How To Build Your Own Pool Table Lights
Playing pool on a table with inadequate lighting is like trying to draw a straight line while riding a bus. While it is technically possible, it can be frustrating. Buying a pool table light from the store can be costly, and is not in everyone’s personal budget. Luckily, it is possible and very cost efficient to make a light for your pool table on your own. The difficulty will range from easy to moderate, depending on your electrical knowledge and abilities, and should only take about 1 ½ – 2 hours to complete. So if you wish to have a unique lighting for your pool table and can’t afford to order a customized pool table lights, embarking on this project would be perfect for you.
But before you start, please make sure you know the criteria and guideline of a pool table light fixture. If you are still unfamiliar, you may want to read up more here.
The tools and materials needed for this project are as follows:
Materials and Estimated Cost
- 1 x 6 x 8 board cut in half ($4.00 – $6.00)
- 12 – 15 ft. electrical wire ($12 .00 – $14.00)
- 3 plastic or porcelain lamp sockets ($4.50 – $9.00)
- 4 ceiling hooks ($3.60 – $4.00)
- 1 plug ($1.10 for 2-wire plug or $4.00 for grounding plug)
- 2 4 ft. chains made of welded steel ($0.68/ft. – $0.74/ft.)
- 3 incandescent light bulbs ($4.98/ pk. 4 -8 bulbs)
- Electrical tape ($0.67 – $0.88)
- 2 wire nuts ($5.00/50 pk.)
Tools needed on Hand
- Power drill
- Screwdrivers (Look at the materials to determine if Phillips or Flathead are needed)
Directions to Build Your Own Pool Table Lights
Lay out the board that will be used for the base of the light. Measure out three, evenly spaced locations for the lamp sockets in the center of the board, and drill 2 holes in each space, about an inch apart from one another.
Push the electrical wire through both of the holes. The black wire should go through one hole, and the white wire should go through the other.
Connect the wires to the lamp socket.
Connect the wires on the other side of the wood, and then either tape them up with electrical tape, or connect them with wire nuts. Do this step three times at all three spaces that had been measured out earlier. Be sure to leave some extra wire at the end for the plug. At the end of this step, there should be three lamp sockets on one side of the piece of wood, and wires on the other side.
Step # 5
On either side of the piece of wood, about 2 inches in from the edge, drill a hole in the center of the wood.
Screw a ceiling hook into each hole made at either end of the piece of wood.
Attach the plug to the extra wire. Make sure to attach the black wire to the brass terminal, and the white wire to the silver terminal. If using a three-prong plug (which I would suggest), attach the green (or ground) wire to the green (or ground) terminal. If doing the wiring is too confusing, check out my post about the do’s and don’ts of wiring.
Measure out two spaces in the ceiling that match the distance between the two ceiling hooks on the pool table light.
Drill a hole at each space in the ceiling, and then screw the ceiling hooks into the holes as tightly as possible.
Attach a piece of chain to either side of the light. Use the other side of each piece of chain to attach to each hook in the ceiling.
Screw in three incandescent light bulbs, one into each light socket, and test out your new pool table light.
This Project is the basic set-up for a DIY pool table lights, but there are many ways to spice up this project and make it look a little nicer. One easy idea would be to just paint or stain the piece of wood, and to add small globes, colored light bulbs, or lamp shades to the lamp sockets. Another idea would be to replace the simple piece of wood with a log, though treating and sanding the log would be necessary. If welding is not too intimidating, making the light out of metal rods could make for a modern look.
Finally, building a casing around the light bulbs with a wood frame and stained glass would look nice and more traditional. Whether it is the simple wooden plank with exposed light bulbs, or a more fancied up version, the pool table will now be a much more enjoyable place to play.
Do give this project a try and share your experience of creating your very own pool table lights with me by commenting below.