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duckyjp
08-24-2005, 02:53 PM
I have done a lot of thinking about lighting for my pool table and I am leaning toward a halogen cable or track lighting system that uses 50 watt blubs. I have a few reservations about going this route.

I would be placing three 50 watt halogen fixtures above the table. The bulbs wound hang about 47 inches above the slate.

Here is a link to the kit:
http://www.lightingfx.com/item--Pluto-3-or-6-Light-Kit--pluto

My questions are...

1. Will this make the table and the area around it really hot? I really like the modern look and small form factor of the halogen fixtures but I already get a little warm sometimes concentrating while under pressure. Don't want to end up sweating while playing pool!

2. How will the quality of the light be? Does halogen show the true colors of the balls or will it be tinted or distorted? Also don't want it to affect depth perception or angles.

3. I am assuming I can experiment with different beam spreads and heights (the light kit I am looking at is adjustable up and down 12 inches). Do you think this will work to get the table lit properly?

4. Are three 50 watt halogen bulbs going to be bright enough from that high above the table? I want to be able to have the room fairly dark and the table well illuminated. Should I look into fixtures that can accept 75 watt bulbs and make my system dimmable or put 50 watt bulbs into those fixtures if it ends up being too bright? I guess I just don't want to spend all of the money and end up with a dim table. Another option is putting 4 50 watt bulbs over the table because I will have a total of 6 for the whole cable system, but if the light isn't strong enough that might not help a ton.

5. What are the disadvantages to a set-up like this? While I am willing to compromise with some details to get the look I want for my billiard room, I don't want the lighting to affect the game play. There is nothing I hate more in a pool hall than a poorly lit table.


I am leaning toward the 6 light 300 watt system (50 watt fixtures). Hopefully it will be a good balance between form and function. What do you think?

quelicin
08-24-2005, 04:19 PM
Halogen????? Man that is going to get real hot. Also, I don't know if 50 watts for a halogen bulb will be bright enough. You must remember that the wattage that the bulb uses does not always equal brighter light, it is only the amount of energy that is used to light the bulb and halogen lights generally require a little more wattage.

Look at a hanging fluorescent light or a light that just requires regular light bulbs, like an old bar table light. I bought one on ebay for 50 bucks and it uses 3 - 60 watts bulbs and it works fine.

You want a lighting system that will provide an equal distribution of light over the playing surface. Not just individual spotlights shining down from different directions.

Ken

theinel
08-25-2005, 12:02 AM
duckyjp,

For what they're worth, my answers are...

1) Yes, halogens produce quite a bit of heat.

2) I'm not sure about the quality of light but I don't think that it would be an issue. Halogens provide rich lighting so cloth color might be important but then it always is.

3) You will definitely be able to experiment with beam spreads, but from my experience that's the last thing you want to be doing. Beam spreads produce shadows and shadows are bad.

4) Three bulb systems always leave me unhappy with the coverage mostly do to shadows. If using bulbs, a six bulb system produces much more acceptable results. I can't tell from the diagrams in the link you provided how their six bulb system is laid out. I have seen some nice six bulb systems that have a rectangular setup that mirrors the table dimensions only smaller with bulbs at each corner or the rectangle and an extra bulb at mid length of the long rails. The extra bulbs make a big difference.

5) Only things I've already covered. Basically, heat, shadows, and also exposed bulbs.

For my money the best system is a large enclosure (close to but smaller than the size of the table) with two or more florescent tubes and a grid like slatted/slotted shield that diffuses the light over a greater area than individual bulbs can and prevents your eyes from ever having to look directly at a bulb. If room ambiance precludes such a setup then almost any six bulb system would be much better than one with just three bulbs.

GregN
08-25-2005, 07:37 AM
The heat generated by a 50 watt halogen bulb is the same as that generated by a 50 watt ordinary incandescent bulb. . . which is heavier, a pound of lead or a pound of feathers /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif? Halogens are said to be 10 to 20% more efficient than regular incandescent lights (so should require less heat for a given illumination).

Having said all of that, the issue I see with halogens is that the light tends to be more focused which would lead to sharper shadows. I went with the biggest incandescent bulbs I could find for my table to make the light more difuse.

Off topic -- This is my first post. By way of introduction, I've been lurking for months and have learned a lot and enjoyed most of the interaction here! I'm just now returning to the game, not having played much for many years. I put a Schmidt 8' table in my basement this spring, joined a TAP 8-ball league and am really enjoying all of it!

wolfdancer
08-25-2005, 11:51 AM
Sue Backman had these fixtures, in her "Redbird Brewery" pool room. They worked fine......
I installed my own lighting, a couple of months ago
3 "warehouse" fixtures.....and I bought the natural daylight bulbs...the light they put out is great, very restful on the eyes. They cost about $8 each, have the equivalent of a 100w incan. lite...but use only 16W...and have a 10,000 hr life exp.
Hollywood Billiards in LA has the best table lighting I've seen, but the fixtures are pricey....These come close, and my cost was around $100.

