The American Flag Code states that the flag should be displayed only from sunrise to sunset unless it is properly illuminated during the dark hours. So if you want to show your patriotism 24/7, consider adding a solar flagpole light. This device will sit atop the flagpole gathering energy from the sun all day to help ensure that your flag is lit through fog, gloom, and the darkest hours of the night. There are no batteries to change and no risk of losing the light should the power go out.
The best solar flagpole light should be made of durable material capable of withstanding heavy storms without damage. After all, the Flag Code also states that the flag should be displayed in rain, snow, and wind storms only if it’s an all-weather flag. So if your stars and stripes can stand up to such harsh conditions, your solar flagpole light should as well. This list of products below is a great place to start the search for your new solar flagpole light.
- BEST OVERALL: Deneve Widebody Flag Pole Flagpole Light
- RUNNER-UP: MOICO Solar Flag Pole Light, Super-Bright 42 Big LED
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Vont Solar Flag Pole Light, Lasts 2X Longer
- BEST SPOTLIGHT: APONUO Solar Flag Pole Light, Flagpole Light Solar
- BEST EXTRA-BRIGHT: Sunnytech 2020 3rd Generation Black – Solar Power
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Solar Flagpole Light
When shopping for a solar flagpole light, keep in mind the height of the flagpole and diameter of its ornament spindle at the top of the pole to find the right size. Then think about such features as weather resistance, lighting direction, overall performance, and the other important criteria detailed below.
Flagpoles are available in various sizes, both in terms of height and thickness. To ensure that the solar light will fit the specific flagpole, take accurate measurements beforehand and compare them to the product information and manufacturer’s recommendations before purchase.
Most solar flagpole lights are designed for standard flagpoles that range from 15 to 25 feet in height, with an ornament spindle that is 1.5 to 1.75 inches in length and 0.5 inches in diameter. However, solar flagpole lights with different requirements are available, including some spotlight products that attach directly to the pole with a bracket instead of using the ornament spindle. For these solar lights, measure the diameter of the flagpole to confirm that the bracket will fit securely.
The solar flagpole light will likely stay outside during inclement weather, since it would be tedious to remove it every time it rains. That’s why solar flagpole lights are designed to resist rain, snow, sleet, and high winds, usually featuring an International Protection (IP) rating between IP65 and IP67.
The IP rating system refers to the device’s resistance to solid objects, represented by the first digit, and the resistance to water, shown with the second digit. The scale ranges from 0 to 6 for solids, with 0 being no protection at all and 6 indicating that the product is completely sealed against dust and any larger solids. The scale for water ranges from 0 to 9. As with solids, 0 refers to no protection, while 9 indicates full protection from close-range, powerful, high-temperature water jets.
Typically, a water-resistance rating between 5 (protection against low-pressure jets of water) and 7 (can withstand full immersion in 3.2 feet of water for up to 30 minutes) is suitable for a solar flagpole light.
The brightness of the solar flagpole light is very important. If the product fails to produce enough light, the flag will sit in deep shadows instead of proud illumination. The number of bulbs in a solar light can be a broad indicator of brightness, but they shouldn’t be the only factor in the decision-making process.
The level of light produced by a lamp, flashlight, or any other type of light is measured in lumens. Flagpole lights can range in lumens from as low as 50 to more than 1,000, but to ensure that a standard flagpole and flag are properly lit, look for a product with at least 200 lumens.
The direction of the solar flagpole light is another key factor. Most products are designed to sit atop the flagpole on its ornament spindle to direct light down toward the flag and the ground below. This type of light is good for illuminating the entire base of the flagpole as well and may even light up a decent portion of the yard, depending on the lumen output.
Other solar flagpole lights attach to the middle of the pole and shine up toward the flag to bathe it in a bright spotlight. Though fine for lighting the flag, these lights won’t illuminate the yard. Both types generally feature one or more solar panels that face directly up to gather energy from the sun.
Solar flagpole lights may have different mounting options, including ornament spindle mounting, flagpole mounting, and ground mounting.
- The ornament spindle is a thin piece of metal that protrudes from the top of the flagpole. To install the solar flagpole light, position it so that the spindle goes straight through the hole in the center and push down, securing it with a flagpole ball or another flagpole topper.
- Flagpole mounting employs brackets to install a solar light directly to the pole. This allows the light to point up toward the flag. To install, place the brackets on either side of the flagpole and fasten them together to form a tight grip on the flagpole.
- Ground mounting is the easiest option, though it often has ineffective results. With this method, the solar light is stuck into the ground with a stake and directed up to illuminate the flag. Unless the spotlight is very powerful, it will likely be unable to illuminate the flag.
Battery and Charge Time
While you needn’t worry about regularly replacing disposable batteries, a solar flagpole light does include internal batteries that can affect run time and rechargeability. Run time and battery life vary between products, even those that use the exact same battery, because each product draws power and uses it differently.
