All About Light Pole Base Covers

All About Light Pole Base Covers

Many people don’t think about light pole base covers as they sit at the bottom and the light is at the top. It’s easy to miss the fact that the base cover is responsible for protecting the pole’s foundation, improving its appearance and enhancing safety.

We’re dedicating this FAQ to pole light base covers because there’s a lot to know about how pole lights work, and base covers are a big part of that.

Where Are You Likely to Find a Light Pole Base Cover?

Base covers wrap around light pole bases, so you’ll always find them at ground level around the bottom of the pole and right under the hand hole. They’re less than a foot high, so they’re compact in design.

A base cover can be used with just about any type of light pole, so the applications are endless. You’re likely to find them in a business parking lot, in a busy downtown district, or in an upscale neighborhood. In every instance, light pole base covers provide the same functions.

How Does a Base Cover Enhance Light Poles?

All pole light bases are subjected to unique hazards that the rest of the pole doesn’t have to deal with. For example, the base is what’s exposed to corrosive substances like dog urine and oil. When it rains, all of that water runs down the pole toward the base. If a stray shopping cart (or golf cart) runs into a light pole, it slams into the base.

Base covers shield the pole from this damage, protecting against water intrusion and providing a physical barrier for the fixture. The pole’s base is kept in place using long anchor bolts, and the base cover fits over these, providing them with protection.

Pole light base covers enhance the look of the light pole. Anchor bolts aren’t the most aesthetically pleasing thing to look at, and the base cover ensures they don’t become an eyesore.

They are made in a variety of colors and designs so they can fit in with any design style.

What Kind of Lighting Poles are Bases Used With?

Lighting pole base covers are intended for use with poles that are anchor-based. Anchor-based poles are attached directly to the installation surface, like concrete. Long anchor bolts are driven into the ground through a base plate, and it’s this base plate that the cover protects.

The other primary type of lighting pole is a direct burial pole. These poles are extended into the ground and buried without a base or base cover, as there are no anchor bolts to hold the pole in place.

How is a Lamp Pole Base Installed?

Compared to installing the pole itself, bases are extremely easy to manage. They come in two primary designs – either clamshell or drop-over. A clamshell base opens up like a clam on a set of brackets. To install it, the base cover is opened up, wrapped around the base and then closed using a threaded lock.

A drop-over base cover is one solid piece that is fitted over the top of the pole and slipped down to the base. Before a drop-over base can be installed, any light fixture, lamps or bulbs must first be removed. You may need to remove the pole caps as well.

What Are Base Covers Made From?

Most base covers are made from steel or ABS plastic, though some are also made from cast aluminum. Typically, the base cover material is matched to the material the pole is made from.

Steel bases are durable and sturdy, but like all steel components they will eventually rust. You can expect to get at least 15 years from a steel base cover before corrosion could necessitate a replacement, though some base covers can last upwards of 30 years before replacement is required.

ABS plastic is the primary alternative to steel and it doesn’t rust, so it works well in humid environments. Plastic also weighs less than steel, so an ABS base cover is typically easier to install.

What is a Powder Coat?

A powder coat serves as a protective layer over the light pole base cover giving it additional resistance to corrosion and UV radiation. You’ll usually find them on steel base covers.

Powder coats also protect the paint on your base covers, so they maintain their color longer.

Can Pole Lighting Base Covers Fit Any Pole Size and Shape?

Just as lighting poles come in a large variety of sizes and dimensions, so do base covers. There’s a base for every type of pole, ranging up to 6 inches in width or diameter. Pole bases are also compatible with both round and square-shaped pole fixtures.

What Colors are Available for Light Pole Base Covers?

Base covers come in a wide variety of colors, just like the poles themselves. Some of the most popular colors include:

  • Black
  • White
  • Bronze
  • Gray

If you can’t find a color you prefer, some brands of spray paint can be used to quickly customize your bases.

Are There Base Covers for Available for Residential Lamp Posts?

Residential lamp posts are also fitted with base covers, and they also provide additional stability and durability. They are built to fit a range of lamp post sizes and shapes. They’re also designed to match the classic lamp post aesthetic, so the lamp looks like one single piece.

Who Can Help Source the Best Light Pole Base Covers?

LED Spot offers a comprehensive selection of base covers and other lighting products including LED fixtures and lamps. If your pole lighting project is in the planning stage or already underway, our team can support you with everything needed to see that project to completion.

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