LED Bollard Lights – The Complete FAQ Guide

Bollard lighting has become an essential illumination feature in landscape applications for improving the area's security and ambiance. If you want to know which bollard light is best for your project, then you are in the right place! Let us help you understand all its aspects, starting from types to installation process, features, and benefits.

Table of Contents

1. What Is LED Bollard Light?

LED bollard light is a short, thick, upright LED lighting fixture used to illuminate pathways, patios, and other outdoor projects. It is ground-mounted and usually consists of LEDs at the institution’s top and sides. Bollard lights are an essential architectural feature for illumination, safety, and protection purposes in commercial, residential, public, and municipal applications.

2. The Different Types of Bollard Lights

Bollard lights have been around for many years. They have now been improved, manufactured in various shapes and sizes, and designed for specific applications. Eight types of LED Bollards lights are the most popular nowadays.

Commercial Pathway Bollard Lights

Commercial bollard lights have now taken the lighting industry by storm. Their ever-increasing popularity in urban and suburban areas is because of their versatility in shapes and sizes. Moreover, the specifications can be customized according to your needs and preferences. Especially in a commercial application, pathway bollards are used extensively to provide:

  1. Increased safety for the public
  2. Improved ingress
  3. Illumination

The LED bollards must be highly durable, weather and impact resistant for commercial applications. Moreover, commercial bollard lights attract the public by providing mesmerizing illumination and reducing the possibilities of vandalism and accidents. A brightly lit area will deter intruders and keep the public safe. Commercial Bollards are best for pathways, stairs, and roadsides.

commercial led bollard lights
Commercial led bollard lights

LED Residential Landscape LED Bollards

A residential project’s aesthetics, durability, and safety are considered the most important in a bollard light. LED residential bollard lights are built for lawns, gardens, patios, driveways, and backyard areas. These create a comfortable ambiance and increase protection and security, which is essential. Using these highly sophisticated bollard lights, you can light up your stairs and entranceways.

They are easy to install and energy-efficient, which can help you save your overall cost and bills. A good investment in residential areas and can easily impress your guests!

residential led bollard lights
residential led bollard lights

LED Decorative Bollard lighting

LED decorative bollard lights are designed to increase the aesthetic value of your project. They will come in the most impressive and beautiful designs with varied sizes, colors, and materials to pull off the creativity you require. Such modern bollards are mainly used in party and wedding lawns, homes, and parks, where aesthetics and decoration are the main focus.

decorative led bollard lights
Decorative led bollard lights

Stainless Steel Driveway Bollard Lights

Stainless steel LED bollard lights are highly corrosion-resistant, strong, durable, and impact-resistant because of the quality of the SUS304 and SUS316 materials.

Let’s dig a little deeper into the material properties. SUS304 offers high mechanical properties and good corrosion resistance. SUS316 offers excellent corrosion resistance in humid and high-temperature areas, making these lights a good option for sea bays, seasides, beaches, and areas with high humidity and hot climates.

stainless steel led bollard lights 1
stainless steel led bollard lights 1

Concrete Bollard LED Lights

Concrete bollard lights have a minimalist look, good mechanical strength, and impact resistance. Its robust structure and durability are used in public areas, primarily parking lots, driveways, plazas, entranceways, parks, and streets. You can acquire various concrete finishes to create the look you desire. Moreover, bollard lighting manufacturers also design concrete bollards embedded with stainless steel or fibers to improve strength and rigidness further.

concrete led bollard lights
Concrete led bollard lights.

Solar-Powered Bollard Lights

Solar LED Bollard lighting is rising because of its cost-efficiency and eco-friendly characteristics. Solar pathway lighting cuts down on costs as they only require an initial high investment that pays off in the long run. Some bollards are also equipped with motion sensors which further adds to their functionality and saves energy.

solar led bollard lights
solar led bollard lights

Low Voltage LED Bollard Lights

Residential outdoor lighting generally uses Low Voltage Bollard lighting because it’s safer, more efficient, and easier to install. The operating voltage is usually 12V, which is easy to handle as the electric cables do not need to be buried. Due to these characteristics, such lights are a good choice for wet locations and playgrounds where children’s safety is prioritized.

Low voltages LED Bollard lights are available in a plethora of designs. They are used to enhance the aesthetics of residential areas. These luminaires are less expensive than other types and can be easily relocated.

low voltage led bollard lights
low voltage led bollard lights

Line Voltage Bollard Lights

These bollard lights are for commercial outdoor use with a lot of space to cover. The operating voltage of the Line voltage LED bollard is 120V.  These are heavy-duty bollard lights that enhance the beauty of the landscape. Compared to low voltage lights, line voltage lights are expensive and require an expert for installation.

