You’re proud to be an American—and you know that the best way to showcase your patriotism is by flying the stars and stripes each day!
Many homeowners or business owners like to fly the flag, but have you been thinking about flying your flag in the evening? Leaving your flag up all the time can save time, since you don’t need to hoist it down and up each day.
However, before you can fly your flag in the dark, you need to understand American flag lights. These are an essential requirement when flying after dark.
To find out more, keep reading to find five key tips and rules about using lighting on the US flag.
1. Use Bright Lighting
You might not know this about our stars and stripes, but there are actually clear guidelines that explain how the flag should be treated, handled, and respectfully disposed of.
These guidelines are known as the Flag Code and were put in place under federal law. While it’s worth reading, since it helps you better understand how to care for your flag and when to fly it, the Flag Code also talks about flying your flag in the evening.
Under the section ‘Time and occasions for display’, the Flag Code states that the flag should be flown between sunrise and sunset. However, for a patriotic display, it specifies that you can fly the flag 24/7, as long as it is ‘properly illuminated’.
This brings us to our biggest point about flag pole lights—use bright lighting! Out of respect for the flag, you need to illuminate it brightly so that it can clearly be seen.
This means you should use bright lights specifically designed for flags.
2. Ensure Your Flag Lights Are Illuminating the Entire Flag
Our next tip—to properly light your flag, it needs to be fully lit. This means your lights need to be positioned in a way that allows that light to shine on all of the flag, not just part of it.
For very large flags, this means that you may need several lighting fixtures. Otherwise, you might only illuminate the flag pole and part of the flag.
A specialty flag store should be able to advise you on what size lights will work best, based on the dimensions of your flag. They can also help with installation, if you’re not able to do it yourself.
3. Clean Your Lights Regularly
It might not be something you think about often, but lights aren’t something that can just be installed and forgotten about. As part of your flagpole maintenance, you’ll need to clean your lights regularly.
This is because lights can easily get coated with dust, debris, mud, or even garbage, which blocks their light. This results in dim lighting for your flag which will make it harder to be seen.
To prevent this, wipe your lights clean (in the daytime, when they’re turned off), with a damp cloth and some soap, if needed. It will only take a few minutes, but it’ll make a big difference to the brightness of your lights.
4. If Your Lights Go Out, Take Down the Flag
Hopefully, your lights will last for years! However, not all lightbulbs are long-lasting, so keep a close watch on your lights—if they go out, take down your flag right away.
You might think it’s fine to leave the flag flying for a few days, until you can go out and buy light bulbs. However, as mentioned in the Flag Code, American flags should never be flown in darkness, as it’s disrespectful—which is a bad look for your business.
To avoid this problem, think about switching to a solar light flag. Because solar flag pole lights automatically recharge themselves each day in the sun, they’ll never go out.
They’re a great investment as they give you peace of mind that your flag will stay brightly illuminated each night, even if you’re not there to keep an eye on it. Solar lights will also save you money over time, since you won’t need to replace your lightbulbs as often.
5. Point Your Lights Upwards
When setting up your flag lights, be sure to position them carefully. It makes sense to point lights horizontally or diagonally toward your flag, but this isn’t actually correct.
Instead, install your lights at the base of your flagpole and point them upwards. This way, they’ll shine bright on your flag, no matter what direction the wind is blowing.
Be sure your lights are securely anchored into the ground as well, so that they won’t be uprooted by heavy wind or storms.
It may take some trial and error to get your lights correct, but you’re sure to get there!
Show Your Patriotism With American Flag Lights
There’s no better way to display your love of America than by displaying the flag outside your home or business. But to be sure the flag looks amazing, day or night, use these tips to set up your American flag lights.
Once you find the right lighting system for your needs, your flag can shine brightly for years to come! Just be sure to inspect your flag regularly as well, making sure it hasn’t become torn or damaged by the wind and weather.
Get started today and your flag will soon be ready to light up the night!