(Topic ID: 28)

What makes good gameroom lighting? Any ideas?

By robin

12 years ago

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  • 33 posts
  • 23 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by muzikman
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    #1 12 years ago

    I'm in the process of figuring out a way to get more light in my gameroom - make it a bit easier on the eyes to play - without totally ruining the games light effects and such and avoiding reflections on the games playfield glass.

    Any thoughts on this? What kind of light sources do you have in your gamerooms? Halogen strings? Photos would be great if you have any!

    2 months later
    #2 12 years ago

    I painted my gameroom black, and built a small 2x4 header with a small 2" overhanging face around the parameter of the room, and installed rope lighting behind the overhang. It gives off a cool lighting vibe, and isnt a distraction while gaming.

    #3 12 years ago

    i have dimmers in all my rooms. you can adjust to suit. i hate bright lighting. £4 for a dimmer wont break the bank either!

    #4 12 years ago

    I put rope lighting all around my game room you can adjust the speed too. I got it from Home Depot.

    2 weeks later
    #5 12 years ago

    I have black lights in my gameroom and they don't detract from the games lighting. also looks good reflecting off the mini-bar. I find they just light the room enough to make it easier on the eyes without brightening it up too much. The way white glows in black light is also a nice effect for a home arcade.

    #6 12 years ago

    I have two lamps (that can switch to your prefrence) and a normal fan light. I put one by the machine and just turned that on and the normal light. Also, paint you "room" brightly...

    #7 12 years ago

    I have three or four black lights on some of my arcade cabinets, and for the main light in the room I have a compact fluorescent blue light. It makes stuff glow, but it's not completely obnoxious. I have a video on YouTube with a little walkthrough of my gameroom. Just ignore me identifying each machine, I made it for my buddies that don't know games. Also, I've done some rearranging, and addition since then. That little work bench I have has been removed and more games are now in there.

    As you'll notice the blue light is bright enough to see everything, but it's a dark color so that each machine's own light still stands out. Pretty cool.

    3 weeks later
    #8 12 years ago

    Nice arcade room jar155. Brings back memories looking at some of your games.


    4 months later
    #9 11 years ago

    Track lighting is what you need.You can get a variety of styles from cheap to expensive designer styles.Low voltage is probably best to keep light from being to bright and if needed you can add a dimmer,Im an electrician and I just installed some lighting called "monorail". Its expensive but really sleek and there is various lamps to connect to it.

    1 month later
    #10 11 years ago

    I'd say, keep your ceiling dark as possible. My gameroom's ceiling is 18' cathedral styled with galvanized steel completely skinning the ceiling. I use only 2 dimly lit sconce lights for accent. It looks cool and dramatic, but I get annoying reflections on the pinball glass. It's not bad enough to change it, but I would not repeat it again in a room loaded with pins.

    Your mileage may vary...

    #11 11 years ago

    Jar155.... You sound exactly like that that PinballRestoration guy that have posted several good vids on YouTube.....Twin brother mabye?

    #12 11 years ago

    I saw someone with the tube lights under the machines. This gave off light in the room but since it was underneath, didn't add glare.

    5 months later
    #13 11 years ago

    My puny game room is almost done in my garage. It's about 9' x 24'. There are currently 6 pins out there and a work bench. HOWEVER, no real lighting is installed yet. Would it be foolish to put the rope light all around the top of the walls by the ceiling? Too much reflection? Should I put the rope light around the base of the walls? I like the tube light thing suggested, I'm just short on outlets.....

    Also.... how much power do most people run to their game rooms? We have 100amps for the whole house (built in 1890's- lucky to just have lights). I think the garage box is 40amps (2 20's??). How many machines can be out there safely, you think?

    If anyone's bored enough to lend an opinion..... "appreeshiate ya'" (Utah thing).

    #14 11 years ago

    I have black-light strings up on the walls of my gameroom. Got em from the halloween store (Spirit store). Maybe $20 bucks for a box/string, and they can be chained together. They give some dim lighting, and do not cause glare on the playfield glass.

    I've been thinking of picking up some small white colored X-mas light strings to place at the base of the walls, to sort of simulate the lighting at the movie theatres. I do remember the arcade I used to go to as a kid, had them set up on their walls, since it was pitch black in the arcade.

    #15 11 years ago

    Nice! I am all over that black-light string thing. I was contemplating some string lights with little flames that flicker. I am going to check out the black light string. Thanks!

    #16 11 years ago

    Well, newer machines run from about 4 Amps in attract mode up to 8 amps when everything is going crazy, like multiball. So a 20 amp line would safely hold only 2 newer machines. A third machine may trip the breaker/blow the fuse if all 3 were being played hard at the same time. Another problem to look out for is most receptacles are only rated at 15 amps with 20 amp pass-thru. This means while the overall circuit can hold 20 amps, you can only plug 15 amps worth of crap into a single receptacle before it trips the breaker. This is to protect the wiring and keep the house from burning down. So, unless you change the receptacle to a 20 amp version, you will only be able to plug in two newer machines and even then there is a change they will trip the breaker. 2x8A = 16A. I would change the receptacle to a 20Amp one and only plug in two machines to that receptacle with no more than 3 machines on one circuit.