PoolFool
08-25-2005, 12:39 PM
I also think the halogen would produce too much heat. Florescent is the best way to go for less heat and true color. If you decide to go with the long tube lamps, go with electronic ballasts and T-8 lamps. Average burn time is 25,000 hours. Malcolite,a lens co. in CA, makes a poly carbon lens that drops down about 1" out of the fixture then forms a V shape for about another 1 1/2" (total of 2 1/2") This eliminates all shadows as the light is disperssed at 180 degrees vs. 90 for normal fixtures. They will make them to fit any size box type fixture. There original function was to put out as much light in a room as a four lamp fixture while using only two lamps. I always thought they would be great for a pool table but have never seen one used as such. There web site does not have any photos just phone mumbers.
Just some more info. to consider.

PoolFool

cheese_ball
08-25-2005, 02:09 PM
The light emitted from a halogen bulb is very focused, or uni-directional. Your only real concern is going to be trying to set up the lights in a manner that leaves your table shadow free.

Furthermore, the new guy Greg is correct... a 50w bulb, no matter what kind of bulb, will put off ALMOST (extremely close) the same amount of heat. It goes back to High School phys./chem. and that nice little law of conservation. Energy in a system may take on various forms (e.g. kinetic, potential, heat, light). The law of conservation of energy states that energy may neither be created nor destroyed. Therefore the sum of all the energies in the system is a constant. So, if we start with 50w of power (ENERGY), and convert it into LIGHT (measured in lumens), with HEAT as a byproduct... You can't make a 50w halogen be brighter AND create more heat than an incandescent.

Flourescent lights are the most un-natural light source you can get. Because standard flourescent bulbs only emit a limited spectrum, it distorts percieved coloration in the retinas. UNLESS they are the flourescents made with neodymium. These flourescents actually put out the full spectrum and are much closer looking to real sunlight.

PoolFool
08-25-2005, 08:31 PM
A fluorescent bulb produces less heat because it uses gases to produce light vs an incandescent which uses current to heat a fillament. A fluorescent bulb can produce between 50 and 100 lumens per watt. This makes fluorescent bulbs four to six times more efficient than incandescent bulbs which produce only about 15 lumens per watt.
Flourescent lights do not show natural sunlight colors as well as incandescent. However, sunlight has a CRI (color rendering index) of 5500Kelvins. You can buy fourescent lamps at Home Depot or Lowes with a CRI of 5100K. It is hard for the human eye to tell the difference.

PoolFool

bluey2king
08-26-2005, 10:45 AM
I would not recomend it unless you are willing to keep expermenting with to get what you want. I am not sure if you are using a pool table fixture or spoting the lights from the side. If you are spotting from the side of the room you will get shadows from all angles that might be distracting. I bought a very nice pool table fixture on ebay with three incadesant lights for about 125.00. I have halogen lights on a track set up around the room. They are very nice and they are on a dimmer so I can adjust the room lighting. The table looks great when they are dim and the table is lit with its own light.

duckyjp
08-26-2005, 12:33 PM
Just to Clarify...the lights would be centered over the table, not angled at the table. I think with this arrangement I would be able to get good lighting coverage because almost everything is adjustable - height, beam spread, number of lights, and spacing between lights.

I assume the reason the halogen lights feel hotter is becuase the heat/ light is more focused in one direction rather than being diffused around a globe shape.

lc1
08-26-2005, 12:39 PM
Not only hot but expensive to run. However it should look cool. Just watch to make sure that you distribute the light evenly.

Pied Piper
08-27-2005, 08:10 AM
I used to work with light bulbs as a customer service representative at energy federation inc. www.efi.org (http://www.efi.org) Halogens would get extremely hot. Compact Flourescents will not. When it comes down to light quality it all depends on what you are looking for. Certain Kelvin ratings might affect you in different ways. I prefer 6500k bulbs (daylight simulation) extremely white. I find it is easier to see the edges of the balls, and it makes everything crisp. (there is a reason why hospitals use em). But in a home setting, I am pool hall romantic and like the 2400k bulbs, more yellow and gives that nice subtle ominous glow. CFL's use a lot less energy than Halogens, puts off little if no heat, and saves you a crap load on energy bills. The only problem, they can be pricey as hell. But I say make the initial investment, they last a while. In regards do other people use them? In the pool hall I used to go to, I sold them a couple of boxes fairly cheap, save the owner on electricity and the lighting was awesome. He used 5600k bulbs. Also be advised, the cover of the lighting, whether it is a plastic cover, shroud, or even shade, can dramatically affect the way the light is. I say for pool stay away from reflector style bulbs and shrouds, the glare from bright shiny chrome when you are leaning down on a shot can be unbearable.

