mailing list
site map

ilp archive : journals

public lighting no. 23 vol. 6
Oct-Dec 1941

Editorial p49
War-time Lighting p49
Mr. Dow's paper on war-time lighting, read before the Royal Society of Arts should be circulated among members of Lighting Committees, and in particular those authorities whose streets remain unlighted after dark and which are situated outside prohibited areas. In 1939-40 the number of persons killed during darkness was more than three times those who suffered in daylight. This is sufficient argument for many Lighting Commmittees to make a definite decision to install whatever restricted lighting they can.
Lighting: ARP

Testing Street Lighting from the Air p49
If further evidence were still neede to reassure officials against fears that modified street lighting can be seen by hostile aircraft, attention is drawn to the report made by two members of the Chigwell U.D.C, who were flown officially over the area at 1,500 ft. and reporting that nothing whatever could be seen at that low altitute.
Lighting: ARP

Memorial Street Lamps p49
In recent years the practice of erecting specially designed and really artistic columns has almost disappeared. Earl Grey refered to the lamps of Europe going out one by one. But the day is now drawing nearer when "the lamps of liberty" thoroughout the world will be rekindled and the lamps of all towns and cities will be set burning. The lamp and column on which is rests can therefore signify for future generations this analogy. So the lamp column can, and should, be made the means of an outstanding and useful memorial for days to come. Let columns of worthy design be erected on suitable sites about towns, supporting a light that shall continue to remind generations that, in this land, liberty was maintained. When the day of peace does come, let the weapons of war be melted don, and let much of the metal be used for columns beautiful, supporting lamps of outstanding brightness.
Lighting: ARP

Lamps Ready For Use p49
Passing through a certain town recently, it was noticed that the lamps were not only "blacked out" by an official order byt were "blackened out" by the vicissitudes of clumatic change. This was an exception case of neglect when care for all equipment should be a matter of first importance, it brings home the need to keeping all apparatus connected with the public lighting department in efficient working order.
Lighting: ARP

War-Time Lighting In Glasgow p50
Many authorities appear to be still trying to make up their minds as to the worthwhileness of Synthetic Starlight as it was first described. The only difficulty in securing adequate supplies of fittings immediately they became available dictated the progress of the new lighting.
Lighting: ARP, Lighting: Installations

The Lamp Column Beautiful p52
Pictures of two stately lamp columns to be seen in London.
Lighting: Columns, Lighting: History, Lighting: Installations

London Lamp Columns With A History by C. I. Winstone p53
Historical information about various columns in London including Prince Consort Road, Apsley Gate, Trafalgar Square, Chelsea Embankment, Cornwall Terrace,
Lighting: Columns, Lighting: Installations

Lighting Restrictions by Idle Thoughts of a Busy Fellow p55
War time provision of lighting was not considered before the war. Some tests were made of traffic problems under black-out conditions but the official mind was undoubtedly working on the lines of complete black out. In this atmosphere was born the Lighting (Restrictions) Order, a restrictive rather than permissive principle. There are several points which should have been included in the Order which would've made road conditions somewhat easier.
It is well known to those in the profession that lighting has never been well organised as other social services and when the Lighting (Restrictions) Order came into operation many local authorities gladly grasped the opportunity of disbanding their lighting organisation.
After two years of war certain facts are now available which might make it desirable to review the general atmosphere of the Order.
It can now be argued that lighting restrictions have not, in actual fact, saved any areas from bombing. Instances can be cited proving that areas without "Starlighting" have suffered as much as those with "Starlighting." However, lighting restrictions are in force. The ability to see in darkened streets is essentially one of maintaining the human eye in a dark-adapted state. The selfish motorist with baldy adjusted lamps, and the pedestrian using his torch in a careless manner, are both equally guilty of destroying "black-out" conditions.
Street Lighting: One of the most important aids to movement is modified street lighting which has been met with such mixed reception. This mixed reception can, in part, be traced to the absence of authoritative announcements from the Government that "Starlighting" is not dangerous. But it can be agreed that even modified street lighting does provide a certain amount of real safety from tangible and intangible dangers. Local authorities should have been forced to adopt it, even if such compulsion must be accompanied by financial assistance either by grant or by total reimbursement. It would be interesting to find out the reasons why so many local authorities have not adopted it. I hazard the guess that a great many have not adopted it on purely financial grounds. Also the Lighting (Restrictions) Order ignores maintenance and does not state a minimum value of illumination. A word of warning concerning gas "Starlighting": it is sometimes difficult to attain and not supply considerably more than 0.0002 ft. candles. Factors such as inlet pressure, calorific value and diameter of nipple orifice are most important. Again, most of these gas "Starlights" are burning 24 hours per day, and little or no attempt is made to maintain them as would a pre-war installation.
"Keep Left" Bollards etc.: Here the position is extremely important and the position is one of chaos thoroughout the country because the only test for compliance with the Order is that of ability to see the bollards at certain distances - criteria which is completely ambiguous and undesirable. Many local authorities are not in a position to maintain the intensity and the final judgement is by the police. The resultant illumination of these bollards varies in the area of every authority according to the opinion of the police. It is important that all aids to movement are uniform throughout the country - not only with their intensity but regards their positioning. There are cases where St. Andrews crosses are used when red lamps should be used, and there are red St. Andrew's crossed which are not in the Lighting (Restrictions) Order.
Car Lighting: The ill-use of headlamsp is one of the greatest contributory factors towards destroying "dark adaption" and consequently the large number of accidents after dark. Compliance with the Order is extremely simple, and the failure to comply must be put down to carelessness/selfishness on the part of the driver, and lack of insistence on the part of the police. The problem is the maladjustment of the headlamp itself. The position is made doubly difficult by the official permission to use two headlamps.
Bicycles: Further legislation is required to cope with the danger of push cyclists using dynamo lighting sets.
White Armbands etc.: It is rather surprising more use has not been made of this method of distinguishing pedestrians.
Shelter Lighting: An attempt to provide a suitable working specification was made, but the cost was considered too high, with the result that shelter lighting became an amenity grudgingly allowed by means of mains lighting. The design of soem shelters has made it impossible to provide comfortabel lighting inside without violating the Lighting (Restrictions) Order outside, and it shuold be remembered that the periods during which these shelters are in use are the precise periods during which lighting should not be visible from outside.
Maintenance: There are indications this is not being given the imporantance which it demands. Simple tests will reveal the great depreciation caused by inattention.
After The War: One fo the first reactions will be a demand for the return of public lighting. It is incumbent upon lighting officials to organise their service so that it can be put back into operation as soon as possible. Much can be done now. What about the gas services which have not been used for years, the timeswitches and gas controllers left to rust in their housing? What about the chokes and condensers - have they been brought into stores? What about painting overhead brackets, span wires, lantern fixings and span hooks?
Lighting: ARP, Lighting: Maintenance, Lighting: Safety, Lighting: Specifications

