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The height of the correct light pole depends on the type of light you choose for a certain area. Each area may have its own set of requirements, such as restrictions on the locations light poles can be placed and how much area you need to cover with each light based on the pole locations. The ability to put multiple lights on a single pole can help with coverage area and the height at which those lights are installed also affects the coverage area. Make sure you have a good plan and it never hurts to get help from the experts when you need it.
With typical parking lot lighting, a type 3 lighting pattern is common in fixtures. When using a type 3 lighting pattern, there is a simple way to plan out your lighting and height. Take the height of the light and use that distance both forward from the light and to each side for the coverage area. For example, if you have a 20 foot light pole with a 150 watt LED parking lot light with a type 3 light pattern, the coverage area on the ground will be about 20 feet to each side and 20 feet forward, covering and area of 40 feet by 20 feet. These figures are not exact but will give you a good way to estimate your light heights and coverage area with the standard type 3 light pattern. And remember, if you have more than 1 light pole, you do want some overlap or crossover in your lighting to reduce shadows. In the example above, spacing the poles our 35 feet apart would help reduce shadows. This can be even more important in certain applications, light sport lighting since shadows can really impair the ability to play sports.
Another thing to keep in mind with pole heights and location is making sure you aren’t going to be blinding the people under the lights. You would not want to put a sport court light at 15 foot high right behind a 10 foot high basketball hoop, making it hard for a shooter to see the basket since they are practically staring at the light when they shoot. If this is the only location the pole could be installed, you probably want to get that light up quite a bit higher so as not to impair the game. The same can go for parking lot or street lighting. You don’t want to put a light low and directly in the line of sight of a driver and impair their vision and lead to an accident. As always, we highly recommend you work with a lighting expert to determine which height light pole will work best for your project.
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