3 Things You Must Know Before Choosing High Mast Lights

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3 Things You Must Know Before Choosing High Mast Lights

The high mast light is one kind of street light that works well for lighting a big area. They consist of a set of high-power lamps and steel tapered poles that are over 15 meters tall. They seem to be powerful, but you still need to know something instead of ordering without thinking. What if typical street lights can meet your requirements and save some money for you? And do you really know how to choose the high mast lights? No matter what information you are looking for, you definitely shouldn’t miss this guide of choosing the right lights for your project!

Should I choose high mast lights or common street lights?

In terms of functions, the main role of high mast lamps is to provide a wide range of lighting for large areas such as squares, parking lots, and industrial areas. As for street lights, they are mainly used to illuminate roads and provide basic lighting for pedestrians and vehicles to ensure they can pass safely.

There are also differences in design between high mast lamps and street lights. High mast lamps generally use higher lamp posts and high-power lamp holders to project light to a longer distance. This design can make sure a single light can light up a large area. Street lights usually use lower lamp posts and smaller power LED lights to ensure uniform light distribution on the road, avoid glare and prevent blind spots.

Maintenance of high pole lights is easier and safer. Operators can lower the lights of the high mast lamps to the ground, so they don’t need to work at high places like what they do for the street lights.

In addition to considering the above points, you can also judge whether you should choose high pole lights or ordinary street lights based on common usage scenarios. The applications of high mast lamps include: squares, stadiums, industrial parks, landscape lighting, etc.

How should I choose high mast lights?


While choosing the suitable height for the high mast lamps, you need to consider several factors. First, we can choose according to the size of the installation area. In large places such as airports and docks,  it is usually necessary to choose high mast lamps with a height of 25 to 30 meters to ensure that the lighting can cover the entire area. For some smaller squares or intersections, we can choose high mast lamps with a height of 15 to 20 meters. Lamps with this height can meet the lighting needs and won’t waste too much energy.

If the high mast lamp is used for road lighting, then the width of the road and the spacing of the lights should also be taken into consideration. Generally speaking, the height of high mast lamps should be about 1.5 times the width of the road to meet the standards.

If the surrounding buildings are tall, the height of the high mast light should be appropriately reduced so that the lighting won’t be affected. Besides, if the lamp is too high or too low, the costs and installation difficulty may increase.

It is not wise to make the poles as high as possible for wider illumination area, because the light may violate the night sky. You can refer to the regulation of IDA to avoid light pollution in the surrounding area.


The wattage of the high mast light directly affects the brightness and range of the lighting. Generally speaking, the wattage of a high mast lamp should be selected according to its height. High mast lights that are 25 to 30 meters high need at least ten lights. And if you use LED lights, each light should be no less than 400 W. For high mast lmaps with a height of 15 to 20 meters, you need at least 6 LED light that have a power greater than 200W.

The most suitable power may vary according to different lighting requirements. In addition, you also need to consider the maintenance costs when deciding the wattage of high mast lamps. Some high-wattage light fixtures may require more frequent maintenance and replacement, which will increase the costs.

Lux level

It is important to ensure that your high mast lamps can meet the lighting requirements of the corresponding scenario. Generally speaking, after the suppliers know where you will use the lights, they can calculate the required lumen value based on the size of your venue, and then recommend high mast lamps with appropriate wattage. The following are the illumination requirements for common high mast lighting applications:

  • Airport apron: 20 lx
  • Industrial Park: 50-200 lx. The requirements change based on the kind of task. In sites where only material handling is carried out, 50 lx is sufficient. If it is a site for fine work, the illumination may need to reach 200 lx.
  • Terminal: 30 lx; Container handling area of the terminal: 50 lx
  • Large square: 20 lx
  • Football pitch: 1000-2000 lx. Sports pitches require special lighting designs to ensure adequate and uniform lighting. Different sports have different lighting requirements and need to be analysed specifically.

How do you install high mast lights?

  1. When unloading the high mast lamp, place the lamp flange close to the foundation. To avoid needless handling during assembly, arrange the sections in order from large to tiny.
  2. Assemble the light pole’s bottom section and insert the main wire rope. The second section of the light pole should then be lifted and inserted into the bottom section using a crane or hand chain hoist. The seams between the pieces should then be tightened using a hand chain hoist. Use the same method to insert the third and fourth sections. Before inserting the last section, be sure to distinguish the front and back sides and insert the hook ring correctly.
  3. Install spare parts:
    • Transmission system: The system consists of winch, wire rope, pulley bracket, pulley and safety device. The installation of safety device includes fixing travel switch and connecting control line. The position of the travel switch must be right to make it operate timely and accurately.
    • Suspension device: Install the hook and hook ring. To facilitate simple detachment, leave a suitable space between the hook and the light pole while placing the hook. Before connecting to the light pole’s last portion, attach the hook ring.
    • Protection system: install the rain shields and lightning rods.
  4. Hoisting: You can start hoisting after making sure the socket is solid and all parts are installed correctly.

Precautions: High pole lights have various structures and functions, and the installation is risky, so you’d better ask qualified professionals to operate the whole process.


High mast lights are what you need for large-scale areas like the airports, ports, industrial parks, etc. But it is also possible that in some areas where the lighting requirements are not too high, you can use ordinary street lights instead. If you want to choose high mast lamps, you need to pay attention to the height, wattage, and lux level. We have also offered a simple installation guide in this passage. Just remember to keep safe in the whole process of installing the high mast lamps!

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Victor Guo

Victor Guo

Lead electrical engineer with 17+ years of experience designing electrical street lighting systems, monitoring electrical-related work at site, and discussing proposal and lighting implementation options. Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. Knowledgeable in LED lighting design, project management, safety and compliance.
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