Many homeowners have realized that having an illuminated flagpole is an excellent way to show pride in their country or even loyalty for a favorite team or alma mater.
Its value lies with its simplicity.
It’s a classic addition that brings some welcome aesthetic value to your property. Having a light on the flag creates a compelling feature that is sure to please. A solar powered flag lighting is an excellent option that is both convenient and practical.
Advances in technology have made them more affordable and efficient. The addition of solar power definitely makes them worth a look.
How Does a Solar Light for Flagpole Work?
The history of solar led flagpole light finds its roots in the evolution of this technology. The whole concept rests with finding a way to harness the energy of the sun to power electrical devices.
Sunlight provides both heat and light. The radiation is the key player when it comes to flag pole solar lighting. They use photovoltaic or solar cells to capture the sunlight. That, in turn, creates a reaction within the unit that excites electrons which then produces the current that powers the device through the photovoltaic effect.
Scientists knew of its existence since the early 1800s. They worked with different materials to find the ideal one for conducting the power and increasing its efficiency to make it practical to use. They experimented with silver compounds, selenium, and others before Russell Shoemaker Ohl stumbled onto the idea of using silicon.
Researchers at Bell Labs got the ball rolling and refined the design, improving the way it conducted electricity and concentrating it for better efficiency. The rest, as they say, is history. Today, it’s ubiquitous. You see it on monitoring stations, electronic signs, and path lighting.
The design brings a lot to the table when you consider it for a flagpole light. Illuminating the flag from the top directs the light at the intended object better than one that sits on the ground and shines up to serve the same function.
They work automatically with sensors that detect the intensity of the ambient light. Most operate from dusk to dawn in keeping with the US Flag Code.
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What Are the Features of the Best Solar Flagpole Light?
You’ll find a broad range of products that use this technology in a myriad of ways such as light sensors for path lighting, porch lights, and other smart devices. The costs of manufacturing solar-powered units have decreased dramatically in recent years, making them affordable options.
Today’s devices typically include LEDs. The two technologies are the perfect marriage between convenience and energy efficiency. The solar cells capture the light and create the current, while the LED provides the light in a process called electroluminescence.
LEDs also have a connection to silicon. This material is abundant throughout the planet. It’s affordable and easy to work. And it’s also durable which makes it a smart choice for some applications where wear is an issue.
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Benefits of Using LEDs
An LED or light-emitting diode is the latest of energy-saving lighting devices following the less-than-ideal reception of the compact fluorescent bulb (CFL). Its use for a flagpole solar light is brilliant in several regards.
LEDs are long-lived, lasting 30,000 or more hours. Their longer lifespan justifies their higher cost, especially when you factor in the inconvenience of replacements on a fixture like a flagpole. They are cheaper to run which puts them in the dealmaker category, given the length of time they providing light.
They offer other significant advantages over incandescent bulbs because of their smaller size and lower heat generation. The light is the main focus of the energy instead of dissipation into the area around the fixture. A regular bulb can cost upward of up to 80 percent more than a comparable LED because of its inefficiency.
Relying on automated lighting whether for your flagpole or along the path to your front door carries one potential downside, bulb burning out unexpectedly. That’s true if you use incandescent ones. How many times have you turned one on only to have it flash and go dark on you?
LEDs, on the other hand, fade as they reach the end of their life cycle. That trait provides everything you need to know about replacing them when the time approaches. You’re less likely to be caught unaware of this type of illumination than the traditional ones. And with reasonable prices, there really aren’t many compelling cons against their use.
Our advice is to stay current with the technology as is evident with subsequent generations of some product lines. Always opt for the latest since manufacturers often bake customer feedback into a refresh of the design. You’ll find that you’re less likely to encounter the same issues with a newer version than an older one—even if it means paying a bit more upfront.
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Advantages of Solar Powered Flagpole Lighting
The positive aspects of LEDs make a strong case for solar flagpole lights. This kind of setup is essentially set-it-and-forget-it. Most turn on automatically without any effort on your part, even if it’s cloudy outside. You’ll always have a reliable light source if it’s part of your yard’s ambient lighting.
Most products are relatively inexpensive with many under $50. It’s a small price to pay for its big impact.