LEDs have revolutionized the bollard lights such that there is no voltage drop over the large span of area, and these lights shine bright without causing any loss in output. They are used in applications where security and illumination are top priorities, i.e., primarily in commercial areas such as parking lots.

3. Why Is Bollard Lights Important For Landscape?

Bollard lighting fixtures are popular architectural elements widely used in contemporary and classic projects. Their flexible variety makes them usable in many applications.

  • Bollard lights improve the aesthetics of the area.
  • They increase the safety and protection of the area by providing consistent illumination throughout the place.
  • These lights are an excellent way to brighten the garden areas, steps, driveways, car parks, etc.

4. LED Bollard Lights Vs. LED Post Lights

LED Post Lights are lighting fixtures of various designs that can be placed or mounted on top of pillars, columns, or railings.  You can put them on the ground or stairways or mount them on the sides of the entranceways. Unlike LED bollards, they do not consist of a short, upright pole that must be ground-mounted.

However, a Bollard light is a short pole that must be ground-mounted. The following figure will help you understand the difference better.

led bollard lights vs. led post lights
led bollard lights vs. led post lights

5. 4 Steps to Choose Outdoor Bollard Lights For Your Project.

Since you are here, we assume you need guidelines to choose the best pathway bollard lighting fixture for your landscape. Let’s discuss some crucial points that will help you choose wisely.

Step 1: Develop a Layout

The first step is to analyze your project in terms of dimensions and design. This step will help you figure out how many lights you require in your project, as you do not want to fill the area with bollards. A layout on a piece of paper will also help decide the best bollards’ spacing.

Step 2: Finding The Correct Light Output

In the next step, you have to figure out what purpose your lights will serve. Do you want a high illumination or a soft accent? This is to find the best lighting output for brightness, colors, temperatures, sizes, and designs.

For instance, commercial applications require high brightness, whereas decorative applications call for warm colors and beautiful designs. Find out the best optics for the project, i.e., output light directed downward or 360 degrees light spread.

Step 3: Specifications

Look for the specification of the LEDs used in the lights. For example, depending on your application and the region’s climates, you must decide on the bollard light material. You can choose stainless steel and aluminum fixtures for high corrosion resistance in hot and humid areas, whereas concrete material for high mechanical stability and impact resistance. The IP rating will decide the waterproof properties of the lights. Suitable lighting fixtures will be weather resistant and have high-rated hours.

If you are a savvy planner, you will opt for energy-efficient solar lights with motion sensors.

Step 4: Control Management System

Do you require a product with a control management system? Choosing your product according to the area requirements and wiring possibilities would be best.

We have answered the most popular questions regarding bollard Lights, so keep reading the guide to choose better!

FAQs

1. How to Install Bollard Lights?

Are you looking for easy to follow installation guide? Then you have come to the right place. Since these are outdoor lights may seem a little daunting to install, but our guide will ease you through the process.

You are required to take all the precautionary steps mentioned in the guide. These measures will ensure your safety and prevent loss of any kind.

Step:1) Build The Base

A solid base ensures the longevity of the light. You must dig a deep enough hole if the setup is on the ground. It should be deep enough to hold cement in place.

  • The diameter of the hole should be at least 1 foot (12″).
  • A depth of 2 feet (24″) is sufficient.

Use the sonotube with a length just above the ground and a small plastic conduit in the middle for wiring. Now the hole for the base is incomplete. These depth requirements may vary depending on the local code, area, and size of the lights.

Step:2) Wiring

To connect the source and LED bollard lights, you need wiring. Always switch Off the source while connecting wires. First, connect approximately 3 feet (36″) of supply leads from the base to the top of the light.

The wiring should be safely buried underground from the source to the hole. Make sure to leave the extra wire on both ends. A licensed electrician is better suitable to connect the wiring. You can use the small conduit to connect the supply leads with the middle’s main power line.

Keep the wire and conduit in the center and up straight. Make sure you wear protective gloves and glasses while handling cement and tools.

Step:3) Anchor

Now you have the hole and the wiring complete. You can place the cement anchors in the hole, which will serve as the base for lights. Now, pour the cement and let it dry until everything is fixed.

Leave the plastic piece (the base) that holds the anchor and the threaded part of the anchor above the ground. The solid base with wiring and anchors is now complete. You can attach the mounting plate to the plastic part and ensure everything is on the level. You can use a level tool to provide the mounting plate is horizontal.

