Turns out the poles are not "cheesy", "they are cast aluminum!! They will probably be grouted around the base for a more finished look".
It was quite interesting watching the process.
The bulb is a sodium vapor lamp. Because of its shape I think it is a High pressure sodium (HPS) lamp, according to this Wikipedia link.
The globe or housing has a reflector built inside the top that directs the light downward and reduces light pollution. I will blog a night photo once they are all installed.
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