They’re typically easy to install without tools, extra wires, or a call to an electrician. These are significant factors when you think about their everyday use. A solar-powered flagpole, therefore, makes for a safer option that is less cumbersome.
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Downsides of a Solar Flag Pole Light
The disadvantages of using solar lights for flagpoles are not unique to this type of device. It’s the nature of the beast when dealing with anything that relies on the sun for power.
First, your experience may vary, depending on where you live. Sunlight doesn’t shine at the same intensity or duration across the country giving some areas different levels of potential. The Southwest is the best place in the United States for getting the most out of solar lights. There are also seasonal factors to consider.
Cloud cover, precipitation, smog, and nearby obstructions like trees or buildings can affect the amount of light the PV panels on your flagpole gets. They can detract light ways to prevent the full spectrum from hitting the cells. While you can control for some of these things, others can impact the performance of your flagpole light year-round.
It’s worth mentioning that it’s not a failing of the product for these things to happen as much as it is a reflection of the local conditions. Most sellers make these points clear in their product descriptions. However, there are some other features to consider which can influence your satisfaction with your purchase.
Things to Look for in a Solar Powered Flagpole Light
We can divide the factors to take into account three main categories:
- Quality of the construction
- Consumer satisfaction
We’ll examine each in detail and discuss the ways they can affect how well the product works and whether it’s a worthwhile purchase for you.
The light that a flagpole light provides depends on the capacity of the battery, number and type of LEDs, along with operating features like multiple modes or an ON/OFF switch. Most use lithium-ion batteries which offer the advantage of more energy at a lower discharge rate. You’ll also find models that use NiMH, NiCd, or Li-Ion AAs.
You’ll find models with the light already installed or ones where you can replace them as needed. The latter is the better of these options for extending the light’s usefulness. You should always use the type that the manufacturer recommends because traits such as voltage, capacity, and chemistry vary between the different kinds.
They have different energy densities too which can affect how they work and perhaps, even the longevity of your flagpole light.
There’s also the environmental impact to consider. Ni-Cd batteries, for example, contain toxic chemicals. Others like lithium-ion ones are safer to use.
The capacity gives you an idea about the intensity of the light and how long the batteries can hold a charge. Most start at about 1000mAh. However, take the latter with a grain of salt. If the position of the flagpole limits the amount of sunlight, a larger figure isn’t going to matter much.
Lumens and Performance
You’ll see mention of lumens in the specs for solar-powered lights. This figure is the brightness of the light in degrees Kelvin. It’s necessary to strike a balance between the amount of illumination you need without disturbing your neighbors or household members.
Most products are anywhere from 45 to 1300 lumens, depending on the design. The latter is the equivalent of just over a 75-watt incandescent light bulb.
Unlike traditional bulbs, the light comes from the top of the diode instead of all around. You’ll see models with rings of lights to encompass the entire area around and underneath the flag. Some products focus the illumination only at the top to keep light pollution to a minimum.
Pay attention to the size of the recommended flagpole too. Most items specify 15 to 25 feet for the average residential feature. If it’s taller, the light will dissipate and won’t provide as much ambient light around the structure.
Quality of the Construction
Look at the type of materials used to give you a handle about well it will hold up during normal use. Look for specs such as its IP rating which tells you to debris and moisture. You’ll see it expressed as a two-digit number. The first well considers the solid matter and the second, liquids. A figure of 65 provides a reasonable amount of protection against the elements and foul weather.
It’s essential to verify the product’s recommended diameter and that of your flagpole to make sure that it will fit. Most will work with standard-sized poles.
Knowing the IP rating offers a better gauge of its durability than simply a description of the solar light being water-resistant or waterproof.
Most products have a circle of solar or PV polycrystalline panels. This type has a shorter lifespan than the more expensive monocrystalline ones but is still suitable for its purpose. You’ll usually see several of them to cover the full circle of light overhead.
Finally, check on the type of guarantee and warranty you’ll get with your purchase. Avoid any products that don’t have at least a 30-day period to test for defects and performance. And we prefer a flagpole light solar with some type of warranty.
The other point to keep in mind is that most flagpole lights are fixed once installed without an opportunity to adjust the angle or position once it’s in place. That’s where the number and settings of the LEDs make a difference. And the only way you’ll find out is by setting it up and finding out for yourself.
