mailing list
site map


uk standards

The first attempt to devise a specification was many years before 1927 by a Committee of the Illuminating Engineering Society, one of the members who was A. P. Trotter, who was the doyen of lighting engineering.

1927: British Standard Specification 307: Street Lighting
1931: British Standard Specification 307: Street Lighting (Revised from 1927, out-of-print by 1943)
1935: M.O.T. Departmental Committee On Street Lighting: Interim Report
1937: M.O.T. Departmental Committee On Street Lighting: Final Report

A B.S.I. Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. C. C. Paterson pushed on with the preparation of a new specification to implement the M.O.T. Final Report (1937). Considerable progress was made before the war and a large number of comments were received. The most contentious point was the basis of the specification: was it on a horizontal illumination basis or the illumination on the vertical surface, or the candle power distribution or the distibution from the lamp.

1939: Memorandum On Aids To The Movement Of Traffic To Be Installed In Roads And Streets In The Absence Of Street Lighting
1939: Lighting (Restrictions) Order, 1939, No. 1098 (The 'Black-Out') [Defense Regulations Order?]
1940: British Standard Specification BS/APR 37: Street Lighting Under War-Time Conditions ('Starlight Lighting')
1940: Lighting (Restrictions) Order, 1940
1944: Home Security Circular, No. 97/1944, July 1944: ('Dim Out' Lighting or 'Moonlight Lighting')
1944: Home Security Circular, No. 108/1944, 9th September 1944: [I believe this allowed London to apply "Dim-Out" lighting]
1945: Home Security Circular, No. 8/1945, 1945: (Street lighting installations should be brought into good repair in preparation for full service).

Before the end of hostilities, the main Committee under Dr. C. C. Paterson instructed the drafting sub-committee to try and get on with the work again and their first meeting was held in 1944. In the meantime, a very strong opinion had been expressed that it was not desirable to go ahead with the preparation of a standard specification. The view was held that street lighting was not a suitable subject for a specification, and they suggested there should be of Code of Practice setting forth the general aims to be achieved and leaving the designer and user to go as far as possible in the direction pointed out in the Code. It was suggested that the Code might be supplemented by the specification of a street lamp. The position was debated at one very long meeting of the main Committee and it was decided by a quite substantial majority opinion that a specification should be proceeded with.

1945: Draft British Standard Specification CH-ELG-1524: A draft specification was produced in the autumn of 1945. It was produced by a sub-committee of five. They were Mr. Elford of Wandsworth and Mr. Colquhoun of Sheffield (Borough Engineers), Mr. F. C. Smith (The Gas Light and Coke Company) and Mr. J. M. Waldram (The General Electric Company Limted) (researchers from the point of view of gas and electricity), and Mr. E. Stroud (President of the Illuminating Engineering Society). Mr. J. W. Walsh was the chairman of the sub-committee.

1951: British Standard Specification BS 1788: Street Lighting Lanterns (First Edition)
1952: Code Of Practice: CP 1004:1952 (First Edition)
1963: Code Of Practice: CP 1004:1963 (Second Edition)
1964: British Standard Specification BS 1788: Street Lighting Lanterns (Second Edition)
1973: Code Of Practice: CP 1004:1973 (Third Edition)
1976: British Standard Specification BS 4533
1987: British Standard Specification BS 5489-1 (Fourth Edition)
1992: British Standard Specification BS 5489-1 (Fifth Edition)
2003: British Standard Specification BS 5489-1 (Sixth Edition)

street lighting theories

The "illumination model" based on interior lighting practice was used until the late 1920s. It led to British Standard Specification 307 (1927).

The "negative contrast" or "silhouette vision" of street lighting practice was developed by members of the GEC from the late 1920s. The development of the medium-pressure mercury vapour lamp (MA) allowed the "mechanism" to be determined and it became the major theoretical underpinning of street ligthing practice from the mid-1930s to the 1960s. The concept of "revealing power" was developed to quantify and rate various systems. The ideas formed the foundations of the theory of the MOT Report (1937) and the subsequent British Standards Code Of Practice (1952).

A "constant glare" model was suggested by Sandeman in 1936. Rather than subject the driver to changing glare conditions, Sandeman put forward a fitting which produced constant illumination at all angles of observation. Unfortunately he did not consider the effect of road illumination or reflection by such lanterns and the idea was never pursued. - [Sandeman, 1936]

In the 1939 paper, Lighting Of Bends And Junctions, Middleton suggested changes to the optical system of lanterns. "Instead of projecting high intensity beams towards approaching traffic, they should be directed to those regions forming an important porportion of the field of view, where normally minimum brightness is apparent." Middleton proposed such a system would work well for junctions and roundabouts where he considered lighting (using conventional 'silhouette'/negative constast theory) was lacking. - [Middleton, 1939]


Sam H. B. Langlands gave a brief timeline of lamp development: Flat Flame Burners, Carbon Lamps, Arc Lamps ('Open Type'?), Gas Mantles, Flame Arc Lamps ('Oriflame'?), Oliver Magazine Arc, High Pressure Gas Lamps, Tungsten Filament Lamps (Single Coil), Tungsten Filament Lamps (Coiled Coil) and Discharge Lamps. - [Public Lighting #36, 1945]

Captain A. J. Liberty recalled that in the City of London the progress was: Flat Flame Burners, Welsbach upright gas mantles, Jablochkoff arc lamps (experimental), Welsback inverted gas mantle, Arc Lamps ('Open Type'), Flame Arc Lamps ('Oriflamme'), Kern burners (for high pressure gas), Tungsten Filament Lamps and Discharge Lamps - [Public Lighting #38, 1945]

Note that lamp type designations (such as MA, MB etc.) seem to first appear in 1938, notably in a paper by J. N. Aldington.

MA Lamp
"Osira" Luminous Tube Lamp (1932-1933 literature)
High Pressure Mercury Vapour Lamp (HPMV) (until superceeded by the MB in 1937).
Hard Glass Mercury Vapour Lamp
Medium Pressure Mercury Vapour Lamp (MA) (post 1937 literature)

Manufactured as: Osira by the GEC, Mercra by BTH, Crompta by Crompton, Escura by Edison Swan, Metrovick by Metropolitan Vickers, Philora by Philips and the Sieray by Siemens. (Sieray "H" was the standard MA lamp available in 250W and 400W sizes, whilst the Sieray "W" was the doped MA lamp available in 400W size only.)

GEC British Patents: 344497, 384067,391971, 397162, 405605 and other British Patents and pending patent applictions.

Trialled in June 1932. Full scale installation in March 1933.

Life: 1500 hours. (Initial - pre-war).
Life: 3000 hours. (Extended near the end of the war) - [Public Lighting #40, 1946]

MA 400W 1932: 40 lm/W For the lighting of roads carrying heavy motor traffic.
MA 250W 1934: 36 lm/W For the lighting of secondary roads.
MA 400W 1935: 45 lm/W
MA (colour modified)
400W 1935: 37 lm/W With cadmium/zinc additions to the discharge tube. Not recommended for street lighting due to the low efficiency. Sold as the Sieray "W" type.
MAT 500W 1935: 25 lm/W Also known as the Sieray "Dual Lamp" and developed at the Siemens Lamps Works in Preston in 1936. In early 1937, a version with modified electrodes was developed for D.C. supplies. (Gives approximately 50% more light than a 500W Gasfilled Lamp).
MAT 300W 1937: 21 lm/W First introduced in 1937. (Gives approximately 33% more light than a 300W Gasfilled Lamp).
MA 150W 1936: 32 lm/W To be used at low mounting heights.
MA/H 250W 1937: 33 lm/W
MA/H 400W 1937: 40 lm/W
400W 1937: 37 lm/W First introduced on the 1st December 1937. With cadmium/zinc additions to the discharge tube and fluorescent powder on the inner surface of the outer bulb. Two versions produced: isothermal bulb and tubular bulb. (Tubular bulb would be less efficient over life due to degradation of the fluorescent powders but developed to fit in existing light fittings.)
400W 1944: 38 lm/W

  • Light source three times the efficiency previously available with GLS.
  • Its use brought on unexpected developments in the knowledge of the mechanism of street lighting and radical change in the basis on which installations designed.

Due to J. W. Ryde and colleagues at the GEC Research Laboratories that the practical form of this lamp was produced which was capable of operating at high efficiency for a long life on the ordinary supply mains.

It consists of a tubular glass vessel containing rare gases (argon) at low pressure and a small quantity of mercury. At eitehr eind of the tube is sealed an electrode. The discharge raises the temperature of the electrodes and bulb which increases the vapour pressure of the mercury. If the pressure is sufficient then the discharge takes the form of a narrow, intensely bright column between the electrodes.

Aluminosilicate glass used for the inner tube, developed especially by the GEC for this purpose. It could only withstand pressures up to one atmosphere. (It was known that a quartz inner tube could be operated at higher pressures with more efficiency but there are problems sealing the electrodes through the quartz).

The electrodes consist of a stick of rare-earth oxides, held in a tungsten spiral. (It is a variation of the Wehnelt cathode). To vapourise all the mercury and obtain an adequate and constant mercury-vapour pressure, local cooling must be avoided. Therefore it is sealed into a second tubular bulb. The outer bulb contains oxygen at low pressure as this has been found to reduce a formation of an absorbing film on the inside of the inner bulb. A metallic coating to the ends of the inner bulb is applied in order to prevent low temperatures in this locations.

An auxiliary electode is used to facilitate starting. This is a wire sealed to the inner bulb near one main electrode and is connected through a high resistance.

The electodes are heated by bombardment and as they, and the bulb, is warmed up then the mercury is vapourised.

Dimensions controlled by the luminous efficiency, maintenance of light output during life and stability of the discharge.

Life is 1500 hours. During life blackening gradually occurs at the ends of the buld and efficiency falls.

400W rating chosen as 400W lamp has an efficiency about two-and-a-half times the 1000W GLS lamp. It was conceived as a replacement for the 1000W GLS lamp for industrial, area and street lighting. Therefore it was capable of producing first class public lighting when used with spacings of 100-200 feet.

Fitted with a GES (E40s) screw cap.

Colour modification is achieved by:

  • Use of an auxiliary external tungsten filament lamp.
  • By introduction of cadmium and zinc into the mercury lamp. This adds a small amount of red and a large amount of blue. (This type of lamp was not recommended for street lighting due to efficiency losses).
  • Incorporation of a filament into the mercury lamp itself (designated MAT).
  • Use of fluorescent substances such as the organic dye Rhodamine which aborbs yellow-green light and emits orange-red light. Unfortunately Rhodamine converts visible light, efficiency is reduced, and it slowly decomposes under ultra-violet light. It was used to coat the reflectors around the lamp. By 1936, the use of Barium Sulphide and Cadmium Zinc Sulphide to the inside of the lamps and to transparent panels in the fitting were being investigated.

By 1937, two versions of the luminescent 400W lamp were made available. The primary light source was the inner tube of a special 400W mercury-cadmium discharge lamp designed to operated with the normal 400W choke coil. The outer bulb was internally coated with the luminescent powder. The isothermal bulb was designed to give the optimum performance where the lighting fitting imposes no restriction on the bulb shape; the tubular bulb was designed that it will go into normal discharge fittings. The efficiency was 37 lumens per watt. The red-ratio is now 5%-6% as compared with 1% of the normal lamp.

Lamps could be burned horizontally by using an electro-magnetic deflector fitted into the lamp. The power loss in the deflector was slight so that the overall efficiency of the lamp was not materially reduced, but the cost of the lantern was increased by the extra component. This was first developed as the Mercra H lantern by BTH in 1934. Special lamps with a wider arc tube were also developed for horizontal mounting but were less efficient. Special chokes were also developed for the use of standard MA/V lamps mounted horizontally.

It was known during the development of the lamp that to take advantage of a known increase in efficiency by operating the lamp at higher vapour pressures, then it would be necessary to use fused silica or quartz for the containing vessel. The development of this lamp was delayed by the problems found creating a hermetic seal for the current leads.

By 1937, further research had enabeld glasses with higher softening points so that with only a slight reduction in mercury vapour pressure, special lamps can be operated horizontally without a magnetic deflector. Lamps of this kind in the 400W size had been used for floodlighting for some time, but it was only recently that they have been developed to a stage suitable for street lighting in 250W and 400W sizes. The proximity of the arc to the wall of the inner bulb produced a cooling action with affected the lamp voltage; therefore to ensure that the lamp wattage did not vary, choke tappings were be changed or specially designed chokes were be used.

In late 1937, a new Osira high pressure mercury vapour discharge lamp was been introduced by the GEC. (The luminescent or MAF lamp.) The new lamp was been designed with consideration for the colour of the light given - the luminescent powder coating on the inner side of the outer bulb converted invisible ultra-violet rays into visible rays at the red end of the spectrum. The lamp was made in a cone-shaped isothermal bulb and also in a tubular bulb for use in certain street lighting lanterns where dimensions didn't accomodate the cone shaped bulb. It was developed for industrial lighting to fulfil the need where colour discrimination was essential, but it also has an important application in street lighting for promenades, bus and coach stations, quaysides and landing stages. It could be used in existing 400W Osira circuits.

In late 1937, BTH also introduce the luminescent Mercra lamp which is also available in tubular and iso-thermal types.

MB Lamp
High Pressure Mercury Lamp (1937 literature)

Manufactured as: Mazda Mercra Lamps by BTH, Philora by Philips, Sieray "Q.H." High Pressure Mercury Lamps by Siemens. (Name probably from the "Q"uartz version of their "H" lamp).

Life: 1500 hours.

MB 80W 1937: 32 lm/W
1938: 38 lm/W
MB 125W 1937: 40 lm/W

Development ongoing in 1935. Philips Lamp Company announced the development of a single-seal glass which would join quartz to a tungsten wire for super high-pressure artifically cooled lamps. BTH were working on the molybdenum foil seal without the need for intermediate glasses whilst Siemens in 1936 developed a method of sealing molybdenum directly to quartz. Experimental lamps of this type existed in laboratories in late 1935/early 1936.

The arc passes between two special activated cathodes, one of which is associated with an auxilliary electrode to facilitate starting. Operating characterists in general are simialr to those of the high wattage lamps (initially the MA seris), the running up and cooling times are reduced.

Lamps can be operated in any position.

For the first time Electric Discharge Lamps of low wattage available in bulbs of the same shape and size as Gas Filled lamps. Initially advertised as could be used for equipment designed to accommodate the larger 150W and 200W Gas Filled Lamps.

Initially offered in 80W and 125W versions in 1937.

Two new ratings have been added to the H.P.M.V. range. It is in the form of the inner tube in which the arc burns that changes have been made. In the larger lamps this tube is made of glass and a lower limit to its size is set by the heat of the arc. Lamps of smaller wattage have smaller efficiencies. Thereore with smaller lamps, the efficiency can be raised if the arc is formed in a tube smaller than is possible with glass and the mercury vapour pressure is thereby increased. Use has been made of fused silica, and so it has been possible to rate the 125W and 80W lamps at 40 and 32 lumens per watt respectively. The arc is considerably smaller than in the higher wattage lamps and its brightness is consequently some six or seven times as high. Partly on this account the lamps are normally made with internally frosted (Pearl) outer bulbs to provide a certain amount of diffusion.

Increasing the mercury vapour pressure improves the colour of the light. The percentage of red light has increased from 1% to 2% and the proportion of blue light is greater.

The overall dimensions are similar to those of the 200W and 150W tungsten lamps and the middle of the arc in the lamp is at a position corresponding to that of the filament in the tungsten lamps. Glass temperatures are such that the lamps can be burned in the open without risk of cracking from rain splash. In order to avoid accidental insertion of the lamps into BC lampholders connected directly to the mains, a three-pin bayonet cap is used.

Development has also taken place in the design of chokes where the whole assembly is enclosed in a wax filled case. The advantages of this type of choke over the exposed type are the greater protection from weather and mechanical damage and the greater convenience in installation.

In early 1939, BTH introduce the luminescent Mercra MB lamp which is available in 80W (3BC) and 125W (ES) sizes.

Fluorescent Merucry Lamp (type MBF) available in two sizes: 80W (3040 lumens) and 125W (5000 lumens). Average life 15000. Internally coated bulbs. Three-pin bayonet caps.

Lamp Wattage 80 125
Standard Cap 3-pin B.C. 3-pin B.C.
Initial Light Output In Lumens 3040 5000
Efficiency In Lumens Per Watt (Initial) 38 40
Average Life In Hours 1500 1500
Overall Length (Distance of cap contact to bottom of lamp) 160 +/- 4.5 m/m 178 +/- 5.5 m/m
Diameter Of Outer Bulb 80 m/m 90 m/m
Light Centre Length (distance of cap contact to middle of discharge) 120 +/- 4 m/m 133 +/ 5 m/m
Length of Light Source 20 m/m 30 m/m

High Voltage Fluorescent Tube Reached perfection just before the war. The powders are not mixed together in a single tube, but each tube contains a single powder and the coloured light from the different fluorescent tubes is blended in the lighting unit. Attractive decorative effects could be obtained, and the mixed light have good colour rendering. The system has the further advantage that neon-filled fluorescent tubes can be used in addition to the mercury type, and enables a much larger range of white powders to be obtained than is possible in a single tube. The type of high-voltage fluorescent lighting unit standardised in this country comprises straight tubes about 9 ft. long and ¾ in diameter although other lengths of straight and curved tubing can be used. A typical unit comprises two outer tubes coated with zinc beryllium silicate and a centre tube coated with magnesium tunstate. The wattage is generally between 100 and 150W with efficiency between 20 and 30 l/W. A wide range of colours is available varying from warm pink or orange for recreational lighting to colours of the daylight type for commercial and industrial lighting. The units are run from leakage reactance transformers, one transformer operating from four to six tubes in series. The high open circuit voltage at the transformer starts the discharge instantaneously. Owning to limitations imposed by the cold cathode electrodes, the current through these tubes does not exceed about 60 mA. Thus the surface brightness is low, being only about ½ candles per cm2 for the brightest tube. This is a great advantage since no diffusing fitting is required to reduce glare.

Some installations in shops, factories and the foyer of GEC Research Labs. Pictures of "fluorescent tubes" from the 1930s are examples of these. Not used for street lighting.

Obsoleted by the Low Pressure Fluorescent Tube (MC) which was developed during the late 1930s. - [Public Lighting #24, 1942]

MC Lamp
Low Pressure Mercury Vapour Discharge Lamp / Luminescent Tube / Fluorescent Tube

Manufactured as: Crompta Fluorescent Tube by Crompton Parkinson (1940), Sieray Fluorescent Tube by Siemens (1940), ??? Fluorescent Tube by BTH (1941) and the Osira Fluorescent Tube by GEC (1941).

Life: ??? hours.

MC 80W 1940: 35 lm/W
5' Bayonet
MC 40W 1946: 40 lm/W
4' Bi-Pin

Mentioned by J. N. Aldington in his a 1938 paper. "The most striking use of fluorescence is that in which various powders are coated on the inside of low pressure mercury discharge tubes i.e. fluorescent tubes. Of very low power consumption, these tubes are being produced experimentally for interior illumination."

  • "The luminious radiation from the mercury is extremely low, most of the energy being in the ultra-violet region, which strongly excites the special powders now available."
  • "Fluorescent materials, capable of being excited by direct contact with low pressure mercury discharge, are available in a wide range of colours."
  • "Compound powders are possible which have a continuous response over the whole visible spectrum."

"The efficiences are from 30-40L/W with a consumption of the order of 25W in a tube about one metre in length."

Included in Philips Technical Review (No. 9, Vol 3, 1939) where the research on low-pressure luminescent tubes is mentioned.

Measurements show that more than half of the total energy in the positive column goes into powerful ultra violet lines of mercury at 2537A and below - the luminous efficiency of this discharge is only of the order of 5-10 lumens per watt. A considerable fraction of this UV energy can be converted into visible radiation by means of fluorescent materials, and since the light from the fluorescent materials can be controlled to a much greater degree than the discharge itself, it is possible to obtain light sources of greatly improved colour as well as of high efficiency. - [Public Lighting #24, 1942]

The first inorganic fluorescent powders include zinc sulphide, zinc cadmium sulphide and Willimite. The poweders are made luminescent by the addition of minute traces of heavy metals such as copper and manganese and subsequent furnacing at a high temperature. The effect of the heat treatment is to convert the amorphous powder into minute crystals, each of which becoms a tiny light source when irradiated with UV radiation of suitable wave-length. But since these powders were excited by long-wave UV, which was very weak in the discharge. there was little or no gain in effeciency. - [Public Lighting #24, 1942]

The first low-pressure fluorescent tubes to be made commerically were the high-voltage cold-cathode tubes developed by Claude-General Neon Lights Ltd. These used sulphide powders. - [Public Lighting #24, 1942]

A considerable step forward was made by the introduction of zinc beryllium silicate, which can be developed in a variety of yellowish white and reddish fluorescent colours, and its efficiency is high. Magnesium tungstate was also used with red fluorescent substances. Two compounds which were developed some time later were cadmium chlorophosphate (discovered by the GEC at Wembley and resembles the red fluorescent variety of zinc beryllium silicate) and cadmium borate (discovered in the USA and gives a redder fluorescent colour than zinc beryllium silicate). - [Public Lighting #24, 1942]

First introduced by Crompton Parkinson as the Crompta Fluorescent Tube in early 1940. It is a type of discharge lamp in the form of a white glas tube five feet long and 1½" in diameter, and within ultra violet light is generated. The tube is lined with a layer of fluorescent material which converts the ultra violet energy into light which is a precise reproduction of daylight. The lamp generates less than half the heat of an equivalent filament lamp, although giving three times the light. Its consumption is one third that of a filament lamp of equal wattage and its life twice as long. Full brilliance is attained almost the insant of switching on and the lamp may be re-lighted if desired immediately after switching off. The lamp is rated at 80W and operates off 200-250VAC. The light output is 2800 lumens and the efficiency consequently is 35 lumens per watt, while its life is 2,000 hours, and the power factor .9 lagging. The only auxiliary equipment needed in addition is an unobrusive unit which contains a choke, radio interference suppression condenser and a starting switch. - [Public Lighting #17, 1940]

This closely followed by the Sieray Fluorescent Tube produced by the Siemens Research Department. It is of the electric discharge type, rated at 80W, and designed to operate from standard 200/250V A.C. mains. It consists of a glass tube approximately 5' long, 1½" diameter capped at each end with a bayonet cap of standard dimensions and type. Practically all the light is produced by invisible ultra-violet radiation of fluorescent substances with which the inside of the tube is coated. The surface brightness of the lamp is low and no sensation of glare is experienced even when the light falls directly upon the retina. By virtue of the size of the light source, shadows cast are extremely soft. Its efficiency being three times that of an ordinary gasfilled lamp of comparable wattage. The operating temperature is considerably lower than of a filament lamp. The well diffused light source renders it eminently suitable for the illumination of public buildings, administration offices and interiror lighting generally. - [Public Lighting #18, 1940]

BTH and GEC introduce fluorescent tubes in 1941. - [Public Lighting #21, 1941]

The lamp consists of a glass tube 5 ft. long and 1½ins. diameter, coated on the inside surface with a think layer of a mixture of fluorescent powders. It is filled with argon at a pressure of about 1/200th of an atmosphere and has a small amount of mercury. The temperature at which the lamp operates is so low 40°C, that the fluorescent powder can be safely placed on the inner surface of the tube and no outer jacket is required.

