How Light Poles are Manufactured

How Light Poles are Manufactured

Light poles are found everywhere, especially in outdoor public spaces. It’s impossible not to encounter them on our daily travels. This means that there is always a demand for them whether they are being used in new construction projects or replacing old ones.

The light pole manufacturing process depends on many factors. First, it depends on the type of material that is used to construct them. Second, it depends on the types of applications and installations that they will require.

This article is intended to offer insight into all the important aspects of the light pole production process.

Light Pole Materials

Not all light poles are made the same. Their composition will sometimes dictate what applications they will be suitable for. There are advantages and drawbacks for each type. These include cost, durability, and safety.


Steel is the most common material used for light poles. It is strong and durable. Steel poles can handle high winds and support multiple attached fixtures.

However, they conduct electricity and are susceptible to rust and corrosion.


Aluminum light poles are strong but are lightweight. They are resistant to corrosion and rust. Because of this, they can be installed near coastal areas where corrosion is a consideration.

They also have a long lifespan of 50+ years, which is longer than other types. This means that they don’t have to be replaced as often.

However, they are not as strong as steel and are more expensive. You’ll be paying a higher upfront cost for their longevity, but it will spread out over time due to their long lifespan. This return on investment is worth the cost if the poles can handle the load of the fixtures mounted to them.

Fiberglass (Composite)

Fiberglass light poles are lightweight yet strong and durable. They are non-conductive and resistant to corrosion, rust, and harmonic vibration.

Fiberglass poles last longer than steel but not as long as aluminum. Typically, around 20 to 30 years.

However, they are the most expensive type of light pole.


Wood and concrete light poles are also common, but we will focus on steel, aluminum, and fiberglass poles for this discussion.

Light Pole Installation

There are two types of light pole installations; direct burial and anchor based.

Direct Burial (Embedded)

Direct Burial Light Pole

Direct burial light poles are inserted directly into the ground. There is no concrete base or anchor bolts required for this type of installation. Aluminum and fiberglass poles are used because they will be partially underground and will not corrode or rust like steel poles.

This type of installation is easier and less expensive than anchor based installation, but the shaft needs to be taller to account for the section that will be underground.

The drawback to direct burial installation when compared to anchor based is that it is not suitable for burial in loose sand or soil. Another drawback is that replacing the poles is more costly and time-consuming.

Anchor Based