Our advice is not to settle. Get what you want. If you find the light isn’t illuminating your entire flag, return it and opt for a product with a wider diameter. Also, think about how it fits into the overall scheme of your landscaping. While the description says “flagpole,” the brightness of some of them allows them to serve other functions to do double duty.
Because of the nature of the item, you’ll also find other information that may influence your decision to buy such as labels that state “Made in the USA” and talking points about donations to military causes. We appreciate the manufacturers who go the extra mile to complement their honorable purpose.
Getting the Most Out of a Flagpole Light
Several factors will affect the satisfaction that you’ll get with your purchase. While the light is automatic, it still requires some maintenance. Dust and other debris can interfere with the amount of sun reaching the components inside of the unit. If you notice changes in its performance, clean the outside of it, following the recommendations of the manufacturer.
Check on the type of batteries and the possibility of replacement. Some products have them built in, making replacement of the entire device necessary when they fail. Others allow you to swap out the spent ones as needed.
The design of a flagpole light usually has the solar panels located on the top. That ensures a 90-degree angle of sunlight when it’s directly overhead. You’ll typically see products that have a flat area that limits their optimal exposure.
One way manufacturers compensate for this fact is to change the width, length, and layout of the panels. It’s more likely to become a factor if you live in an area of marginal solar power potential. However, keep it in mind in case you’re having issues with it staying lit the entire night.
Make sure to keep any tree limbs trimmed near the pole to prevent any interference with sun exposure. Also, verify that the switch is in the ON position before you install it so that it will turn on at sunset.
The 5 Best Solar Flagpole Lights
Now that you have knowledge about the features of solar flag pole lights let’s consider which products fit the bill and deliver the best value for the money.
We examined each one to see how it fit with our list of desirable features along with some practical issues about aesthetics and its place in your landscaping.
Blinngo Solar Flag Pole Light
Best Overall Solar Flagpole Light
The Blinngo Solar Flag Pole Light starts our roundup with a product that ticks off a lot of the boxes for the features we like to see in solar flagpole lights. It focuses its softer illumination primarily on the flag instead of the area around it. The aesthetics are tasteful and elegant with 120 lumens that emits a pleasant glow.
The construction stands out on several fronts. It has 42 LEDs that can provide a better range of light in a variety of positions. It comes with a high-capacity, 2200mAh rechargeable, lithium-ion battery. The 6V light provides a respectable 50,000 hours of service. It has an IP rating of 65 which provides complete protection of dust and water jets anywhere on the unit.
The light also has three modes, off, medium, and high which illuminate none, one, or both circles of diodes. Six polycrystalline silicon solar panels do the heavy lifting to provide a reliable source of power. The fixture measures 8.5 inches long by 8.5 inches wide by 1.2 inches tall. The size allows it to provide enough light without being obtrusive.
Also, the product is easy to install with clear instructions about setting it up and getting the best use out of it. The battery is built-in within the unit. All you need do is slip it onto your flagpole and let the sun take care of the rest.
Deneve Deluxe Solar Flag Pole Light
Brightest Solar Flagpole Light
The Deluxe Solar Flag Pole Light puts a premium on size and illumination. The product measures 10.5 inches long by 10.5 inches wide by 2.4 Inches high. It’s an excellent choice if you have a larger flag and near a bigger ring of light around it. The light is bright at 1300 lumens. It makes a statement that is hard to miss.
It consists of six solar panels that power 20 LEDs. It has two rechargeable AA batteries which are included with your purchase. While it has only one mode, it includes an ON/OFF switch to optimize battery life. Installation is easy and secure. Overall, the flag pole solar spotlight is well-made and built to last.
Like other items we considered, you can also use this one for other applications such as under a patio umbrella or in a tent. Remember to use it with the light pointing down because of the greater illumination power that this one packs.
On a side note, we also like to factor in environmental factors, given the nature of the product. The manufacturer makes sustainability a priority with a 100-percent, zero-landfill policy which we found admirable. The company is also US-based. They also have an excellent corporate responsibility commitment which is worth noting.
Hallomall Solar Flag Pole Light
The Hallomall Solar Flag Pole Light is a stark departure from the typical product of its class. It has 11 instead of the usual six PV panels on the top of the light. The vertical positioning of them increases the surface area to optimize charging. The light provides up to 10 hours of illumination with six to eight hours of direct sunlight.
