How to Light Up a Flagpole

Lighting the U.S. Flag with Proper LED Flagpole Lighting

LED directional floodlight for U.S. flag

American flags dot residential neighborhoods and commercial corridors across the country, and e-conolight offers a variety of LED floodlights and spotlights to show off Old Glory no matter if it’s day or night.

Lighting the U.S. flag is one of the most common uses for floodlights, but there are guidelines. The U.S. Flag Code outlines, for example, the rules for the Pledge of Allegiance, how to show respect for the flag, and the display and use of the flag by civilians. The code went into effect in 1923, but was amended in 1942 under President Franklin D. Roosevelt to include rules for citizens outside of the military and government.

According to the code, the flag should really only be flown between sunrise and sunset on stationary flagstaffs or poles. If the flag is displayed 24 hours a day, it must be lit at all times no matter the direction of the wind.

Benefits of LED Directional Floodlights & LED Spotlights

• Appropriate outdoor fixtures for lighting the American flag after dark
• Provide the bright light required by the flag code
• Half the power consumption of most PSMH and HID floodlights for greater energy cost savings

Choosing Between LED Directional Floodlights & LED Spotlights

There are several important factors that go into lighting a flag, including surrounding ambient light, flagpole height and beam spread.

Ambient light is the general overall light level in any given area. In a well-lit city or neighborhood (high ambient light), a high-output LED Floodlight should be used to counter brighter surroundings. However, in a country or rural setting, with less ambient light, a lower-output LED Floodlight will be equally effective.

Just as ambient light is related to light output, there is a similar correlation between flagpole height, beam spread and light output. Check out our basic guidelines below:

  • 15ʹ poles require a spot beam spread (20˚) and approximately 1600 lumens
  • 20ʹ poles require a spot beam spread (35˚-60˚) and 7200-7700 lumens
  • 25ʹ poles require a spot beam spread (35˚-60˚) and 10,800-27,400 lumens

Additional Considerations when Choosing LED Flagpole Lighting

  • LED lighting provides better color quality, for brighter, truer colors
  • In most residential applications, a single LED Floodlight will be sufficient
  • Flagpole height should be approximately 3 to 4 times the length of the flag
  • Fixtures should be installed approximately 2ʹ to 5ʹ from the base of the flagpole

FAQ

How many lumens do I need for a flagpole?

  • 15’ poles – approximately 1600 lumens
  • 20’ poles – 7200 - 7700 lumens
  • 25’ poles – 10,800 – 27,400 lumens

How much light does a flagpole need at night?

  • You’ll need two or three fixtures to properly light your flag, mainly to make sure the shadow of the pole doesn’t obscure the flag. One fixture must be as close to the ground as possible, in order to illuminate the flag and the pole. Use only one fixture to light up the pole, as it requires much less light than the flag.

  • Light output should be at least 300 lumens. Use the narrowest beam possible to focus as much light as you can on the flag. Keep in mind, the flag is allowed to wave in any direction, so make sure the beam is also wide enough to account for sudden wind shifts in any direction. Example: if you have a five-foot-wide flag, make sure the light spread covers a five foot radius from the pole. If you’re using two fixtures to do this, make sure the beams overlap.

What is proper illumination protocol for the US flag?

  • According to the US flag code outlines, the flag should only be flown between sunrise and sunset, on buildings and on flag staffs. The pole must be stationary. If you want to display your flag 24 hours a day, it must be lit at all times and properly illuminated during hours of darkness.

How do you install a flagpole light?

  • 1 – Install the power.
  • 2 – Bury the cable by digging roughly 4 inches below the ground.
  • 3 – Connect the conduit where the light will be installed.
  • 4 – Adjust the angle of the light so it’s illuminating your flag. Make sure it’s not aimed in such a way where it will bother your neighbors.
  • 5 – Plug in the cable and test the light.
  • 6 – Fill the hole, for safety purposes.

For the best LED Floodlights & Spotlights to light your flagpole:

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Article Written by Jason S.

Jason is a Product Marketing Manager at Cree Lighting. His goal is to get reliable and safe products into the hands of customers—all at an affordable price. His client-focused initiatives bring high-quality products to market that exceed consumer expectations while fulfilling the purpose they were designed to achieve.