When creating a professional darts set up at home – even if you’re just a beginner or hobby dart player – one of the most important aspects that you must consider is dartboard lighting.
The lighting around a dartboard can be the difference between having a clear vision of the board and numbers or having a blurred vision due to shadows of poor visibility. If you have the latter, you’re going to have a bad darts experience.
It’s not at the top of most people’s shopping list but good dartboard lighting can be the difference between enjoying the game or being frustrated at not seeing exactly what you’ve hit. For this reason, we’re going to cover the best dartboard lighting options in this article so that you can choose a lighting solution that suits your setup.
Trust me, good dartboard lighting will enhance your play or practice sessions significantly!!
What are Dartboard Lights
When playing darts in a bar or a pub, something you might never have paid attention to before is how well lit the dartboard is. This isn’t a happy coincidence, dartboards are usually well lit because of dartboard lights.
Darts is a game of focus and accuracy, to be successful you need to clearly see the target and this means one of the most crucial items for a dart setup should be proper lighting.
Unfortunately, lighting is not really a glamorous thing when it comes to darts. As long as the dartboard and surround/cabinet look good, most people then don’t even consider the lighting aspect.
Dartboard lights are an important component of the setup though and you have quite a few options when it comes to lighting a dartboard:
- Natural light – next to a window is great for a nicely illuminated board but doesn’t work when playing darts at night
- Ceiling light – some people will position their dartboard near a ceiling light. This works to an extent but its dim light and will cause shadows around the numbers
- Lamp – some people use a lamp which is a good budget option but most lamps won’t provide full coverage of the board and often cause shadows
- Wall-mounted LED dartboard light – a great budget option for illuminating a dartboard. This is the most common option for illuminating a dartboard not necessarily the most effective
- Dartboard ring light – the most effective piece of equipment for lighting a dartboard is a ring light. These custom-made lights fit around the dartboard to give even light coverage for maximum visibility without causing shadows or dark spots.
Personally, I have used both a dartboard light and a dartboard cabinet light so depending on your setup, you’ll definitely be able to find a suitable solution.
Now that you know why your dartboard needs lighting and what some good (and not so good options are) it’s time to get into the list of best dartboard lights.
5 Best Dartboard Lights
(Best Budget Option)
Quick Review: The budget option dartboard cabinet light from Viper is ideal for beginner dart players or those getting their first dartboard set up at home. It’s the best value option on the market.
Our Rating: 9/10
The Viper Shadow Dartboard Light is a great budget option dartboard light. The three-point movable bulbs are bright enough to cover the entire board (with minimal shadow) and come with both a battery or AC-powered option for added versatility.
The Viper Shadow is incredibly easy to mount. It requires four screws to be held in place and a simple process of marking the holes, creating a pilot hole and screwing in for fast and easy installation.
The only downside to this product is that it’s a dartboard cabinet light rather than a dartboard light. If like me, you use a dartboard surround instead of a cabinet then this wouldn’t be a usable option so keep in mind that the mounting option for this product is not the most versatile.
For the price, effectiveness, and popularity of this product though, we’d have to rate this as the best pick for a dartboard light for most people. It’s not a professional option (though we do have one of them) but it’s ideal for home use and beginners.
- Power – The Viper Shadow can be AC or battery powered depending on personal preference.
- Price – For a dedicated dartboard light, this is the best value option on the market. The budget price makes it an ideal option for beginners new to darts.
- Versatility – The three moveable light heads are great for getting the light just to your requirement and this light is also mountable for use with an electronic or bristle dartboard.
- Mounting – This can only be used as a dartboard cabinet mount due to its down-light design.
Quick Review: The Target Darts Corona Vision dartboard light is the most popular option globally. It provides 360-degree illumination for complete dartboard visibility on all numbers and is one of the easiest lighting systems to install.
Target Darts Corona Vision Dartboard Lighting System is a professional standard dartboard light and is our best pick.
Firstly, the Target Corona Vision provides 360-degree visibility with the use of 123 individual mini LED bulbs. This is beneficial because it means you can play without any shadow which is a major issue with most other lightning sources.
For example, this is the dartboard light used for my dad’s setup (a Christmas present that went down well). The before picture is the visibility with the room light while the second picture has the ceiling light turned off and only the Target light switched on.
The difference is easily noticeable as all numbers are well light, regardless of ambient or natural lighting in the room. Just keep in mind that the replacement strips are on the expensive side so be careful of stray darts or accidental damage.