Owing to the long length of the lamp, it is necessary to heat the electrodes so they emit a copious supply of electrons and then to give a voltage surge to enable the arc to strike. Once the arc has struck, the current flows freely, and would build up to destructive levels if there were not also a choke which functions as a current limiter. The electrodes need only be heated for an instant and the voltage surge is only required momentarily. Both these requirements are met by means of a thermal starter switch.

On switching on, the current flows through the choke, the heater coil, the electrodes and the starter switch contact and back to line. The electrodes are heated and at the same time the heated coil is heated, which in turn heats the bi-metal of the switch. When the bi-metal has been heated, the contacts break and so cause a voltage surge due to the presence of the choke in the circuit, this surge causing the arc to strike.

The efficiency of the lamp is high, the initial value being 35 lumens per watt, and its brightness is low, due the fact that the total light output is evenly spread over a comparatively large area. The brightness figure is about 3 candles per square inch, so the lamp is practically free from glare.

Like all discharge lamps, the new lamp is capable of producing a stroboscopic effect, but to a much smaller degree, since the fluorecent powders have some degree of phosphorescence which introduces a damping effect. The effect is approximately intermediate between an incandescent lamp and standard discharge lamp.

The new lamp has many advantages over the older types of lamp and would appear to have no disadvantages. Its relatively great length, is now seen as an advantage, in that it makes it possible to produce shadow-free light. - [Public Lighting #21, 1941]

In the years before the war, a range of wattages and sizes were under development in the UK and in America. Work in the UK was interrupted by the war, and then work was directed towards the production of a high-lumen-output type to meet the special needs of war-time industry. The choice of wattage and dimensions was largely decided by the desirability of utilising a choke already in production for HPMV discharge lamps.

The light output falls off as the tube is burnt, due to the formation of desposits of metallic mercury and mercury compounds on the coating under the action of the discharge. The slow disintegration of the electrodes, part of which deposits on the walls, is also a contributory factor. The efficency of the 5-ft. tube falls to about 32 L/M in the first 100 hours, and to about 24 L/M after 2000 hours of life. The average efficiency throughout a life of 2000 hours is approximately 26 L/W. Manufacturers have not yet determined the ultimate life of the lamp, but the present objective figure is 2000 hours. The normal cause of failure is exhaustion of the electron emissive material on the cathode. A few hours before the tube finally fails, a 25-cycle flicker may develop due to current rectification or the discharge may flash with a lower or irregular frequency. These effcts are generally accompanied by considerable blackening in the region of the defective cathode, due to sputtering of the tungsten filament.

Overrunning a tungsten filament lamp improves the luminous efficiency, but impares the life, and underrunning has the reverse effect. With the 5-ft 80W fluorescent tube, overrunning reduces the efficency for reasons already discussed, and considerable underrunning will impair the life, since the discharge current is not then able to maintain the cathode at the correct temperature. Normal fluctuations of voltage which occur do not appreciably affect the performance of the tubes. There are serious objects to operating fluorescent tubes on direct current owning to the need for a resistance to limit the current. The voltage drop of the resistance is generally of the same order as that across the tube and the wattage lost in the resistance is comparable with the tube wattage. The overall efficency may be reduced by 50%. A choke is necessary in addition to the resistance to provide a voltage kick to start the discharge.

By contentrating their efforts on a single type suitable for industrial lighting, British manufacturers have served the best interests of the country in the present circumstances. It seems unlikely that a range of wattages and colours will be manufactured in this country until after the war. - [Public Lighting #24, 1942]

BTH introduce Warm White in December 1944. (It - [BTH Advertisement, 1945]

It is impossible to over-estimate the importance of the fluorescent lamp as a war-winning factor in munitions production. The up-grading of pre-war factory lighting to the standard required by war exigencies could not have been effected without the fluorescent lamp. The use of the fluorescent lamp allowed the quantitative increase in lighting to be achieved without a disasterous rise in peak demand, the use of larger cables and other transmission equipment.

It was invented and developed in the research laboratories of British manufacturers shortly before the outbreak of the war. A single size had been perfected i.e. 5 ft. 80W.

When the war came, the manufacturers placed at the disposal of the Government the whole of their fluorescent lamp research and production facilities and arranged for the restricted supplies to go to war factories. Following this, the Goverment set up a special organisation for dealing with the improvement of industrial lighting and co-operated with the electrical industry in ensuring the effective and economical use of fluorescent lighting.

None could be used other than in essential war factories. The only size that could be manufactured was the 5ft. 80W because it was easiest to produce in large numbers and the most efficient unit for use with industrial lighting.

As for the future, the fluorescent lamp will revolutionise both lighting standards and lighting methods in every field of artifical illumination. The single size which satisfied war-time industry will not suffice for the thousand and one decorative and utilitarian requirements in peace-time. However many war-time limitations in materials, machinery and labour still remain. However, The Electric Lamp Manufacturers Association have announced the following:

VOLTAGES: 200/250 A.C.

Warm-white was introduced in December 1944 as an alternative colour giving a light more acceptable for many non-industrial purposes. All the new lamps will be fitted with Bi-Pin caps of the American type and will be interchangeable with their American counterparts - vital for export business. 80W lamps will have B.C. caps for the present but will be made in due course with Bi-Pin caps. - [Public Lighting #38, 1945]

BTH introduce the 40W 4' tube in January 1946. It uses bi-pin caps, gives 40 lm/w, and is available in both Daylight or Warm White. - [BTH Advertisement, 1946]

SO Lamp
Low Pressure Sodium Vapour Discharge Lamp (1937 literature)

Life: 1500 hours. Increased to 2500 hours by the end of the war

Lamp Wattage Initial (L/W) Average through 2500 hours
50W 51 L/W 41 L/W
65W 54 L/W 44 L/W
100W 61 L/W 50 L/W
150W 64 L/W 52 L/W

"Emit monochromatic light. Their reception was sceptical at first, but well designed installations have subsequently met with general approval. Efficiency is extremely high. Used more on the Continent than UK, but have been associated usually with Continental lighting practice (cut-off). Such installations are satisfactory until a source of glare is introduced such as oncoming headlights. Later installations have been fitted with open or refractor type fittings with much more cheery results." - [Lennox, 1939]

Range is rerated in 1938 by ELMA. The new ratings were: 140W (10,000 lumens), 85W (6100 lumens), 60W (3900 lumens) and 45W (2500 lumens).

Lamp Wattage Initial (L/W)
45W 55.5 L/W
60W 65.5 L/W
85W 71.5 L/W
140W ??? L/W

SOI Lamp
Integral Low Pressure Sodium Vapour Discharge Lamp

First manufactured by the GEC in 1955 with an initial efficacy of 85 l/w.


1405: legal:
First historical reference to public lighting in the UK when Aldermen of the City of London were ordered to see that a lighted lantern was hung outside every house along the highway, generally from dusk to nine o'clock "when the moon was dark." - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

1416: legal:
Henry Barton (a skinner by trade) who was the Lord Mayor of London "ordained lanthorns with lights to be hanged out on winter evenings between Hallowtide and Candlemas." - [Bressey, 1936] The Lord Mayor installed the oil lighting at his own expense to limit the activites of cut-throats and footpads. - [Woodall, 1938]

1461: legal:
First street lighting specification when the Mayor and Alderman issued a "Standard Specification" for candles to be used in the lanterns, which stated that they were to be of at least twelve to the pound in weight (in 1599 it was altered to eight to the pound) - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

1657: legal:
The first occasion in which a municipality assumed responsibility for any part of public lighting when City Aldermen were ordered to supply lights where the responsibility for them could not be placed on private householders. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

1685: legal:
In London a lantern was placed in front of every 10th door, to be lighted on moonless nights. - [Lighting Journal #31, 1943]

1763: lanterns:
Gentlemen Magazine in February 1763 publish a proposal for a new street lighting system. This high mounted lantern was designed to light an entire town. It describes four oil lamps, mounted in concave paraboloid reflectors, arranged at 90° to each other. This assembly would then be placed at a moderate height. - [Lighting Journal #22, 1941]

1800: other:
First Glasgow Lighting Department formed - [Ward and Mann 1934]

The department is one of the oldest services of the Glasgow Corporation. In 1800, the first Glasgow Police Act made the lighting of the streets a statutory duty. The streets were lit with oil and wick. - [Public Lighting #14, 1939]

1805: installations:
"Salford is, not unjustly perhaps, proud of the fact that it was the first town in England to use gas for the purpose of street illumination, Chapel Street being lit by a local manufacturer two years before gas was introduced for street lighting in London." - [Public Lighting #33, 1944]

1807: installations:
The first experiment with gas as an illuminant for public lighting took place along Golden Lane in the City Of London. (But see the claims of Salford two years before). - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

Pall Mall lit by gas. People flock to see the wonderful new gas light "without a wick". It inaugurates an era in whcih the streets of London were made safe for all law-abiding citizens. It was recorded that Piccadilly(?) [not Pall Mall?] was the "most magnificently lighted street" in London "radiant with the glories of brilliant and unexpected light." [Note: date disputed, see 1812] - [Public Lighting #33, 1944]

1812: installations:
Pall Mall lit by gas. It is claimed to be the first street to be lit by gas. [Note: date disputed, see 1807] - [Foot, 1937]

1814: other:
When the Allies entered Paris, they found the public lighting was completely disorganised by Russian troops who climbed the posts to drink the paraffin from the lamps as it was the nearest equivalent to vodka. - [Woodall, 1938]

1817: other:
The first gas lamp lit in Glasgow. - [Public Lighting #14, 1939]

1833: legal:
A Rural Parish can be a Lighting Authority under the Lighting And Watching Act, 1833. These powers are very limited. It cannot act as a Local Authority without first calling a meeting of Local Government Electors to "adopt" the Lighting And Watching Act by a two-thirds majority. Then, to gain a loan, it would need the consent of (1) a Parish Meeting (2) the County Council and (3) the Ministry Of Health. The Parish Council must call, each year, a Parish Meeting to sanction the amount to be raised in the forthcoming year to carry out the provisions of the act. - [Lennox, 1935]

1855: legal:
The Metropolis Management Act (1855) requires the Metropolitan Boroughs to provide adequate street lighting in their districts. It states: "Streets shall be well and sufficiently lighted." Therefore London boroughs are legally required to provide street lighting. - [Lighting Journal #18, 1940]

1860: lamps:
Professor J.T. Way demonstrates the first mercury discharge lamp installed on Brunel's newly constructed Hungerford suspension bridge in London. Based on modified arc lamps, the arc is enclosed in a glass vessel and formed between an electrode and a pool of mercury. Light is produced from the vapourised mercury vapour in the glass tube, evaporated by the intense heat of the discharge. Thus the intense white heat produced by the electrode tips (as produced by an ordinary arc lamp) is enhanced by the blue-green light of the mercury discharge.

English Parliamentary Candle or British Candle, set up under the Metropolis Gas Act as an official standard, for the purpose of testing London gas. [Pelham 1911, p4]

1866: other:
Glasgow Police Act issued and empowers the Lighting Department "to erect and maintain lamps, lamp-posts, and other appurtenances for lighting in a suitable manner, all public and private streets, courts and common stairs within the city, to light the dial plates of turret clocks and city timepieces, and to appoint and Inspector of Lighting to take charge of that work and be responsible for the good conduct of the lamplighters and others appointed by him." [Ward and Mann 1934, Ward 1939]

1868: other:
The German Candle standard, a paraffin candle, officially adopted by the German Association of Gas and Water Engineers. [Pelham 1911, p4]

1875: legal:
A City, City Borough, Municipal Borough or Urban District Council can undertake public lighting under the Public Health Act, 1875, Section 161 and be considered a Lighting Authority. - [Lennox, 1935]

A Rural District Council can not be a Lighting Authority but can obtain Urban Powers under the Public Health Act, 1875, Section 276. Or they can delegate lighting powers to the Parish Councils in their area. - [Lennox, 1935]

1877: other:
The Harcourt Lamp standard, a pentane burner, is introduced and after modification becomes the official standard of the Metropolitan Gas Referees and the unofficial 10-candle British standard. [Pelham 1911, p4]

1878: installations:
December. The first use of electricity in the UK for public lighting when a number of arc lamps were installed along Holborn Viaduct and the Victoria Embankment, after a Committee had examined those used for some time in Paris. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

1881: lamps:
The first commercial electric lamp is produced. [Public Lighting #12, 1939]

Part of the City Of London is experimentally lit by Siemens Bros. & Co. using arc lamps. Six arc lamps taking about 30A DC are placed on poles 80 feet high, and about fifty others taking 12A AC are placed on poles 20 feet high.

Each arc lamp is fitted with a clear glass globe and the masts are constructed from light iron trellis work. They are mounted in front of the Bank Of England.

The spacing of columns is in accordance with the principle that the illumination at a point on the horizontal plane at a given distance from the point below the lamp is a maximum when the ratio of the distance to the height of the lamp is  2  to 1. Therefore the lamps are placed at a distance apart equal to 2.83 times their height above the ground (as 2.83 is 2* 2 ).

Pelham mentions that the setting of distances by this calculation at this early date is interesting. [Pelham 1911, p40]

(See also: Law Of Inverse Squares in the Glossary.)

Robert Louis Stevenson publishes an essay entitled A Plea For Gas Lamps. This may have been prompted by the original Pall Mall installation and the new arc lamp installations in Paris. [A Plea For Gas Lamps]

Violle standard is proposed for international adoption at the Electrical Congress at Paris in 1881. It uses a square centimeter of molten platinum to produce light. [Pelham 1911, p7]

1882: installations:
The first streets to be lit with the Edison incandescent lamp were in the City of London when the Holborn Viaduct and neighbouring streets were lit. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

1883: lamps:
The first "pipless" electric filament lamp is made. [Public Lighting #12, 1939]

1884: other:
Hefner Lamp standard, which uses amyl-acetate as fuel, is first developed and after several modficiations becomes the official standard in Germany, is adopted by the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, and, provisionally, by the Bureau of Standards of the Unitied States. [Pelham 1911, p5]

1885: other:
Robert Louis Stevenson publishes The Lamplighter Poem.

My tea is nearly ready and the sun has left the sky;
Its time to take the window to see Leerie going by;
For every night at teatime and before you take your seat,
With lantern and with ladder he comes posting up the street.

Now Tom would be a driver and Maria go to sea,
And my papas a banker and as rich as he can be;
But I, when I am stronger and can choose what Im to do,
Oh Leerie, Ill go round at night and light the lamps with you!

For we are very lucky, with a lamp before the door,
And Leerie stops to light it as he lights so many more;
And O! before you hurry by with ladder and with light,
O Leerie, see a little child and nod to him tonight!

[Wikipedia Entry]

1890: lamps:
The first neon advertising sign is made where each letter in made in the form of a lamp for each letter shaped by the carbon filament. [Public Lighting #12, 1939]

The "Pearl" and "Opal" electric filament lamps are introduced. [Public Lighting #12, 1939]

1891: installations:
The first electric street lamp is produced. [Public Lighting #12, 1939]

1892: legal:
The Burgh Police Act, 1892, which governs all burghs except Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee and Greeock, requires Burghs to provide Public Lighting. Their Acts require the Commissioners to provide suitable lighting in all streets and places which should be lighted. The Greenock, Glasgow and Edinburgh Acts provide also for the lighting of stairs in tenement buildings. - [Public Lighting #27, 1942]

The Arc Standard is proposed in which an electric arc is used as the basis of an official standard. Later investigations reveal continuous movement of the arc, an insuperable problem, and prevents any potential adoption. [Pelham 1911, p13]

A. P. Trotter reads his paper on the "Distribution And Measurement Of Illumination" before the Institution Of Civil Engineers. This is the first paper where street lighting is dealt with from a scientific point of view and which was the basis on which measurements, contour curves and comparisons were made. It inspired Haydn T. Harrison to specialise in this field. [Public Lighting #36, 1945]

1896: other:
Somzee and Greyson of Belgium construct a water-driven compressor to increase the pressure of the gas to about 8" water column. This is considered the pressure required for "high pressure" or "intensified" gas lighting. [Dean, 1937]

1897: other:
George Keith also constructs a water-driven compressor to increase the pressure of the gas to about 8" water column. This is considered the pressure required for "high pressure" or "intensified" gas lighting. [Dean, 1937]

1900: other:
The City of London is the first authority to introduce powers authorising street lighting apparatus to be fixed to buildings and saving valuable space on footpaths and improving aesthetic amenities. [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

1904: other:
Horstmann produces the first commerical gas controllers using quick action gascocks for use with incandescent burners (there were crude gas controllers on the market before this but these were controlling 'Batswing' flames). [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

Also in 1904 [could be incorrect], Horstmann were the first to obtain an astronomical dial which is now called the solar dial. This was patented and it's believed all designs of astronomical dials have been based on this principle, having world wide usage.- [Public Lighting, Golden Jubilee, 1974]

1905: other:
The British, Foreign And Colonial Automatic Light Controlling Company Limited is founded after John Gunning invents the first clock driven gas light controller. [Woodward, 1938]

1908: lamps:
The GEC is the first company in England to manufacture drawn tungsten filament electric lamps, after many years experience of making carbon filament lamps. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

The Illuminating Engineering Society is founded by Mr. Leon Gaster. The inaugural meeting is held at the Royal Society of Arts on November 18th, 1908. [Public Lighting #35, 1944]

The Illuminating Engineer, the official journal of the Illuminating Engineering Society, London is first published.

1913: lamps:
A vaccum seal between metallic conductors and quartz using lead goes into extensive use. However, it isn't suitable for high pressure discharge tubes and research for a solution takes another 23 years. - [Aldington, 1936]

1918: arp:
"The masking of street lamps may be removed, but, in view of the coal shortage, the total number of lamps in use should not exceed one-half of the normal. The shading of lights in houses and shops may be withdrawn, but the prohibition of lights in shop windows and of advertisement lights, must be maintained on account of the coal shortage. The question of lights on vehicles is under consideration and, for the present, the existing Orders remain in force." (Instructions from the Home Office as reported in The Daily Chronicle, November 12th, 1918) - [Public Lighting #21, 1941]

The GEC establish the first industrial research laboratory in the British Empire to engage in fundamental research. [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

1922: other:
The Illuminating Engineering Society set up a B.S.I. Committee with the British Standards Institution to prepare a specification for street lighting. The chairman is Dr. C. C. Paterson. - [Public Lighting #35, 1944]

1923: other:
The Association Of Public Lighting Engineers is proposed by Captain W. J. Liberty. (His initial plan was to form an Association of Public Lighting Superintendents.) Liberty arranged a meeting at Bingley Hall, Birmingham (at the British Industries Fair), with advise from Sir Francis Goodenough, of those who would be interested in the scheme. Around 10 people attended the meeting. - [Public Lighting #17, 1940], [Public Lighting #36, 1945]

1924: other:
Captain W. J. Liberty sends a questionnaire to the various local authorities in the UK seeking information as to the position of the individual who was in charge of public lighting. They all replied. He received replies from the Borough Engineer or Surveyor, or the Gas Engineer, or the Electrical Engineer, or the Chief Constable, or the Firemaster and in several instances The Foreman Scavenger. - [Public Lighting #38, 1945]

The inaugural meeting of the Association Of Public Lighting Engineers takes place at Holborn Town Hall on the 15th February 1924. It is founded Captain W. J. Liberty. Their official journal is, initially, The Illuminating Engineer. The first display of lighting equipment takes place in a back yard behind the town hall. - [Public Lighting #17, 1940]

1927: lamps:
The GEC develop and introduce the first Rough Service lamps (RLS) using vibration and shock resistant thoria tungsten wire - known universally for several decades as Magnet Wire. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

British Engineering Standards Association Sub-committee 5, on Street Lighting, publish 1000 copies of British Standard Specification 307. It's based on an illumination model (as used by interior lighting) and defines eight road classes (A-H) of different illuminations which are achieved by five rigid units of system. The second part of the specification is geared towards testing the effectiveness of installations for tender by rated mean test points measured in foot-candles. The specification also includes a method of grading glare, based on recent research work.

The copies are distributed to various institutions, associations, interested parties and is discussed by the Institution of Electrical Engineers, Council of the Institution of Gas Engineers, Illuminating Engineering Society and the Institution of Public Lighting Engineers. "In principle the specification was most favourably received and awakened a wide interest, and the criticisms presented, which were considerable, were most helpful and constructive. As a result of these criticisms the Sub-Committee made some radical changes in the specification, and they hope that now it will receive the fullest support from all concerned with this important question of Street Lighting" - [The Illuminating Engineer, April 1928, p128]

"The present British Standard Specification for Street Lighting was framed only in order to provide a simple way of ordering and checking the work of contractors, and also go give general guidance in the planning of new work." - [Sandeman, 1936]

Dr. Walsh of the NPL suggests a sharp "cut-off" in order to screen distant lights completely at the Public Works and Transport Congress. - [The Illuminating Engineer, August 1928, p230]

1928: other:
The Association Of Public Lighting Engineers organise a trial of fifty installations in Sheffield to test the British Standard Specification 307. 50 street lighting installations illustrating the eight classes were installed. It showed the limitations of a classification based on illuminating values. One quite minor installation gave remarkable evidence in favour of the growing opinion that road surface brightness was a factor of prime importance. - [Public Lighting #25, 1942]

The National Physical Laboratory made "mass" tests on discomfort and disability glare using the conference installations.- [Public Lighting #36, 1945]

1930: stats:
In October 1928, seventeen accidents occurred on the Victorian Embankment. In October 1930, five accidents occurred in the same location. This was after new lighting was installed and there was an increased speed and density of traffic. - [Lennox, 1936 and Public Lighting #2, 1936]

The principles of street lighting by accentuated contrast are discovered by the Research Labaoratories of the GEC and applied with tungsten street lighting. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

1931: standards:
A revised British Standard Specification 307 is published. The glare calculations have been removed and methods for determining the average illumination have been added: but it is based on: direct illumination; pairs of lanterns working together; the use of 'test points'; and doesn't anticipate the forthcoming discharge lamps.

