Bollard lights are ideal for illuminating walkways, parking lots, boardwalks, pathways, and entrances. Used for commercial, municipal, hospitality, and residential applications, bollard lights provide illumination for safe egress, enhanced security, and ambiance (of course). Bollard lights are able to illuminate parking lots without the need for high poles, they can cast soft light over park pathways, and they are perfect for setting the mood by highlighting gardens and plantings. A few recent bollard light projects include: an emergency helipad in North Carolina, a walkway between the parking lot and admissions booth at a theme park, dark sky compliant lighting on a pathway at a ski resort in Utah, and an indoor kart racing facility in Georgia.
Outdoor commercial bollard lights are available with LED, screw-in CFL, and HID lamp types. Commercial bollard lights come in round or square, can be custom finished in your choice of color, and are used in outdoor pathway lighting applications. For more information, check out our LED Bollard page!
Bollard Lights—Assembled in the USA
Access Fixtures bollard lights are assembled in the USA using premium-quality housings, lenses, and gaskets. Fluorescent and HID bollard lights use major USA brand-name lamps and ballasts. LED bollard lights use major brand-name LEDs such as Samsung and LG. Access Fixtures bollard lights can be built with options including custom height, custom paint, a surge protector, and battery backup for emergencies.
Construction of a Great Bollard Light
Because they are outdoor fixtures exposed to the elements, bollard light housings need to be durable. Access Fixtures high-quality bollard light housings are made of extremely durable cast aluminum and extruded aluminum.
Bollard Light Heads
Access Fixtures bollard light heads are manufactured from cast aluminum. Cast aluminum provides a hard, dense, durable material that protects the light source and secures the gaskets, vandal-resistant outer lens, and other components. The head is affixed to the body of the bollard light using vandal-resistant screws. The holes for the vandal-resistant screws are located on the sides, as opposed to the top. This prevents water from pooling in and penetrating the bollard light. It also prevents the vandal-resistant screws from corroding.
Access Fixtures bollard light mounting bases are also made of cast aluminum. This material is strong and enables a mounting base to be firmly bolted with mounting bolts that are sunk in cement. The mounting base has a gasket ring that helps keep moisture out. It has a second ring that mounts the body of the bollard light to the base, again using side-mounted, vandal-resistant screws.
Bollard lights from Access Fixtures are treated with a chromate conversion coating to deter corrosion. Chromate conversion coatings work extremely well with extruded aluminum because the chromate passivates the aluminum. After applying the chromate conversion finish, color is applied to the bollard lights using a powder-coating process. Powder coating is basically specialized paint that is applied as a free-flowing, dry powder. Powder coating does not require a solvent to keep the paint in a liquid suspension form. It can thus produce a much thicker coating without running. Access Fixtures bollard lights feature both conversion coatings and powder coating to help them last as long as possible.
Access Fixtures bollard lights are CSA rated for wet locations.
Bollard Light Optics—Louvers, Reflectors, and Refractors
Bollard light optics should be selected based on application requirements. Optics affect the amount and distribution of the emitted light.
Type V (or Type 5) glass provides a view of the light source through prismatic, borosilicate glass. Type V has high efficacy and broad light distribution. The effect is similar to a postlamp light fixture, but the light is less intense and is refracted by prismatic glass. If light trespass is an issue, an optional light shield is available to prevent light from going where it is not wanted.
Bollards with louver-controlled light restrict most light except that which goes down toward the ground or surface. The light source is blocked from direct view.
Standard Cone Reflector
Bollards with adjustable reflectors provide an abundance of light around the bollard. The light source is inside and beneath the cone. Light is bounced off the top of the reflector and then off the outside of the cone.
Specialized Cone Reflector
Specialized cone reflectors, also referred to as aluminum cone reflectors, were designed to optimize the performance of LEDs. An LED array or LED module is placed in the head of the bollard light and aimed downward. The light is projected down and out by the LEDs and is also reflected outward by the specialized cone reflector.