On average, a solar flagpole light battery will take between 6 and 8 hours to fully charge. Once charged, it can output light for the range of time specified in the product information and the manufacturer’s recommendations. Generally, run time is a minimum of 8 hours and a maximum can exceed 24 hours. While inclement weather will reduce solar panel efficiency, the panels will still charge during the day, even during a storm.
Our Top Picks
These top-rated products were selected for their quality, price, and the other essential factors explained above. Any one of them should allow you to keep your flag brightly lit through the night.
This water-resistant solar flagpole light can be installed on flagpoles measuring 15 feet to 25 feet in height and sit over a 0.5-inch-wide ornament spindle that is at least 1.5 inches in length. At its brightest, the solar flagpole light can produce up to 1,300 lumens using 36 downward-facing LED lights.
The solar flagpole light takes about 24 hours to fully charge, but after that the light can last for up to 3 days. It comes with six top-mounted solar panels to provide energy to the two rechargeable 18650 lithium batteries. The light is protected by a durable, sealed exterior with an IP65 rating. This indicates that the light is completely sealed against dust and larger solid objects and can withstand rain, sleet, and snow.
Those wanting an effective solar flagpole light that can handle heavy rain, sleet, and snow may find this MOICO product a wise choice. This flagpole light boasts an impressive IP67 waterproof rating to stand up to serious weather. It has six evenly spaced solar panels that point directly up to gather energy throughout the day and 42 LED lights that point down to light the flag, flagpost, and the ground at the base of the flagpole.
This solar flagpole light is made for flagpoles that stand between 15 to 20 feet in height and have 1.5-inch-long spindles with a 0.5-inch diameter. It operates on a 18650 lithium battery that can recharge in 6 to 8 hours, providing 8 to 10 hours of lighting time at up to 400 lumens. It can also be set to an energy-saving mode to conserve energy through several overcast days.
For a sturdy solar flagpole light at an affordable price, consider this product from Vont. The light fits a 1.5-inch-long and 0.5-inch-wide ornament spindle to illuminate flagpoles ranging from 15 to 25 feet in height. It has one lighting mode, capable of producing up to 200 lumens with 26 LED lights. While this is sufficient for standard flags, the brightness may not be strong enough to adequately illuminate larger flags.
The solar flagpole light is designed with six built-in solar panels that point up toward the sun, while the LED lights are directed down to the flag, flagpole, and ground. It runs on three rechargeable AA batteries and can operate for about 10 hours continuously. Note: The manufacturer doesn’t state how long it takes to fully charge, so consider charging for 24 hours before installation.
This solar flagpole spotlight has a rechargeable lithium battery capable of maintaining a charge for up to 10 hours continuously in its dim lighting mode. When set to the higher mode, it will operate for 8 hours, directing a bright 500 lumens up toward the flag.
The solar spotlight is installed via brackets on flagpoles with a diameter between 1.4 inches and 3 inches. It features a 180-degree adjustable head that can be set to the ideal position to illuminate the flag. The solar panel can also be adjusted with a 120-degree range for optimal solar energy absorption. The spotlight has an IP65 waterproof rating and is suitable for lighting flagpoles up to 20 feet high, even when set to the dim setting.
The Sunnytech solar flagpole boasts a bright light output of 1,300 lumens, ensuring that the flag, the flagpole, and the ground below are clearly illuminated. It has six top-mounted solar panels to provide energy to its lithium battery. A center hole fits over a 0.5-inch-wide and 1.75-inch-long ornament spindle. It can be used on flagpoles between 15 to 25 feet in height, and it has a broad distribution of 20 LED lights, giving it about 20 percent better flag coverage than a standard solar flagpole light.
When the light is fully charged, it can operate continuously for up to 18 hours, automatically lighting up at night and shutting off during the day. The manufacturer doesn’t state how long it takes to charge, so it’s wise to charge it for a full day before installing.
FAQs About Solar Flagpole Lights
Before investing in a new solar flagpole light, consider these frequently asked questions and their answers to learn more about how solar lights function. You’ll also learn how to determine what size light is most appropriate for illuminating your flag throughout the night.
Q. Do solar lights need direct sunlight?
Direct sunlight is the best way to quickly charge a solar light. But indirect daylight will also charge the solar battery, just not as quickly. Even on cloudy or rainy days, the solar panel on the light is still working.
Q. How do I know if solar flagpole lights will fit my pole?
Before choosing a solar flagpole light, measure the height of the flagpole and the length and diameter of the ornament spindle at the top of the pole. This will help you ascertain that the solar light will fit your specific flagpole. Always check product information and manufacturer’s recommendations as well for appropriate sizing before buying.
Q. How many lumens do I need for a flagpole light?
To ensure that the flag is properly illuminated, look for a flagpole light that outputs a minimum of about 200 to 300 lumens of light.