"This specification provides a basis upon which highway (street) lighting installations can be designed and compared, tenders invited, and installations tested, on an equitable basis. It furthermore specifies the technical conditions applying to the maintenance and testing of highway lighting installations under service or working conditions."

A London coroner observes: "There are spots all over London where lighting conditions have not been adapted to the altered circumstances caused by the advent and rapid development of motor traffic." - [Bell, 1936]

Concrete Utilities make the first reinforced concrete columns in Europe. They are installed in Liverpool. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

1932: lamps:
The GEC market the first practical medium pressure mercury lamp in the world. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

The GEC present their new Osira lamp (the MA) in their showcase installation along East Road, Wembley on the 22nd June. It is the first road in the world to be lit by discharge lamps. - [Wilson, Damant and Waldram, 1936]

The Provincial Electric Supply Company of Limburg install low-pressure sodium lighting over a section of a national arterial road within their district. - [Werfhorst, 1936]

Piccadilly Circuis relit with Ediswan Piccadilly Lanterns. These are post-top units fitted with large diffusing globes made of "Nelite" designed to minimalise the glare from the original 1500W GLS lamps. - [1932 Catalogue]

Philips arrange for an installation of low-pressure sodium lamps along the Purley Way, Croydon. It is the first installation in the UK to use this type of lamp. 60 specially designed directive lanterns are fitted with the Philips DA-90 lamp. It is inaugurated on the 8th December.

1933: lamps:
The first commerical, so-called, High Pressure Mercury Vapour lamps are introduced in 250W and 400W versions. These use a special "hard glass" for the discharge tubes. (Later designated the MA lamp.) - [Aldington, 1936]

The GEC develop the Watford lantern, the first commercial lantern for a discharge lamp. - [Wilson, Damant and Waldram, 1936]

The first installation of discharge lighting (the MA lamp) is inaugurated in March. The installation, along Watford Road, Wembley, utilises the new GEC Watford lantern. - [Wilson, Damant and Waldram, 1936]

The wider spacing used for the Watford lanterns marks the first conscious move from high object brightness to high background brightness. "On the basis of the wider spacing it was practicable to push up the mounting height without unduly increasing the total first cost of the installation. The Watford lantern was particularly designed to avoid glare and give a good road brightness and that installation remains practically unaltered to this day. - [Gregory, 1940]

A County Council can undertake public lighting under Road Traffic Act, 1933, Section 23. - [Lennox, 1935]

The 56 principle Motor Insurance Companies paid out in accidents claims a sum of practically 18,000,000. - [Lennox, 1935]

Life And Personal Accident Insurance paid out on 191,782 accidents which included 7,001 fatalities. - [Lennox, 1935]

In January, a census of outward-bound traffic from London along the Edgeware Road showed that, for every 100 vehicles per hour passing between 8AM and 6PM, no less than 76 per hour passed between 6PM and midnight. - [Bressey, 1936]

1934: lamps:
The colour modified 400W mercury lamp is introduced. It has mercury, cadmium and zinc in the discharge tube and increases the amount of red and blue light in the visible spectrum. The initial efficiency is only 37 lumens per watt. - [Aldington, 1936]

The GEC develop the first practical commercial high voltage coiled-coil tungsten filament lamp in England. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

BTH develop horizontal lighting with mercury lamps using a magnetic arc deflector in the Mercra H. - [1938 Advert]

The first installation of the Mercra H lantern is along Bromford Lane, Birmingham.

Low-pressure sodium lamps are installed in Worthing - [1939 Advert]

A Departmental Committee on Street Lighting is set up by the Ministry Of Transport in June 1934. Its remit is to "examine and report what steps could be taken for securing more efficient and uniform street lighting with particular reference to the convenience and safety of traffic and with due regard to the requiremetns of residential and shopping areas, and to make recommendations.."

Road Traffic Act, 1934, Section 23, gives certain powers to County Councils in connection to the lighting of roadways. However, the County Council cannot act as a Lighting Authority without the sanction of the existing Lighting Authority. - [Lennox, 1935]

County Council can provide or improve lighting on County roads, and may spread all expenses incurred over the whole county area. Clause 3 of this Section, however, states: "that a road Lighting Authority who have... provided lighting for County roads in their area shall, if they request, be entitled to receive from the Council of the County the amount raised by that Council in that area in respect of expenses incurred by them under this Section... unless the Council of the County have... exercised the power conferred upon them in this Section in respect of a road... in that area." Therefore any Lighting Authority now lighting a County Road can, if the roadway to be lighting by the County is within the area of the Lighting Authority, claim back any money raised by the County Council in that area. - [Lennox, 1936]

It was to allow County Councils to become Lighting Authorities, and to prevent the dangers of inadequate or patchy systems of street lighting on important roads, that by request of the County Councils Association, that powers were inserted into the Road Traffic Act, 1934, enabling County Councils in certain circumstances to provide or assist in providing lighting on County Roads. - [Public Lighting #12, 1939]

Horstmann introduce the Comet Automatic Gas Ignitors, the first of the type in its field being covered by patents, which gives a significant saving in running costs, making the use of a permanent pilot unnecessary. - [Public Lighting, Golden Jubilee, 1974]

1935: lamps:
British Thomson-Houston develop a process using molybdenum foil to make successful vaccum tight lead-in connections through quartz without the use of intermediate glasses. This is an important step towards the use of using quartz tubes for mercury discharge lamps. - [Aldington, 1936]

The Departmental Committee on Street Lighting issue a Interim Report. This is prompted by some uncertainty on the part of lighting authorities regarding the advisability of entering into new contracts or initiating or extending lighting schemes pending the issue of the Committee's recommendations.

The following summary is intended to emphasize the principle conclusions at which we have arrived, and should not be read independently of the paragraphs of the body of the Report to which reference is made : -

A. The Lighting of Traffic Routes

(1) There should be reasonable uniformity in the lighting of portions of traffic routes (as defined in Paragraph 2) presenting similar characteristics, but minor variations are not necessarily disadvantageous. (Paragraph 9).

(2) The present system of administration is not conductive to the achievement of uniform and effective lighting on traffic routes. (Paragraph 10).

(3) Consideration should be given to the responsibility for the lighting of traffic routes being confined to large administrative units (Paragraph 12), and to the suggestion that the cost of lighting roads (as defined for this purpose in Paragraph 12) should be aided by grants from national funds administered by the responsible Government Department. (Paragraphs 11 and 12.)

(4) Adjoining authorities should confer together with the object of securing uniformity of lighting on routes of common interest. (Paragraph 15.)

(5) For traffic routes the minimum standard of lighting should be that which enables drivers to proceed with safety at 30 miles per hour without the use of headlights; on such routes the lighting units should be of at least the number and power of those required for a generously planned Class F of the British Standards Specification. (Paragraph 21.)

(6) There is no existing code of lighting which we care to recommend in all respects for the lighting of traffic routes. (Paragraphs 18 and 19.)

(7) The available light should be so employed as to produce the maximum contrast between the brightness of the object to be viewed and its background, provided there is no undue glare. (Paragraph 22.)

(8) Care should be taken to ensure the adequate lighting of kerbs and footways. (Paragraph 22.)

(9) In general, a mounting height of 25 ft., with 6 ft. overhang, is desirable. (Paragraph 23.)

(10) The positioning of lamps should be studied with a view to securing the best visibility, rather than uniform spacing, but normally the distance between lamps should not exceed 150 ft. (Paragraph 24.)

(11) On bends the lamps should be placed on the outside of the curve; the provision of artificial backgroudns in appropiate cases and of white kerbs should be considered. (Paragraph 24.)

(12) Excessive glare may be largely avoided if care is taken in the selection and use of directive fittings. (Paragraph 25.)
(13) Single-sided lighting should be avoided except at bends. (Paragraph 26.)

(14) There should be easy gradation from the standard of lighting adopted for traffic routes to that obtaining in side streets, and at the junction between lighted and unlighted portions of traffic routes. (Paragraph 27.)

(15) Although the selection of road surfacing materials may necessarily be governed primarily by considerations other than those of optical properties, regard should be had, as far as practicable, to reflection characteristics and lightness of colour. (Paragraph 29.)

(16) The trend of design of lighting installations must have regard to the nature of the materials available for road surfacing and surface dressing. (Paragraph 29.)

B. Miscellaneous

(17) Lighting authorities should be advised by an engineer competent to deal with street lighting. (Paragraphs 30 and 31.)

(18) Power to control extraneous lighting should be given to lighting authorities, but only in so far as it may be seriously detrimental to the street lighting. (Paragraph 35.)

(19) Street lighting installations should be complete in themselves and no reliance should be placed on extraneous lighting. (Paragraph 36.)

(20) Authorities contemplating the erection or modification of a street lighting installations in the vincinity of a railway line should notify the railway company beforehand with a view to avoiding possible interference with railway signals. (Paragraph 37.)

The committee estimated that the cost of a system of the high standard they suggested would be between 300 and 400 a mile, and that if that standard was applied to all classified roads in country boroughs and to 20% of the classified roads in counties then then cost would be 3,500,000 a year. - [House Of Commons, 1936]

There are 35 Lighting Authorities in London alone with around 8,000 around the country. - [Lennox, 1935]

6,502 people were killed and 221,726 people were injured on the roads in Great Britain. - [Bell, 1936]

The official traffic census, taken at three-yearly intervals in August, now covered the entire 24 hour period (previously it was between 6AM - 10PM). The count was taken at about 500 points on Class I roads. These showed that on the Great North Road (A1) in Hertfordshire, 27% of the 24 hours' traffic tonnage passed between 10PM and 6PM; similarly in Watling Street (A5) in the same county, the tonnage for the same period was 22%. - [Bressey, 1936]

An LCC authority states: "Modern engineering leaves no excuse for bad lighting, and where bad lighting exists, it means there is a fault in the policy of the local authority." - [Bell, 1936]

Concrete Utilities make the first fluted concrete columns in Europe. They are ordered and installed by the Gas Light and Coke Company. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

1936: lamps:
Siemens develop a process which enables thin wires of molybdenum to be sealed directly into quartz, which leads to the rapid development of mercury discharge lamps using quartz tubes. - [Aldington, 1936]

Siemens develop the "Dual Lamp" It is commerically marketed as the Sieray Duel Lamp and rated at 500W. It combines a mercury discharge tube and incandescent filament, reduces colour distortion and doesn't require gear. However, it is less efficient than a mercury discharge lamp. - [Aldington, 1936]

The 80W MB lamp is introducted in March. It is first known as the "super high-pressure mercury-vapour lamp." - [Werfhorst, 1936]

The 150W MA lamp is introduced by the GEC on the 1st April. A suggested use is for street lighting where low mounting heights are available. It is supplied in standard voltages from 200-250V and is fitted with an E.S. cap. - [Wilson, Damant and Waldram, 1936] and [Public Lighting #2, 1936]

The GEC Oxford is introduced.[Public Lighting #1, 1936]

The Siemens Preston-Sieray is introduced.[Public Lighting #1, 1936]

First installation of the GEC Oxford lantern along Banbury Road in Oxford.[Public Lighting #1, 1936]

First installation of the Siemens Preston-Sieray lantern in Preston. It is the first lantern designed to use the newly introduced MAT/V lamp (marketed as the Dual Lamp).[Public Lighting #1, 1936]

The MOT conduct lighting experiments in Barnes for the forthcoming Departmental Final Report. - [Public Lighting #3, 1936]

Concrete Utilities make the first 25' concrete columns in Europe. They are ordered and installed in Blackpool. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

Public Lighting and the Public Lighting Engineer is first published by the Association Of Public Lighting Engineers.

New specification for motor car lighting: Side lamps must not exceed 7 watts and are intended to be used to only mark the presence of the vehicle. All vehicles must be fitted with an approved anti-dazzle device either of the dipping headlight or anti-dazzle lamp type. Drivers are still encouraged to turn off their headlights when the street is lit. - [Lennox, 1936]

Cost to Insurance Companies for Motor Vehicle Insurance: 25,000,000 (estimated per annum) [Lennox, 1936]
Cost of public lighting in Great Britain; 5,000,000 (per annum) - [Lennox, 1936]

In a debate in the House Of Commons, it was revealed that the cost of road accidents in one year in this country was 25 million pounds. - [Public Lighting #36, 1945]

There was a stretch of arterial road near London 13 miles long, where there were 27 different standards of lighting, and travelling along it at 30 miles an hour, one expericened a chagne of lighting every 30 seconds. - [House Of Commons, 1936]

To light a certain section of highway would cost the local authority for the area concerned a 10 s. rate. The same work done by the county council would cost 65d. - [House Of Commons, 1936]

There are now over 10,000 mercury vapour lamps in use. - [Public Lighting #2, 1936]

"By these and other considerations one is forced to the conclusion that if better visibility were provided during dark hours on heavy traffic routes and in built up areas, the accident rate would decrease materially. One feels justified in believing that the economic gain due to decrease in aciidents would more than meet the extra expenditure necessary to provide adequate public lighting." - [Lennox, 1936]


Mr Salt (Birmingham, Yardley, U.) moved the following amendment in the House Of Commons on the 29th April: "That, having regard to the number of road accidents that occur after dark and to the desirability of affording adequate illumination for the convenience and safety of the public and for the prevention of crime, it is expedient that the lighting of highways should be dealt with on a national basis.."

Captain A. Hudson, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Transport (Hackney, N., U.), in reply said that before the Government could bring before the House a scheme for the lighting of the Class 1 roads they would want to be certain that it had almost universal approval in the House. It was understood that the Final Report of The Departmental Committee on Street Lighting would be in the main an amplification of the technical recommendations made in its interim report. They hoped to have the final report next year. It had been necessary to give time for a number of experiments to take place; so that they might know the exact type of light which was suitable. The ideal which they required in the lighting of the roads was to achieve a standard which would be adequate for police purposes and allow motor vehicles to proceed at a reasonable speed without headlights, that was at a speed of 30 miles an hour. An interesting point in the report was that the committee were unable to point to any large number of accidents being caused by bad lighting, a view which had been confirmed by the Commissioner of Metropolitan Police. The committee added that lighting which was patchy was worse than no lighting at all.

The committee estimated that the cost of a system of the high standard they suggested would be between 300 and 400 a mile, and that if that standard was applied to all classified roads in county boroughs and to 20 per cent of the classified roads in counties the cost would be 3,500,000 a year.

A national standard of lighting over the whole country for the most important roads was the goal to be attained. The Government were doing their best to get towards that goal, but in view of their already genuous grants towards the maintenance of roads they did not feel at the present moment, and in present circumstances, that they could contemplate the necessary legislation to that end. He did not wish the House to think that what he had just said meant that having a national standard of lighting was being indefinitely shelved. It did not rule out the possibility of future action. In the meanwhile they must await the final report of the Departmental Committee and the results of the experiments which were being made.

He could assure the House that the Minister of Transport was fully alive to the problem of street lighting and was at present studying the whole subject with great care. The return which was now being made of all accidents involving personal injury would give a good indication as to the exact effect of bad lighting. While the Government could not promise immediate national action to set up a national lighting system for the whole country, they were endeavouring to enlarge the area as suggested by the committee and thus ensure greater uniformity. They were at prescent experimenting, but they were not prepared at the moment to bring any scheme before the House.

The amendment was, by leave, withdrawn. [Public Lighting #2, 1936]

Control of trunk roads to be vested with the Ministry Of Transport. - [Public Lighting #3, 1936]

Under the provisions of Section 6 (4) of the Trunk Roads Act 1936, the Minister is empowered, if he considers that any trunk road should be illuminated or better illuminated, to enter into and carry into effect agreements with any authority or person having power in that behalf for the supply of gas, electricity or other means of illumination, and for the provision of such lamps, lamp posts and other materials and apparatus as he thinks necessary for the purpose. - [Public Lighting #7, 1937]

"Parliament recognised by the passing of the Trunk Roads Act, 1936, the national character and importance of the principal through traffic routes of the country, and these roads are now given a charge on national funds. The powers given to the Minister under Section 6 (4) of the Act correspond to those which County Councils already possess in relation to County Roads. Accordingly, the contributions made by the Minister to street lighting installations on Trunk Roads are, in his view, to be regarded not as an exceptional measure of assistance which is denied to other highway authorities, but rather as normal assistance given by a highway authority to lighting authorities in order to encourage installations which shall not be subject ot the disadvantages of some of the existing installations." - [Public Lighting #12, 1939]

1937: lamps:
Metrovick introduce the "Metrovick" horizontal Mercury burning lamp, rated at 400W (first) and 250W (slightly later). Lanterns, notably the Liverpool type, are suitably modified. The lumen output of the lamps is slightly lower than the standard vertically burning versions. - [APLE Conference Programme, 1937]

High pressure mercury lamp (MB) now being offered by various manufacturers. 125W and then 80W versions are available. The name is now the "High Pressure" lamp although variations by manufacturers exist. Siemens introduce their Sieray QH lamp (later MB) - [See Siemens Advert, 1937]

The GEC have introduced their new high pressure mercury lamp (later MB) at the British Industries Fair. Rated at 80 and 125W, this new "Osira" mercury electric discharge lamp has an extremely high efficiency and gives three times as great light output as a tungsten lamp of equivalent wattage. It is similar in shape to the ordinary tungsten electric lamp and is internally frosted. To avoid confusion with the tungsten type of lamp it is fitted with a three-pin cap. - [Public Lighting #5, 1937]

BTH Mercra lamps are now available in 80W and 125W sizes. - [Public Lighting #6, 1937]

The GEC introduce the 400W MAF Osira lamp. - [Public Lighting #8, 1937]

BTH introduce the 400W MAF Mercra lamp. - [Public Lighting #8, 1937]

Siemens introduce a version of their 400W MAT Sieray-Dual lamp with modified electrodes which is designed for D.C. supplies. - [Public Lighting #10, 1938]

BTH County Junior introduced to take advantage of the new MB lamps.
GEC Large Di-Fuser introduced.

Holophane experiment with Unidirectional Lighting along Hangleton Road, Hove. - [1937 Paper]

The London Borough Of Hackney are the first to install the newly introduced MAF lamp in December 1937. 36 400W lamps are installed in existing GEC Difractor lanterns along Rectory Road, Hackney and Stoke Newington Common. - [Public Lighting #8, 1937]

Norwich claims to be the first large city to install a classified standard of lighting in every one of its streets. - [Public Lighting #8, 1937]

Modified Siemens Sieray-Dual lamps for use on D.C. supplies are trialled in Southwark along Newington Causeway and the Elephant And Castle. - [Public Lighting #10, 1938]

There are 36,000 discharge lamps in use in the UK which is greater than all the leading countries abroad put together. In London alone, 300 miles of streets are so lighted. It has been estimated that over 200 local authorities have employed this "accident-proof" type of lighting. - [Public Lighting #5, 1937]

Yearly statistics published by the gas industry show that many lighting authorities in our large towns and cities continue to rely on gas lighting. Of fourteen districts surveyed, a total of 196,878 public lamps lighted by gas, shows and increase from 1935 of over 10,000 lamps. - [Public Lighting #5, 1937]

From a paper by Lennox:

  • The country spends five million pounds a year on street lighting.
  • The insurance companies spend twenty-five million per year on road accident claims.
  • 56%-58% of accidents in winter months occur during darkness. Roads must be lighted that adequate visibility for quick perception is provided at 45 miles per hour, without the use of headlights.
  • A motorist travelling at 45 miles per hour has only 1½ seconds which to see and avoid any obstruction 100 yards ahead.
  • Objects more than 15 feet distant are normally seen as dark objects against a light background.
This brief description is included in [Public Lighting #6, 1937]

In the report of the Executive Council to the County Councils' Association on the 23rd March, reference is made to the efforts of the Council, so far without success, to obtain a Road Fund grant in aid of such road lighting as may be undertaken by County Councils. The view of the Minister of Transport is that he does not possess any power to comply with the request. - [Public Lighting #5, 1937]

"I am sure that if we are to reduce this appalling loss of life on the roads, the loss which, in any one year, is greater than the whole of the loss of life in the two years eight months of the South African War, it will have to be through the co-operation of manufacturers, suppliers, and public lighting authorities." - Alderman J. Chuter Ede, M.P. for South Shields. - [Public Lighting #5, 1937]

The Minister of Transport has made an important announcement in Parliament (on the 1st December 1937) with reference to financial assistance from the Government to local street lighting authorities responsible for main traffic routes. They will pay 50% of the expenditure both capital and maintenance. This is for trunk roads only. Mr Lyons asked the Minister Of Transport (i) whether he would indicate where and to what extent illumination of main roads had been undertaken under the provisions of Section 6 (4) of the Trunk Roads Act 1936 and (ii) whether he would indicate where any further illumination of main roads had been arranged or provided under Section 6 (4). The reply by Mr. Leslie Burgin was "I have not yet exercised my powers under this sub-section but will shortly notify local authorities that where they consider that portions of trunk roads should be illuminated or better illuminated to standards which conform reasonably to those recommended for traffic routes by the Department Committee on Street Lighting, I shall in certain cases, be prepared, after 1st April 1938, to enter into agreements with them whereby I shall contribute 50% of the capital cost and 50% of the annual cost of maintenace." The powers weren't exercised previously as the minister was waiting for the publication of Departmental Report, and the roads have only been classified as trunk roads little over six months.- [Public Lighting #8, 1937]

On the 2nd November, concurrently with the publication of the Final Report, the Minister of Transport issued Circular 504 (Roads) in which he draws the attention of local authorities to the Final Report. The Minister expresses his confidence that a local authority, when considering the installation or improvement of street lighting systems, will pay regard to the important technical recommendations contained in the Report. The Circular adds that the only power which the Minister possesses to contribute from central funds towards the expenses incurred by lighting authorities is that conferred in certain cases by Section 6 (4) of the Trunk Roads Act. The Act does not apply to the County of London. - [Public Lighting #8, 1937]

The Departmental Committee on Street Lighting issue the Final Report on the 2nd November. (It is preceeded by Circular 504 (Roads)).