Step:4) Connecting the Bollard Light

You can now connect the supply leads to the driver and attach the socket. The installation is complete, and the bollard LED lights are ready to shine.

Step:5) Setting up the Bollard Lights

Now place the bollard body on the mounting plate and the electrical setup in the center. Fasten all the screws, which will keep the bollard body straight.  Put the LED lamp in the socket and the bollard head above it. Switch on the source, and you can enjoy dazzling bollard lights.

How to Install LED Bollard Lights

2. How Can Exterior Bollard Lights Be Customized?

Bollard lights can be adjusted by tweaking various aspects of it. The customization will help you get the most efficient lights to serve your purpose.

Beam Angle

A beam angle tells how narrow or wide the visible light beam is. Imagine a pizza, a circular shape with a complete 360⁰. Each slice represents a beam angle. You can opt for large angles of 70⁰ to 80⁰ in places such as car parking and paths. The shorter angle is better for decoration purposes. These beam angles can be adjusted for various uses and customized according to the project’s requirements.

Voltage

Voltage(V) and Power (Watts) are considered when buying Bollards for the project. Usually, a lower voltage system is safer and used in parks, etc., instead of higher voltages that produce intense lights. These voltages can be tweaked depending on the application.

Color Temperature

You can choose the right color temperature to increase the elegance and practicality of the bollard lights. LEDs come in many shades of white, and this temperature can be adjusted to produce the best effect in the surrounding area.

Brightness

Brightness plays a vital role in the selection of lights. It can be customized to serve various purposes. For security reasons, a bright light is better than dimmer lights that emit a more serene vibe. You can customize this and get the best out of the bollard light.

Fixture Style and Size

It would not be an understatement to say that the fixtures are the main attraction of bollard light. You have to take your time deciding and customizing the fixture to get the best product.

3. LED Bollard Lights vs. LED Landscape Spotlights.

You may wonder what outdoor lights are best for your usage, the Bollard lights or the Spotlights. Both are used for exterior design and are prevalent in décor these days.

The LED spotlights are high-intensity and more inclined toward the area’s safety. They can also be used as facade lighting and landscape lighting. The beam angle is below 60⁰, and these lights are usually targeted to a specific area.

On the other hand, the lighted bollard is suitable for decorating and lighting pedestrian paths. Bollards are commonly less intense than spotlights. An adequately spaced set of lights can cover a large area of ground.

4. What Are the Problems of HID Bollard Lights?

HID or High-Intensity Discharge Bollard lights are the older generations of LED lights. These are getting replaced by LED Bollard, made of modern technology. HID Lights are still in use, and here we will discuss some problems they pose to you.

Performance

HID and metal halide lamps belong to the same family and being used for quite some time. HID proved valid for past years, but they produce an unpleasing yellowish shade, which causes poor visibility.

Metal halide lamps produce a much calmer white shade, but their degradation rate is much faster than modern LED lights. The initial intensity of the light seems to diminish as time passes by. HID are not long-lasting, and their maintenance cost increases over the year.

Cost

HIDs are initially cost-effective but not in case of prolonged usage. These lights come in 70 W to 150 W high wattages that consume a lot of electricity without providing enough lumens. They also burn out quickly, adding to the maintenance cost.

 If you are a business owner or just looking for residential lighting, then LEDs are a more cost-effective and hassle-free option in the long run.

5. What Are the Benefits of LED Bollard Lights?

LED Bollard lights are the right choice if you are looking for lights to brighten up your area or for a business opportunity. There are many benefits apart from being elegant and stylish. LED has revolutionized the industry with its brightness, longevity, and economics. Here are some uses for you to consider that will help you make up your mind.

Save Your Money!

When buying any lighting product, saving money is always on the list of things to consider. LED Bollard can save you a lot on your resources.

Why is that? Because every lighting product has two significant costs apart from the initial purchasing cost. One is the operating cost, and the other is the maintenance cost. LEDs usually come in low voltages and run on lesser power than conventional HID lamps.

Since the bollard light needs to light up throughout the night, the lesser power consumption saves a lot on bills. These LEDs can work up to 50000+ hours, significantly reducing the product’s maintenance cost. Both these factors contribute a lot in the long run and will benefit your project.

Improve The efficiency and Performance

The new, improved LED Bollard lights are 90% more efficient than old lamps, and their performance far exceeds previous technology. They emit less heat, consume less electricity, and produce more lumens which are very green for the environment.

