In the U.S, it’s customary for the flag to be displayed between sunrise and sunset. For patriotism, the flag can be displayed throughout the day if adequately lighted up at night and in the early hours of the morning.
However, you shouldn’t stop at illuminating the flag. The pole should also be lighted up to create a path of visibility that begins from the ground, goes upwards to the sky, and stops at the flag. The best way to light up a flagpole is by using a solar flag pole light.
Flagpole Lighting Fixtures
Type of Lighting
Directional lights (particularly in-grade lights or spotlights) are the best for a flagpole because they emit a narrow beam spread, ideal for illuminating a flag. If you need to set up the fixtures in turf, the recommended choice is in-grade lighting. You can also use copper or brass spotlights on turf with ground sticks or a flagpole mount to connect an aluminum spotlight to the pole.
An aluminum flagpole mount shouldn’t be combined with brass spotlights because aluminum mounting threads will eventually corrode after consistent contact with brass.
The Number of Light Fixtures
A minimum of two light fixtures (or three if you can afford it) can light up a flag. It will light the flag up in the darkness and prevent the flagpole’s shadow from obscuring the flag.
Location of Lighting
Since you’re lighting up both the flagpole and the flag, one of the lighting fixtures (for channeling light on the pole) should be located very close to the ground. The fixture can be installed on the pole or located within a foot of the pole. If there are other fixtures, you can install them in the most suitable locations, some distance from the pole.
One lighting fixture can light up the flagpole. However, if you paint it white, it will require less illumination than the flag itself.
The Lighting Itself
Level of Brightness
Your flag and its pole should be the most illuminated objects in your landscape. If the flag’s colors are dark, they absorb much lighting and require super-bright lights to be properly illuminated.
If you intend to use integrated LED fixtures, the output should be a minimum of 300 lumens. For extremely tall flagpoles, you should go for the Infiniti G4 60 LED Spotlight. Its output is 650 lumens with exchangeable optics (12° and 24°).
For lamp-ready fixtures, the light bulb’s output will be slightly stronger than that of the fixture. A good choice for bulbs is the 5W MR16 LED. Its output is 400 lumens and 30 watts halogen equivalents. Depending on the LED bulb’s brand, halogen equivalents differ. Also, lumens indicate the degree of brightness, not the wattage.
Wide or Narrow Lighting
Narrow outdoor lighting channels more light on the flag. However, the flag can be waving in different directions because of wind, so you will need a light beam that’s wide enough to properly light it up irrespective of the direction it waves to.
For instance, if your flag’s width is 6 feet, the light beam must cover a circle with a 6ft radius from the flagpole. If you have to use more than one lighting fixture to achieve this, aim them with precision so that their light beams will overlap.