(1) We reaffirm the following conclusions and recommendations which were set out at length in our Interim Report.
(a) There should be reasonable uniformity in the lighting of portions of traffic routes presenting similar characteristics, but minor variations are not necessarily disadvantageous.
(b) The present system of administration is not conductive to the achievement of uniform and effective lighting on traffic routes.
(c) Consideration should be given to the responsibility for the lighting of traffic routes being confined to large administrative units, and to the suggestion that the cost of lighting roads should be aided by grants from national funds administered by the responsible Government Department.
(d) Adjoining authorities should confer together with the object of securing uniformity of lighting on routes of common interest.
(e) Lighting authorities should be advised by an engineer competent to deal with street lighting.
(f) Power to control extraneous lighting should be given to lighting authorities, but only in so far as it may be seriously detrimental to the street lighting.
(g) Street lighting installations should be complete in themselves, and no reliance should be placed on extraneous lighting.
(h) Authorities contemplating the erection or modification of a street lighting installation in the vicinity of a railway line should notify the railway company beforehand with a view to avoiding possible interference with railway signals.

(2) Two ranges of lighting should be adopted, for traffic routes (Group A) and other roads (Group B), respectively, as defined in Paragraph 24, with a definite gap between them. (Paragraphs 17-26, 78)

(3) The following recommendations are made for general adoption on traffic routes :-

(a) The mounting height should be of the order of 25 ft. (Paragraphs 31-34, 58)
(b) The average spacing should not exceed 150 ft., or where economically practicable, 120 ft.; the maximum spacing in any one span should be 180 ft. (Paragraphs 35, 57)
(c) The overhang of the lanterns should vary according to the width of the carriageway. (Paragraphs 36-38)
(d) On straight sections of road sources should be placed on both sides of the road in staggered formation; additional central sources should be placed in every third span when the carriageway width exceeds 40 ft. (Paragraphs 39-44)
(e) On bends the sources should be placed on the outside of the curve. Particular attention should be given to siting at bends, junctions and intersections. (Paragraphs 45-50)
(f) Central suspension should in general be avoided, except as noted in Paragraph 40. (Paragraphs 40, 42)
(g) The lantern output per 100 ft. linear should be between 3,000 and 8,000 lumens, according to the conditions prevailing on the highway and the type of installation. (Paragraphs 51-54)
(h) Excessive glare may be largely avoided if the ratio used to express the concentration of the light (see Paragraph 62) does not exceed six, or preferably five. (Paragraphs 59-64)
(i) Pending the results of further experience, dual carriageways should be lighted as though each carriageway were an independent traffic route; additional lighting required, e.g. for service roads, should be of the type we recommend for Group B roads. (Paragraphs 69-73)

(4) For roads other than traffic routes we make the following recommendations for general guidance :-

(a) The mounting height should be between 13 ft. and 15 ft. (Paragraphs 79-80)
(b) The average spacing should not exceed 120 ft., with a maximum of 150 ft. for any one span. (Paragraph 81)
(c) Attention should be given to siting on the same principles as are recommended for traffic routes, especially at bends, junctions and intersections. (Paragraphs 82-84)
(d) The lantern output should provide between 600 and approximately 2,500 lumens per 100 ft. linear, according to the conditions prevailing on the road and the type of installation. (Paragraph 85)
(e) Part of the available light should be directed towards the lower parts of the fronts of buildings. (Paragraph 86)
(f) The ratio used to express the concentration of the light (see Paragraph 62) should not exceed 4, or preferably 3. (Paragraphs 87-88)
(5) Our recommendations should be implemented by the issue with the minimum of delay of a formal specification. (Paragraph 117)

(6) Effective clauses dealing with adequate maintenance should form an integral part of the British Standard Specification, and should be applied by those responsible for street lighting. (Paragraphs 89-92)

(7) Gradation is necessary only where there is considerable variation in the lighting level along a traffic route. (Paragraphs 93-94)

(8) Street lighting should be continued from dusk until dawn, i.e., for approximately 4,000 hours per annum, unless financial considerations render this impracticable. (Paragraphs 95-96)

(9) Attention should be given to the provision of artificial light-coloured backgrounds in appropriate cases. (Paragraph 97)

(10) Due regard should be paid to police requirements in respect of the lighting of entrances, etc., and special lamps, additional to the installation proper, should be provided where necessary. (Paragraphs 99-103)

(11) Illuminated guard posts on refuges should be lighted in accordance with the detailed recommendations given. (Paragraphs 104-106)

(12) Street name plates should be so sited in relation to street lamps that they may be read without difficulty by drivers at night. (Paragraph 107)

(13) No attempt should be made to use street lamps of distinctive colour as warning signs. (Paragraphs 108- 109)

(14) Inadequate lighting of traffic routes should be raised to the level recommended as financial conditions permit, and not to a level intermediate between those recommended for Groups A and B. (Paragraph 33)

(15) The trend of design of lighting installations must have regard to the nature of the materials available for road surfacing and surface dressing, but the provision and maintenance of surfaces which are light in colour and as uniform as possible in respect of colour and texture are definitely advantageous. (Paragraphs 65-68)

The Actadis Ripple Control System is installed in Maidstone, the first such installation in the UK, where the whole of the street lighting in an area of 70 square miles can be switched on and off. This follows the successful implementation of the system in the whole of the City of Paris. [APLE Conference Programme, 1938]

Gas lighted illuminated Belisha Beacons have been the subject of experiments by the Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and Gateshead Gas Company. They are made from two cast iron galleries, three steel pillars (which form the frame of the clock box), the steel cover for the box, the amber globe and yellow enamelled flue cap. Two gas-illuminated beacons have been erected. The MOT are not in favour of illuminated Belisha Beacons because street lighting should be imporved to make beacons visible to drivers and pedestrians. At the same time beacons are often obscured by trees, lamp standards and other obstructions. - [Public Lighting #7, 1937]

The City Of Leeds have installed in the Otley Road a novel system of road studs (cats eyes). The lines have been laid in Otley Road, Leeds, commencing at a point on the outskirts of the city where street lamp illumination ends, to the city boundary, a distance of three-quarters of a mile. By day the line is clearly indicated by the yellow pads and by night the line is brilliantly illuminated by the reflected light of vehicle lamps. The road stud consists of a cast-iron well base into which is inserted a flexible rubber pad fitted with four crystal lenses, two lenses on eitehr side of the pad. Traffic passing over the studs compress the rubber pads to ground level and in doing so the lenses are automatically cleaned by a rubber wiper. - [Public Lighting #8, 1937]

1938: lamps:
The fluorescent tube (MC lamp) is being produced experimentally by Siemens. "The most striking use of fluorescence is that in which various powders are coated on the inside of low pressure mercury discharge tubes i.e. fluorescent tubes. Of very low power consumption, these tubes are being produced experimentally for interior illumination." - [Conference Paper, 1938

Sugg exhibit what could be described as the first known passive safety mechanism. "A safety "cut-off" valve, to prevent the escape of gas in the event of an illuminated guard post being knocked down, is being demonstrated. The body of the valve in strong but compact, and precautions are taken to ensure that any breakage of pipes occurs above the valve, which is fitted in the base of the guard post. This valve prvides a great safety factor as guard posts are frequently destroyed and the ignition of escaping gas may cause considerable damage." - [APLE Conference Programme, 1938]

The services of the Royal Fine Art Commissions had been freely placed at the disposal of Government Departments and of local authorities in advising upon the aesthetics of bridges and other engineering structures. Their involvement was requested by the Ministry Of Transport. - [Public Lighting #10, 1938, Public Lighting #35, 1944]

The Bournemouth Gas And Water Company are pioneering the Aeration Test Burner (ATB) so the whole of the supply will be under ATB control. All gas burners supplied with this gas will give a regular and consistent performance without any need to interfere with the first setting of the air regulator; it may be found that the regulator is unnecessary. Flame size, under ATB control, will be kept within a very small tolerance and will not vary much in its constancy. The improved bye-road gas lighting will be supplied under ATB control with each lamp individually governed and fitted with a nipple with a calibrated orifice. - [Conference Paper, 1938]

The Minister Of Transport suggested that any lamp columns erected on trunk roads would require approval by the Royal Fine Art Commissions before the Ministry would pay a grant towards the installation. The APLE contacted all applicable manufacturers and practically "all steel and concrete people" had submitted drawings. These were considered by the APLE and then forwarded to the Royal Fine Art Commissions for their approval. - [Public Lighting #11, 1938]

The Association Of Municipal Corporations have expressed the view that the recently published Ministry Of Transport Departmental Report will place a heavy financial burden on local authorities. Therefore the Association have asked the Minister Of Transport to defer coming to any decision on the report until they've had an opportunity to present their views to him. The Association have sought estimates from local authorities as to the cost of bringing up the lighting of (a) classified roads and (b) other roads to the standard recommented by the Ministry Of Transport. - [Public Lighting #9, 1938]

A Committee of the British Standards Institution was dealing with a standard specification for street lighting which would shortly be published. - [Public Lighting #11, 1938]

A new draft specification for Street Lighting by the British Standards Institution was issued for comment in the summer. They had also issued a draft specification for low-pressure gas mantles. - [Public Lighting #12, 1939]

The new draft specification gave in appendix form precise instructions for the siting of lights allong bends, road junctions, intersections and roundabouts. - [Public Lighting #16, 1940]

The draft specification has not matured, due in the first instance to the inherent difficulty of reaching agreement on the correlating of all the essential factors with the extreme diversity of relevant street characteristics and the impracticability of measuring visibility. - [Public Lighting #32, 1944]

The MOT Report had not provided an aid to progress but rather the reverse, because small authorities finding they could not afford to adopt the recommendations had become reluctant to undertake any improvement to their lighting, perfering to conserve their spending power in the hope that at some future date assistance would be provided. - [Public Lighting #11, 1938]

By Section 23 of the Road Traffic Act, 1934, a county council is empowered to light rowads if the appropriate lighting authority has failed to provide such illumination or better illumination s the county council may require. A lighting authority which, by request of the county council provides lighting, or better illumination, are entitled to receive from the county council the amount raised. At the present time, none of the county roads in Berkshire are lit by the County Council. In some cases Parish Councils, has Lighting Authorities, are considering schemes for the lighting of roads in their areas and the question of grants towards the costs has been made. At present, Government grants are not available towards the cost of lighting the roads, other than trunk roads. However the County Councils' Association have made representations to the Ministry Of Transport urging that grands in aid of approved expenditure upon the lighting of county roads should be made to county councils or to the road lighting authorities. The County Finance Committee considered that the cost of lightign country roads should be eligible for grants and have passed the following resolution:

That Parliament, having seen fit to confer on highway authorities the power to provide for the lighting of roads under their control and of trunk roads, the Berkshire County Council consider it illogical that financial aid should be given to the lighting of trunk roads only and they urge the County Councils' Association to take such further steps as they may think fit to scure the discontinuance of the present anomalous position with a view to the cost of ligthing roads receiving adequate grant from national funds.
Published in - [Public Lighting #9, 1938]

Circular No. 511 (Roads) was published which dealt with the lighting of trunk roads. This detailed how the MOT would pay 50% of the installation costs for a new lighting installation. The Circular conveyed to local authorities the details of section 6 (4) of the Trunk Roads Act 1936. - [Public Lighting #12, 1939]

The number of vehicles on the road is increasing by 500 per day. - [Public Lighting #10, 1938]

It was estimated that it would cost between 3 million and 5 million per annum to carry out the Recommendations of the MOT Report. - [Public Lighting #11, 1938]

New street lighting between 1932 and 1938 in all towns in Great Britain was 78½% electric and 21½% non-electric. - [1938 Advert]

In 1928 electricity was responsible for less than 40% of the total lighting of Britain's highways. Now it's 60%. The reason for this increase are:

  • In 1928 the average cost of electricity for street lighting was nearly 2d. per unit - it is now 1.107d. per unit.
  • The improvement of electric light sources means that 1d. can provide four to five times the light that could be obtained ten years previously.
  • The adoption of the MOT Report by many authorities has led to a 4000 hour lighting season (dusk-to-dawn all year) which results in comparatively little increase in cost with electricity
  • Electric street lighting maintentance costs are relatively less than gas.
Published in - [Public Lighting #11, 1938]

During 1938, 65% of Lighting Authorities installed more electric street lamps. - [1939 Advert]

The net increase in the number of electric street lamps was 26,3600. - [1939 Advert]

In 77 areas the number of non-electric street lamps decreased by over 10.000. - [1939 Advert]

The first installation of low-pressure high-intensity gas lamps (the Keith Magnalux) is erect in Worburn Place, Holburn - [Public Lighting #9, 1938]

The first Trunk Road lighting scheme to receive the approval and grant of the Ministry Of Transport under the 1936 Act, is a Philips Philora scheme at Earley, Berks., inauguarated by Captain Austin Hudson, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister, in October 1938. - [APLE Conference Programme, 1939]

The first lighting scheme under the Trunk Roads Act 1936 was installed after negotiations between Earley Parish Council, Berkshire County Council and the MOT. Sodium lighting was chosen which would cover a mile of the London Road through Earley to the outskirts of Reading. It consisted of Philora sodium lamps in ELECO GoldenRay fittings. The opening ceremony on October 17th was attended by a large gathering of representatives of the highway authorities and various Associations concerned with lighting, road transport and road safety. It marked the first direct financial assistance by the Government towards securing greater road safety through trunk road lighting. - [Public Lighting #11, 1938]

The first installation of UniDirectional lighting along Chertsey Road, Twickenham. GEC Unidirectional lanterns are fitted with 250W Osira lamps. - [Public Lighting #12, 1939]

It has become clear that County authorities are not only indisposed to act on Road Traffic Act, 1934, Section 23, but are flatly refusing to incur any expense in this direction. The cost involved in raising the lighting to this standard varies from 400 to 500 per mile. - [Public Lighting #10, 1938]

Under the guidance of lighting engineer Wilkie and the Home Office, black-out experiments take place in Leicester on the 28th January 1938. The arrangements made and the lessons learned from the experiment are outlined in Wilkie's later paper. - [1938 Paper]

A Home Office Circular, dated 14th February 1938, states the following in connection with street lighting:

Normal street-lighting would not be permitted in time of war.

Adequate means of aiding movement in darkened streets would accordingly be required in all streets likely to carry considerable traffic.

Reflectors, white markings, or dim, well-screened indicator lights which cast no appreciable illumination but served merely to show their position would be used to mark the line of the road and also obstructions and danger points. More precise particulars of 'aids to movement' of this kind will be supplied as soon as possible.

Traffic control signals, fitted with approved masking devices, would be allowed to remain in operation in darkened streets.

It is not thought that further experience will reveal the need for any modification to these proposals. If any relaxation were found to be necessary, it would not go beyond permitting between raids a certain amount of modified street-lighting, carefully screened and capable of being instantly extinguished on receipt of an air raid warning, in the main thoroughfares of the largest towns, and then probably only in the less exposed parts of the country.

1939: lamps:
Developments of the luminescent tube (MC lamp) is detailed in Philips' Technical Review (No. 9, Vol 3.) - [Public Lighting #13, 1939]

BEDA claim that the cost of electricity for street lighting is 1d per unit. They also estimate that over two-thirds of the installation of the British Isles is electric. - [APLE Conference Programme, 1939]

BGCA publish Light On The Roads which deals with the new standards of lighting on trunk and other roads following the MOT Report. There are 800,000 public lamps lighted by gas and, since 1920, the amount of gas used for public lighting has more than doubled. - [APLE Conference Programme, 1939]

The Ministry Of Transport hold a conference on the design of lighting columns. A number of leading manufacturers attend and express their readiness to join others in considering how the design of lamp standards might be improved. The Royal Fine Art Commission is satisfied at the enterprise shown by manufacturers and their willingness to collaborate in improving the standard of design. A number of designs to meet the new MOT Report (1937) requirements and standards would be available to all. Questions on copyright are waived and some 30 or 40 designs are submitted anonymously by the firms represented. From these the The Fine Art Commission select a number which appear to be generally acceptable. Mr Davis, the Honorary Secretary Of The Conference, keeps a copy of the drawings. It is intended to design other parts, including lanterns and fittings, but the effort is interrupted by the war. - [Public Lighting #31, 1943]

In 1939, there were 70 licensed motor vehicles to every mile of classified road in the country. And the average daily increase in vehicles was nearly 500. To counteract the mounting toll of accidents, street lighting was being installed at the rate of 1000 miles per year.- [Public Lighting #37, 1945]

The Association Of Municipal Corporations asked the Minister Of Transport (last March) to defer coming to any decision on the Final Ministry Of Transport Report until the Association had an opportunity of laying their views before him. The Law Committee Of The Association now report that surveys show that considerable financial burdens would be imposed on local authorities if their street lighting were brought up to the standard suggested. The Committee accordingly recommended, and the Council Of The Association agreed, that the Minister Of Transport should be asked whether he would be prepared to contribute towards the increased annual cost of lighting. - [Public Lighting #12, 1939]

All work on the new standard is interrupted by the war. - [Public Lighting #34, 1944]

Designs for restricted lighting in exempted premises (such as railway stations) were published in BS/ARP 16, BS/ARP 20 and BS/ARP 21. This included fittings at 10', 15' and 20', which gave 0.002 h.ft.c, 0.02 h.ft.c and .2 h.ft.c respectively. - [Public Lighting #17, 1940]

The first gas street lighting scheme for trunk road lighting to qualify under the Trunk Roads Act 1936, has now been approved by the Ministry and will be carried out on 1¼ miles of the Newport-Shrewsbury Road. It lies in the area of the Abergavenny Corporation and the Corporation Gas Department is in charge of the lighting. - [Public Lighting #13, 1939]

In June, an employee of the Tottenham Gas Company appeared before the Bench to answer the charge of "riding a bicycle to the common danger." His 'offence' was "the dangerous practice of riding a bicycle with an extending ladder 12' long over his shoulder which prevented him from having proper control." Fortunately the Bench dismissed the summons without calling further evidence. The Tottenham Gas Company then switched to using bicycles fitted with trailers which carried the ladder. - [Public Lighting #32, 1944]

Mr. R. C. Morrison asked the Minister Of Transport what steps were being taken to secure reasonable uniformity in the lighting of portions of traffic routes as recommended by the Departmental Committee on Street Lighting. Captain Austin Hudson replied that "before making agreements with the responsible lighting authorities for the lighting of trunk roads, my right hon. Friend satisfies himself as to the adequacy of the installations proposed. He has no control of the lighting of other roads, but has brought the committee's report to the notice of all the principal lighting authorities, and the systems which have recently been installed show that regard is being had to the committee's recommendations." - [Public Lighting #13, 1939]

Memorandum On Aids To The Movement Of Traffic To Be Installed In Roads And Streets In The Absence Of Street Lighting is published by the Home Office. This details how traffic signals, bollards, obstacles and other street furniture are to be screened and modified. - [Public Lighting #17, 1940]

Rythmatic Control is installed for the first time in Great Britain in Falkirk. Its ability to be used for ARP is an imporant consideration, as it's used in connection with the Eastern Scotland "black out." - [Public Lighting #14, 1939]

War is declared on the 3rd September and the Lighting Restriction Order is put into practice. All street lighting is extingushed. This is known as the "black-out." (It is the Lighting (Restrictions) Order, 1939, No. 1098). - [Public Lighting #15, 1939]

The APLE's conference, to be held in Glasgow on the 4th September, is postponed. The news of the conference is broadcast by the BBC - [Public Lighting #15, 1939]

The Home Secretary, Sir John Anderson, did not believe there was any advantage of leaving the lights to be extingushed when there was an air raid warning. He said he was also ignorant of the system by which streets could be plunged into darkness by means of central switches, but he was looking into the matter. - [Public Lighting #15, 1939]

There is much criticism, from all quarters, of the "black-out." - [Public Lighting #16, 1940]

A Joint Lighting Committee is formed (by the Illuminating Engineering Society in collaboration with the Home Office) to look into alleviating the "black out" and finding a solution. The chairman is Mr. Percy Good. They carry out exhaustive experiments to evolve some form of lighting that would overcome complete darkness, yet of such low intensity to remain invisible to enemy aircraft. They recommend the use of a new form of low intensity lighting. - [Public Lighting #16, 1940]

The Joint Lighting Committee's starting point for the design of the luminaires are the designs used for industrial lighting, outlined in BS/ARP 16, BS/ARP 20 and BS/ARP 21 and which provide illumination in three grades of 0.002, 0.02 and 0.2 foot-candles. - [Public Lighting #23, 1941]

Sir John Anderson, now Minister of Home Security, is interviewed on the radio on the 15th December 1939, on the subject of the "black-out" and street lighting. As a result of efforts by the Joint Lighting Committee, the whole country, with the exception of certain vulnerable areas (most around the coast), is to be given a slight relaxation from the oppressive gloom of the previous four months. "After many experiments, tested by the RAF from the air, this problem has now been solved, with the assistance of the lighting engineers." - [Public Lighting #16, 1940]

The APLE hold a special conference in London on the 28th November at St. Ermin's Hotel. It was to discuss ARP precautions, the black-out, and war-time preparations. Mr. C. W. Johnson from the Home Office was present to discuss the Government's position and to listen to proposals and ideas. - [Public Lighting #16, 1940]

38% of the total fatal casualties on the roads occurred after dark. (Pre war). - [Public Lighting #36, 1945]

67% of road fatalities took place in "black-out" between September and December - [Public Lighting #28, 1943]

Over 50% of all public street lamps were lit by gas. - [British Gas Council Advertisement, 1945]

1940: standards:
"Street Lighting Under War-time Conditions", BS/ARP 37, is issued by the British Standards Institution in January 1940. It specifies new lantern types which conform with the new Comfort Lighting." - [Public Lighting #16, 1940]

The new lighting proposed by BS/ARP 37 is called Low-Intensity Lighting, Comfort Lighting, Starlite Lighting and 0.0002 Lighting by various authors.

