So, Your Light Pole Failed. Now What?

So, Your Light Pole Failed. Now What?

Two details will determine if your selected light pole will be successful:

  1. Total EPA
  2. Wind speed of your project location

If your selected light pole is strong enough to support the sum EPA at the maximum wind speed, your pole passes.

But if the pole you selected isn’t strong enough, it fails. That means you’ll need to consider alternative options.

Understanding Your Light Pole Project

First, your light pole manufacturer will ask for details on your project.

Is it new construction or do you need to match existing poles?

If your project is new construction, you’ll have much more flexibility to alter the specifications.

Additional questions your manufacturer may ask:

  • What’s the location? Is it a coastal spot where poles may be more likely to rust? Or is it an area that sees frequent hurricanes?
  • Are there additional project specifications that may limit the scope of the pole design? For example, does the architect have a specific vision for the shape and material of the light pole?

If you’re matching current light poles, you’re more limited to the changes you can make. Details your manufacturer will need to know include:

  • The material and shape of the current poles.
  • If there are existing anchor bolts.

Where Do We Start?

There are a few rules of thumb we work with:

  • Steel is stronger than aluminum.
  • Round is stronger than square.
  • Tapered is stronger than straight.

For example, let’s say your project calls for a round tapered aluminum pole, but it failed based on the calculations. Consider a round tapered steel pole instead. Your pole will be stronger and still look like the original design.

Or let’s say you originally selected a pole with a 1/8-inch wall thickness. If that pole fails, but you want to keep the selected shape and material, you can increase the wall thickness to 3/16 inches. If you’d prefer to keep the wall thickness at 1/8 inch, you can increase the outer diameter from four inches to five.

If you have any questions or would like to start an order, let us know.


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About Us

General Structures, Inc. has been the best partner for C&I lighting standards since 1988. We adhere to standards set forth by AASHTO, ASTM International, and NEMA and weld all of our products to the highest American Welding Society standards.

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