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Flood Light Application: Flag Lighting

When using ground mounted flood lights to light up a flag, the following factors are important to consider:

  1. Wattage
  2. Light Distribution
  3. Setback Distance
  4. Fixture Spacing
  5. Aiming Height 



The wattage of lamp being used to in the flag lighting application is dependent on three factors--pole height, flag size, and surround light levels. The following chart shows the recommended wattage of Metal Halide lamps in flood lights for most flag lighting applications.

Pole Height Recommended Wattage
20' 175W Metal Halide
25' 175W Metal Halide
30' 175W Metal Halide
35' 175W Metal Halide
40' 175W Metal Halide
50' 250W Metal Halide
60' 400W Metal Halide


Light Distribution

For flag pole fixtures, the best beam distribution pattern is a spot or narrow flood. These patterns would fall into NEMA Type II or Type III. Without using proper lighting distribution, visibility of light on the flag is lost.

Set back distance of flood light for flag lighting

Setback Distance

Flood lights are recommended to be setback 1/3 times the pole height

Setback Distance = 1/3 x Pole Height
1/3 x 30 ft. = 10 ft. high

Pole Height Setback Distance
20' ~ 7 ft.
25' ~ 8 ft.
30'    10 ft.
35' ~ 12 ft.
40' ~ 13 ft.
50' ~ 17 ft.
60' 20 ft.


Fixture Spacing

Flood lights should be spaced 120 degrees apart surrounding the flag fixture. Ideally, three fixtures are used to cover all wind directions, and provide optimal uniformity. 

Flood light fixture spacing for flag lighting application

Aiming Height

Aim each flood light to the center of the flag or top of the pole.

Flood light aiming height for flag pole lighting     Flood light aiming height for flag pole lighting

Source: Lithonia Lighting

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