Custom Light Pole Banners - Sizing, Print, Materials, and Durability

Custom Light Pole Banners - Sizing, Print, Materials, and Durability

Light Pole Banners are typically used for festivals, celebrations, decorations, and commercial or event advertising. Printed with bright colors on fabric or vinyl, they can be single or double-sided, the latter featuring a "silver blocker" layer to block sunlight from creating shadows from the back side of the banner (away from the sun).

What are Light Pole Banners?

Light Pole Banners, a.k.a. street pole banners, are used frequently along streets and avenues in municipal areas, on university campuses, tourist areas, sports venues, malls, parks, and downtown areas. If you have been around these areas, it is very likely you would agree that they add a festive look, as well as being useful for advertising.

Sprucing up a bland area with these banners (or alternatively, they can be affixed to telephone poles or buildings with the correct hardware) is not only more attractive, it can be great for business. People like to go places that are bright and cheery, and bright-colored fabric outdoor vinyl or fabric banners will accomplish that.

What type of street pole banners should we purchase?

There are a few choices for the types of banners that can be used for pole banners. The main categories are fabric and vinyl.

Fabric banners can be made from screen-printed fabrics or dye sublimation printed polyester fabrics. Our bias is toward dye sublimation printed polyester fabric banners as they are affordable and last a long time. They can be done both single and double sided, with a "silver blocker" lightweight fabric between the two pieces of fabric to eliminate shadowing.

Vinyl banners come in various weights, most commonly for double-sided banners, the material weight is about 17oz. to 22 oz. and for single sided banners, 13 to 18 oz. Vinyl banners are typically cheaper, and in our opinion (we will quote either type), are not as attractive as the poly fabric banners.

Light Pole Banner Sizing


How heavy is the system without the banner?

It depends on whether it is a single or double sided pole banner system and the width of the banners being hung, but the range is five to ten pounds.

What is the standard size of a typical light pole Banner?

Standard sizing, again, is not standard, as the width typically vary from 12 inches to 36 inches, but can go wider if required, although the wind load will increase exponentially the wider and taller the banner.

The most common widths are 24, 30, and 36 inches, and the most common light pole banner heights are 36 - 48 - 60 - and 72 inches.

What is the standard hemmed pole pocket size?

The pole pocket will have to do with the banner's overall size, but typically, a two inch vertical pole pocket height will be enough to accommodate 95% of the horizontal banner poles in the market place.

How do I determine the sleeve size I will need for my light pole banner?

That won't be something you will need to worry much about if you're purchasing the banners and hanging system as a unit.

However, if the horizontal pole banner supports are static, but the banners are being replaced, you'd simply need an approximate measurement of the pole diameter to determine the pocket size.

Is there a standard pole size for pole banners?

In the neighborhood of.75 inch to one inch for most stock poles. Custom poles, of course, are not standard, and are typically two inches in diameter for larger banners, requiring a four inch pocket on the banners themselves. This configuration has been used for very large pole banners - typically affixed to buildings, and will also use additional wind support such as cables and/or angle iron bracing.

Considerations in choosing the size of the light pole banners?

Things such as wind speed in your area. We don't recommend "wind pockets" as they weaken the banners' structure and reduce wind load by 5-10% maximum. A 24 inch by 60 inch banner should handle most areas' wind speeds, and reinforced webbing can also give the banners additional strength.

Visibility - at what distance do you want the message of the banners read. Graphic banners, are, of course, mainly to brighten the area, so are accents to the overall theme of your town, shopping area, university, etc.

Light Pole Banner Print


What is shadowing and how do I avoid it?

Shadowing occurs when you have a double sided banner and the sun or bright light is behind it, making the darker portions of the print on the sunny side appear in the lighter areas of the shadow side. A simple 3 piece construction using a light-weight "silver blockout" fabric will alleviate shadowing with fabric banners.

Heavy vinyl banners - 17 or 18oz. or heavier - often have a blockout layer in between the two sides to prevent shadowing.

Should I use one banner or two banners per light pole?

It all depends on your budget and the look you want to achieve, as well as the load rating of the light pole itself. Most light poles will be strong enough to handle a 2 ft. x 4 ft. or 2 ft. x 5 ft. banner on both sides, but you'll want to check with your local authorities before taking my word on sizing.

They may want the engineering department to make sure the poles are strong enough to handle the wind load, similar to the engineering required for flag poles in general.

Are all light pole banners double-sided?

No. Many are single-sided as there may be budgetary limitations or the banners may be on a one way street.

Do both images need to be the same on double-sided ones?

No. Images may vary from pole to pole and side to side. That is completely up to you as the client.

Light Pole Banner Materials


What material should be used for pole banners?

Available materials include PVC (vinyl) banners, both single and double sided, and polyester dye sublimation printed pole banners, again, both single and double sided. With the polyester banners, we always recommend the "silver blockout" light weight fabric be sewn between the layers.

There is also a single piece polyester fabric that has a blockout layer integral to the fabric, but it makes the fabric just toward light gray, so we rarely recommend that fabric if bright colors are used in your design. A black and white print would work OK with this type of fabric, but we recommend a 3-piece construction as it looks better, and is much more wind resistant.

What are the Grommets made of? Do I need grommets on a light pole banner?

Grommets are typically metal or plastic, and are sometimes used on the pole edge of the banner to keep it from "walking" off the pole. However, if the banner is installed properly, grommets are not typically necessary.

What are the materials for the pole banner hardware?

Mainly fiberglass, aluminum, or steel for the pole, and usually aluminum or steel for the base and strapping.

What affects the cost?

Mainly size and material. Fabric is usually slightly higher cost than vinyl.

Durability of the Banners

What is the actual longevity of the light pole banners?

Pole banners should last, on average, 2-3 years or longer. However, the sun, wind, and weather will affect longevity negatively, so professional installation is a must where wind and weather are concerned. Sunny climates will reduce the life expectancy of any pole banners, vinyl or polyester.

Are they weather resistant?

Yes, to a point (see previous answer).

What is the best rust proof method?

Aluminum, fiberglass, or stainless steel hardware components should alleviate this concern.

Barry Brown has been in the Sign, Banner, Decal and Display Business for over 20 years. It isn't what he thought he'd do with his life, but he says he knows too much now to do anything else! He has been marketing these products online since 1998, and the company he was general manager of in 1998 was the first sign company to be listed on Yahoo!

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