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How to Choose a Pool Table Light

Updated on July 10, 2009

The Perfect Pool Table Light

You have finally found the perfect pool table, meticulously picking style and functionality. Are you ready to play? Not just yet! It’s extremely important to choose the perfect pool table light, that is, if you want to enjoy the perfect game!

A pool table light serves the important function of lighting your table properly so you can see every angle and shot without a shadow or a glare. Picking the right pool table light won’t be painful, I promise. There is so much to choose from, you are sure to find one that compliments your pool table while providing just the right amount of light to enhance your game.

Choices in Pool Table Lighting

Pool tables have essentially stayed the same since the game first became popular in the 1600’s. Pool table lighting has evolved to aid the players in their game. Having good lighting throughout the room doesn’t mean that your table is well lit. You do need a light – a good balanced light - specifically for the table.

The purpose of the pool table light is to be bright enough to eliminate shadows, but not so bright that it causes a glare or irritates the player’s eyes. Dim lighting will affect your depth perception when playing and angled lighting will always create annoying shadows.

Ideally, the beams of light should reach the ends of the pool table and not shine in the player’s eyes. The lights should have covers that aim the light straight down onto the table and not out at the rest of the room.

Tiffany style pool table light fixture.
Tiffany style pool table light fixture.

How do you achieve this with your pool table light?

The standard recommendation is to hang your pool table light centered about 32” above the table. Many people also choose to hang their pool table lighting so that the bottom ridge of the light is level with the player’s nose. This will probably work fine if you are of average height.

Generally, pool table lighting will be designed according to the table length, so know the dimensions of your table before you purchase the lighting.

Stained glass pool table light.
Stained glass pool table light.
Budweiser pool table light.
Budweiser pool table light.

Choosing a pool table light fixture:

What style are you looking for? Does your pool room have a traditional billiards room look? Or are you trying to recreate the sports bar feeling for your friends to enjoy? If so, a Budweiser pool table light is easy to find! Is your pool table ornate or does it have more modern lines? Try to choose a pool table light that will compliment the design of your table.

Pool table lighting styles:

  • Traditional: If you are going for the pub look, a traditional wrought iron or antique bronze fixture might work best. Choose a neutral color shade, or a dark green, depending on the surrounding furnishings.
  • Contemporary: Sleek and elegant metal such as chrome or polished brass pool table light fixtures blend in well with a contemporary style room.
  • Island: This type of light fixture is also used in dining rooms and to light center islands in kitchens. The light may be a little brighter if the covers are clear glass. These types of fixtures come in a variety of style and price ranges.
  • Tiffany / Stained Glass: A classic look over your pool table; these lights are stylish and extremely effective at directing the light down on to the table and not out into the room.
  • Themed Pool table lighting: Do you want everyone who walks through the door to know what team you’re loyal to? Pool table lights can be team customized with your favorite team’s logo.

Tips for Choosing a Pool Table Light

  1. You may also want to take into consideration what type of light bulbs are used in the pool table light that you choose. Do you need a light that is easy on your eyes? How bright do you want to be?
  2. Measure your table before you purchase a fixture to be sure that the entire table will be illuminated by the light fixture you select.
  3. Choose a style that blends will with the surrounding décor and the style of your table. A beer pool table light will not blend well with a ultra-modern décor!
  4. Unless you really know what you’re doing, I would definitely recommend calling a professional electrician to install your pool table light. They will get it just right and you won’t have to worry about any accidents.

Have fun choosing your perfect pool table light and get ready to play!


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