Why Proper Billiard Table Illumination is Important

Proper Billiard Table Lighting Explanation Image


Here on BilliardLux we put an emphasis on billiard lighting and getting it down to a science. For any snooker player, whether you are the weekend player or an avid play by the rules player, your lighting system over your billiards table can play a huge effect on your game.

Not only is it important to get optimal illumination on all areas of your table, but we also realize you need to be able to achieve this with the fixture that you find physically appealing and matches the atmosphere of your game room.

In this post, we are going to be talking about why proper illumination of your pool table is important, and we will even touch upon what exactly defines proper lighting of a pool table, what areas are important to have properly lit, and so on.


Firstly, let’s define everything we want in a good billiard light shall we?

  • Optimal light output (measured in lumens and lux)
  • Physical appearance appeals to atmosphere and owners liking – do you want modern, tiffany, etc? You must decide what best fits for you
  • Proper length of the fixture to match with the pool tables length
  • Light bulb technology
  • UL and / or cUL listings (not required, but some like to have it especially in damp environments)
  • Other optional features such as dimming, plug ins, and so on


Now, trying to achieve all of this and getting proper lux at all corners of your table can be tough, but not impossible. We just wanted to list those things so you keep them in mind while you are designing your pool room, or even upgrading it and installing a new lighting fixture about your table.

Now, let’s talk about how exactly one can optimally set themselves up for proper pool table luminance…


How to pick the right fixture for your pool table?

This can be tricky yet very common sense. While snooker tables vary in sizes, typically from 7 to 9 feet long, it would make sense to get a longer or shorter light depending on the size of your table. Since the regulation-sized pool tables set by World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) are either 9 foot by 4.5 foot or 8 foot by 4 foot, these tables require a little bit longer light (in both length and bulb count).

On the other hand, if you have a smaller table (such as 7 feet long) you will be fine with a smaller light fixture of around 4 bulbs or less and less than about 30″ or so.

For the most part, there is no specific science for picking the perfectly sized light for your billiards table. But with these past few notes, you should be much better off being able to qualify what type of billiard fixture is right for you.


Why is this important anyways?

The importance of this varies depending on you and your desire to be as professional (or not) with your setup. If you like to go by the rules as much as possible, then you might need to put in some extra thought into which sized fixture you want. As the WPA puts it, every part of the bed should be lit up with 520 lux to be in line with the rules for billiard lighting. The only easy way to measure lux is with a lux meter, which can run you up to $100 or more. This is probably the biggest thing that makes a lot of people we deal with to not be so picky to getting it to exactly 520 lux everywhere on their table. If you do plan to go this route, don’t waste time by measuring every last square inch on your table. Instead, measure at every pocket and test it out until every pocket is at 520 lux (give or take 20).


But, what happens if you don’t get everywhere on the table at around 520 lux or so? Well, it depends.


If you go over that amount by a lot and your fixture is too high in the air, you will run into issues of being blinded by the light and not being able to shoot at full skill. Whereas if it is under-lit, you might simply not be able to see everything you need to see at full capacity.

The biggest worry you need to think about is over lighting your table, because that is a much worse situation than under lighting. Although the worst case scenario that happens is you just switch out your light bulbs with either a bright or duller bulb, depending on if you have under or over lit your table. So the worst possible outcome isn’t even that bad anyways! The best advice / tip is to never slack on your setup. From your pool table, to cues, and yes even your lighting.



Final Words

We hope to have shined some light (get it?) on how to go about properly light your billiards table, along with why it’s important (to some) to get it right. Adequate billiard table lighting can be a deal breaker for not only a good quality game of snooker, but also of how people view your room. Don’t let visitors down, nor yourself, by overlooking the lighting fixture you decide go with and purchase. Make sure it’s not only beautiful and works for your theme, but also that it is practical and serves its purpose.

If you ever have any questions regarding this or anything involving your game room lighting fixtures, feel free to contact us and we will surely reply to every single one, no matter how simple or complex.

One thought on “Why Proper Billiard Table Illumination is Important

  1. Team Sports says:

    Proper Billiard Table Illumination is very important to get optimal illumination on all areas of your table. It is also important to be able to achieve this with the fixture that you find physically appealing and matches the atmosphere of your game room. Glad to read this.

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