Apparently it was first described as Synthetic Starlight - [Public Lighting #23, 1941]

Fittings complying with BS/ARP 37 are quickly produced as restricted lighting had already been specified and manufactured for exempted premises. Earlier specifications which influenced this specification were BS/ARP 16, BS/ARP 20 and BS/ARP 21. The three mounting heights of 10', 15' and 20' came directly from each of these three specifications. - [Public Lighting #17, 1940]

Lighting (Restrictions) Order, 1940 requires that every street lighting fitting be marked with the certification mark of the British Standards Institution. This certification mark can only be used by manufacturers who have obtained a licence from the British Standards Institution. - [Public Lighting #18, 1940]

The first fluorescent tube (the MC lamp) is produced by Crompton Parkinson and sold as the Crompta Fluorescent Tube - [Public Lighting #17, 1940]

This is followed by the Sieray Fluorescent Tube by Siemens. - [Public Lighting #18, 1940]

B.T.H. produce the first lantern which complies with BS/ARP 37 - [Public Lighting #16, 1940]

Waldram develops an optical method in which it may be possible to indicate the height at which a pattern of the scene as viewed from the air will be revaled at various levels of road brightness. It is still theoretical, but early aerial observations agree with the method, and there is fair agreement that an average illumination exceeding 0.0002 f.c. should not be permitted. The method was demonstrated in London under the auspices of the Joint Lighting Committee at the Empire Resturant, Victoria on the 6th, 7th and 8th February. - [Public Lighting #17, 1940]

After the meetings at the Empire Restuarant, attendees (who represented Lighting Committees from all over the country) were given a conducted tour of streets illuminated to the level of 0.0002 f.c. Some 500 people attended these tours. Without exception, all agreed as to the immense amenity value of this order of illumination. The installation was arranged by C. I. Winstone of the Gas, Light And Coke Company. - [Public Lighting #17, 1940]

Secretary of the APLE, Mr. H. O. Davies appeared on the radio programme In Britain Now and gave a short talk on the new Starlight Lighting. The talk aimed at interesting the public on the value of this form of war-time street lighting. Numerous messages were received from all parts of the county - the attempts to give even a minimum amount of light was met with great satisfaction. Many listeners enquired "why their own towns were still without light?" - [Public Lighting #17, 1940]

District meetings are arranged to demonstrate and explain the new lighting specification as the Westminster demonstrations were so successful. The first is held in Leicester on the April 5th, where talks are given and the new lighting, installed by Mr. Thomas Wilkie, is demonstrated. - [Public Lighting #17, 1940]

There are over 800,000 gas lamps for street lighting installed in the country. - [Public Lighting #17, 1940]

Over 300 local authorities are installing low-powered starlight standard gas industry fittings. - [Public Lighting #17, 1940]

Concrete Utilties have supplied 50,000 concrete columns to hundreds of boroughs around the country. - [Public Lighting #17, 1940]

54% of the total fatal casualties on the roads occurred after dark this year. - [Public Lighting #36, 1945]

56% of road fatalities took place in "black-out" between September and December - [Public Lighting #28, 1943]

The Prime Minister in his speech in the House Of Commons on September 5th referred to "this business of lighting the streets." He expressed the hope that we were not going through all the gloomy business that we went through last year and he had set up a committee: "To see in what way we can make more light and cheer in the winter months, and at the same time subserve the purposes of alert and alarm." - [Public Lighting #19, 1940]

Installation of "star light" street lighting slows from August onwards. Some existing installations are turned off. This is in reaction to hostile public reaction, who don't understand why the street lights are allowed to be left on during raids, and fear that it attracts enemy bombers. In some cases, where bombs have falled on lit areas, some of the locals have blamed the "star light" street lighting. - [Public Lighting #19, 1940]

1941: lamps:
The APLE consider the use of tubular fluorescent lamps for street lighting purposes for the first time. Despite the relatively long length of the tubes, the form of lighting offers shadow-free lighting. - [Public Lighting #21, 1941]

The GEC introduce the Osira fluorescent tube. Its characterists, a selection of fittings and the necessary auxiliaries are described in a new leaflet (OS. 9316) which is issued by the company in the first months of the year. - [Public Lighting #21, 1941]

The War Damage Act, 1941 allows County and County Borough Councils to contribute five annual payments towards damage to highways caused by enemy action. It is to ensure highways remain in use during the risk period. Payments are made by the War Damage Commission to Highway Authorities under a scheme made by the Treasury. Lamps, lamp posts or other materials or apparatus fixed on or near a highway, for the purpose of illuminating it, are deemed to form part of the highway. - [Public Lighting #21, 1941]

Some newspapers suggest the removal of "redundant" steet lighting columns to aid the war effort. The move is resisted by the APLE who want street lighting to be kept in readiness so it can be reinstated immediately after the war. - [Public Lighting #24, 1942]

The first street lighting installation to use the new tubular fluorescent tube is installed in Pretoria, South Africa. The decorative units, used for area lighting, employ one 400W mercury vapour discharge lamp in a 20" globe with a diffuser containing twelve 5' fluourescent tubes. Each unit consumes 840W. There are 60 of these standards located 70' apart in and around Church Square. The scheme, submitted for a competition and chosen by a local committee, was designed by The British General Electric Company Limited of Johannesburgh. - [Public Lighting #21, 1941]

Some towns have discontinued modified lighting in doubt of safety, in spite of official assurance. Bristol, which had 10,229 lamps lit, later discontinued these; but in September 1941 it was announced that "much-blitzed Bristol" had decided to restore the modified lighting. Similar lighting had been in use in several other cities despite air attack, and its absence in Bristol had not given immunity. - [Public Lighting #25, 1942]

Mr. Herbert Morrison in the House Of Commons on the 24th last month, stated there was little prospect of a material change in the street lighting regulations. Asked if there would be any increase in the standard of illumination next winter, he replied that the investigations made last year indicated that no increase was possible in the existing circumstances, and added that the question for further steps next winter depended on the strategical situation. While the Prime Minister had indicated that an improvement would be effected [last year], his statement was followed by heavy air attacks which imposed a revision of the plans then in view. "Public opinion would be ratehr apprehensive as things are if there were any increase in lighting." - [Public Lighting #21, 1941]

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." - [Public Lighting #23, 1941]

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." - [Public Lighting #23, 1941]

The Fine Arts Commission examined many column designs from manufacturers collected by the APLE. The suggestions they put forward and the modifications made by the designers resulted in a set of extremely satisfactory designs being approved and made available. This work was done with an eye on future post-war rebuilding schemes. - [Public Lighting #21, 1941]

The records of two years of war show about 20,000 were killed on the roads of Britain. In 1939-40, the number of pedestrians killed during darkness was more than three times those who suffered in the daylight. - [Public Lighting #23, 1941]

A report received from the Management And Finance (War Emergency Committee) on the Minsitry Of War Transport Committee on Road Safety In War, noted that during the four "black" months of September-December 1941, some fewer 900 fewer persons were killed in road accidents as compared with the same months the previous year. - [Public Lighting #24, 1942]

43% of the total fatal casualties on the roads occurred after dark this year. - [Public Lighting #36, 1945]

51% of road fatalities took place in "black-out" between September and December - [Public Lighting #28, 1943]

1942: arp:
Writing concerning the desirability in certain quarters for war-time street lighting to be increased beyond the limits of BS/ARP 37, Mr. Stewart, the President of the A.P.L.E., has intimated that it is desirable to have the public and the local authorities reassured that street lighting, to the standard, has the confident support of the Ministry Of Home Security and the associated experts in defence and illuminating engineering. A letter from the Ministry Of War Transport, recently quoted in the technical press as submitted to a Highways Committee, stated that the Ministry was in favour of starlighting and the Ministry Of Home Security, which was primarily concerned, was doing all it could to encourage the extension of this lighting. - [Public Lighting #25, 1942]

Around a sixth of the UK's lighting stock carries war-time lighting. - [Public Lighting #28, 1942]

The APLE publish a leaflet - called "Prepare Now To Light Up Your Streets" - for the use of lighting engineers in bringing to the notice of their lighting committees the urgency of keeping all their lighting equipment in good condition. It also offers guidance concerning future installations and how to argue against potential scrappage for the war effort. - [Public Lighting #26, 1942]

46% of road fatalities took place in "black-out" between September and December - [Public Lighting #28, 1943]

1943: arp:
The Ministry of Home Security, after consultation with the Ministries of War Transport and Fuel and Power, has stated that "starlight" street lighting should be extinguished during daytime whereever possible to save fuel. Some "starlight" lighting cannot be switched on and off day by day. - [Public Lighting #29, 1943]

In the two years 1940-41 and 1941-42, with comparatively little traffic on the road, there were no fewer than 7,334 deaths during the blackout. - [Public Lighting #30, 1943]

Over 1000 lamp-posts had been damaged or destroyed by collision since the war started. - [Public Lighting #31, 1943]

The APLE's "Prepare Now To Light Up Your Streets" is circulated widely (to every lighting authority in the country) and picked up by the Daily Press who exaggerate its contents with front page headlines. This causes some embarassement in some Government quarters and it is emphasised that there has been no change in Lighting Restrictions Orders. - [Public Lighting #31, 1943, Public Lighting #34, 1944]

On the 15th December, the House Of Lords' Law Lords found in favour of the Egham Urban District Council against the Egham and Staines Electricity Company Limited. Under the street lighting contract, the Electricity Company claimed 3950. The contention of the defendants was, that owing to war-time restrictions and black-out regulations, the streets had been unlit. Mr. Justice Cassels, in the lower Court, help that the Urban District Council should pay to the Electricity Undertaking. That decision was reversed by the Court Of Appeal on June 17th 1942. The Electricity Company thereupon appealed to the Lords and this was dismissed with costs. Lord Russell of Killowen said it was contended by the Company that the current had been supplied up to the point of entry into the lamps and no default had occurred. He could not accept that contention. The constract was not to supply merely electric energy, but to supply electric lightng. There was complete exoneration of the Council. - [Public Lighting #31, 1943]

1944: arp:
Concessions issued by the Home Office on September 17th relax some of the limitations on street lighting. This is called the "Dim Out", but also becomes known as "Moon Lighting." However, London and the South East have to remain in blackout or use "starlight" lighting. - [Public Lighting #34, 1944]

The Institution Of Gas Engineers sent out instructions for converting gas lanterns to the new "Dim Out" standards on the 13th October. - [Public Lighting #36, 1945]

In a surprise move, the Ministry relaxed rules on the lighting of London. This caused some consternation among London's lighting engineers who were preparing their lighting for the full relaxation of the black out rules. Therefore many London lighting engineers, not wanting to waste resources, decided to wait and not provide lighting to the "dim out" - [Public Lighting #35, 1944]

The Gas Light and Coke Company develop a new gas lighting unit which provides low levels of light (for ARP and other uses) which uses a fraction of the gas and requires a fraction of the materials used by the standard gas conversion unit. - [Public Lighting #34, 1944]

Pioneering reseaerch into the fluorescent tube started in the UK about ten years ago. Marketing of the new lamp was interrupted by the war. The research work was continued by the U.S.A. It was due to war conditions and restrictions that new lamps didn't progress further into this country - use of the lamp has been restricted to war factories where its saving 20,000 tons of coal per annum. It will play a large part in post-war lighting. - [Public Lighting #33, 1944]

Sugg start manufacturing the new gas lighting conversion burner developed by the Gas Light and Coke Company for ARP lighting.

After using phosphors which provide an illumination of 'Daylight' quality, BTH introduce a phosphor of 'Sunlight' quality which they call Warm White. It is introduced in December. Both phosphors are made available for fluorescent tubes as Daylight or Warm-White. Warm-White was intended for non-industrial purposes. - [BTH Advertisement, 1945, Public Lighting #38, 1945]

400 of the new Sugg ARP conversion burners are installed by Dagenham Borough Council. - [Public Lighting #34, 1944]

ELECO arrange a demonstration of full-scale pre-war public lighting along Campfield Road, St. Albans. Intended for lighting and municipal engineers, a large number of the public attend. Four fittings (Orbital, Hamilton and two sizes of Golden Ray) are fitted to seven columns at 25', spaced 150' apart, which can be switched on individually. This allows the mertis of Mercury, Fluorescent-Mercury and two sizes of Sodium lamps to be judged. - [Public Lighting #35, 1944]

The night/day ratio risk of accident is over 20/1 at this present time. - [Public Lighting #32, 1944]

A census by the APLE determined that 33 1/3% of street lighting would be available on the first night after an armistice with a further 40% made available within three weeks. - [Public Lighting #32, 1944]

"And when the lights go up in London - and I'd like to see them blazing like a beacon - let it be a sign and a signal to the waiting world that the British people are still on the job and mean to stay on it." - J. B. Priestley, BBC broadcast.

The Royal Fine Arts Commission (finally) publish a selection of approved designs for columns. [They started in 1938 and designs were 'leaked' in early 1944.] In considering the designs, the Commissioners aimed for simplicity. The days of the ultra decorated lamp column are gone - what is wanted is a plain design having pleasing sweep or curve to the lantern. The idea is to make the column and lantern less noticeable. The general trend will be "the column lighter, but the lamp brighter." - [Public Lighting #35, 1944]

The pamphlet titled Public Lighting In The City And Highway, designed primarily for members of public lighting committees as a guide for the requirements of good street lighting after the war, is published. It was the result of a comittee on which both the Illuminating Engineering Society and the Association Of Public Lighting Engineers were both represented. - [Public Lighting #35, 1944]

Work has started on the revision of the Street Lighting Specification (BS 307) by the National Illumination Committee of Great Britain. The question rose whether a Code Of Practice should take the place of the Standard Specification, but it was finally agreed by a considerable majority to retain the specification with the addition of fairly extensive explanatory notes. - [Public Lighting #38, 1945]

1945: arp:
Sunday July 15th marks both the end of double-summer time and the end of blackout lighting restrictions. - [Public Lighting #37, 1945]

Technical Supplement No. 1, is published by The Lighting Service Bureau, and deals exclusively with the technical details of the fluorescent lamp. The introduction of a Warm White lamp and the fact that it is no longer necessary to obtain a licence to acquire, install or use fluorescent lighting, increases the number and variety of people directly concerned with this British invention - [Public Lighting #38, 1945]

Concrete Utilities take out a patent on a "concrete lantern" where the lantern's canopy is part of the bracket arm. A Group B version of the lantern is developed in conjunction with Siemens. A Group A version is on the drawing board and subject of another patent dealing with heat dissipation. - [APLE Conference Programme, 1945]

4,459 miles of trunk roads were taken over from local authorities under the Trunk Roads Act 1936, and a further 3,700 miles of roadways would be taken over from the County Boroughs and County Councils upon the passing of the Trunk Roads Bill now before Parliament. Under the final approval of this Act, no less than 8,150 miles of trunk road will be under Government control. - [Public Lighting #39, 1945]

Radiovisor claim their "Light Ray Automatic Control" is being used for 180 miles of street lighting in the Metropolitan area of London. - [Radiovisor Advert, 1945]

The first experimental lanterns using tubular fluorescent lamps for public lighting is installed in August. In Eglington Road, Dublin, 6 switch start 5ft. 80W semi-trough fittings were centrally suspended on wires usings Siemens daylight lamps. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

Good street lighting will show a return in saving of life and public material and loss of working hours of not less that 5 times the cost of its provision and maintenance. - [Public Lighting #37, 1945]

1% of coal production was used for street lighting. - [Public Lighting #38, 1945]

Accident statistics issued by the Ministry of War Transport show a reduction in deaths on the road as compared with the same month the previous year. For July 1945, there were less accidents in the month of partial lighting of "Black out" (1945) than in the same month of "Black out" (1944). - [Public Lighting #39, 1945]

In the House Of Commons, a question was addressed to the Parliamentary Secretary of the Minister of War Transport asking "whether he indended all roads in the post-war years to have standard and uniform lighting, and would he see that a typical specification was issued to ensure this result?" Mr. Noel-Baker, in his reply, stated that the Ministry had no "power to require highways authorities to light main roads." He went on to state "he hoped that the standards proposed in the report of the Departmental Committee on Street Lighting will be generally adopted after the war by competent lighting authorities." [Note: The Minister didn't refer to Section 6 (4) of the act, which does allow the Ministry to light trunk roads with the local Lighting Authorities with each providing 50% towards capital and maintenance costs.] - [Public Lighting #37, 1945]

The British Gas Council, a new governing body set up by the Gas Industry in January 1945, represents municipal and company-owned undertakings resonsible for over 98% of the gas produced in the British Isles. This Council unites the functions of the National Gas Council and the British Commercial Gas Association. - [Public Lighting #38, 1945]

The Ministry of Fuel and Power send out a circular on the 22nd August. It asks for a reduction in street lighting, necessary as a temporary measure, because of the fuel shortage. It was manifestly against the public interest that street lighting should be the only form of fuel consumption in which there was a full return to peace time standards at once. It is a request but would lead to further powers being raised against Lighting Authorities if it was not conformed to. - [Public Lighting #38, 1945]

London boroughs rejected for reasons of public safety and security the recent appeal from the Ministry of Fuel to switch off street lighting at midnight. Every London road will be lit throughout the winter nights; main roads will be well lighted and side streets partially lit. At the same time, borough councils will co-operate with the Ministry to drive to conserve coal by maintaining street lighting at half the pre-war standard. An official of the Ministry of Fuel said: "Our object was to bring about that economy by cutting down consumption. Our objective will have been achieved. - [Public Lighting #39, 1945]

Draft copies of the new proposed British Standard are circulated. It is largely based on the MOT Report of 1937. Lanterns are now classified into various types i.e. Type 1: Maximum peak at 80°-85° (originally non-cut-off); Type 2: Maxiumum peak at 75° (controlled cut-off/semi-cut-off? [although I believe this angle was initially higher but with a rapid falloff for controlled cut-off/semi-cut-off]); and Type 3: Cut-off. It also included the new 'acceptance number' which was a mesaure to determine whether the installation was installed correctly. The 'acceptance number' was the matter of some debate - and as to whether the specification should be a British Standard or British Code Of Practice. - [Public Lighting #40, 1946], [Harris, 1945]

1946: lamps:
BTH introduce the 40W 4' tube. It uses bi-pin caps, gives 40 lm/w, and is available in both Daylight or Warm White. - [BTH Advertisement, 1946]

The GEC claim the first UK installation of 5 ft. fluorescent tube lanterns along Brompton Road, Kensington. [This is disputed as there are at least two previous installations. Needs confirming.] - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

Fuel economy is definitely a matter of grave concern, but it is now urged, for authorities to keep 'hands off' street lighting as a means of conserving coal. The comparatively small saving from any restrictive measures in Public Lighting is far outweighed by the damage caused by street accidents, increased crime and general public discomfort. - [Public Lighting #40, 1946]

1950: installations:
In South Street, the County Borough of Eastbourne was the first authority to install wall mounted tubular fluorescent lanterns fixed horizontally in a public thoroughfare, so their light source was parallel to the road. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

1952: lamps:
The G.E.C. introduce triple coil cathodes to fluorescent tubes giving improved life and performance. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

1954: installations:
The GEC install the first cold cathode street lighting installation in the world along Union Street in Aberdeen. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

1955: lamps:
The GEC introduce the first integral (SOI) low pressure sodium lamp with an efficacy of 85 l/w. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

1956: installations:
The GEC install the first integral sodium lamp installation in the Metropolitan Borough of St. Pancras, London. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

1960: lamps:
The GEC introduce gold film as a heat reflecting layer for low pressure sodium lamps, increasing the efficacy to 100 l/w. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

1964: installations:
The GEC install the first motorway lighting installation in the U.K. on the elevated section of the M4 between Chiswick and Langley, Bucks. 200W linear sodium lamp lanterns are used. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

1965: installations:
The GEC install the first High Mast lighting in the UK, in The Cumberland Basin, Bristol, using 25 metre masts and 1000W MBF/U lamps.- [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

The GEC also install the first trial installation of mercury iodide lamps in the UK in Shaw, Manchester. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

1966: lamps:
The GEC arrange the first installation of high pressure sodium lamps (SON) in the UK along East Lane, Wembley. They are marketed as the Solarcolour Lamp. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

On November 15th, the City of London was the first local authority to introduce the high pressure sodium lamp (SON) for a major street lighting programme. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

Concrete Utilties install the first British made high masts at the Severn Bridge approaches. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

The GEC install the first UK installation of High Mast lighting using low pressure sodium lamp lanterns at the Brent Cross Flyover, Hendon, London. They install 30 metre masts with lanterns housing 180W SOX lamps. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

1967: installations:
The GEC install the first commercial lighting installation in the UK using high pressure sodium lamps (SON) at Southend-On-Sea in Essex. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

Philips Lighting introduce the first ever public lighting competition open to all UK public authorities. Final judging takes place every two years at the A.P.L.E. Conference and Exhibition, when delegates are invited to cast votes for their choice of scheme in three categories: street lighting, public building and works lighting, and public amenity lighting. The final choice is made from nine shortlisted schemes displayed anonymously on the Philips' stand at the Exhibition. Besides awarding trophies and commemorative scrolls as prizes, representatives from all nine finalists are invited on a four-day visit to Europe, courtesy of Philips, to view major lighting schemes. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

1968: lamps:
The GEC invent and market the first plug-in high-pressure sodium Solarcolour Lamps (310W and 360W) to replace 400W mercury lamps without change of control gear.