Lighting In War-time from a paper read by Mr. J. S. Dow, B.Sc before The Royal Society Of Arts p57
In reviewing the last two years, Mr. Dow divided his subject into Indoor Lighting and Outdoor Lighting. Under the first heading, "there should be no need in these days, to stress the importance of good, industrial lighting in the interests of health, safety and efficiency of workings." During the present emergency there is every inducement to encourage the best possible conditions of factory lighting.
The regulations controlling the extinction of all outdoor lighting, imposed at the outbreak of war, were framed without actual experience of a prolonged black-out and were baed on the broad assumption that no ilght at all could be permitted in streets and open spaces. Even before the outbreak of war, committees had alraedy been formed to explore series of technical problems. Out of these enquires soon developed the Joint Lighting Committee of the Ministry of Home Security.
The work on war-tiem industrial lighting fittings formed a useful introduction to the more serious task of designing war-tiem street lighting. The problem, as presented to the Society, was to devise a system of war-time street lighting which could be allowed to remain on continuously during darkness, even in the event of an air raid. Lighting was to be provided not on private property but in public streets; and no provision for extinction in the event of an air raid was contemplated. These two points explain why there was no latitude in the methods of securing the specified conditions and to rely exclusively on the use of licensed standard fittings. (It may be said here that the lighting industry rose to the occasion with conspicious success. Although different methods of attack - some highly ingenious - were adopted by different firms a number of fittings with common characteristics were quickly designed and approved, and many thousands are now in actual use).
The conditions to met bet were: (1) Fittings should be so designed that no light emitted about the horizontal; (2) The illumination should be evenly distributed between posts and (3) the illumination should not exceed a certain maximum, still to be determined. The third factor was the crux of the problem. (1). What was the highest illumination that could be safely permitted for general use? (2) And would this illumination prove of any substantial value? The problem was approached by way of the work already done on fittings designed to furnish 0.002 and 0.02 foot-candles (for industrial use), and experiments were first conducted on stretches of road-way illuminated to this order. The first point could only be settled by aerial obserations. The second point was studied by the aid of ground observations in which many groups of volunteers too part, some as drivers of cars, others as pedestrians. It was ultimately decided that the order of illumination of "synthetic starlight" (0.0002 foot-candles) could be provided with safety.
The exact nature of the lighting having been specified in British Standard Specification (BS/ARP 37), the next step was to arrange for educational demonstrations with a view to explaining the basis of the system to those most deeply interested and in particular to chairmen of lighting committees. The importance of 'the human factor' is illustrated by fluctuations in public opinion. Initally in the winter of 1939-40, when no serious air raids had been experienced, the difficulty was to establish a belief that the value of illumination was high enough to be of service - whilst later on, when trouble had been experienced, reaaurance was necessary to convince the public that it was not high enough to be a source of danger. Even quite recently some authorities have hesitated to install the system in the belief that it is visible from above and during air raids, misguided citizens have thrown stones at the fittings.
With the APLE, a series of lectures and demonstrations was arranged in London and other cities. One of the most important was that held in Westminster on 6th, 7th and 8th February, 1940, when some hundreds of representatives attended from local authorities all over the United Kingdom. They could then tour the streets of the City of Westminster and judge for themselves streets provided with war-time street lighting and those with no lighting. (The darkest night when there was no moon were selected). But owing to an ingenious idea developed by J. M. Waldram and associated at the GEC, it was possible to demonstrate indoors the visibility at various heights of observation of different degrees of illumination on nights of moonlight, complete obscurity and intermediate conditions.
Of outstanding importance is the accentuation of contrasts between objects and background - for under these 'twilight' conditions an object of quite substantial size which reflects only 20-30% less light than the adjacent roadway may easily escape recognition. Such devices as the whitening of kerbs and the trunks of trees on sidewalks are therefore extremely useful. Pedestirans can also increase the contrast between themselves and the background by carrying some white object or substantial size.
The records of two years of war during which about 20,000 people have been killed on the roads of Britain deserves study. In 1939-40 the number of pedestrians and 'other road users' killed during darkness was more than three times those who suffered in daylight.
There are still many places which, even yet, have not installed war-time street lighting. In addition, a good deal might doubtless be done to improve visibilty under present conditions: the use of white paint; ensuring that the brightness of motor headlights and sidelights does not exceed the present minium requirement; and possibly permitting a higher illumination (perhaps 0.002 foot-candles) at such spots as safety islands, traffic roundabouts and pedestrian crossings.
Lighting: ARP, Lighting: Levels, Lighting: Maintenance , Lighting: Safety, Lighting: Specifications, Lighting: Theory, Statistics: Accident Data