The product measures 9.3 inches long by 9.2 inches wide by 1.7 inches high. The size provides a decent scope of light without crossing the line into being obtrusive.
There are 48 LEDs which provide a broad range of illumination without any dark spots or shadows. The light is 800 lumens which strikes an excellent balance between practicality and usability. It runs on a lithium-ion battery which is not included.
Like most models of its type, it’s made of plastic but manages to look stylish, nevertheless. It has an IP-rating of 65 for first-rate protection against the elements. It also has three different modes for versatility along with an ON/OFF switch. It’s an excellent option for a wider variety of settings, given its brightness.
Sunnytech Solar Power Flag Pole
Best Light in High Solar Light Potential Areas
The Sunnytech Solar Power Flag Pole Flagpole stands out as an ideal choice for use in areas with lots of sunlight to take full advantage of its high-capacity battery. With a capacity of 4500mAh, it can stay lit for up to 18 hours. That’s longer than comparable products we considered for this review.
There are 20 LEDs in the light. This product uses bigger LEDs with more diodes to get a greater ratio per diode. However, remember that these lights point in one direction. The design gives less opportunity to take advantage of the potential of multiples ones.
Overall, it’s a good size with enough brightness to illuminate a flag adequately. We prefer products with more LEDs to capture all the nuances of it waving in the breeze.
The dimensions of the fixture are 9.4 inches long by 9.3 inches wide by 2.2 inches high. It has six solar panels around the top that capture the sun’s energy. The light runs on three rechargeable batteries which are sold separately. This choice has a lot going for it out of the box. Other factors score high points with us that are worth bringing to the forefront.
The manufacturer takes its corporate responsibility seriously. It has been an Official Sponsor of Disabled American Veterans Fund since 2012. That extends also to how it values its customers. The light comes with a 30-day, Dare-to-Compare, money back guarantee along with a one-year warranty. If you’re not happy, they’ll replace it with no questions asked.
Sunnytech 2019 3rd Generation Solar Power Flag Pole
Greatest Battery Capacity
The Sunnytech 2019 3rd Generation Solar Power Flag Pole builds on the manufacturer’s previous models with one that has a full slate of updated components and a brand-new design to show them off in style. Unlike the other flagpole lights we considered, this one has a black top that gives it a more elegant appearance over the plain white you’ll typically see. Even the PV panels are attractive.
The light is bright at 1300 lumens. You’ll know when it’s lit. That trait adds to its practicality as ambient lighting for your yard. It also has a high-capacity rechargeable battery to match at a 4500mAh capacity. That means in the right conditions, it’ll guarantee long-lasting performance and maybe even tide you over a cloudy day. Now, let’s consider its construction.
The casing is ABS plastic which protects the item and is flame-retardant. That’s a compelling factor in areas where there are many hours of direct sunlight that can easily recharge a battery quickly. That fact that the top of the model is black also comes into play. The whole fixture can heat up quickly with hours of in the sun.
The base is larger than the previous generation at 10.7 inches long by 10.5 inches wide by 2.1 inches high. We put this feature down to personal preference. Some may find it too large with a garish appearance. Others may appreciate the wider circle of light.
We think it boils down to portions. It’s a moot point if you have a bigger flag. Its size will capture the attention of anyone looking at it. On the other hand, it may have a jarring effect if it’s smaller.
After reviewing all the specs and feedback, our pick for the best solar flagpole light is the Blinngo Solar Flag Pole Light.
Several factors influenced us. We liked the affordable price. It provides a decent scope of light without dark spots underneath because of the number of LEDs. We appreciated the versatility of being to adjust the mode to what we wanted. The size is also right.
It works out of the box without the need to buy and put in batteries. Its versatility also scored points with us. The light is soft enough that it can serve its function to illuminate a flag but also find a place on the deck or in the tent. We considered it an excellent compromise between usability, affordability, and practicality.
Buying a flagpole light is an excellent way to keep your flag illuminated without the bother of remembering to turn it on at night. The improved technology makes sure that it’s on from sunset to sunlight. We can’t think of a better choice for honoring our flag and country.