The GEC install the first motorway lighting in Scotland in the M8. Cut-off lanterns with 135W SOX lamps are used. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

The GEC install the first UK installation of High Mast lighting using high pressure sodium lamp lanterns, at Huddersfield, with 25 metre masts and 400W HPS lamps. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

1969: lanterns:
Phosco develop the first variable geometry lantern. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

1971: lanterns:
Phosco pioneer single piece injection moulded refractor bowls for Group B sodium lanterns. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

The Hounslow section of the A4 is lit by a catenary scheme. This is the first to be installed on an existing trunk road which carries a heavy volume of traffic. - [Caternary Lighting On The Great West Road, 1974]

Concrete Utilties develop the first world design of a double drum winch for high masts. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

Concrete Utilities also develop the first Frangible Joint Columns as developed by the Road Research Laboratory. [Slightly disputed - see Sugg's Automatic Cut-Off Bollards in 1938 - but CU hold claim for columns]. These are installed on the A1 near Doncaster. - [Public Lighting, Golden Jubilee, 1974]

1972: installations:
Philips Lighting light the "largest motorway interchange in Europe" with low-pressure sodium source. The interchange, known as "Spaghetti Junction" is in fact situated at Gravelly Hill, outside Birmingham, and is the final link between three of Britain's major motorways, M1, M5 and M6. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

Fisher-Karpark Ltd produce the first negative ratio control utilising a purpose made integrated circuit. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

Fisher-Karpark Ltd produce the first electronic control specifically for motorway lighting systems incorporating a low voltage injection signal for remote override during daytime fog conditions. Developed in September 1972, installed and operational at Scratchwood M1, November 1973. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

Fisher-Karpark Ltd produce the NEMA standard socket ot pass the British Standard finger test for safety and incorporating a weatherseal cap to prevent moisture ingress where the control is fitted as a last operation. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

1973: installations:
Philips Lighting provide high mast SON lighting for the urban motorway into Leeds city centre. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

1974: lanterns:
Philips Lighting introduce three new low pressure sodium lanterns onto the UK market. Ideally suited for motorways and major road installations, the new lanterns are for use with 90W, 135W and 180W low pressure sodium lamps. Outstanding feature of the new lanterns is that they combine both semi-cut-off and cut-off light distribution in one lantern, giving substantial cost and convenience benefits. - [Golden Jubilee, Public Lighting, 1974]

2012: standards:
BS5489-1:2013 was released at the end of December 2012 following a major revision of the 2003 version by the BSI EL/001/02 Road Lighting committee, comprising leading lighting professionals representing many professional lighting and electrical organisations and government bodies.

The emphasis has changed to reflect the transformation of public lighting due to increasing energy costs and legislation such as the carbon reduction commitment energy efficiency scheme. The latest technology available for lighting and the results of recent research have also influenced the standard.

The 5 main themes for change are:

Energy - the emphasis is on using the "right light in the right place at the right time" and assessing the task and the requirements for lighting that task in a safe and efficient way, avoiding over lighting. Variable lighting is introduced as an option for most road lighting applications.

Competency - the role of the designer has greater responsibility under the latest CDM regulations and with the increasing focus on the relationship between lighting, road safety and crime it is essential that decisions are taken by competent lighting professionals.

Risk Assessment every street is different and the specific lighting requirements of the area need to be assessed when selecting the most suitable lighting class for the street.

Environment the environmental impact of lighting is subject to intense scrutiny. Poorly designed lighting can now be classified as a statutory nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act. Lighting should also comply with the ILP guidance notes for the reduction of obtrusive light.

Health & Safety Designers are responsible for creating designs which are fit for purpose and do not endanger lives of users of the environment or those installing or maintaining the system. Designers should consider electrical safety and passive safety (if the risk cannot be designed out) as important elements in this respect.

So where do the Energy savings come from?

Typically lighting systems designed to the 2013 standard will consume less energy than previous versions. This is due to a combination of the following:

  • Annex A selection criteria typically leads to lower lighting levels
  • Annex B maintenance factor table updated leading to higher MFs selected
  • Reduction for light sources with high S/P (scotopic/photopic) ratio for subsidiary roads.
  • Variable lighting promoted for most applications.

ILP Press Release

Road lighting encompasses the lighting of all types of highways and public thoroughfares, assisting traffic safety and ease of passage for all users. It also has a wider social role, helping to reduce crime and the fear of crime, and can contribute to commerical and social use at night of town centres and tourist locations. Road lighting should reveal all the features of the road and traffic that are important to the different types of road user, including pedestrians and police.

BS EN 13201: 2003 (European Standard). This provides the foundations and general guidance.
Road Lighting - Part 2: Performace Requirements.
Road Lighting - Part 3: Calculation Of Performance.
Road Lighting - Part 4: Performance Measurements.

PD CEN\TR 13201-1: 2004 (Published Document, CEN Technical Report). (This does not have the status of a standard).
Road Lighting - Part 1: Selection Of Lighting Classes.

BS 5489: 2003 (British Standard). This provides specific recommendations for UK conditions.
Part 1: Lighting of roads and public amenity areas.
Part 2: Lighting of tunnels.

timeline: old

This was the old timeline. It doesn't include citations and references. It's being gradually replaced by the new timeline above.

Like the Glossary, this part of the website is currently under construction and being added to all the time. If you have any additions, or corrections, then please send them in.

1405 Other:
First historical reference to public lighting in this country where the Aldermen of The City Of London are ordered to see that a lighted lantern is hung outside every house along the highway, generally from dusk to nine o'clock "where the moon was dark."

1417 Other:
The Mayor of London ordained that "lanthorns with lights to bee hanged out on the winter evenings betwixt Hallowtide and Candlemass."

1461 Other:
First street lighting specification where the Mayor and Aldermen of The City Of London issue a "Standards Specification" for candles to be used in the lanterns, which stated that they were to be of at least twelve to the pound in weight.

1599 Other:
The candle specification (see 1461) has now been altered to eight to the pound.

1657 Other:
The first occasion on which a municipality assumes responsibility for any part of public lighting when City Of London Aldermen were ordered to supply lights where the responsibility for them could not be placed on private householders.

1745 Other:
Matherot de Preigney and Bourgeous de Chateaublanc develop the "reverbere", an oil lamp with polished metal reflectors.

1763 Other:

In 1745, 23rd of December, Matherot de Preigney and Bourgeous de Chateaublac obtained the privilege of an enterprise for new lanterns furnished with oil and polished metal reflectors call "reverbere." Here is a development of the very highest importance in the history of street lighting!

This was followed in 1763 by another significant advance. There was held a competition at the Academie des Sciences to obtain a plan for "the best way of lighting a large city, ensuring as far as possible safety, economy and duration." Chateaublanc won the prize with a modified and improved form of his reverbere.

The use of these reflectors in street lighting gave rise to discussions which would not be out of place in a meeting of the Illuminating Engineering Society. Chateaublanc declares in his memoirs that the light from his reverbere was so intense that a person could be recognised 30 paces away. Numbers of people, however, found the light too brilliant, and compained that it tired the eyes of passers-by and blinded coachmen with horses. Chateaublanc retorted that if some eyes were blinded by his lights it was because they gazed at them with too much admiration. It was not necessary to look at his lanterns, which were suspended 25 to 30 feet high. Their attention should be directed to their feet and surroundings. As to the coachmen, they should be looking at their horses, while the horses themselves could not easily walk with their heads in the air. Thus did this prototype illuminating engineer deal with the earliest discussion of glare in street lighting!

The company which was organized to light the streets with oil reverbere lanterns contracted to repair and substitute new lanterns, furnish oil of tripe, and hire the lighters, for an annual payment of $70,000. This street lighting, being entrusted to a company especially organized to administer it, proved satisfactory. M. Sartine says: "The light diffused by this reverbere is so brilliant that it is impossible to think that the future has in reserve anything better!" In 1780 Mercier wrote: "There have been no more lanterns for sixteen years, the reverbere have taken their place. In former times 8,000 lanterns with badly placed candles, extinguished by the wind or melted, lighted badly or gave a pale, uncertain light interspersed by shadows, shifting and dangerous. Today means have been found to give great light to the city and also great facility of service."

In 1777 the road from Paris to Versailles was permanently illuminated. Five leagues and a half of reverbere. Never had such an illumination been imagined. Mercier exclaimed: "No city, ancient or modern, has offered utility on such a scale."

Following is a specification of the earlier reverbere: Hexagonal frame of iron without solder. Those of five lights shall be 2 ft. 5 in. in height including the cap. Diameter, 22 in. at the top and 16 in. at the base. Those with three or four lights must be 26 in. high including the cap. Those with two lights wil be 24 in. in height, 17 in. in diameter at the top ad 9 in. at the base. All the lanterns shall have their lamps of different sizes in proportion to the time they will be lighted. Each light shall have a reflector of copper, silver plated, and each lantern shall have a reflector placed horizontally over the light which shall be the whole size of the lantern to prevent shadows. This reflector shall also be copper, silver plated.

At the end of the eighteenth century there were 5,624 reverbere in Paris. These continued in use until displaced by gas lamps.

I.E.S. Trans,
Vol. XV, No. 3

1807 Other:
Gas lamps first introduced into Pall Mall, London. The Golden Lane Brewery and part of Beech and Whitecross streets are also gas lit later the same year. Before that, the streets were lit with oil lamps outside peoples' houses.

1809 Other:
Gas lamps first introduced in the UK according to Harrison, Haas and Reid. This disagrees with the date above.

1816 Other:
"Arguments against Light" appears in the Cologne Zeitung:

1. From the theological standpoint: Artifical illumination is an attempt to interfere with the divine plan of the world, which is preordained darkness during the night time.
2. From the juridical standpoint: Those people who do not want light ought not to be compelled to pay for its use.
3. From the medical standpoint: The emanations of illuminating gas are injurious. Moreover, illuminated streets would induce people to remain later out of doors, leading to an increase in ailments caused by colds.
4. From the moral standpoint: The fear of darkness will vanish and drunkenness and depravity increase.
5. From the viewpoint of the police: The horses will get frightened and the thieves emboldened.
6. From the point of view of national economy: Great sums of money will be exported to foreign countries.
7. From the point of view of the common people: The constant illumination of streets by night will rob festive illuminations of their charm.

1821 Other:
Gas lamps first introduced in Baltimore, USA. It isn't known if this is the first installation in the USA or just Baltimore.

1878 Other:
Jablochkoff Candle, a form of arc light, introduced in Paris. (Illustration below shows a street lit by them.)

Arc lamps installed along the Holborn Viaduct, London and Victoria Embankment after a committee examined those which had been in use for some time in Paris. This is the first use of electricity in the UK for public lighting. There are six arc lamps connected in series.

Joseph Swan demonstrates the incandescent lamp.

1879 Lamps:
Thomas Edison, working independently of Swan, demonstrates the incandescent lamp. He also introduces it commercially and it uses a carbonized bamboo fiber filament. 25,000 are made and sold in this year. They have an efficiency of approximately 2 lumens/watt.

Public Square of Cleveland, USA, is illuminated by Brush with 12 open carbon-arc lamps. The open arc lamp does has number of serious inherent defects: unsteady light source, poor distribution of light and the necessity of daily trimming. Despite this, it becomes extremely popular until made obsolete by the closed arc lamp.

1884 Lamps:
The local authorities at Wimbledon conduct a series of experiments with the incandescent or glow system of electric lighting for street illumination. A mile of lamps is erected using Woodhouse And Rawson 50-candle power glow lamps. It is found that suspension of the lamps at 20' with 100' spacings gave the best results.

The best diffuser is found to be Trotter's Dioptric reflector. The "Dioptric Shade" is moulded from clear flint glass into innumerable little prisms, which causes considerable diffusion of the light and obviates glare.

1885 Other:
Welsbach Street Lighting Company introduce the Welsbach gas mantle in the USA. The 5-ft. open-flame burner previously used produced but 15 to 20 candle power, whereas the Welsback mantle is rated at 60 candle power for the same consumption of gas.

The illustration shows the "boulevard type" with upward mantle burner and chimney (left). This design is superceeded by the inverted mantle (right) which has slightly improved efficiency, is more durable and doesn't require a chimney.

1891 Lamps:
Incandescent lamp having a filament of carbonized cellulose is introduced. This has an efficiency of 3 lumens/watt.

1892 Other:
Private Street Works Act (1892) require frontages on to a private street to provide proper means of lighting before the street is adopted as a Public Highway by the council.

1893 Other:
The enclosed-arc lamp is developed in the USA. It only needs trimming once a week, and replaces the open arc in many installations, although the efficiency of light production is lower.

1899 Lanterns:
The Bremer flaming-arc lamp is introduced (USA) which mounts the electrodes at angles with their tips projecting into an "economizer". This limits the amount of oxygen supplied to the arc and increases the life of the electrodes. An electromagnet is required to "blow" the arc downwards to prevent it from damaging the economizer and to increase its surface.

Electric Lighting Clauses Act (1899) requires where a supply of electricity is required by a Lighting Authority for a lamp within 75 yards of a distributing cable, the supply authority must provide a supply.

1904 Other:
BS 8: Tubular Steel Traction Poles (this would later have great influence on street lighting columns).

Horstmann Gear Company produce the first commercial gas controller which uses quick action gascocks for use with incandescent burners (there were crude gas controllers before this, but were used to control "Batswing" flames).

The direct-current magnetite-arc lamp is developed (in the USA) and replaces the flame-arc design.

1905 Lamps:
The gem or metallized-filament lamp is introduced. This has an efficiency of 4 lumens/watt. Experiments continue with different filaments and osmium (too scarce) and tantalum (too low resistance) are tried.

1907 Lamps:
The tungsten-filament lamp is introduced in the USA.

1908 Lamps:
The GEC are the first in England to manufacture drawn tungsten filament lamps after many years of making carbon filament lamps.

1915 Lamps:
The Mazda C lamp is introduced in the USA. This gas-filled lamp with coiled tungsten filament operates in the inert gases nitrogen and argon at an efficiency of 20 lumens/watt. It is the first gas-filled incandescent lamp to be sold in the USA.

The more concentrated filament of the gas-filled lamp makes the application of prismatic refractors possible and development starts for street lighting.

In the London Metropolitan Police District, from 1913 to 1915, the recorded non-fatal accidents occuring in the daytime increase by 34%, while non-fatal accidents at night increase by 63%. Similarly fatal accidents in the daytime increase 6% while fatal accidents at night increase 21%. The increase in daytime accidents is largely attributable to the increase in the amount of traffic; the greater increase in night accidents is the result of reduced street illumination (due to extinguished or carefully screen lanterns to reduce danger of air-raids).

1918 Other:
The GEC establish the first industrial research laboratory in the British Empire to engage in fundamental research.

1922 Other:
The Britannia Lamp Factory in Preston is taken over by Siemens.

1924 Other:
At the British Industries Fair in Birmingham, 15th Febuary 1924, Captain W.J.Liberty A.Inst.Gas.E, Lighting Engineer of the City Of London. calls some lighting engineers together to form the APLE.
Mr. Sam B. Langlands J.P., Lighting Superindendent Of Glasgow, becomes first President, and becomes affectionally known in later years as The Grand Old Man.
Those present at this initial meeting included Liberty, Langlands, J.F. Colquhoun, C.S.Shapley, Thomas Wilkie, Harold Davis, C I Winstone, Alex C. Cramb and Haydn Harrison.

1927 Lamps:
The GEC develop and introduce the first Rough Service Lamps using vibration and shock resistant thoria tungsten wire - known universally for several years as Magnet Wire.

BS 307: Street Lighting. Based on the simple principles of the uniform illumination of road surfaces. The relatively low efficiency of the filament lamps and other economic considerations make it necesssary to concentrate the maximum proportion of the available light on to the carriageway and this standard specifies a test point and certain minimum illumination values (which comes to be regarded as a figure of merit for an installation). It encourages some very highly directional reflectors and refractors which give narrow beams of high intensity, leading to glare and streakiness on the road. (Furthermore the idea of test points vs. general uniform lumination, the idea of two lanterns vs. each in the road building up the lumination and the development of the discharge lamp made this specification obsolete).
Light Distribution Emphasis: High Peak Intensity

1928 Other:
The APLE hold their first conference in Sheffield, where 51 different installations conforming to the various classes of the BS 307 (1927) are erected.

1930 Other:
The principles of street lighting by accentuated contrast is discovered at the Research Laboratories of the GEC and is applied using tungsten street lighting.

Requirements of Street Lighting by Ward Harrison, O. F. Haas and Kirk M. Reid (USA):

  • To provide sufficient illumination to facilitate the movement of vehicles and pedestrians through all the streets of a city without danger of accident or fear of molestation.
  • To supply this illumination with equipment which does not detract from the appearance of the streets either by day or by night.
  • To secure this illumination at an expenditure comparable with the funds that can be had for the purpose.

1932 Lamps:
GEC demonstrate the MA lamp in clear glass globes in East Lane, Wembley, London.
250W and 400W versions are made commercially available.

Philips demonstate the sodium bulb in Purley Way, Croydon, London on the 8th December. The installation is comprised of 60 100W Philora DC bulbs.

G. H. Wilson presents a paper to the Association Of Lighting Engineers introducing sinusoidal diagrams.

1933 Lamps:
Commerical AC sodium bulbs are introduced by Philips.

As sodium lanterns are considered to have less glare than mercury, then early lanterns are open with little more than simple reflectors (the so-called 'seagull-reflectors').

A cut-off lantern is developed (the Wardle Liverpool) which utilised mirror reflectors. It required suspending over the centre of the carriageway.

The world's first commerical installation of medium pressure mercury vapour lamps and lanterns are installed by the GEC in Watford Road, Wembley.

1934: Other:
Road Traffic Act: introduces the 30 m.p.h speed limit, tests for drivers and pedestrian crossings.

Road Traffic Act Section 23: County Councils can enter into agreements with lighting authorities for the lighting of County roads and the provision of necessary equipment.

There are 2.4 million vehicles licensed in the UK. Road casualties at 99 per 1000 vehicles.

The Horstmann Gear Company introduce the Comet Automatic Gas Ignitor which make the use of a permanent pilot light unnecessary and therefore give a significant saving in running costs.

1935: Lamps:
Philips demonstrate the an experimental MB lamp in the UK for the first time (it's believed this was a water cooled version). Commericially produced MB lamps were still two years away.

The Minister Of Transport appoints a Deptartmental Commitee "to examine and report what steps could be taken for securing more efficient and uniform street lighting, with particular reference to the convenience and safety of traffic and with due regard to the requirements of residential and shopping areas, and to make recommendations."
The MOT then publish interim report on street lighting. This covered the lighting of main roads.

1936: Lamps:
BTH introduce the 150W Madza Mercra MA lamp.
GEC introduce the 150W Osira MA lamp.
Siemens market the Siray Dual Lamp (MAT).

REVO introduce Progress (250-400W MA/V).
Sugg light the Great West Road in London with Rochester Gas Lamps.
Parkinson introduce Maxill gas lamp.
The South Metropolitan Gas Company introduce the Supervia Gas Lamp to light the streets of Wandsworth. It used thin flat mantles instead of cylinderical ones.
Oldham lit with 150W sodium lamps.
400W Osira lamps in Tunbridge Wells lanterns (GEC) used to light Richmond.
Other areas to use Osira lamps are: Newport, Reading, Tunbridge Wells, Lewisham, Lambet and Norwich.
The original Purley Way installation is replaced and increased with 235 150W Philora sodium lamps in the Wardle Liverpool fitting. The lanterns are suspended centrally on wires.

The APLE publish the first issue of Public Lighting.
The APLE hold their conference in Cheltenham.

10,000 MA lamps are already in use.

Trunk Roads Act: Section 6: MOT may enter into agreements with the lighting authorities over lighting of trunk roads where the MOT will contribute 50% of the cost of installation and subsequent maintenance.

1937: Lamps:
High pressure mercury lamp (MB) developed. 125W and then 80W versions offered by various manufacturers.
400W mercury fluorescent lamps (MAF) is introduced by the GEC, which uses a zinc cadmium sulphide phospor. It has several problems: (a) Additional red inadequate to correct spectrum (b) partly absorbent to blue light (c) sensitive to heat requiring a large outer envelope.

Refractor panels are used with sodium lamps for the first time.

Stanton start production of spun concrete columns.

In August, the MOT publish the final report on street lighting. As well as main roads, side roads and junctions are considered.

It is based on the concept of "perspective geometry" and "silhouette vision". This, together with the introduction of gaseous discharge lamps, results in this final report.

Recommendation For The Lighting Of Traffic Routes (Group "A")

  1. Mounting Height. To centre of light source, 25 ft.
  2. Spacing. Generally not greater than 150 ft., but under occasional span may be as much as 180 ft. Where economically possible, spacing at 120 ft. may be adopted. For cut-off lighting, a figure substantially below 150 ft. is required.
  3. Overhang. Maximum distance between the two rows should not exceed 30 ft. Maximum overhang of 6 ft. This is to allow the lighting of kerb, pavements and adjoining property.
  4. Amount Of Light. For a carriageway of not more than 40 ft. in width, luminous output per 100 ft. linear of road should be between 3,000 and 8000 lumens.
  5. Distribution Of Light. Available light should produce the maximum contrast between brightness of the object to be used, and its background.
  6. Glare. With non-axial distribution, ratio of peak candle-power to the average of the values in all directions downward from the source and lying between 30 and 45 from the vertical should not exceed 6. With axial distribution, the ratio should not exceed 5.
  7. Siting Of Columns. Single side lighting should be avoided except on bends and central suspension.

Recommendation For The Lighting Of Group "B" Roads (Non Traffic Routes)
Owing to wide variations that exist for these roads, general guidelines rather than specific guidelines are given.

  1. Mounting Height. Between 13 ft. and 15 ft.
  2. Spacing. Not greater than 120 ft, with maximum of 150 ft. in exceptional cases.
    Where economically possible, spacing at 100 ft. should be adopted.
  3. Amount Of Light. Between 600 and 2500 lumens per 100 ft. linear of road.
  4. Distribution Of Light. As Group 'A'.
  5. Glare. For Non-Axial fittings, the ratio should not exceed 4.
    With axial distribution, the figure should not exceed 3.
  6. Siting Of Columns. Staggered system recommended, with special care at junctions and intersections.
Light Distribution Emphasis: Total Light Output most important.

The APLE hold their annual conference in Folkestone.

1938 Lanterns:
Metropolitan Vickers start producing street lighting, entering the market with the Trafford, the first British lantern to use an enclosed deep trough refractor. It was passed by the Royal Art Commission.

There are 3.1 million vehicles licensed in the UK.

1939 Lamps:
The GEC produce and market the first high pressure mercury lamp with a silica envelope with a fluorescent coating - this is the forerunner of the MBF/U.

Just before The Second World War, the chief form of illumination in the City Of London was the arc lamp.
Leamington Spa was lit entirely by gas; they were just introducing high pressure gas lamps.
Defence Regulation 56A (1939) is introduced; it limits the capital available for new street lighting. Schemes require the sanction of the MOT and Civil Aviation Authority.