LED Bollard lights have robust structures that can withstand harsh outdoor weather. This technology also allows for customization, allowing you to design the lights according to your requirements. These fantastic lights have so many benefits with barely any drawbacks.

Reduce Maintenance

LEDs can save much time and money on the product’s replacement and maintenance costs. An old HID, or Halide lamp, burned out quickly and cost a lot in labor and spare parts. Since LED bollard lights can last up to 50000+ hrs, the labor cost is reduced. The expensive initial fee covers up quickly over the year in terms of savings on bills and maintenance without compromising light quality.

6. Important Garden Bollard Lights Design Tips.

After selecting the right kind of bollard light for your project, the next step is determining the number of lighting fixtures that will go perfectly with your project. To determine the number, you need to understand the spacing requirements for the lights. Placing the lights too close can cause uncomfortable illumination. On the contrary, putting the lights too far will not result in proper illumination.

This will be your guideline for understanding the spacing principles.

Spacing Guide

The spacing mainly depends on the following factors:

  1. The dimensions and the total area of your project
  2. Other lighting sources in the area to be renovated, and the surrounding areas
  3. The wattage and brightness levels of the LEDs
  4. Bollard optics type
  5. Local code requirements and light trespassing issues  
  6. The height of the lighting fixture
  7. Personal preferences of the client!

Although the spacing depends on the factors mentioned above, a general rule of thumb is that the distance should be between 3 meters – 12 meters.

There are some set rules (By IESNA) regarding footcandle (fc). A footcandle is the Illuminance measure used by designers (1 fc = Illuminance in 1 sq. ft of the area from a constant light source). Usually, all the projects require one fc spacing, but it varies with different applications. For example, a small spacing is better for garden pathways than substantial spacing, which works best in the driveways.

To determine how many footcandles (fc) your application needs, you will have to check the requirement of the area. Different bollard optics have different light outputs for the same footcandle. For example, if you have selected a cone reflector bollard and a type V bollard of the same watts, then the cone reflector bollard’s one fc light distribution equals 7 ½ ft diameter. In comparison, one fc of Type V bollard means a diameter of 12 ft.

This means that for maintaining one fc with a cone reflector, you will keep a distance of 15 ft between two lights. Whereas, for type V lights, you will observe a distance of 24 ft for a homogenous illumination.

You can also opt for different luminaires with a high brightness level to decrease the number of bollards used. This will eventually result in greater spacing.

7. What Are The Different Optic Designs Of Modern Bollard Lights?

Bollard optics emit light differently at different angles and varying radii. Each optic serves a different purpose, so you should choose the design according to your applications and preferences. There are four popular bollard optics types.

  1. The Louver
  2. Type V Glass Reflector
  3. Standard Cone Reflector
  4. Specialized Cone Reflector

The Louver

Louver bollard lighting fixtures emit the light down toward the ground. This type of fixture reduces glare and gives off a comfortable illumination. As seen in the figure, the LEDs are mounted on the top of the post aiming downwards. This is why such optics are usually the best solution for parks, walkways, and natural areas.

louvers bollard optics 1
louvers bollard optics 1

Type V Glass Reflector

A type V glass reflector spreads diffused light in all directions (360 degrees spread). This is used for high-illumination applications such as parks, streets, and pathways that require greater security. The light emitted from such fixtures is bright and covers a larger area. Even a few lighting fixtures can cover the whole area. Depending on the application, the output light can be contained using shades to prevent light trespass.

type v bollard optics
type v bollard optics

Standard Cone Reflector

Standard cone reflectors give a smooth, soft light that spans 360 degrees and evenly illuminates a large area. The light intensity is not high, yet this fixture illuminates everything around the bollard. The light source is hidden in this fixture. Such optics gives off a traditional look. If your application requires a conventional ambiance, go for standard cone reflectors.

cone reflectors
cone reflectors

Specialized Cone Reflector

In the specialized cone reflector, light is directed towards the cone inside the fixture that bounces the light downwards, causing a smooth spread. Such lighting output reduces light pollution and glare and results in comfortable illumination.

Nowadays, specialized aluminum cones are being used for a more efficient solution. Bollard lights with aluminum cones can further reduce night pollution and glare.

Conclusion

Your landscape and outdoor projects require the perfect LED bollard lights. This detailed guide covers LED bollard lights, optics, installation tips, and design trends to help you choose better. We have further discussed the factors that affect bollard spacing and the benefits of these lights.

If you have more questions about outdoor lights, Contact RC Lighting today!

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