There has always been a demand for directional bollard lights, or bollard lights that emit light in one direction but not in others. Directional bollard lights are ideal for projects needing to limit light trespass—a directional bollard light with its back to a busy roadway or problematic neighbor can allow you to light what you want to light without causing disruption. In the past, the industry has attempted to use shields and prismatic glass to achieve the directional light, but these attempts failed. Read more and watch our instructional video about the technology; the previous attempts; and how Access Fixtures achieves reliable, directional light with TRUE type 3 bollard lights.
Bollard Light Shapes
Bollard lights are available in different shapes. The most common shapes are round and square. Round bollard lights are available with dome tops and flat tops. Square bollard lights come with flat tops. Choose the design that best fits in your space. For instance, a restaurant may not want to use flat top bollards, as people may be inclined to place drinks on them. Consequently, dome top bollards tend to be the best option for social settings.
Bollard Light Dimensions
Dimensions vary between brands and models. The most common diameters for durable, commercial bollard lights are 6″, 7″, and 8″. Access Fixtures round bollard lights come at a 7″ diameter; the bases of square bollard lights are 7″x7″. Heights are 42.25″ for dome top bollard lights and 41.63″ for flat top bollard lights. As an option, all Access Fixtures bollard lights are available in custom heights, too.
Custom-Colored Bollard Lights
Why limit your new bollard lights to bronze, black, or white when you can custom-finish bollard lights in any RAL color? RAL colors make up a universal color-matching system used to define standard colors for paint and coatings. They enable architects and specifiers to match colors throughout their projects without worrying about the colors being slightly off. Please note that custom-finishing bollard lights can add three to six weeks to production time.
HID vs. Fluorescent vs. LED Bollards Lights
Technology is changing. Pulse start metal halide, high pressure sodium, and compact fluorescent technologies were once the primary light sources used in bollard lights. LED is now the preferred choice for bollard lights. LED bollards achieve lower energy consumption, provide a longer service life with less maintenance, and operate without toxic chemicals like mercury.
LED Bollard Lights Outperform 100w Metal Halide Bollard Lights
A 15w LED bollard light emits 90% of the light of a 100w pulse start metal halide (PSMH) bollard light while reducing energy use by 87%. Click here for details.
Bollard Light Efficacy Based on Light Source and Optics
What aspect of a bollard light matters most to you? Do you want maximum light, efficiency, or do you prefer a specific type of optic? The following PDFs are lists sorted in various ways: by emitted light measured in lumens, by efficacy sorted by luminaire lumens per watt, and by optic.
Select the list that suits your needs.
Bollard Light Spacing
Decisions on the placement and spacing of bollards are dependent on variables such as the application of the area being illuminated, other light sources available, bollard light optics, the light source lumens of the bollard light, and, of course, the client’s preferences.
How many footcandles (fc) of light are required for your application? IESNA recommends certain footcandles for various applications. See the table below for some of the most relevant suggestions for bollard lighting.
Other Light Sources
Are other light sources already providing some illumination? If so, the existing light may be sufficient and bollards can be added for ambiance. If the current lighting is insufficient, we can recommend different bollard lights that will add supplemental light, often desired near steps or stairs. Access Fixtures has bollards for both kinds of applications.
As previously noted, bollard lights are available with louvers, reflectors, or Type V glass; the light distribution is different for each. If we compare performance using the same 15-watt Samsung LED array, we’ll see that the specialized cone reflector bollard light distributes over 1 fc of light in a twelve-foot diameter, the louvered bollard light distributes 1 fc of light over a four-and-a-half-foot diameter, and the Type V bollard light distributes 1 fc of light over a seven-and-a-half-foot diameter. If you’re trying to maintain 1 fc using the specialized cone reflector bollards, you would want to keep the bollards under 24’ apart. Placing them farther apart may lead to dark spots with less than 1 fc of light.
