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Table lighting under a low ceiling

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  • Table lighting under a low ceiling

    I've read a good number of threads about table lighting and none of them have quite answered the question I have.

    The picture below is the snooker room of the house into which I am moving on the 20th March (can't wait!!)

    The table is currently lit with little halogen spots - 1 over each pocket and 1 over the middle of each end rail. I don't need to tell you, the lighting is really uneven. In the flesh, it's not quite as awful as it looks - but it is pretty bad and definitely needs improvement!

    You may also be able to see that there is a hole over the blue spot, inside which is a separate circuit for additional lights - which means I can easily add more lights. So it's not all bad.

    However - what you can't see in the photo is the main issue/bad news. The ceiling is really low - it's a shade under 7 feet.

    So - what's the best way to light a table when the ceiling is low?

    I don't want something that's really intrusive and I'm concerned that something so close to the table will be a huge distraction when you're down on the shot. Also - I need to make sure that any lights still light the whole table - even when they're a bit closer than they would normally be.

    Any similar experience, ideas or suggestions would be hugely welcomed.

  • #2
    Just ordinary strip lights (I can't spell fluorescent) fastened direct to the ceiling is the way to go.

    At 7' high I can see that the room might feel a bit like being in an air raid shelter or a strongroom but, actually, 7' isn't a bad height to have your lights.


    • #3
      Actually - you really CAN spell fluorescent!!

      I had thought about bare fluorescent tubes - but that's where my concern, about how distracting that might be, comes in. If they were a couple of feet higher - they wouldn't be visible when down on the shot. However, I suspect this could be really overpowering.

      Also - I have to admit that I was hoping to find a solution that looks a little better than than would.

      I like the strongroom image!! It is a little bit like that. It's quite odd actually, as most of us don't spend time in rooms with ceiling that are lower than standard!


      • #4
        Just a thought.... It might be possible to have a couple/few fluorescent tubes as to have a nice even spread of light, you could then make or have made a wooden frame that sits around the out side of them with a large piece of opaque perspex/acrylic sheet to fit over to diffuse the light slightly. The diffuser hopefully would help to eliminate the visual distraction.

        Not sure I made it too clear that the idea is one frame would be around all of the light fittings, not one for each fitting.
        Last edited by thebranstonman; 4 March 2013, 09:48 AM.


        • #5
          have you read the posts about Dextra Duets? These are High Frequency strip lights and two 5' units placed end to end will cover a full size table perfectly when placed 5' above the table bed.
          If you say the ceiling is 7', minus the height of the table so it will be less than 5' but they could still work, hopefuly a table fitter will pop on with precise information.
          But the units themselves are relatively unobtusive.
          Up the TSF!


          • #6
            The ones Dean mention are what you need.

            They're what I have. I fully intended to clad them in some Oak but when they arrived, they looked better than their price would indicate. I left them bare.


            • #7
              Thanks Guys - really appreciate your help.

              It's amazing how much more noticeable things are on a ceiling that is just 6 inches lower than standard. It feels like they're almost eye level! So, I quite like the idea of the oak frame (matching the table) to make it a bit of a feature, rather than worrying about making it as discrete as possible.


              1) Will they light the table effectively if they're on a 7' ceiling. Pottr - if you have them already, do you think this would work at this height?

              2) What bulbs do you have in them? I picked up from the other threads that they need to be high frequency, but what about the wattage? Are there options? I don't think I've ever bought a fluorescent light!


              • #8
                Yes, they will light the table better than you could imagine. There will be very little in the way of shadows from the balls.
                My ceiling height is 7'10" so not much in terms of difference.

                The diffuser which covers the tubes eliminates the glare you would expect.

                You need the t8 fluorescent tubes. 5ft 58 watts, they're pretty cheap and will last ages. The two dextra units are 5ft long, placed end on end and centred over the table.

                The tubes you need to buy are the cool white colour. You can have daylight ones also but they are a touch brighter. If the pictured room cool white would be best.

                You can get the whole set up for about £130 delivered.

                One word of caution, when I bought mine, one of the transformers inside the module was faulty. I had it replaced and bought the backup part for about £15 incase it ever happens again.


                • #9
                  Worth adding, they are remarkably easy to position and install.

                  I can't believe that the coffin shades still exist in clubs considering how cheap these are. The benefit more than outweighs the expenditure.


                  • #10
                    You could change the halogen fittings with led spots
                    If you get the right ones they diffuse the light better,so no shadows
                    No heat and are brighter especially in cool white
                    That way there's no holes to fill


                    • #11
                      Go to the SouthWest Snooker Academy website to see these lights and their reflectors. The are set somewhat higher than your ceiling but what got to me is just how bright these fixtures are and how they cover the whole table perfectly.

                      I didn't know about these lights when I had my facility done so I hung 5 x 4ft double fluorescent fixtures crossways with the 40Watt bulbs so that's costing me 400Watts of power when I could've had much better lighting at less wattage.

                      Terry Davidson
                      IBSF Master Coach & Examiner


                      • #12
                        Many thanks Chaps – that’s excellent!

                        Pottr – great info on the bulbs. If you’ve got them and you’re happy with them – that’s good enough for me. Moreover, I assumed I’d be spending a few hundred pounds, so that’s an absolute bargain too!! Good call on the spare transformer too. If that’s a likely point of failure – it’d be mad not to have one up my sleeve for £15.

                        I’ll get some ordered so that I can do

                        Terry – good pics on that site. Can see exactly what we’re talking about. 

                        Mick Dundee – I guess I’ll work out what to do with the existing lights once I’ve got these bad boys up! I can see me just losing the ones over the middle of the end rails though.


                        • #13
                          Leave the other lights, just run the snooker light off a different switch, perhaps buy a scoreboard light and pair it up with the snooker one.

                          The existing lights won't interfere with the new as they won't be on at the same time.

                          I have no idea what the failure rate is to be fair, I just like to be prudent. Once bitten and all that.

                          They really are a bargain. There are better models for sure. I think Throtts has the Luminaire LS-12002 set up for his table. They're a better set up for sure. But three times the price and harder to install as they are trickier to surface mount being a bit heavier.

                          The dextras really are a bargain.


                          • #14
                            As I said in my original post, the circuit on which I'll put these is already separate from the spots - so there is a separate switch.

                            Like the idea of a linked scoreboard light - although, as daft as it sounds, I can't remember there being a scoreboard in there at all!! I'm sure there must be one - I just can't picture it!! I've only been there twice!! I'll know in a couple of weeks.


                            • #15
                              silly question, but the table is part of the house deal?
                              Up the TSF!