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Bollards, Pedestals & Posts Explained

Author: Peter Hopper
Published: June 27, 2014

Are bollards, posts, and pedestals all the same type of light? If not, what are the differences? If you shop for outdoor lights you’ll run into these labels, which often cause confusion. The situation is made worse by manufacturers’ interchangeable use of different words to mean the same thing. What are bollards to some may be post lights to others. In this article, Lyco helps you make sense of baffling classification.


The terms “bollard” and “post” are often used to refer to the same type of light fitting by manufacturers and vendors alike. There is little consistency, which means you’re better off searching both terms if you want a complete cache of products to choose from. However, what is a bollard? A bollard was originally a stout mooring post on a ship or quay, and it now commonly refers to thick posts designed to separate motorised and pedestrian areas.

Bollards and posts are both outdoor lights that usually stand up to a metre or so high. Taking the traditional meaning into account, a bollard is always likely to be a broader fitting. If you search for bollards on the Lyco website, three products appear.

  • The stylish Eterna Louvred Bollard has a slatted design that prevents glare. It stands 1100mm tall and is relatively wide, too. Its attractive black finish blends well with foliage.
  • The Linum Mini Bollard is much smaller at just 160mm tall. Its appearance is not unlike a pint of Guinness (fittingly, a pint of stout), which may make it more attractive to some!
  • The modern Birch Bollard is a sturdy square column, 450mm tall and made of stainless steel.

These products—certainly the larger two—are heavy-duty units particularly well suited to commercial applications. Their robust construction tends to characterise bollard lights, but not exclusively.

Post Lights

Most of our post lights are slim in form by comparison to a bollard. Take the Parma Post, for instance, which is 1180mm tall and shaped like a miniature lamp post. This traditional post light is made of aluminium and comes in a lacquered matt black finish with a stainless steel top. The Parma is part of a co-ordinated range of wall and pedestal lights from leading Swedish manufacturer, Konstsmide.

Another post light of note is the Endon Cone LED Post. Decidedly contemporary in design, this is a dedicated LED luminaire with a 30,000 hour lifespan. It does a great job in lighting paths and driveways, and with a shielded light it naturally avoids glare. An IP54 rating denotes strong resistance to dust and rain. The Cone is also part of a harmonised range of exterior lights.

The Searchlight Tall Stainless Steel Post delivers bright, economical light from its cluster of 24 LEDs. Both this and the preceding Cone Post produce a cool white “daylight” light, which lends a natural colour to surrounding plants and items. If you’re after a particularly welcoming effect, perhaps for the entrance to a hospitality premises, a warmer light may be preferred.

Pedestal Lights

A pedestal is a base or support by definition. It follows that pedestal lights are short fittings with a simple base, often positioned on wall corners to mark the entrance of a drive, garden, path, or patio. They’re sometimes placed along steps or paths, to provide an extra element of safety as well as style.

The following products are classed by Lyco as pedestal lights.

The Berlin Pedestal Light provides great value as a contemporary luminaire. A shortened version of a post light, the Berlin is ideal for marking the edges of paths and drives, or for highlighting plants and grass. Post lights are a better choice among tall plants and shrubs, while pedestal lights work well in open, unobscured areas.

A versatile and modern pedestal light is the SLV Gloo Pure 44 Pedestal Lantern. Perfectly vertical pedestals would look a little odd on top of a wall, but a shaped fitting such as the Gloo is better in this role. It can also be used along paths and driveways, with the proviso that its glass diffuser shouldn’t be at great risk of being clumped by a car. The opal finish of the glass creates a beautiful soft light, while the anthracite finish of the base blends well with plants and foliage.

There’s more...

We can’t leave the subject of bollards, pedestals and post lights without peeking at lamp posts. Much taller than post lights, these are closer to the older style of street light in size and appearance. Their height makes them especially useful where overhanging trees and shrubs would obscure lower lights. Below are a couple of lamp posts that Lyco are particularly proud of.

Lamp Posts

The Alex Post Lantern  closely resembles a traditional cast iron street lamp of yesteryear and is superb at the front of a long driveway. It does a good job in illuminating high walls and gateways, ensuring safe entrance for vehicles. This IP44 rated light is fully rainproof and comes with a 3-year guarantee against corrosion.

For a more contemporary design, the Glenbeigh Lamp Post may interest you. In addition to stylish modernity, this model offers a non-metal construction that makes it suitable for coastal locations. Its opal polycarbonate diffuser is shatter-resistant and produces an attractive diffuse light. Consistent with such durable construction, a reassuring 20-year guarantee is supplied.

Coastal use

Stainless steel and painted metal materials cannot withstand aggressive salt corrosion and are not recommended for coastal use. Normally, anywhere within 10 miles of the sea is counted as a coastal location by Lyco. Norlys steel and aluminium products come with long 15 and 25 year anti-corrosion guarantees, and they can be used as close as 4 miles from the sea without warranty invalidation.

Copper, galvanised steel and polycarbonate products are always suitable for coastal locations. For more information on this topic, please take a look at our Lighting Near The Coast feature.

Search filters

This article will hopefully have clarified the differences between bollards, pedestals, and post lights, even if the definitions are occasionally contradicted. Don’t forget to use our search filters, positioned at the left of product pages, to quickly find exactly what you need.

Take a look at our full range of Posts, Bollards & Pedestal Lighting

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