Pool table lighting serves two very specific purposes: it illuminates a tight area, and keeps focus on the table itself. As an experienced do-it-yourselfer, you may be looking to install your own light or even create your own light fixture. Before you get started, be sure you know how much voltage your home’s electrical system can handle, how much weight the ceiling over your pool table can bear, and what the electrical safety codes are for your area.
Here’s a quick rundown on a few ways you can safely wire your new system.
#1 Wiring Method 1: Daisy Chain
Daisy Chains are the simplest wiring configurations to install. If you have multiple pool table accessories, you might consider implementing a Daisy Chain lighting system in order to gain more versatility in your lighted areas. Daisy Chains are great choice for multiple connected light fixtures, which mean you can keep your racks and cabinets lighted just as well as your table. A Daisy Chain system consists of multiple light sources, each connected to the next in a chain of wiring.
Keep in mind, however, that in an installation with too many lights, there may be a dimming effect as the chain progresses. Each successive fixture receives slightly less voltage, which means each fixture will get slightly dimmer as you move down the line. For small numbers of light, however, this isn’t particularly noticeable and Daisy Chains are relatively simple to install.
#2 Wiring Method 2: T-Wiring
T-Wiring is similar to a Daisy Chain, but rather than supplying voltage to one end of a chain, your source is dropped near the center of your pool table lights and run in opposite directions. T-Wiring is more complex to install, but provides greater uniformity of light across the entire system.
For both Daisy Chains and T-Wiring, it’s important to keep in mind that each new connection is a weak point in your wiring system, so these systems may require more maintenance than usual if you’re using more than one light.
#3 Wiring Method 3: Hubs
Hub wiring is named for its shape, with a power source dropped to a central hub, and then distributed individually to each light source. This method is best used when your pool table lights are clustered around a central area, or if there is a track for longer wires to run along to reach the lights furthest from the hub.
Hubs are the most reliable of the three wiring methods, as they come with fewer weak points in the system. That means less vulnerability to wear and tear, making hub systems a great option for outdoor installations or rooms that see plenty of use.
#4 Ensure SAFETY above anything else!
If you’re installing new lighting fixtures to an old electrical drop, be absolutely certain to cut power to the area before rewiring anything. Start by turning off whatever switch governs your electrics in the area, but always double check with a voltage detector to be sure that the wires you’re working on aren’t hot before touching them. Double check the rating on any new wire you put in to be certain it can handle the voltage load you’re planning to put on it, and give yourself plenty of buffer space in your estimates. For more tips on wiring your pool table lights, check out my post on wiring safety.
Your new pool table lights, be it off the shelves or custom made light fixture, will add class to your games for years to come with a properly installed lighting system!