The Piper

Bill
08-28-2005, 11:08 AM
Hey there,
I noticed your post and thought I'd let you know that I just went through all the same questions you have.After much testing, repositioning and returning of merchandise to local home centers,the results seem great, but I didn't take delivery on my new table yet. I didn't want to be working around the table, so I made sure to finish before it got here.
I'd be happy to get into more detail if you'd like, but here goes the answers to your questions. Best of luck with whatever you decide!
1.I used 6 fifty watt halogens on TWO tracks (24" apart)and I don't feel that the table or the area around it are any hotter than it was at my old house. There I had a classic type stained glass box type fixture with 3 150 watt incandescent sockets.
2.The quality of light seems great. I'm no expert, but the look of the Aramith balls I have on the "test table" I have set up under the lights look great. The ball colors look super sharp under the very white light of the halogens. I would say better than I'm used to seeing them with "yellowish" incandescent bulbs or "bluish?" flourescents.
3.Since my main objectives were to a. Use lighting that would eliminate anything hanging down from the ceiling altogether(both to be able to see across the room and to easily make eye contact with a fellow player, not to mention nothing to slam into with your head or cue when goofing around or attempting acrobatic shots.)And b, to save money!The three light tracks that I bought at Lowe's were on sale for 40.00 each.That's about 13.00 per light.Be careful though, some track lights (much fancier than my plain, mini-roundback units) can cost more than 50 to 100! each. Anyway, I didn't do any experimenting with fixture height, only with beam spread.
4.The fifty watters come in spot, medium and flood. You can experiment (like I did) and see what works best for your table size. I think I'm going to stick with floods (40 degree angle of dispersion), but I could always adjust that later, after the table gets here. BTW, you can also mess with the spacing of the fixtures, and even purchase additional ones. This may allow you to use more fixtures with a lower wattage for each, so you might use spot bulbs (instead of flood) so you'd only light the table and not the floor around it like I'm doing.
5.Disadvantages? You bet! These things were a pain to install. Hopefully, you already have an existing fixture or outlet to plug into above your table. If not, get ready for wire snaking fun and sheetrock dust in your eyes!The other disadvantage is that two track light tracks running two feet apart across your ceiling may look kind of hokey to some, but I'm not looking to get into Architectural Lighting magazine. It's just that when you're pushing fifty, you need all the light you can get!
Best, Bill

duckyjp
08-29-2005, 09:00 AM
Bill,

Sounds like you went with a set-up very similar to mine and you input has been very helpful. I want to learn from your experimentation so I have a few questions.

1. Did you go with two rows on purpose for lighting pattern or because that was the best way to get six bulbs in with the three-light fixtures?

My set-up would be 3-6 fixtures in a line down the middle. I guess your two-row set-up would probably give you better table coverage rather than focusing all of the light in the center of the table, but a wide beam spread may allow my set-up to work.

2. Are your lights pointing straight down in both rows or angled?

I am guessing with the two tracks that you would have lights pointing straight down.


3. What model lights and/or brand did you use from Lowes? Do you have a link to a picture of what you used so I can visualize the track and fixtures?

I guess I am leaning toward using one row of lights because I have one box in the ceiling to work with and I think it would get complicated if I had to wire two track light fixtures to the same transformer (if this is even possible).




Ideally, I will probably have 4 or 5 of the 6 total 50-watt bulbs over the table in a straight line pointed straight down and i will run the cable 20 feet total across the room with one or two extra lights at the end of the room to light a foosball table. I would like to do all of my direct lighting within one system and keep everything looking nice and streamlined with as little wiring as possible.

Do you think 4 or 5 50 watt bulbs in a straight line would provide adequate light for the table in a dark room? (I just want to light the table and not the area around the table.)

I know this is an unconventional way to go, but that is one of the things that appeals to me about this set-up. I just hope the heat isn't too much!


