When you’re looking for lighting for your pool table, you should consider three primary things: first, the practicality of the light; second, the quality, brightness, and direction of the light; and thirdly, how great it looks in your pool room.
The practicality of pool table lights covers several different things as well. You need to consider how large your room is and how high the ceiling is. Your pool table lights won’t do you any good at all if they get in the way of playing. With a very low ceiling, you almost certainly won’t be able to choose one of those cool Tiffany-style stained glass hanging lights because you won’t be able to play properly. Your pool table lights should never get in the way of your pool cue either.
If you do have a low ceiling, consider going with track lighting or recessed lighting instead of traditional pool table lights. It doesn’t look as cool, but it also won’t get in your way while playing, and that’s the important thing.
The second most important thing to consider in pool table lights is the quality of the light and its direction. For a pool table, lights should pool on the table surface to highlight your game playing area, and they should be bright enough to easily see the game, yet not so bright as to interfere with the atmosphere that should reign over a good game of pool.
This is why pool table lights that are suspended from the ceiling are very popular; you can use very bright bulbs, yet still, with the directional lighting traditional pool table light shades give you, have a nice dim atmosphere throughout the rest of the room. Never choose translucent or transparent shades for your pool table lights; instead, stick with metal shades, opaque glass shades, or Tiffany-style stained glass shades.
Finally, you want just the right atmosphere in your pool room, and your pool table lighting has a great deal to do with that. Dark green shades, Tiffany-style stained glass, and, if you can find them, beer-advertisement shades are some of the best pool table lighting designs you can choose for great atmosphere. But it really depends on what you’re trying to accomplish with your design.
For the traditional “smoke filled room” atmosphere, even if you don’t smoke, translucent green glass shades for your pool table lights are an excellent choice. The light pools nicely on the table, and the color of the shades ensures that your overall lighting stays dim and casual in feel. For a more classy atmosphere, stained glass shades are a fine choice. Pool table lights topped with a stained glass shade send a multicolored soft glow throughout your pool table room, giving a more feminine feel but not so feminine that guys can’t enjoy them as well. This soft, relaxed feeling is why many beer companies choose to do their customized pool table lighting shades in a stained glass style.
One other choice you’ll need to make is whether you want a row of two, three, or four lights for your pool table lighting, or a single large light for the center. Multiple lights give a slightly more diffuse, soft light to the area, while a single large light gives a somewhat harsher, but sharper, light, more likely to focus on the table and game themselves. Multiple lights also eliminates a lot of the shadowing problems you might have on your pool table itself, making it easier to see table details.
No matter what pool table lighting option you choose, the most important consideration is that you’re happy with the final result. Consider your choices carefully before installing anything.