Table light height


Straight, no chaser!
Silver Member
I know this has been discussed before, but I can't seem to find the thread. Anyway, what is the correct height for the table light? Is it 32"? Also, does it differ if the fixture is flourescent vs. incandescent? Thanks!:D


Well-known member
Silver Member
Ideally all the light will be concentrated on the playing area. Flourescent won't give as much shadow. On home tables the height from slate to bottom of the light generally runs between 30" and 40". You can start at 30" and adjust up until you feel you have the best lighting for your table.


Member, .25% Club
Silver Member
I've experimented; and with a 4-place fixture for a 9-foot table; the correct height is exactly 31" off the bed of the table. I'm not kidding (though I suspect you may want to experiment a bit with your own, just in case I'm wrong...which of course has never happened before...well except for that one time on Spring Break....but I SWEAR she was 18....).
Last edited:


Fearlessly Happy
Silver Member
31" is the standard spec, but depending on your fixture, it may not be right for you. I'm kinda tall and don't like whacking my head or my cue stick on the light fixture, so mine are closer to 4 feet off the table. As long as you can see the balls and table clearly and there aren't any nasty shadows between the cushions, you should be okay.


S.F. Bay Area
Silver Member
WPA Light Specs

The bed and rails of the table must receive at least 520 lux (48 footcandles) of light at every point. A screen or reflector configuration is advised so that the center of the table does not receive noticeably more lighting than the rails and the corners of the table.

If the light fixture above the table may be moved aside (referee), the minimum height of the fixture should be no lower than 40 inches [1.016 m] above the bed of the table. If the light fixture above the table is non-movable, the fixture should be no lower than 65 inches [1.65 m] above the bed of the table.

The intensity of any directed light on the players at the table should not be blinding. Blinding light starts at 5000 lux (465 footcandles) direct view. The rest of the venue (bleachers, etc.) should receive at least 50 lux (5 footcandles) of light.

65 inches is good for playing clearance and it reduces the chance of glare directly into the eyes of the players. The problem is that many rooms don't have that kind of clearance - at least not with any kind of fancy fixture. Also, when planning for lights, you need 4x as many lamps at 60" as you do at 30" in order to achieve the same illumination at the table surface.

I looked into this a while back because I play at a room that has three incandescent warehouse-type metal fixtures hanging at about 30" above each table. Some of the bulbs have longer necks and protrude from the bottom of the lampshades, and can be distracting as well as irritating.