<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bill:</font><hr> Hey there,
I noticed your post and thought I'd let you know that I just went through all the same questions you have.After much testing, repositioning and returning of merchandise to local home centers,the results seem great, but I didn't take delivery on my new table yet. I didn't want to be working around the table, so I made sure to finish before it got here.
I'd be happy to get into more detail if you'd like, but here goes the answers to your questions. Best of luck with whatever you decide!
1.I used 6 fifty watt halogens on TWO tracks (24" apart)and I don't feel that the table or the area around it are any hotter than it was at my old house. There I had a classic type stained glass box type fixture with 3 150 watt incandescent sockets.
2.The quality of light seems great. I'm no expert, but the look of the Aramith balls I have on the "test table" I have set up under the lights look great. The ball colors look super sharp under the very white light of the halogens. I would say better than I'm used to seeing them with "yellowish" incandescent bulbs or "bluish?" flourescents.
3.Since my main objectives were to a. Use lighting that would eliminate anything hanging down from the ceiling altogether(both to be able to see across the room and to easily make eye contact with a fellow player, not to mention nothing to slam into with your head or cue when goofing around or attempting acrobatic shots.)And b, to save money!The three light tracks that I bought at Lowe's were on sale for 40.00 each.That's about 13.00 per light.Be careful though, some track lights (much fancier than my plain, mini-roundback units) can cost more than 50 to 100! each. Anyway, I didn't do any experimenting with fixture height, only with beam spread.
4.The fifty watters come in spot, medium and flood. You can experiment (like I did) and see what works best for your table size. I think I'm going to stick with floods (40 degree angle of dispersion), but I could always adjust that later, after the table gets here. BTW, you can also mess with the spacing of the fixtures, and even purchase additional ones. This may allow you to use more fixtures with a lower wattage for each, so you might use spot bulbs (instead of flood) so you'd only light the table and not the floor around it like I'm doing.
5.Disadvantages? You bet! These things were a pain to install. Hopefully, you already have an existing fixture or outlet to plug into above your table. If not, get ready for wire snaking fun and sheetrock dust in your eyes!The other disadvantage is that two track light tracks running two feet apart across your ceiling may look kind of hokey to some, but I'm not looking to get into Architectural Lighting magazine. It's just that when you're pushing fifty, you need all the light you can get!
Best, Bill <hr /></blockquote>

BigRigTom
08-29-2005, 09:49 AM
Wolfdancer,
I just caught your post on the lighting thing.....
I have an 8' pro Brunswick in my garage.
I've been thinking about putting a table light up but have not been able to decide if I "REALY" want it.
I currently have 2 fixtures which have 4x48' florescent bulbs each mounted between the rafters. These light up the entire garage very well but neither of them are centered over the pool table.
A friend recommended a similar set up to what you describe.
Can you tell me in detail what you did, do you have a 9' table, how high are the lights you installed, and any other details ....do you have pictures you can post or PM me.
Thanks in advance.

duckyjp
08-29-2005, 11:40 AM
The plot thickens...I just found out that I could use LED bulbs in this fixture.

http://www.lightingfx.com/item--MR16-LED-Bulb--L12V16-WH

I KNOW these will be cooler and more energy efficient. Way more expensive though.

How does the quality of light from these LED bulbs compare to halogen?

Are there a similar variety of beam spread options with LED bulbs like this? It seems to me that LED lights usually look more blueish or flourescent-esque.

I know LED is supposed to last a very long time, be energy efficient, and be fairly bright. I have never experienced this type of bulb before and I hesitate to drop that kind of cash for something I have never seen.

Hmmm...so many choices!

duckyjp
08-29-2005, 02:06 PM
For that matter it looks like I can get LED MR16 replacements in full-spectrum versions. That should give me high quality light, right?

Now I just need to figure out which output flourescents would be comparable to or a little brighter than 50 watt Halogern MR16 bulbs.

I will Probably do my set-up and adjusting with Halogen bulbs because they are so much cheaper. If I need to experiment with beam spread, better to do it at 2 dollars a pop. Then if it is pretty hot, I will use what I have learned to select the ideal LED bulbs. It is intriguing and sounds like a great all around solution if the quality of light and brightness is comparable.

Bill
08-29-2005, 06:33 PM
No problem.
1.I did the double track because no matter which bulbs I tried I couldn't evenly light the table all the way across (side to side). I liked the idea of lighting the table without anything hanging down so much that I decided even 2 tracks were better than one large hanging light.
2.The fixtures do point straight down.
3.The kits are made by Cooper Lighting in Peachtree Ga. They are called Emerald 3 head round back cylinder track kits. Model P6502W. They are not on the Lowe's website. (Unless I just couldn't find them).
Just a couple of other thoughts:
These kits use a 120 volt track.Each light fixture uses it's own transformer to drop the voltage down to 12v.(you can use as many light fixtures as you need with no worries about overloading a main transformer).
Have you considered recessed fixtures? They would give you the cleanest mounting look (flush with the ceiling), and they allow much higher wattage lamps to be used. I would have used these, but I didn't have enough room above the ceiling to mount them. That way, you could use 3? above your pool table and 2? above your other table.
I can e-mail photos of my setup to you, but the lights are pretty common looking.
Good Luck, Bill