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Hanging a Pool Table Light

Cloudbow Billiards explains how he hung his pool table light.


Hanging a Pool Table Light

Hanging a pool table light

We bought an inexpensive three-shade hanging bar light from Mueller Sporting Goods. We've seen this same light, with only slight variations, for approximately $230 (from Connelly Billiards), approximately $165 (a local billiards store), and approximately $90 (from the Mueller catalog). It pays to shop around.The primary difference between the one from Mueller and the one from Connelly was that the Connelly light had fancy end-caps at each end of the brass bar. The ends of the brass bar from Mueller are flat and unadorned.

  • A Preparation Note - The first thing we did was drape bed sheets over the pool table to catch the debris from drilling holes in the ceiling. We also added several pillows just in case we dropped anything heavy while working over the table. To hang the light, we used common plant hooks--the kind with the butterfly nuts that open up their "wings" after they are through the hole.
  • Concerns - Our pool table is new, not even three weeks old, so we were being very cautious around it. We didn't want to scratch the wood or the cloth in any way. In fact, we weren't even comfortable with the prospect of leaning over or on the table to put the light up. Because of this concern, we hung the light a little differently than is probably standard.

The light bar hangs suspended from two chains: one at each end, from the bar to the ceiling. When you see these lights, the chains are usually perpendicular to the bar. In other words, straight up from bar to ceiling. Well... to do that we would have had to lean over the table more than we were comfortable with. Our chains, therefore, go at an angle out from the ends of the bar, up to the ceiling.

It sounds odd, but it really doesn't look bad. Instead of like this:

Hanging a pool table light diagram

Ours looks like this:

Hanging a pool table light diagram

Centering the Pool Table Light

Another challenge was getting the light centered perfectly over the table. After discussing a few options, the method we finally used was incredibly easy. Our decision to have the chains angled is what made this method so deceptively simple. We used a pool cue and loaded the tip with fresh chalk. We placed the pool cue--butt end on the table, tip toward the ceiling--just inside of and touching the rail, and aligned with the center diamond at the head of the table. With one of us as a spotter on the side, the other held the cue, keeping it straight, and moved it straight up until the tip touched the ceiling. A twirl of the tip left a perfect drill mark on the ceiling. Repeat the procedure at the foot of the table. The center diamonds ensured the light was centered between the side rails and placing the cue just inside and touching the rails ensured equal distance between the end rails. We didn't even need a ruler.

Hanging a pool table light diagram

Distance Between Pool Table and Pool Table Light

How far above the pool table should the light be? The answer is simple:

The bottom lip of the light shade should be about 30” above the bed of the pool table (not the rails, but the bed – big flat surface on which you actually play ). Most pool table lights are designed in the manner that when hung exactly 30” above the bed of the pool table, will provide you with perfect lighting of the entire playing surface. Why should you not mount it lower that this? You want to avoid having people strike your light with their cues upon their shots. If the light is much higher then 30”, it will shine right into the eyes of the person trying to line up a shot, and that really ruins the game for most people. The pool table light should also be kept level and perfectly parallel to the playing surface. This can be achieved easily by regulating the amount of links on the mounting chain.

Most of the lights do have the same connections as your regular house lights. I can not recommend for people to install their lights by themselves, I personally hate being electrocuted and professional electrician can install the light fast and proper.

One last thing. When installing your billiard table light, do not to stand on the pool table. I know it looks like a perfectly good platform, after all it does elevate you from the floor, but it also can lead to felt damage or stains on the felt and what is more important - it can ruin the level of the playing surface. As far as pool table installation goes - leveling the pool table is the most painstaking and important process and you really don't want to do anything to ruin that level.

Hanging a Pool Table Light

  • Title: Hanging a Pool Table Light
  • Author: (Billiards Forum)
  • Published: 1/7/2017 4:36:44 PM
  • Last Updated: 1/21/2017 11:50:28 AM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum
  • Source: Cloudbow Billiards

Hanging a Pool Table Light

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