There are millions of streetlight poles out there, and dozens of
manufacturers. I have compiled 5 of what I have seen to be the most
common. These designs can still be found in most every place in the
United States. These poles are primarily meant for cobra-head
Each one of these poles (with the exception of the davit pole) has a counterpart with similar design that attaches to wooden poles. An unsupported upsweep arm on a wooden pole is also known as a cantilever.
The single and double-guy poles are now on my endangered species list. They are still very common on wooden poles, but to my knowledge are no longer being made for metal poles. These poles were common back in the day of remote-ballast luminaires. The arm itsself was usually made of slender pipe, so the guy wires were necessary to keep the lamp at the end of the arm from swaying too violently. It was the first realistic way to extend the length of the arm.
The upsweep arm has been around forever as well. Often, especially in older installations, you'll see upsweep arms with a small support arch underneath the arm. These arches were ment to help stabilize the luminaire, but they also improved the look of the pole. Most new upsweep arms are without such arches, as they are not needed with todays sturdier construction, but some manufacturers still offer them.
Tapered elliptical, davit and Truss-arm poles are commonly found throughout the US and are still being manufactured by most companies. My experience has told me these have not been around as long as guy or upsweep arms. Here in Washington, the WSDOT uses two main types of poles. The davit seems the most common these days. Another style, which I call the double-davit (The state calls it "Angular") is also very common. It has two small bends (see picture of GE M1000 in Seatac on pictures page for an example).
I travel a lot for work. In my travels, here is what I have seen each state/province using (in new construction on state/provincial highways): Davit Poles: Washington, British Columbia, Alberta, Minnesota, Rhode Island. Double Davits: Washington, Utah, New Mexico. Truss-Arm: Texas, Florida, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Ontario, Quebec, New York, Ohio, Nebraska. (there are likely more states using trusses, I just haven't seen them) Upsweep: Alaska, Oregon, California, Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Pennsylvania. Also, span wire installations can be seen on interstates in Michigan.
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