Toll Free

(844) 533-7767

Have Any Question

(661) 645-1071

When it comes to outdoor lighting, two terms that often come up are lamp posts and street lights. While both serve the purpose of illuminating our surroundings, they have distinct differences in their design, functionality, and application. In this article, we’ll shed light on the unique characteristics of lamp posts and street lights, helping you understand when and where each type of lighting is most appropriate.

Lamp Posts: Elegance and Ambiance

Lamp posts, also known as commercial lamp posts or sidewalk lamp posts, are a popular choice for creating a welcoming and inviting atmosphere in various settings. Here are some key features of lamp posts:

  1. Decorative Design: post lamps often feature ornate and decorative designs, adding a touch of elegance and charm to the surrounding environment. They come in a variety of styles, from classic Victorian to modern minimalist, allowing them to complement different architectural styles.
  1. Lower Mounting Height: Compared to street lights, lamp posts are typically mounted at a lower height, ranging from 8 to 15 feet. This lower mounting height creates a more human-scale lighting experience, making them ideal for pedestrian areas, parks, and gardens.
  1. Ambient Lighting: Lamp posts provide a softer, more diffused light that creates a warm and inviting ambiance. They are designed to illuminate the immediate surrounding area, enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal of the space.

Street Lights: Functionality and Safety

Street lights, on the other hand, are designed with a primary focus on functionality and safety. Here are some key characteristics of street lighting:

  1. Higher Mounting Height: Street lights are typically mounted at a higher height than lamp posts, ranging from 20 to 40 feet or more. This higher mounting allows them to cast light over a wider area, making them suitable for illuminating roadways, highways, and parking lots.
  1. Bright and Uniform Lighting: Street lights are designed to provide bright and uniform lighting to ensure adequate visibility for drivers and pedestrians. They often use high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps or LED technology to deliver efficient and long-lasting illumination.
  1. Standardized Design: Unlike the decorative nature of post lamps, street lights often have a more standardized and utilitarian design. Their primary purpose is to provide effective lighting rather than enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the surroundings.

Applications of Lamp Posts and Street Lights

Now that we’ve explored the differences between lamp posts and street lights, let’s take a look at their common applications:

Lamp Posts

– Sidewalks and pedestrian walkways

– Parks and recreational areas

– Commercial districts and shopping centers

– Residential neighborhoods and gated communities

Street Lights

– Roadways and highways

– Parking lots and garages

– Industrial areas and warehouses

– Airports and transportation hubs

Choosing the Right Lighting Solution

When deciding between lamp posts and street lights for your outdoor lighting needs, consider the following factors:

– The primary purpose of the lighting (aesthetic appeal vs. functional illumination) 

– The mounting height required for effective coverage

– The level of brightness and uniformity needed Read more about Illuminate Your Outdoor Space with Outdoor Post Light Fixtures here.

– The overall design and architectural style of the surrounding environment

Illuminating the Difference: Lamp Posts vs. Street Lights

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can post lamps be used for street lighting?

   – While lamp posts can provide some level of street lighting, they are typically not designed to meet the specific requirements of road illumination. Street lights are better suited for this purpose due to their higher mounting height and brighter, more focused light output.

  1. Are street lights more energy-efficient than lamp posts?

   – The energy efficiency of street lights and lamp posts depends on the specific technology used. Modern LED street lights are generally more energy-efficient compared to traditional HID lamps used in both street lights and lamp posts. However, LED technology is now available for lamp posts as well, making them a more energy-efficient option.

  1. Can post lamps and street lights be used together in the same area?

   – Yes, post lamps and street lights can be used together in the same area to create a layered lighting effect. Lamp posts can provide a softer, ambient light for pedestrian areas, while street lights can ensure adequate illumination for roadways and parking areas.

Blending History and Functionality: Using Historical Style Lamp Posts as Street Lights

In recent years, there has been a growing trend of using historical style post lamps as street lights. These vintage-inspired fixtures not only provide necessary illumination for streets and sidewalks but also add a touch of nostalgia and charm to the urban landscape.

By incorporating historical design elements, such as ornate cast-iron bases, fluted poles, and decorative lanterns, these lamp posts create a sense of timelessness and character in modern cityscapes. Read more bout The Enduring Allure of Lantern Post Light Fixtures here.

While traditional street lights prioritize functionality, historical style post lamps strike a balance between practicality and aesthetics.

They often feature energy-efficient LED technology, ensuring optimal lighting performance while maintaining their classic appearance.

The use of historical style lamp posts as street lighting has become particularly popular in downtown areas, main streets, and historic districts, where preserving the architectural heritage is a priority.

These lamp posts serve as a bridge between the past and the present, enhancing the overall ambiance and visual appeal of the streetscape.

However, it is important to ensure that the chosen historical style lamp posts meet the necessary lighting standards and regulations for street lighting, such as proper illumination levels and uniformity, to ensure the safety and comfort of pedestrians and motorists alike.


Understanding the difference between lamp posts and street lights is crucial when planning outdoor lighting for various environments. Lamp posts, with their decorative designs and lower mounting heights, create an inviting ambiance in pedestrian areas and commercial districts. On the other hand, street lights prioritize functionality and safety, illuminating roadways and parking lots with bright and uniform lighting. By selecting the appropriate type of lighting for your specific needs, you can ensure a well-lit and visually appealing outdoor space.