.
How to Install the Lights
Once you have the lights in a canopy that you love, it’s time to install it!
It would be easiest to do this before the pool table arrives, so you don’t risk ruining your table by having to get on it. You wouldn’t want to have dust fall on the cloth either!
If you have the pool table already in place, cover the pool table with a thick blanket and cover the slate area with a 3/4 inch plywood over the blanket before you get on.
You should also use a ladder to get on, and not just climb on and risk ruining the rails.
Here is what you can do:
- You need to find the true center of where the table will be. You can do this by marking out the table and playing area on the floor.
- Once you have found the center, mark it on the ceiling.
- With a stud finder, locate the studs on the sides of the mark. Drill into them and install hooks for your chains. We recommend using sway hooks to properly drape your chain over it.
- Once your lights are hung, measure from the ground up, or check if it is around as tall as your nose. Make sure to take note of the proper adjustments for how high the ceiling is.
- Once the lights are up, plug them in to test them.
- If you plan to hardwire it to the electrical box, make sure the lights in the room are off first. We suggest getting a professional to do this for you if you want it to have a light switch of its own.
If you really want high-quality pool lights, choose the adjustable types so you can always adjust the length of the chain accordingly including any other measurement, depending on how tall the players are.
What Kind of Lightbulb Do I Need for Good Pool Table Lighting?
For lighting, lamps should be not too bright and not too dim. If it’s too dim, then there really isn’t any point in having them at all. If it’s too bright, it can be blinding to the eyes of the players.
The bed of the table must receive at least 40 watts of light. But most pool light fixtures allow for up to 60 watts.
For the best lighting, you should get fluorescent light bulbs.
There is a standard height range for pool table lights. Overall, it really depends on you what height it is exactly, as long as it’s in the range.
If you can, we suggest getting lights you can adjust so you can change the distance of the light from the bed of the table depending on who is playing.
Now you can create the centerpiece your home deserves!
Hope this article helped answer your question and any other questions you may have as well.
Good luck hanging your billiard lights!