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Wood Light Poles


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What are Wood Light Poles?

Wood poles used for lights have been a vital component of America’s electrical and communication infrastructure for over a hundred years. This includes wood light poles and wooden street light poles.

There are roughly 150 million poles in place in the United States, and it’s safe to say that you will find them wherever you go.

These poles are made of particular types of pressure-treated wood that are meant to prevent damage from insects, rot, and harsh weather conditions. On average, treated wood poles have a service lifespan of 50-plus years.

Other pole materials, such as steel and concrete are available, and they have their benefits. But wood poles have certain advantages as well.

Wood is not a synthetic (man-made) material. It is grown naturally and is renewable.

Wood poles are inexpensive compared to steel and concrete poles. They are also quick and easy to install.

Wood poles do not require maintenance. This maintenance-free feature adds to the already low installation cost. All things considered (product price, installation costs, maintenance costs), wood comes out on top compared to the others.

Steel poles require painting and there are considerable corrosion issues with road salt and salt air.

Concrete is a strong material but is expensive and installation costs are high.

Steel and concrete poles require more components such as bolts, wires, etc.

What kind of wood is used in light poles?

There are three main types of wood used for lighting poles:

Southern Yellow Pine Wood Poles

This is the most common type of tree used to manufacture poles.

It is one of the most popular types of wood used in housing construction.

It is exceptionally dense and strong yet lightweight.

Douglas Fir Wood Poles

It is distinctive for its ability to keep stable. This includes when it is cut in an unseasoned condition.

It is known for its ability to bear enormous loads without bending or breaking under pressure. This makes it an ideal construction material for poles.

Western Red Cedar Wood Poles

It has a better-than-average resistance to decay and insect activity. This means that less money is spent on adding preservative chemicals to the wood and maintenance of the poles over time.

It is more expensive than other types of wood used for poles but saves money in the long run.

How are treated wood poles made?

The process of making wooden light poles begins by choosing the right trees for the job. This occurs while they’re still standing. They are judged by traits that affect their load-bearing abilities. These traits include straightness, length, and taper. Less than 10 percent of trees in a typical stand of timber will have the acceptable traits to become a light pole.

These trees are then harvested and transported to a lumber yard and/or manufacturing facility.

After transport, the bark from the trees is removed. After that, the poles are shaped to make them as straight as possible. Each pole is examined, categorized, and given a class as specified in the ANSI standards. The attributes reviewed include the presence of decay, knots, grain orientation, and splits.

Next, the poles are carved, conditioned, or bored to prepare the wood to get a preservative. This preservative treatment forms a chemical barrier that shields wooden poles from threats, such as decay, fungi, insects, and mold. This allows them to stay in service for many years.

The preservatives are not just applied to the surface of the pole. They are infused deep into the wood to provide long-lasting protection. By doing this, the useful lifespan of a wood pole can be lengthened up to 70+ years.

Holes are bored on the pole to be used for hardware that will be added later. This will maintain the protective preservative coating by letting the treatment penetrate every opening. The poles are then ready for treatment.

Once the preservative process is completed, core samples are taken from the poles and analyzed to ensure that quality and durability standards are met.

Where can I buy wood light poles for sale?

When some people think about purchasing wood light poles, they imagine that you must go to a lumber yard to do it because they are big and bulky.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. You can buy wooden light poles for sale from an online supplier. The poles and their associated light fixtures can be ordered online on LED Lighting Supply and then shipped directly to your project site.

What are the advantages of using wood light poles over steel or concrete poles?

There are a number of advantages of using wood light poles over other types:

The initial cost of wood poles is significantly less than that of steel due to commodity costs.

The installation of wood poles is much faster than steel or concrete.

The costs of installing wood poles are generally less thanks to the simplicity of direct burial.

How are wood light poles stress rated?

Each pole is designated a class, that is an ANSI designation of strength and durability. Typically speaking, the lower the class number, the stronger the pole.