    The tube lights are cool. I would run them around the wall a couple of feet from the ceiling. To keep the reflections down, build a channel with a panel in front so the light reflects upward to the ceiling and not down or to the front. Kinda looks like a U with the wall being one side of the U. Lay the lights inside this channel. |_o_| The "O" is the light strip. I wish I could explain this better but it looks really good.

    #17 11 years ago

    Wow, thanks for the knowledge sealclubber! You're a smart feller! I wonder if the box is already 20amp, because there's 220 out there for a compressor... But you explain the lighting excellently. I just don't like the word "build" in there. I'm so sick of "build"ing right now! (Guess you don't feel like stopping by on your way to camping in southern Utah sometime, ha/ha......)

    What color tube light should I eventually get? I just remember Tim Arnold saying one time that red is the worst for washing out color. Maybe that's why everyone goes to the opposite end of the spectrum and chooses purple/blue.

    #18 11 years ago

    Thanks. I just finished my basement and kept asking questions of the electrician to make my plan. I had a dedicated line run to my pinball wall so only my pins are plugged into that circuit that way I know I have 20A available. Even so, when I have friends over, I plug one pin into an extension cord to the receptacle across the room. I would hate to have someone's high score nullified by a brown out.

    You should be able to look at the box and easily find out what you are running. On the arm of the breaker or the top of the fuse should be a number, 15, 20, 30 etc... That is how many amps the breaker/fuse and wires can handle.

    Do you have 110v receptacles in your garage? 220v circuit is usually two 110v combined so those two 20A lines to your garage could be just for the 220V compressor but might be running off the kitchen's circuit.
    You might be able to have more lines run to your house. Most modern houses have 200A service. Not sure how much it would cost but that is something I would seriously look into. I couldn't live off of 100A, too many electronics.

    Color preference is up to you. I like my rooms brighter (I'm afraid of the Bogey Man ) so I would probably go with blue but not all people do.

    #19 11 years ago

    I have posted about the Ikea Diode led lights in another post:

    they change colors/ fade in and out what ever you want - $40 a box

    #20 11 years ago

    I do like that low down lighting effect!

    #21 11 years ago

    I put recessed can lights in the seilings. My pins are in the basement without a lot of natural light. Brightens things up considerably, but you may get some glare from time to time. I like the extra light since I don't see in dim light as welll as I used to.

    #22 11 years ago

    I don't have a game room but my experience at the two pinball museums is avoid ceiling lighting completely. If it's not an option, then I would make lightweight baffles that are around 50% larger (in the case of fluorescents) and hang them with fishing line or a light chain. You really don't want any direct light on the glass. You can decorate the baffles with pin posters or whatever, so they don't have to be "ugly" necessarily.

    Also, dark walls and ceiling are best. If you are also planning a home theater setup in the same room it's also ideal for that as well.


    #23 11 years ago

    I went to Ikea here in the UK the other week with the intention of buying those colour changing LED light strips, unfortunatly the price is too steep over here for me at the moment, those greedy gits wanted £50, thats about $80. I guess i'll have to wait a while.

    #24 11 years ago

    Would love to have some kind of Neon lighting for my gameroom.

    #25 11 years ago

    @bugray - ah that stinks, maybe we could send them over or try these guys

    http://www.barlighting.com/ same thing but with a remote control - oohhhh aahhhhh

    and other cool stuff

    #26 11 years ago

    Funny, no one (I think) has mentioned a disco ball. I love mine - always gets the "that's so cool" comment and is great to have lights in motion in the room. Adds more life.

    Also consider moon flowers - go to www.musiciansfriend.com and look nder DJ lighting. The $60 moonflower light by Chauvet is great. While there, look for a lazer light if you have the money - about $300 will have tiny pins of green lazers dancing around your room too.

    #27 11 years ago

    super8man: Do you have pictures of your game room? I need to see the disco action!

    #28 11 years ago

    Stayin' Alive Stayin' Alive .. uh uh uh uh Stayin' Alive

    Go Disco !!!!

    Heheheheheh .. I just can't resist replying no matter how much I want to.

    #29 11 years ago

    A pinball friend of mine has a mirror ball in his gameroom but the tiny specks that go around the room also fly over the playfield and this made for a very distracting game.

    Otherwise, I love these mirror balls but for a gameroom...? Hmm..

    #30 11 years ago

    Must go to Super8man's house and visit the Planet Arium. Planet Arium.

    2 months later
    #31 10 years ago

    The aquarium makes for nice mood lighting.


    #32 10 years ago

    Definately does look cool donjagra.

    4 years later
    #33 6 years ago

    found this old thread and wondered if there were any other good ideas for game room lighting, preferably inexpensive, fairly simple and something that gives off enough light to see the playfields well enough for hosting a league night. Thanks!

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