Lamp Type and Wattage
Can using a higher-wattage lamp reduce the required number of bollards? The short answer: Sometimes. This will not work with optics like louvers. It will work, however, with HID light sources and some LED arrays when combined with Type V optics. Still, there are additional factors to consider. If the illuminated area has vehicles, you need to ensure the light from the bollards will not blind drivers. Also, using a higher wattage can increase the max/min variance of the area, which could create a potential safety hazard. The area must be evenly lit—preferably without blinding light.
Do you or your client have a bollard light style preference? One architect insisted on louvers for his design, even though it required more bollard lights; others want bollards that throw very bright light. What kind of light do you want? To speak with an Access Fixtures lighting specialist about your requirements, and explore possible solutions, call 800-468-9925.
Light Sources for Bollard Lights—LEDs and Lamp Types
While LEDs are now many people’s first choice—and most of what Access Fixtures sells—there are still four types of light sources available: LED, high pressure sodium (HPS), pulse start metal halide (PSMH), and compact fluorescent (CFL). Unless you have an excellent reason NOT to choose LED bollard lights, choose LED bollard lights.
Light Source Features and Benefits for Bollards:
LED (100–140 lumens per watt)
LEDs are energy-efficient, have low lumen depreciation, and are rated to last for 50,000 to 100,000 hours. Since LEDs do not have filaments or arc tubes, they are less prone to failure. LEDs do not contain mercury, turn on and off instantly, offer very good color rendition, and are dimmable, too. Since many LED bollard lights are now the same price as bollard lights with other light sources, LEDs are often the obvious answer.
S/P Ratios: 3000K=1.21 3500K=1.41 4100K=2.04 5000K=1.8 6000K=2.0
High Pressure Sodium (80–140 lumens per watt)
For years, high pressure sodium lamps were the go-to lamps for outdoor fixtures such as bollard lights, streetlights, and wall packs. The lamps emit a yellowish light that has a low color rendition index rating. While emitting high lumens per watt, much of the light emitted is not visible by humans, diminishing the value of the light emitted.
S/P Ratios: Under 35 watts = 0.40 50 watts and up = 0.62
Pulse Start Metal Halide (110 lumens per watt)
Pulse start metal halide lamps also offer high lumen output and are common in applications that require high lumen outputs, such as sports stadiums and courts. Pulse start metal halide lamps have rated lives of 15,000 hours, produce a white light with average rendition, and operate reliably in a wide range of temperatures.
Compact Fluorescent (50–100 lumens per watt)
Compact fluorescent lamps are relatively inexpensive. Bollard lights should include options for both plug-in or screw-in. They last from 10,000 to 15,000 hours and have superior color rendition.
What Is the Annual Operating Cost of a Bollard Light?
The operating cost of a bollard light includes electricity and, for bollard lights that are not LED, changing a lamp after every 10,000 to 15,000 hours of use. The biggest cost component for bollards, as with all lighting, is the cost of electricity. The easiest way to calculate the cost of electricity is to find out your cost of electricity per kilowatt hour (kWh).
To calculate the cost per kWh, take the total cost of electricity from your electric bill and divide it by the kWh listed on that invoice. This will allow you to incorporate all costs, including any additional fees. For instance, National Grid charges a customer charge, distribution charge, transition charge, energy-efficiency charge, renewable-energy charge, basic service charge, and sales tax. Many utilities charge a peak demand charge, too. In parts of Massachusetts, the total cost per kWh is about $0.245/kWh.
With your cost per kWh, use the chart to determine the cost of each watt of energy per year. For example, if the cost per kWh is $.20, and the bollard light is on for ten hours a day seven days a week, the annual cost per watt is $0.73. If the bollard light uses 17 watts, the operating cost per year is 17 watts x $.73, or $12.41.
For more detailed instructions on how to calculate the annual cost of electricity to operate a luminaire, click here.