1940 Other:
British Standard 161 published: Tungsten Filament General Service Electric Lamps. This allows manufacturers to replace universal focusing adjustments with stepped adjusters as bulb size is now standardized.

1945 Other:
Leamington Spa switches back on its gas lighting, thanks to sterling efforts by the Gas Undertaking, but the decision is made to convert them to electricity.

Over three million motor vehicles are licensed.

The first fluorescent street lighting scheme is installed in Eglington Street, Dublin in August. Semi-trough reflectors are used.

1946 Lanterns:
First installation of fluorescent lanterns in the UK.

BTH light Rugby High Street with the second installation of fluorescent street lighting in August (Dublin was the first the previous year). This time, scientifically designed lanterns are used.

Old Bond Street becomes the third street to be lit with fluorescent, with an installation installed on the 1st September.

The GEC install the first UK installation of 5 ft. fluorescent tube lanterns in Brompton Road, Kensington.

APLE hold their conference in London where a paper on fluorescent lighting was given and equipment was demonstrated. It was feared that maintenance costs would be high, as would the cost of the lanterns.
It was after seeing this exhibition that the lighting engineer of Leamington Spa decided to trial fluorescent lighting.

British Standard 1308 published: Reinforced Concrete Street Lighting Columns.

Lantern and column design examined by the Scottish and English Royal Fine Arts Commission on behalf of the MOT. For MOT grant schemes, only lanterns and columns 'passed' may be used. (This activity is later taken over by the Council Of Industrial Design).
The use of steel is restricted, so concrete columns become popular.
Minister of Transport becomes the Central Authority responsible for street lighting.

1947 Other:
Even though the Code of Practice won't be published for several years, most installations carried out from now until 1952 are in accordance with the "draft" code.

There are now 3.5 million motor vehicles on roads.

1948 Lanterns:
Metropolitan Vickers introduce the SO-50 which is the first lantern made almost entirely from Perspex. It is passed by the Royal Art Commission.

City Of London decides to use fluorescent lighting to relight its streets. Original idea was to use fluorescent lights on span wires - but this caused maintenance problems due to the congested streets. Therefore the wall mounted City Of London lantern was designed - although it wasn't possible to use a parallel mounted lantern (to the road) as it would've blocked up window space.

1949 Lanterns:
Siemens introduce the Wilton Sieray MFC lantern. It has a four bolt fixing system and internal cantilever. The first installation is in Fishergate, Preston.
Sugg introduce the Group-B Southport lantern.

1950 Lanterns:
REVO install the first installation of wall mounted tubular fluorescent lanterns fixed horizontally in a public thoroughfare in South Street, Southampton where the light source is parallel to the road.

1951 Lanterns:
Siemens install the new square designed Sieray fluorescent lantern (probably the Sunray) in Preston.

British Standard 1788 published: Street Lighting Lanterns. Covers the mechanical and constructional features of lanterns with regards to safety, durability and easy of maintenance, but does not cover photometric requirements.

British Standard 1249 published: Cast Iron Steet Lighting Columns.

"Light The Streets" film with John Snagge commentary shown at the APLE Annual Conference. Deplicts modern methods required by the Code Of Practise and examples on how to light roundabouts, T-junctions, and crossings.

The annual cost of gas starts to increase. Some authorities (e.g. Northampton) abandon gas for electricity on economic grounds.

1952 Lanterns:
Crompton Aries lanterns on Stanton 6B columns (156 units) used to light the Sutton Bypass.

British Standards Code Of Practise (BSCP) 1004 Part One: "Street Lighting Part I - Traffic Routes" published. It refines the MOT Report for Group 'A' roads (1937). Light Distribution Emphasis: Total downward light the most important. Also takes into account subsequent developments in light sources and road surfaces, gives more recognition to "Cut-Off" lighting, allows some reduction in the spacing of columns, and permits slight tolerance in mounting heights. It is decided to implement the Report by an advisory guide rather than a specific specification. Also the report is designed to produce installations that are "forward thinking" i.e. it should be possible to periodically "modernise" an installation, both easily and economically by refurbishing with new lanterns and/or light sources. The code is produced under the chairmanship of Dr. J. W. T. Walsh.

British Standard 1840 published: Tubular Steet Columns for Street Lighting. Four mounting heights are given: 30', 25', 15' and 13'. Tubes should be welded or seamless. Basic requirements for strength and deflection are stated.
British Standard 161 (1940) modified.
A British Standard for tubular fluorescent tubes is published (might be BS 1853).
The 60W GLS bulb was decreased in size to the same size as the 40W GLS.

The Council Of Industrial Design now approves the design of lighting columns (taking over from the Royal Fine Art Commission).

The lighting on the Great North Road in Baldock is upgraded. Originally there were 31 gas lamps with two-light No. 2 burners on short cast iron columns. These were replaced by 70 Concrete Utilities Avenue 3D and Avenue 3DN columns with Arc II brackets and Crompton Parkinson Corona II 140W SO/H lanterns.

1953 Lanterns:
BTH introduce the new SLX3535 for 80W fluorescent tubes.
BTH introduce the Sapphire for MA/U or MA/V.
BTH install 500W tungsten lanterns on Stanton columns in Sowerby, West Riding.
BTH sodium lanterns used to light Tavistock.
BTH install 5ft. fluorescent lighting in Eltham, London.
BTH are marketing the SL3500 lantern.
BTH exhibit the SL3535 (aluminium canopy, one-piece perspex bowl, internal cantilever), the Horizontal Sodium Open Lantern and the Sapphire.
BTH export the SL3500 to Australia (Fitzroy Bridge, Rockhampton, Queensland).
BTH export the SL600 series lantern to Iraq (Kiruk, Northern Iraq).
Crompton Concept introduced. Uses Concrete Utilities and Stanton concrete columns. Accepted by the Council of Industrial Design. Concept One available with Plain Arc, Arc II or Swan Neck bracket - fitted to CU Estate Minor or Major columns.
Crompton Corona II introduced, and used for lighting trunk roads in Leeds.
Crompton are makreting their Crompton Lamps
Ediswan marketing the sodium SSA/1 lantern for 85W and 140W SO/H.
Ediswan exhibit a new two-tube fluorscent lantern and the brand new BT22.
ELECO introduce the Welwyn, Lancaster, Letchworth and Golden Ray Mark III (all comply with BS 1788).
Falk Stadelmann add two new sodium lanterns to their Fulmar range (side entry and top entry).
GEC are marketing the Two-Forty, Viatron, Blown Glass cut-off (400W MB/U), Enclosed Sodium and Three-Eighty
GEC contracted to relight Plymouth: mercury and fluorescent replacing tungsten in the city centre, whilst mercury is used elsewhere. "Three Eighty" (Z8381) 5 foot 80-watt fluorescent lanterns, GEC "Blown Gas" cut-offs and GEC "Dioptrions"
GEC used for lighting of the A6 in Chorley and Kendal.
GEC marketing the Brookvale Lanterns.
GEC are marketing the Two-Forty, Viatron, Dioptrion, Enclosed lanterns for sodium lamps, "Two-Eighty" and Z8580.
GEC are marketing the Z5500/1/2B (Brookvale), Z5630/1/2, Z5565/6/7SB, Z9720, Z9456, Z5643, Z8442 (Forty-Forty) and Z8247/8.
Holophane marketing post-top lighting for Group-B roads.
Holophane exhibit the two post-top lanterns (Group B), a sodium cylindrical refractor lantern (Group A), horizontal mercury discharge lantern, a single piece bowl lantern and a prototype Cylindrical Refractor Lantern (for MBF bulbs).
MV SO-50 lanterns mounted on existing trolleybus poles in Middlesbrough.
MV SO-52 lanterns (replacing an installation of metal filament lamps) light Salford, Lancs.
MV are marketing the new Trafford II, and the SO-50, SO-51, SO-52 and Borough.
Parkinson And Cowan introduce Maxilla and Maxilla Junior.
Parkinson And Cowan introduce Maxilla Festival.
REVO light Dudly with Silverblue mercury lanterns and Vertical Fluorescent Lanterns (Festivals). First installation of vertical fluroescent on concrete columns.
REVO light the centre of London with Wornum lanterns.
REVO exhibit the C14372 (New Sol-e-tern), C12627/8 (with aeroscreen), C13723, C13660 (cut-off), C13740, C13214 (Critchley), C12423/AL, C12422/AL, C13285/AL, C13594 (Silver blue) and Festival.
Siemens produce City Of London vertical Fluorescent lantern (3x80W MCF). 5 prototypes are installed in King Street.
Siemens are marketing the Bracknell lantern.
Siemens exhibit the City (vertical wall mounted lantern), Capital (trolley bus pole mounting lantern), Bracknell and Cathay (post-top lantern).
Sugg develop gas lighted flashing beacons for pedestrian crossings.
Sugg market the London lantern.
Sugg are marketing the Southport lantern.
Sugg exhibit the Group-B Southport lantern (sealed refractors now used, new burner design), Group-A Southport and the 8000 (available with various forms of mounting). The Rochester now has perspex shades
Wardle are marketing the Atholl and Stuart lanterns and exhibited them at the APLE conference.
Wardle are marketing the Gordon, Atholl, Melville and Palatine lanterns.

There are 650,000 gas lighting units installed in the UK.
Aspec are marketing the Kingsland K1 and K3 time switches.
Automatic Light Controling Ltd are marketing the Gunfire controller and celebrating 50 years.
Automatic Telephone and Electric Co. Ltd. introduce new control switch (type 46) especially designed for street lighting.
Automatic Telephone and Electric Co. Ltd. exhibit their Rythmatic ripple control system. An installation is planned to control 20,000 street lights. The system caters for "All-Night", "Half-Night" and "Prior-Dawn."
Automatic Telephone and Electric Co. Ltd. Rythmatic control system controls 426 lanterns in central London.
British, Foreign and Colonail Automatic Light Controlling Co. Ltd are marketing their Gunfire controller.
BTH introduce new phosphors into their MBF/V lamps. This eliminates the colour distortion.
Concrete Utilities marketing the Avenue 3D column.
Horstmann celebrating producing 1,500,000 times switches. They exhibit the Y switch which has 12 hours spring reserve.
Metropolitan Gas Meters Ltd are marketing the Duplex time switch.
ICI experiment with acrylic plastics for street lighting use.
ICI design refractor system for Siemen's City Of London lantern.
Philips have installed over sixty miles of sodium lighting in the city of Liverpool.
Poles Limited exhibit their Adastra columns, approved by the Council Of Industrial design. The Beta column was shown for the first time.
Sangamo Weston market the SS (synchronous time switch) and SSC (synchronous time switch with solar dial). Seeboard (South-Eastern Electricity Board) experiment with high mounted street light units.
Standard Telephone And Cables Limited introduce DC Bias system in Southampton.
Standard Telephone And Cables Limited are marketing the DC Bias Control System.
Stanton are marketing the 8D, 8F column. The Council of Industrial Design have approved a wide range of their columns.
Stewarts And Lloyds are marketing the Gb. 503, Gb. 508, Gb. 557 and Gb. 583.
Venner marketing Half-Night Control (MSDC) time-switch for fluorescent lanterns.
Venner are marketing the TJSSP time-switch (with nine hours spring reserve).

The APLE conference was held in Liverpool.
The APLE start work on their Diploma scheme.
Regional sections of the APLE are being founded. The Scottish and Lancashire & Yorksire Sections are already formed and having meetings. The Midlands Section holds its inaugral meeting this year.

The tubular 125W MBF/U is exhibited at the conference for the first time. The bulb had been available in Europe for some years previous.

The trends since the Second World War were:

  • Larger sizes of discharge lamp were used, disposed horizontally in enclosed lanterns, to give broad-beam distribution.
  • Extension of the use of sodium lamps for main road lighting.
  • Fluorescent lanterns introduced in city streets and town centres.
  • Group-B roads tend to toatally enclosed lanterns with 100 GLS lamps.
  • Post-top lanterns gradually make headway, using fluorescent tubes, normally decorative.
  • Perspex is used for enclosing bowls, refractor plates and the lantern body itself. Tubular vertical refractors are now being made for smaller sizes of filament lamp, although currently only of symmetrical distribution.
  • Steel is in short supply, so concrete columns are installed in large numbers.
The current trends are:
  • Increasing scrutiny by the Council Of Industrial Design
  • New town developments. (In one case a column was selected, and manufacturers were asked to design a lantern for it).
  • Architects have specified entire column and lanterns combos (leading to post-top mushroom designs).
  • Decorative post-top fluorescent lanterns are appearing, opalised on one side of the bowl.
  • Swan neck brackets are considered ugly.

The damage on highways due to accidents and insurance claims was estimated at 150 million per annum.

Accident statistics showed:

  • More that 95% of all road accidents occurred between 7AM and midnight.
  • Two and a half times as many adult pedestrians were killed an hour at night as an hour during the day.
  • Almost twice as many motor drivers were killed an hour at night as an hour durin the day.
  • Almost twice as many adult pedestrians were seriously injured an hour at night as during the day.
These can only be attributed to bad visibility.

Over five million motor vehicles are licensed.

In Belgium, it had become the practise to tilt fluorescent lanterns at 15o. It was thought that the tilt lit the centre of the road better. The practise started to appear in the UK; for no other reason than it was the continental way of doing things.

The Institution of Municipal Engineers carry out a survey of street lighting in England, Wales and Scotland:

  • Some form of lighting exists on 90% of roads: 53% electricity and 37% gas.
  • Of the 53% electric lamps, 70% lights main roads.
  • Nearly 100% of authorities had already decided to light all future schemes by electricity.
  • Amount of sodium and mercury lighting in use on main roads was about the same.
  • Less than 10% of main roads lighted by filament lighting, although oer 50% of residential roads used it.
  • Over 95% of installations were being designed with the new Code Of Practise.
  • 49% of street lighting operated from "dusk to dawn".
  • Manually wound time clocks used by 93% of lighting authorities.

1954 Lamps:
New 80-125 MBF/U bulbs are introduced in the UK. Lanterns start to appear for them.
100W GLS bulbs are to be decreased in size as specified by the new BS 161 (1952).
BTH introduce new 80W and 125W MBF/U bulbs. They have better colouring and are smaller.
Philips are advertising their sodium lighting.

GEC are marketing the Post-Top Small Wembley Lantern.
ELECO market the Welwyn, Lancaster, Letchworth and Golden Ray Mark III (all comply with BS 1788).
Falk Stadelmann are advertising their street lighting.
Holophane marketing a two-lamp MBF/U lantern (after the introduction of the smaller 125W MBF/U) bulb and the Post-Top lantern.
MV are marketing the new Trafford II, and the SO-50, SO-51 and SO-52.
REVO light Durham and Dudley with fluorescent lanterns.
Wardle are marketing the Atholl and Stuart lanterns.

Automatic Light Controling Ltd are marketing the Gunfire controller.
Automatic Telephone and Electric Co. Ltd. are marketing their type 45a Rythmatic Ripple Control Unit.
Horstmann are marketing their gas and electric time switches.
Parkinson And Cowan Instruments are marketing the Kingsland K1 and K3 (they were formally Aspec Limited).
Poles Limited are marketing their Adastra columns.
Siemens are advertising in general.
Standard Telephone And Cables Limited are marketing the DC Bias Control System.
Stanton are marketing the 8F column approved by the Council of Industrial Design.
Stewarts And Lloyds are marketing the Gb. 503 and Gb. 557. All comply with BS 1840.
Venner are marketing their MSSP time-switch.
Concrete Utilities marketing the Avenue 3D column.

The APLE hold their conference in Eastbourne.
Members of the Road Research Laboratory give a paper on road surface characteristcs.

The new BS 161 standards give rise for concerns in lanterns e.g. temperature effects and effects on light distribution.

Siemens install 50 Kuwait lanterns in Preston Market Square, the first installation of these lanterns in the UK.

Some notes by Waldram on street lighting:

  • Making the road surface bright
    Shortage of money means we make "a little go a long way". This must not be taken too far; a poorly lighted street may be more dangerous than an unlighted one.
    Silhouette lighting: most convenient, safest, least expensive way of revealing objects.
    Single lantern, mounted on column, produces a bright patch on road surface. Size, shape and brightness depends on nature of road surface, light distribution of lantern and mounting height.
    Important facts about the patch:
    • Lies between the observer and the foot of the column. Never extends beyond the foot.
    • For cut-off distribution (maximum intensity 75°, no light emitted above 80°), patch will be ellipse shaped with long axis across road.
    • For non-cut-off distribution (maximum intensity 80° appreciable light emitted to horizontal), patch will be "T" shaped with tail extending along road to observer.
    • Luminance of patch very dependent on the reflector factor of the road at glancing angles of incidence and view.

  • Spacing And Arrangement Of Lanterns
    • Main Roads
      Cut-off lantern mounted 8M high over kerb will light road 10M wide, kerb to kerb. Therefore central suspension of single line of lanterns at 30M spacing is satisfactory. Gives adequate road brightness; freedom from glare; safe and pleasant driving conditions. However, most costly and less flexible than non-cut-off.
      Non-cut-off lantern, patch width is less. Preferred arrangement, mount lanterns on columns kerb-side, at 40M spacing (50M max) in staggered arrangement. Larger spacing possible because of longer bright patches. Arrangement of lanterns places patches side-by-side so merge to creat uniform path of light. Brightness of the road surface high, but so is dazzle.
      Lanterns placed on outer kerb around bends; use siting guage to determine locations so patches merge.
      Layout of lanterns for non-cut-off requires skill and ingenuity.
      Dual carriageways: can use lanterns emitting light towards the traffic (uni-directional), therefore reducing wattage of lanterns by half. Or mount pairs of cut-off lanterns on central columns.
    • City Streets
      Amenities of the neighbourhood should be preserved. Vertical lanterns are good as they emit much light above the horizontal to light buildings and improve general appearance.
      For crowded streets and squares, bright road surfaces are less important so lanterns should be spaced more closely to achieve a higher direct illumination.
    • Side Roads
      To reduce cost, lanterns at 200W or less are used; mounted 3-5M high; spaced at 40-50M.
      Light distribution similar to main road non-cut-off.
      Aim is not to light the road for the benefit of the motorist - but for the pedestrian and general amenity.
      Lanterns should be easy to maintain, attractive, of low brightness and proof against small boys.

  • Choice Of Light Source
    Made on personal preference on colour and comparative costs.
    GLS: relatively cheap to install, expensive to operate.
    MCF: cheap to operate, costly to install (gear, large columns, large lanterns).
    Most new main road installations in the UK are MB or SO. No experimental evidence has been published to support a preference (although recently determined that MB more glaring than SO - but not conclusive).

  • Lantern Design
    Must fulfil purpose for 10 to 20 years.
    Must be easy to maintain.
    Adjustments - such as focusing devices - should be as few as possible.
    All parts should be robust.
    Design should not be sensitive to manufacturing tolerances.
    • Optical Design
      Reflector systems must be made to greater tolerances than refractor systems.
      Light control should be by main controlling system and an auxiliary system.
      Optical system determined by light distribution required e.g. cut-off achieved by specular reflectors.
      Refractors and reflectors can be used equally for non-cut-off systems. However refractors prefered because (a) less sensitive to manufacturing tolerances (b) more freedom for the design (c) glass and acrylic plastic more stable and corrosion resistant.
    • Mechanical Design
      Should be robust and simple.
      Use die-cast aluminium, pressed glass or platic refractors for high resistance to corrosion.
      Re-paint as soon as undercoat shows.
      Keep moving parts greased.
      Lantern constructed from unsuitable materials may be cheap to purchase but costly to maintain.
      The use of Perspex has allowed large lanterns to be constructed, and because it can be welded to itself, refractor plates can be attached with the prismatic surfaces completely concealed.

  • Lantern Testing
    Performance over years can be forecast using laboratory testing.
    • Photometry
      Use a photometer to measure the intensity in candelas over a range of angles.
      Results are plotted as lines of equal intensity (Isocandle Diagram)
      The performance of the lantern can be estimated from this diagram.
    • Durability Tests
      Forced tests for resistance to corrosion are not normally reliable.
      Test stations are set up in different places and samples or complete lanterns exposed.
      Corrosion may vary from place to place.
      Dirt forms the centre of attack.
      Exposure tests include combinations of metals, painting, treatments, greases.
    • Vibration Tests
      Most lanterns suffer from vibration (severe case of 15cms at frequency of 200 per minute observed).
      Therefore lanterns tested on a shaking machine.
      Frequency and amplitude can be adjusted; tests run for 100 hours (equivalent to several years service).
    • Thermal Tests
      Thermal tests take the greatest amount of effort: glass or Perspex, lamp cap and leads must not overheat, the lamp must start and operate in all weather conditions.
      Temperature measurements made in enclosure with double walls by thermocouples.
      Schlieren technique used to study heat streams around a lantern.
      Weaterproofing tested with a water spray test; proves water tightness and ability of glassware to withstand thermal shock.

Accident statistics showed:
  • Night-time road journeys result in much higher proportions of deaths and serious injuries than day-time journeys.
  • Pedestrians suffer very heavily for inadequate street lighting: with a night-time death rate two or three times that by day.
  • Roads are three times dangerous by night as by day to each road user.
  • The continuing increase in vehicular traffic is being reflected in a disproportionate increase in night time casulaties
  • The major cause of the serious night-time accident situation is street lighting, whose improvement has not kept pace with the increase in road traffic.

Defence Regulation 56A (1939) which limited the capital available for new street lighting is finally lifted.

Aberdeen's Union and Castle Street are relit using cold-cathode wall and pole mounted vertical fluorescent lamps designed by the GEC. This is the first installation of its type in the UK.

Some notes from Charles Winning of Stewarts and Lloyds:

  • Introduction
    Steel tubes have been demanded for over 50 years.
    In early parts of century, wrought iron or steel available. Now only use steel.
    Prior to the First World War, cast iron columns of low mounting heights were in general use.
    With the advent of fast moving and heavy motor traffic, more adequate street lighting was necessary, so mounting heights were increased. Steel prefered over cast iron as it doesn't fracture on impact.
    Modern columns covered by BS 1840 (1952).

