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In the beginning there was a table design. But it had to wait as it had no place to go. Until now! Well not exactly now but pretty soon...

So it is finally time to build my games room. For the past 3 weeks I have been reno'ing my basement. The computer room is done. The basement bedroom is painted. Now I get to finally work on my "room" which is situated at the base of the stairs (foyer). Walls have been moved, plumbing has been removed, and the lighting has to be "updated".

Lets discuss the lighting.

I have previously posted ideas in other threads (Game Room Lighting) of what I would do when finally reaching this step of lighting a games table/room up. Now that I have personally reached this stage and am experiencing it first hand, here are my revised ideas: Using Direct Light & Diffused Light

1. Direct Light - A large flat LED panel directly above the table to flood the table in light to remove all shadows. This would be on a separate dimmer switch so the intensity could be controlled and even turned off for those sleeved card games where it would make it nearly impossible to read the cards.
2. Diffused Light - Recessed Lighting around the outer room on a separate dimmer switch. The indirect light would make playing cards easy as there would be no glare from directly above.

Part 1 is easy as I will pick up a 2' x 4' dimmable flat LED panel and suspend that over the table.

Part 2 - not so easy. I explained to my wife that I wanted to put multiple recessed lighting "directional" lights around the outer edge of the room shining on the walls to bounce the light around. My concerns with this was would there be enough light bouncing around to light the table up (positioned roughly in the middle of the room)? The room dimensions are 13' x 13' with ~8' high ceiling. I had my doubts that this would work well. Visions of a dark table with bright walls haunted my dreams. And then my wife stepped in and said she hated recessed lighting so it was out the window regardless. What to do?

My revised plan is to merge the two light sources (1 & 2) together in a light box that is similar to a pool table light above the table. I plan on making a 2' x 4' box with flared sides. For the direct lighting, I will mount the 2'x4' LED flat panel directly on the bottom. The sides, instead of being straight up and down, would instead be flared out at around a 45 degree angle up towards the ceiling. The sides would be made from diffused glass. Inside of this box would contain multiple light sockets that dimmable LED bulbs can be screwed into. They will point out towards the slanted glass panels to light them up as well as light the ceiling above for even more bounced light.

Here is a rough ascii art image of what I have planned (side view):

________ceiling_________
_____|_____|_____
\ O| O |O / <- LED Bulbs behind diffused glass
\___|_____|___/
------------- <- LED Flat Panel



____________________
| Table Top |



The angled glass will be illuminated by the inner bulbs and throw diffused light around the room yet not directly down on the table. The bulbs will also illuminate the ceiling above which will also reflect the light even more across the room. The flat panel LED underneath blocks any light from the bulbs from going directly down onto the table since it is in the way. Some light will reach it from the diffused glass but that is indirect which is what I am after.

I'm hoping with enough bulbs (or strong enough bulbs) that this diffuse lighting will be enough to make the room comfortable to play in and light up the table. Since both the inner bulbs and the external flat LED panel are on separate dimmers, I can control the intensity of both to suit the game being played.

My original design started with a 4' x 4' panel (two LED panels side by side) but after stepping back and taking a look at its size, it was over kill. Hence, we are now down to the 2' x 4' sized light box.

I will mock something up before hand to get an idea of how much light will be thrown by this light box. I am concerned about the large shadow the LED panel might cast when not turned on.

Any comments on something I might have missed?
 
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