If your lighting project requires a specific footcandle level, why guess if the bollard lights will provide enough illumination? If local code limits light trespass, why risk being over the allowed limit? A photometric analysis can simulate the result of a proposed lighting solution before you purchase. After inputting the layout of your property, which can be provided in various formats, the photometric software provides a comprehensive layout including footcandle measurements at given points across the property. If changes need to be made, the lighting plan can be easily adjusted. It is much easier to make changes on a plan than to make changes on the job site.
- View more information on photometric analysis
- Order a photometric analysis
- View the data form for photometric analysis
Bollard Lights and Voltage
Voltage for US residences is typically 120v, while residences in the Caribbean can be 120v or 240v depending on the island. Voltage in commercial facilities varies from 120v to 480v and commercial facilities frequently have multiple voltages. While the voltage at residential US and Caribbean properties is pretty straightforward, managers of commercial facilities in any location need to know the line voltage where the bollard light(s) are being installed. Bollard lights must have a ballast or driver that works with the line voltage at the point of installation. For instance, a commercial property cannot use a 240v fixture on a 277v line.
Since the voltage may not be known before purchasing, many bollard lights come equipped to handle multiple voltages. Fluorescent bollard lights have ballasts that can handle 120v to 277v. Many LED bollard lights have drivers that handle voltages from 120v to 277v. HPS bollard lights and PSMH bollard lights come in 120v, multi-tap, or quad-tap ballasts that are set up for 120v, 208v, 240v, or 277v. HPS and PSMH bollard lights are prewired to your specified voltage and bench-tested before being shipped.
Bollard Lights for Turtle and Wildlife Habitats
Light pollution is a threat to many types of wildlife, as it disrupts their instinctual behavior and can even cause injury or death. To minimize the disruption of animal habitats due to light pollution, local and state governments frequently require special lighting known as wildlife friendly lighting. For instance, almost all Florida waterfront communities now require illumination that is turtle-friendly. Light was causing endangered sea turtle hatchlings to go inland, toward the light, instead of following the moon’s reflection off the water and swimming out to sea. Specialized amber lighting mitigates this issue.
Wildlife-friendly lighting is referred to as amber lighting. Access Fixtures uses LEDs set to a wavelength of 590nm to create amber light. 590nm LEDs provide the efficiency and long-lasting aspects of LEDs with illumination that minimizes interference with wildlife in areas where excessive artificial lighting could harm ecosystems.
Access Fixtures features stainless steel bollard lights with pulse start metal halide, fluorescent, high pressure sodium, or LED light sources. While requiring some maintenance to sustain the beauty of the metal, stainless steel provides the required design element to complete many projects.
Bollard Light Installation Instructions for New Installations
Bollard lights use line voltage and should be installed by a licensed electrician. If you are a licensed electrician or just want to know how bollard lights are installed, the bollard light installation guide for Access Fixtures bollard lights is made for you.
How to Replace Old Bollard Lights Without New Cement
A frequent question about bollard lights is: How can I replace my old bollard lights without pouring new cement? When those old bollard lights need to be replaced by new Access Fixtures bollard lights, the wiring may still be good, and a mounting bolt or two may still be good, but it is unlikely that the old bolts will fit the pattern of the new bollard light.
While it is always best to sink new mounting bolts in fresh cement, it may be too expensive or logistically impossible. When you need to install new bollard lights but don’t want to pour new cement, you can use mechanical anchors. Mechanical anchors such as Strong-Tie Strong-Bolt 2 or Red Head anchors from Trubolt can be used to mount new bollard lights to existing cement. Access Fixtures bollard lights use 3/8″ diameter bolts. Select the best length for your purposes. For your convenience, PDFs for products by each brand can be downloaded by clicking on the logos.
When installing bollard lights, make sure each bollard light base plate is level. Access Fixtures bollard light bases come with a built-in level, which makes installation easy; the end result, however, will be determined by the quality of the work of the installer.