This dartboard light is also one of the easiest to install. The magnetic feet attach to the numbered outer rings on a standard dartboard meaning this light can be installed easily in seconds and took less than 2 minutes the first time I set one up.
The ease of installation also means this dartboard light is compatible with any standard bristle dartboard that has an outer numbered ring. This means it can be combined with a dartboard surround or a dartboard cabinet for a complete dartboard set up at home.
For any US reader, just keep in mind this comes with a UK/European plug as standard so be sure to request a US plug when ordering.
Overall, this is a complete dartboard lighting solution. It’s easy and quick to install is compatible with most dartboards and gives a superior lighting solution with minimal shadow for a professional playing setup.
- Full Visibility – The 123 individual LED lights to provide full 360 coverage for maximum visibility on the dartboard and minimal shadow.
- Easy Assembly – The magnetic attachment hooks allow this light to connect directly to the numbered dart ring for quick and easy installation
- Compatibility – Will fit all standard bristle dartboards and accompanies a surround or cabinet for a complete darts setup.
- Replacement LED Strips – It’s good that Target offer replacement LED strips for this dartboard light but the cost of them is similar to what you could get with a standalone budget dartboard light
- Power Adaptor – If ordering to the US or Canada, ensure you request a US plug. Target is UK based so comes with a UK and European plug as standard
(Best Light For Dartboard Cabinets)
Quick Review: The Target Arc Lighting System is a great option for those that can’t afford a full ring light but one with better visibility than a standard spotlight.
The Target Darts Arc Dartboard Light is a mid-range option for serious dart players building a home dartboard set up. While it’s not a professional product, it’s one of the best options for home dart use.
The arc design has its pros and cons. The “arc” gives much better coverage than any directional light source like a spotlight or strip light. The design bends with the board in order to give a clearer light distribution to minimize shadows.
The drawback to this is that it doesn’t cover the lower half of the board as well as the top half. This definitely isn’t an issue as it still does illuminate the board and doesn’t necessarily cast shadows like some lights but it’s just not as illuminating as the Target Corona Vision for example.
As it’s a specialist dartboard product, installation is simple and well thought out. The bracket will connect to any dartboard cabinet (as long as it’s a standard design) with an adhesive strip for easy and universal installation.
Just keep in mind that some users still prefer to screw it down as they don’t feel it’s as solid when held by the adhesive tape alone.
Overall, The Target Arc dartboard light is a solid option worth considering for any casual dart player. It’s not a professional standard option like you get with the 360 ring lights, but it provides excellent dartboard coverage with minimal shadow and comes at an affordable price (comparable to some less functional LED lights).
I also own this light along with the Target Corona Vision, this isn’t my first choice dartboard light but it’s still a very solid option!
- Universal – The Target Arc light has been designed to fit on any dartboard cabinet so you won’t be restricted like with some vertical/horizontal mounts.
- Functionality – The arc design might not cover the board as well as a full ring light but it gives much better coverage than other alternatives and has a minimal shadow in ambient light rooms.
- Price – The mid-range price makes this a great option for anyone building a home dart set up without the budget for a professional lighting system.
- Coverage – This dartboard light being an arc means it covers the top half much better than the bottom half of the board.
- Installation – Many users are not fond of the adhesive strip so opt to screw it into place instead.
(Best All-In-One Option)
Quick Review: An all-in-one dartboard solution featuring a cabinet, bristle dartboard, and built-in light.
The Viper Vault Deluxe Dartboard Cabinet is a complete solution for a home darts setup. It comes with everything you’d need for darts at home including:
- Shot dartboard
- Viper downlighting system
- Viper laser throw line
- Viper dartboard cabinet
- Dry erase scoreboard
This makes it the best possible choice for both beginners and experienced players alike.
This set features the Viper Shadow lighting system mentioned earlier so has all the same benefits you’d get with this product but it’s most compatible with this dartboard cabinet.
- All-In-One – This bundle comes with everything you need for a dartboard set up at home
- Not For Everyone – This is a full bundle set, if you want the lighting system specifically then you can buy this separately at a fraction of the price.
(Most Versatile Option)
Quick Review: A budget option light that can be utilized above a dartboard cabinet. It provides good light coverage at an affordable price.
The Honwell Rechargeable Light is a slightly different option from the others on this list because it’s not a dedicated dartboard light. Its versatility, on the other hand, means that there are countless users that use it as a dartboard light, and with its budget price, it’s worth a purchase for a DIY option.
Considering this is a picture light, it’s very adaptable and well suited for use above a dartboard cabinet. The clips should connect to most cabinets and the head can be maneuvered to improve light coverage (though it’s definitely not as good as a dedicated dartboard light).
