Billiard Table Lighting Options

Proper lighting is essential to a good pool game.  The light should be focused and bright enough to allow players to comfortably see the entire table without glare or distraction.  The light source should provide clear lighting without casting shadows on the playing surface.  That being said, there are a number of options for top quality lighting that enhances the overall theme and style of your game room.

Lighting Requirements for Optimal Play

A billiard table is the centerpiece of any game room.  Adding an overhead hanging light adds to the beauty of your table while also providing a well-lit playing surface.  The best position for a hanging fixture is 33” – 36” above the slate playing surface.

Consider adjusting the size and length of the lighting fixture to match the size and length of your table.  Be careful not to overwhelm a smaller table with too much lighting but be sure to provide enough lighting to cover the entire surface area of a larger table.  As a frame of reference, an 8’ table typically is best served by a fixture at least 42” long with three bulbs.

Since glare can be a distraction during play, consider using frosted incandescent bulbs of about 60 watts.  They provide a soft, warm light that is comfortable for players but still brightly illuminates the entire playing surface.

Match Lighting Style to the Theme of Your Game Room

Pool is more than a game.  It’s an enjoyable experience for you, your family and your guests.  A large part of that experience is found in the atmosphere of your game room.  The lighting you choose for your billiard table can and should be a part of the theme of your room.

  • Traditional– Is your table traditionally styled with ornate turned legs and beautiful woodwork?  Does your game room have the appearance of an exclusive gentleman’s club?  If so, consider traditional lighting.  Beautiful hanging billiard lights with a bar and three to four lamp shades are available in many styles including etched or frosted glass, tiffany style stained glass, or crystal.
  •  Modern – Perhaps your game room is modern, full of contemporary furniture and a sleek lined billiard table.  Consider lighting that uses either a bar and three to four polished metal shades or a single long shade with the same sleek lines as the rest of your room.  If your room is ultra-modern you may even consider track lighting mounted on the ceiling with targeted lighting directed on the playing surface.
  •  Sports or Hobby Themed – Tiffany style lighting is easily customizable to reflect your favorite team, sport or hobby.  If your game room is a reflection of your favorite football, baseball or basketball team you can find a stained glass billiard light that carries on the theme.  In fact, a customizable shade is available for branches of the military, hobbies, or any other theme you choose.  You can even have one specially made to display your name if you choose.
  •  Rustic – Some game rooms are rustic, giving the appearance of a hunting lodge or old western pool hall.  Billiard lighting is available in this theme as well.  Stagecoach lanterns, billiard lights made from antlers, and wagon wheels are just some of the options available.

The lighting over your billiard table is a wonderful way to tie your game room theme together and create a total atmosphere of fun and relaxation.  No matter which theme you choose, coordinating your lighting to the billiard table itself and the other features and furniture in the room gives your game room a decorator’s touch.


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