A Front-Illuminated A.R.P. Signs p60
The A.R.P. signs installed to guide the public to shelters, first aid posts etc. amply proved their usefulness during last winter. The front illuminated all-metal type stood up to the blast of bombs, many authorities since placing orders. A new symbol has recently been authorised by the Ministry of Home Security for indicating the Public Gas Cleansing Centres, and signs incorporating this are in addition to the range of A.R.P. signs supplied by the GEC.
Lighting: ARP, Lighting: Signs

Reducing Road Accidents p60
The Minister of War Transport has appointed a committee under the chairmanship of Col. J. J. Llewellin, M.P., Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport, with the following terms of reference: "To consider and frame such plans as are possible in war-time for reducing accidents on the roads and for securing improvement in the conduct of road users in the interests of safety." It is felt in several quarters that representatives of the A.P.L.E. should be invited to serve with those already appointed from the R.S.P.A., Home Office and Ministry of War Transport.
Lighting: ARP, Lighting:Legal, Lighting: Safety

Councillors Test Street Lighting From The Air p60
It was revealed at Chigwell Urban District Council meeting at the Council Offices on November 19th, 1941, that in order to give peace of mind to certain nervous ratepayers in the area, Councillers Rev. E. Sutton-Pryce, B.D. and R. F. J. Smith had flown over the Chigwell area at a height of 1500 ft. to ascertain whether the low-intenstiy street lighting would be visible to enemy raiders. They reported that nothing whatever could be seen of the lighting at that low altitude. The Council adopted the resolution stating that they wished the public to realise that there is absolutely no danger from air attack due to low-intensity street lighting.
Lighting: ARP

Road Accidents p60
The House Of Lords White Paper, issued on November 11th is described as "a Return relating to road accidents and steps being taken to reduce their number." An analysis of the war-time road accident figures, causes of the increase in fatalities are suggested. First, "there is the completely 'unexpected' type of accident which is more frequent in the black-out and is usually more serious in results; and, second, the higher proportion of comparatively heavy traffic now on the roads."

Among the more important war-time measures affecting road safety which have been put into operation up to the autumn of 1941 are: (1) Cycle rear lights have been made compulsory; (2) Masked headlamps are allowed to vehicles; (3) The use of reflector studs is encouraged; (4) Vehicles waiting at night may no longer be parked facing the traffic and (5) Intenstive propaganda campaigns have been are are being carreid out by the Government.
Lighting: ARP, Lighting: Legal, Lighting: Safety

Dr. C. C. Paterson, O.B.E., D.Sc. p60
Brief note congratulating Paterson on his invitation to join the board of the GEC.
Lighting: Personnel

Adverts: William Sugg And Co., Ltd., Engineering And Lighting Equipment Co. Ltd. Siemens Electric Lamps And Supplies Ltd., Metropolitan Vickers Electrical Co. Ltd, British Commercial Gas Association, The British Thomson-Houston Co. Ltd., British, Foreign And Colonial Automatic Light Controlling Co., Ltd., APLE, Public Lighting and The General Electric Co., Ltd.