It’s rechargeable and comes with a remote to control different light levels – something that many leading dartboard lights are actually missing when you think about it?
The only downside to this product is that it’s not a dartboard light so you do need to be flexible and forgiving for some of its downsides. There will be some slight shadows during use but overall, this budget option light can be the option many beginner dart players need before progressing to a dedicated darts brand option.
- Affordability – The budget price for this light and compatibility with a dartboard cabinet means it’s an affordable option for anyone that can’t afford a more dedicated or professional dartboard light
- Easy to Assemble – Assembly/installation is quick and straightforward, though not as quick as some dedicated dartboard lights
- Rechargeable – The rechargeable light is better than a battery-powered option for convenience, though not as good as mains-powered options.
- Not a Dartboard Light – This is a picture frame light and not a dedicated dartboard light. Therefore, it doesn’t provide the same level of illumination.
Our pick for the best dartboard light is the Target Darts Corona Vision Dartboard Lighting System. The reason this is the best dartboard light is that the Target Darts Corona Vision includes:
- It provides complete dartboard visibility for all numbers on the board
- The light is evenly distributed so has minimal glare or shadows
- It’s easy to install, especially for beginners
- Is a professional dartboard light without being excessively priced
The light isn’t without its faults and if you’re on a strict budget, the Viper Shadow is another great option but for a complete lighting solution, the Target Darts Corona Vision is the best lighting system on the market.
For further evidence, look at this quick video showing the visibility of the board with the light on and then being switched on. The visibility is easily noticeable and this gives the dartboard a professional look whilst being incredibly easy to see during play.
Buyers Guide – How to Light a Dartboard
Why Do You Need to Light a Dartboard
Proper visibility of a dartboard is essential for three main reasons:
- It reduces eye strain as the target numbers are clearly visible and easier to see when aiming
- It reduces or eliminates shadows that are caused by bad lighting. Shadows on a dartboard make it difficult to see what numbers you’re actually hitting and slow gameplay down
- It makes your playing area look dull and uninspiring. When playing darts, you want your setup to resemble what you see on live TV tournaments for a better playing experience. The better your setup looks, the better playing experience you’ll have and the more motivated you’ll be to practice.
This isn’t an extensive list but they are some key points that you’ll want to keep in mind when researching a dartboard light.
How to Install Dartboard Lighting
Depending on the lighting option you opt for, the installation could vary noticeably. The best options are cabinet-mounted lights or magnetic dartboard rings like those listed in this article.
Both of these options are customized designs to either fit around a dartboard or dartboard cabinet which means installation is minimal. The simplest of which is the magnetic ring lights which attach directly to the dartboard numbered ring making for quick and effortless installation.
This video below shows an easy installation for the Target Corona mentioned in this article:
Cabinet lights would need screwing into the dartboard cabinet but again, this is a relatively low-skilled process and doesn’t need much DIY know-how. It requires your screw holes to be marked with a pencil, pilot holes to be drilled on top or underneath the dartboard cabinet, and for the brackets to then be screwed into place.
This is a 3-5 minute task for most people and once installed, they’ll be secured in place.
The most labor-intensive option is if you get a picture frame light or similar option that is not dartboard specific. These will still do the job of illuminating your dartboard but you’ll need to install them directly onto the ceiling or wall which will require more tools and manual effort.
Dartboard Lights Alternatives
If like me, you don’t have a dedicated dartboard setup (mine is portable so my requirements are always changing), then it’s a good idea to look at some dartboard light alternatives.
These alternatives tend to be DIY solutions and definitely won’t give your dartboard the best illumination possible but will help improve visibility when playing in poorly light areas. Some dartboard light alternatives include:
- Ceiling spotlights
- Clip-on spotlights
- Ceiling lights
- LED strips (lining the dartboard cabinet)
All of these options will act as an alternative to a traditional dartboard light but just keep in mind that they will be no way near as effective.
Having good visibility and lighting for a dartboard is not only crucial for accurate practice and being able to clearly see where each dart lands, it’s also a necessity for a complete dartboard setup.
No dartboard setup is complete without a dedicated lighting system to showcase it so whether you want a budget spotlight, a dartboard cabinet mounted light, or a professional LED ring ling, the options listed above will surely provide a great option for most readers’ needs.
Keep checking back on this list as well, I’m going to be testing some newer model dartboard lights over the coming months and if the reviews are good enough, you’ll see some new additions to this list!
Also check out the Best Dartboard Surrounds to complete your dart setup at home