  • Construction
    1. Sectional Column: Join lengths of tube of different sizes.
    2. Stepped Column: One length of tube reduced, or stepped down, by drawing through dies.
    3. Combination: Sectional base section (for control gear) and stepped shaft portion.

  • Design
    Council Of Industrial Design approve designs for Group A roads (needed to qualify for an MOT grant).
    CoID also act as advisory body on questions of aesthetic design.
    CoID do not deal with Group B.

  • Standard Columns
    Columns standardized as per BS 1840.
    Bracket lengths are not standardized - outreaches vary widely.

  • Column Features
    1. Base Section: Made to minimum standard size as agreed with gear manufacturers.
    2. Root: Can be made straight or cranked (to avoid other services).
    3. Base Ornamentation: MOT opposed to use of added ornamental parts. CoID will not approve them. Ornamentation causes corrosion. Most councils have smashed off cast iron ornamentation from existing columns (collars, coat-of-arms etc.)

  • Shaft Section
    Ususally stepped down.
    Larger diameters can be used if double fluorscent lanterns to be used.
    Available as plain or fluted.

  • Bracket Arms
    Fabricated from steel tubes.
    There are three types:
    1. Straight tubular arm supported by tierods and clips. Bracket arm is crewed into a half coupler welded onto the pole.
    2. Straight and curved tubular arms, with thin plate on underside to improve appearance. Welded to a tubular sleeve which fits over pole top. Sleeve held in position by three Allen screws.
    3. Bracket arm in form of single bent tube. Lower end has connector sleeve welded on. Fits over pole top. Held in position by three Allen screws.
    Poles can support outreaches up to 15'. When outreach exceeds 15', some form of side bracing is required.

  • Columns For Large Lanterns (Fluorescent)
    Design of the bracket arm dependent upon the make of the lantern.
    Some form of bracing against side wind load is desirable.
  • Performance
    As per BS 1840 (1952)

  • Impact
    Danger to anyone in vicinity of struck column is extremely slight.
    Steel columns neither break nor disintegrate on impact but merely bend.

  • Surface Protection
    To prevent corrosion, two forms of surface protection are used:
    1. Paint
    2. Metallic Coatings (usually zinc in the form of hot dip galvanising).

  • Advantages Of Steel
    1. Withstand fairly rough treatment.
    2. Do not break or fracture under shock.
    3. Slender and comparatively light for the strength provided.
    4. No real erection problem.
    5. Strength can be determined fairly accurately.
    6. Base section just sufficient to house electrical gear.
    7. Painted to suit any colour scheme.
    8. Approved standard designs in accordance wtih BS 1840 are of sound design with simple grace.

Number of miles of road having street lighting:

  • 23,100 miles: Tungsten filament (much is below standard)
  • 20,000 miles: Gas
  • 3,060 miles: Mercury vapour discharge
  • 1,570 miles: Sodium discharge
  • 250 miles: Fluorescent
Manufacturers of both electric lamps and fittings for street lighting are able to offer a wider selection than ever before.
Since the war, the popularity of sodium discharge has increased with respect to mercury vapour.
Fluorescent lamps have advanced so that critisms of high maintenance and running costs no longer apply.
Great ingenuity has been shown in the design of lanterns; plastic, plastic bowls, internal refectors, external refractors, side and/or top entry.
There is a gratifying general trend towards horizonal lanterns.
Open fittings are now obsolete.
Vertical lanterns for fluorescent lamps have been developed for mounting on columns or buildings; the later especially useful where narrow streets and pavements make columns undesirable.
Where all-round distribution is required, vertical post-top fluorescent lantern can form an elegant feature.
The choice of lamp standard or column of new lighting schemes have provoked much hostile comment (even in the National Papers).

Regulation 56A of the Defence (General) Regulations 1939 lifted in November. This limited new lighting schemes during the war and immediate post-war years.

At the APLE conference, Harris and Christie of the Road Research Laboratory quoted a 29% reduction in personal-injury accidents on eight main roads in the London area.

1955 Lamps:
BTH introduce a new tube mount in their MA lamps.
GEC push Osram soidum lamps and point out they're used in the largest street lighting installations.
The GEC also develope the first integral (SOI/H) low pressure sodium lamps - with an efficacy of 85 lm/W.
Philips are advertising their sodium lamps as saving costs and lives.
Philips introduce a new 400W MBF/U lamp. (The 80W and 125W MBF lamps were introduced first).
Philips introduce the new 250W MBF/U lamp.

Atlas announce their new range of lanterns.
BTH are pushing the Sapphire, Amber and Diadem lanterns and their Trefoil column.
Holophane are marketing a new lantern for the new 125W MBF fluorescent bulb and the Side Of House lantern.
ELECO introduces the Universal 100 lantern.
Falks advertise the Fulmar VII.
Metropolitan-Vickers are showing off their all plastic SO 50 lantern.
REVO advertise their lighting by reminding everyone they were chosen to light Parliament Square with Grey Wornum lannterns.
REVO introduce the Haddington lantern.
Siemens introduce the Kuwait lantern.
Wardle are marketing the Atholl and Stuart sodium lanterns.

Automatic Light Controlling Co. Ltd. are marketing the Gunfire controller.
Automatic Telephone and Electric Co. Ltd. are marketing their Rythmatic Ripple Control for all-night, half-night and prior-dawn switching.
The EDA continue to push for adequate modern lighting.
Crompton market the Concept, pushing its grace and simplicity.
CU continue advertising Tarslag's "cigar shaped" lighting column.
ELECO remind everyone they've been in the business for 60 years and can help solve all street lighting problems.
Horstmann are marketing their gas and electric time switches.
Londex are marketing photo-electric night switches alongside their timeswitches.
Metropolitan Gas Meters Ltd now also offer a repair service for gas controllers and time switches.
Poles Limited are marketing their Adastra columns.
Standard Telephone and Cables Limited are advertising their DC Bias Control Systems.
Stanton are marketing the 8F and 8K columns approved by the Council of Industrial Design.
Stewarts And Lloyds are advertising their Gb 507, Gb 522, Gb 583, Gb 585 and Gb 111 columns and brackets.
Venner are marketing their TJSSP time switches.

The APLE hold their annual conference in Folkestone.
J M Waldram is inducted as APLE president: the first time someone associated with research becomes president.
The South Western section meets for the first time.

Ediswan SSA/1 street lighting lanterns installed in Queensferry Road, Dunfermline.
Crompton Corona II lanterns on Concrete Utilities 3DNX columns installed on the A13 at Pitsea and Vange (now Basildon).
REVO and Stewarts & Lloyds provide lanterns and columns for the relighting of the A1 through Stamford. This includes 15 lanterns of "facade" type lighting (fluorescent, 80W, 2-tubes) with the lanterns parallel with the axis of the road. This is the first time instances of this type of lantern have been used to light a trunk road.
340 REVO cut-off sodium lanterns (C13660), suspended in pairs from steel catenary wires, supported by 25 ft. steel columns, erected to light the Birmingham-Wolverhamton new road. It is claimed to be some of the best street lighting in the country.
REVO cut-off sodium lanterns (C13660) used again, this time suspended singley from catenary wires, along Burgess Road, Southampton.
The GEC supply VHF radio receivers for tower wagons and maintenance vans belonging to the Newcastle Corporation. This allows direct two-way communication with the control facility.
The GEC complete an installation in Blackburn which includes 400W MBF/U lamps.
Bright Son & Co start a "hospital" for electric time switches and gas controllers.
BTH install 140 sodium street lighting lanterns on the main roads of Salford. Sodium enclosed lanterns on Concrete Utilities Avenue 3D columns at 25 ft. were used.
Lighting continues to be upgraded in Leeds with Crompton Corona II lanterns (SG305EX) lanterns being installed on existing traction poles.
Siemens, REVO and Poles Ltd win the contract to supply street lighting to Kuiwait.
Siemens design the Orton lantern (60W SO/H) with "Birmabright" reflector for Midsomer Morton. 300 are installed.
183 all-perspex Metrovick SO-50 lanterns installed at Grangemouth, with plans to install more. 31 Gower lanterns installed by the firm within the Grangemouth Refinery.
GEC provide 39 Z9425 lanterns, mounted on Macfarlands Limited columns, installed on the Northam Bridge, Southampton.

There are 6.4 million vehicles licensed in the UK. Road casualties at 41 per 1000 vehicles.

Earl of Selkirk, whilst debating the forthcoming Road Traffic Act (1956), expresses the government view that there are too many lighting authorities. Larger authorities needed to deal with road lighting and achieve greater uniformity.

1956 Lamps:
Philips state their sodium lamps make the roads safer.
The GEC install the worlds first integral sodium lamp installation in the world at St. Pancras, London.

A C Ford are advertising their products for Group A and B roads.
AEI are now directly marketing the Sapphire, Amber and Diadem.
Atlas have introduced the new Beta Two lantern.
The GEC market the Plastifractor lantern with its one-piece injection moulded refractor bowl and various post-top fluorescent lanterns.
Falks advertise the Fulmar I.
Hume Atkins introduce their Area lanterns.
Holophane advertise the Side Of House lantern and announce a new refractor for the 250-400W MBF/U lamp.
Metropolitan-Vickers continue to advertise their lanterns.
Phosco are marketing the Phosware SO140 enclosed sodium lantern along with several other lanterns.
REVO light the Birmingham's main shopping centre with special new lanterns.
Siemens Kuwait is being marketed with the Court, Carpenter, Crawley and Coventry lanterns.
Wardle market the Dielikon plastic refractor and the Murray lantern which uses it.

Automatic Light Controlling Co. Ltd. are marketing the Gunfire controller and a repair service.
Concrete Utilities suggest the painting of metal columns is a waste of rate players money. They're also advertising their Highway X column with a Phosware F3-80/H lantern.
Horstmann are marketing their gas and electric time switches.
Metropolitan Gas Meters Ltd now also offer a repair service for gas controllers and time switches.
Poles Limited are marketing their Adastra columns.
Sangamo are advertising their time switches.
Stanton are marketing the 8K, 8D and 9D columns approved by the Council of Industrial Design.
Standard Telephone and Cables Limited are advertising their DC Bias Control Systems.
Stewarts And Lloyds are offering their new catalogue.
Venner are advertising time switches.

British Standards Code Of Practise (BSCP) 1004 Part Two published which refined the MOT Report for Group 'B' roads.
Light Distribution Emphasis: Light distribution in plan should be suited to the environment. The code is produced under the chairmanship of Dr. J. W. T. Walsh.

Road Traffic Act passed.

Northampton's lighting engineers complete 75% of their relighting plan. This is triumphed by the EDA.
Chislehurst/Sidcups main roads relit with BTH Amber lanterns and BTH Diadem lanterns (High Streets).
REVO Sol-Etern selected to light main roads in the City Of Westminster.

Government recognise the roads are inadequate to deal with modern traffic: are carrying on a programme of road improvements with priority to the elimination of black spots.
Government seeks to introduce a system of compulsory testing of vehicles under the new Road Traffic Bill.
Vast majority of accidents are due to human error of judgement.

John Betjeman in a public speech referred to bye-laws requiring street lights to be of greater heights and accuses unscrupulous firms of putting Passed By The Royal Fine Art Commission on their catalogues. He also accused borough surveyors of working by rule of thumb.

The Royal Art Commission indicates between 1955-56, 75 individual lighting schemes were considered. This doesn't stop authorities referring to the Royal Art Commission, somewhat backing up Betjeman (see also Ian Nairn).

Some notes on Venner time-switches by W. A. Devon:

  • Clock types:
    • 14-day hand-wound movement
      Advantange: Freedom from mains variations
      Advantange: No need for mains supply
      Disadvantage: Fortnightly visits required to rewind it

    • Synchronous Motor
      Cheapest and most popular
      Advantage: Can be left almost indefinintely
      Disadvantage: Affected by power cuts

    • Synchronous Clock With Spring Reserve
      A spring-driven clock maintained full wound by a motor drive.
      In the event of a power cut, the spring reserve takes over.
      Disadvantage: Still requires visits to adjust for natural losing or gaining rate of the escapement.

  • Sodium street lighting requires a modification to the solar curve calculations to allow 15 minutes lighting up time.
  • Double circuit switching allows multiple tubes in fluorescent lanterns to be individually controlled. This allows for reduced lighting levels afer midnight.
  • Multi-Switching (known as the G.P. switch) allows many lighting units to be controlled and switched at different times. Used for the lighting of flats.
  • Selective Switching also uses a day selector dial which allows for lighting not to be used as weekends.
British Standard BS 1853 published. This is a revised version of the 1952 standard for tubular fluorescent lamps. Applies to MCF/Y tubes with pre-heated cathodes in switch-start circuits, details testing specification, and an appendix features detailed requirements of the colour, appearance and colour rendering of the light.

The APLE conference is held in Blackpool.

Some notes on the development of lantern design by Holmes and Souter:

  • Principle Factors In Lantern Design
    • Street Lighting Policy
      • Light Source
      • Lighting Technique
      • Mounting
      • Maintenance
    • Lantern Design
      • Optical System
      • Mechanical Construction
      • Durability
      • Acessibility
    • Competitive Tenders For Lanterns

  • Type Of Light Source
    • Incandescent Filament (GLS)
    • Discharge
      • Sodium (SO/H)
      • Mercury
        • Discharge (MA/V, MA/H, MB/U)
        • Blended (MBT/V)
        • Bulb Fluorescent (MBF/U)
        • Tubular Fluorescent (MCF/U)
    • Gas
      • High Pressure
      • Low Pressure

  • Type Of Lighting
    • Technique
      • Prestige And Display
      • B.S. Code Of Practise
        • Group A
          • High Angle
          • Medium Angle
            • Aeroscreen
          • Cut-Off
          • Uni-Directional
        • Group B
          • Narrow B1
          • Wide B2
          • Tree lined
  • Optical System
    • Symmetrical
    • Axial Asymmetric
    • Non-Axial Asymmetric
    • Uni-Directional

  • Means Of Control
    • Reflector
      • Vitreous Enamel
      • Glass Or Plastics
        • Silvered
        • Aluminised
        • Prismatic
        Anodised Aluminium
    • Reflector-Refractor
    • Refractor
      • Single Piece
      • Sealed Two Piece
        • Glass
          • Soda Lime
          • Heat Resisting
        • Plastics
          • Processed Sheets
          • Injection Moulding
    • Diffuser

  • Mechanical Construction
    • Specifications (BS:1788:1951)
    • Provision For Control Gear
    • Aesthetics

  • Lantern Body
    • Spinnings
      • Steel
      • Copper
    • Fabricated Box
    • Castings
      • Iron
      • Silicon Aluminium
        • Gravity Die
        • Pressure Die
      • Plastics Moudling

  • Durability
    • Heat Dissipation
    • Weather Protection
      • Gaskets
      • Cements
      • Hinges
      • Corrosion
        • Materials
        • Surface Treatment
      • Vibration
      • Impact
    • Mechanical Protection

  • Accessibility
    • Fastenings
      • Hinges
      • Bolts
      • Toggles
        • Latch
        • Swing-Bolt
    • Cleaning
    • Lampholder
      • Wiring
      • Focusing
        • Fixed
        • Adjustable
    • Lamp Replacement

The 400W MB/U lamp is now so efficient that it is classed entirely out of the British Standard for street lighting e.g. it gives more than 8,000 lumens per 100 ft. of roadway with lanterns of 120 ft. spacing. This assumes a lantern of high efficiency but begins to show that the BS specifications already need attention.

There is a need for a higher wattage sodium lamp. In Holland, they avoided going to 140W SO/H by using lanterns fitted with two 85W SO/H lamps - this also had several other advantages.

1957 Lanterns:
Atlas introduce the new Alpha Three at the APLE exhibition.

British Standard 1308 revised: Reinforced Concrete Street Lighting Columns.

1st November: Granville Berry (Coventry City engineer and surveyor), in a paper to the Institute Of Highway Engineers, reported the results of analysis of investigations of the Road Laboratory Research Committee As a result of the installation of lighting standards within the County of London, there was a reduction of between 20% and 30% in the road accident rate. After installing their complete scheme of fluorescent lighting, Northampton achieved a reduction of road accidents by 30%. In the USA, 14 states claim tha improved lighting on their main roads reduced accident rate by 60%. A similar reduction has taken place on the main trunk roads of Paris.

Main points from his paper:

  • Due to rapid development of motor traffic, road lighting has become more important.
  • Legalisation for the provision of lighting is permissive and there's no legal obligation to provide it (except in some parts of Scotland and London).
  • County Councils, although Highway Authorities, are not lighting authorities (except in Scotland). They are permitted under Section 23 of the Road Traffic Act (1934) to enter into agreements with lighting authorities for the lighting of County roads. In practice, this has proved unworkable.
  • For Trunk Roads, the Ministry Of Transport, although not the highway authority, is not the lighting authority. The lighting authority carries out the work and maintains the equipment whilst MOT contributes 50% of approved costs of installation and subsequent maintenance.
  • There are nearly 3,500 lighting authorities in Great Britain. In addition there could be at least a further 5,000 if Parish Councils becoming lighting authorities for their areas (if they adopt the Light and Watching Act, 1833).
  • There are in excess of 1½ million street lights in Great Britain. Cost of maintenance is 12 million a year. MOT contributed 113,358 in 1955-56 for Trunk Roads.
  • During the last 10 years, 5,000 miles of public highways have been provided with new or improved lighting. Total capital expenditure in this period is in the region of 20 million.
  • Many engineers responsible for both highways and lighting feel Government should accept responsibility for the whole cost of the lighting of trunk roads.
  • Relighting of classified roads is seriously delayed by lack of financial assistance and is still outside the Improvement Grant System. The improvement an authority can carry out is determined by the rates.
  • There are over 150 lighting authorities in London alone. It is suggested some form of Joint Lighting Authorities could be formed.
  • Improvement Grant System should include the provision of new and improved lighting on classified roads, where carried out in accordance to CP 1004, and to increase from 50% to 100% the Ministry's contribution of Trunk Roads and Motorways.
  • Economic justification of national system of motorways must depend on "around the clock" use so they should be as safe by night as day i.e. they should be lit.
  • Road Research Laboratory have made detailed "before" and "after" studies of personal injury on eight traffic routes in London. Results indicate an overall accident reduction of 35% during hours of darkness.
  • Similar investigations have indicated accidents are down 30% with "good lighting".
  • In the USA, Street and Highway Safety Lighting Bureau report "before" and "after" studies on 28 installations in 14 states and show a reduction of night fatalities of over 60%.
  • Lighting of sections of the Paris Autoroute de l'Ouest has indicated an accident reduction of up to 30%.
  • Road Research Laboratory calculates the average cost of personal injury accident is 500 - therefore the savings on accidents is more than the cost of providing lighting to Code of Practise CP 1004.
  • Total cost of lighting all roads in urban areas estimated as an extra 5 million a year, and on the assumption of an accident reduction of 20-30%, there seems little doubt as to the economic justification of lighting traffic routes.
  • During last 30 years, conception of the need and purpose of lighting has changed from a simple warning light to the provision of adequate and sufficient illumination to ensure safe movement of pedestrian and vehicular traffic, as well as reasonable standard of protection for both persons and property.
  • Before the introduction of discharge lamps, it had not been readily or economically possible with gas and incandescent to provide really adequate lighting on traffic routes.
  • Discharge lighting came shortly after the 1931 revision of BSS 307 and made apparent some of the difficulties designing installations using "Direct Illumination" - htis lead to the adoption of the "Road Brightness" theory.
  • Therefore lighting engineers began to look at roads "in perspective" rather than "in plan".
  • This made lighting schemes more economicially possible and efficient, and laed to the Ministry of Transport Departmental Commitee Report of 1937, which emerged as the British Standard Code Of Practise (CP 1004: 1952).
  • Traffic Routes (Group "A")
    • All roads on which standard of lighting should provide an ample margin of safety for road users without the necessity of headlights on motor vehicles.
    • Fittings at 25' to light source, with maximum spacing of 150' in "non-cut-off" installations.
    • Lanterns have a light output between 3,000 and 8,000 lumens for every 100 linear feet of road.
    • Width of carriageway does not exceed 40 feet.
  • Other Roads (Group "B")
    • All other roads, including residential, and varies emphasis from needs of the vehicle driver to pedestrian.
    • Standard of lighting cannot be relied upon under all conditions for safe movement of motor vehicles without use of headlights.
    • Fittings at 15' to light source. Average spacing of 120' feet.
    • Lanterns have a light output of between 600 and 2,500 lumens every 100 linear feet of road.
    • Group B1
      • Streets in heavily built up urban areas where footways, forecourts and front gardens are narrow.
      • No trees.
    • Group B2
      • Streets in suburban residential areas. Generally tree-lined and wide footways, deep front gardens
  • Additional factors affecting design of various systems of lighting (over the Code Of Practice)
  • Selection Of Light Source
    • Main factors: luminous efficiency, lamp life, brightness, colour rendering.
    • White light being increasingly used for traffic routes that pass through built-up areas using fluorescent lamps or colour corrected high pressure mercury vapour.
    • Monochromatic yellow light of sodium vapour renders it unsuitable for shopping areas on traffic routes.
  • Type Of Lantern
    • Determines the distribution of light to give the necessary road brightness.
    • 1. Non-Cut-Off System
      • Angle of maximum intensity between 75° and 80° from the downward vertical.
      • Lamp either wholly or partly unscreened.
      • Most widely used system in country for filament and mercury vapour lighting.
      • Lanterns can be spaced widely. Spacing not critical.
      • Glare reduced by using horizontal burning lamps.
      • Fluorescent lighting schemes almost invariably non-cut-off.
    • 2. Semi-Cut-Off System
      • Light distribution above the main beam controlled as to fall away sharply at angles approaching the horizontal.
      • Closer spacing of lanterns required.
      • Satisfactory lighting scheme with little glare, and counteracts the "tunnel" effect of full-cut-off.
      • Particularly suitable for central suspension lighting.
    • 3. Cut-Off System
      • Maximum light output at an angle of less than 75° from the downward vertical with a very marked reduction in intensity above this angle.
      • Glare is almost completely eliminated.
      • Spacing of lanterns much closer and critical.
      • Used primary with central suspension.
    • 4. Unidirectional System
      • Occasionally used for dual-carriageway lighting on main traffic routes.
      • Each road lighted as a separate one-way road; light from the lanterns only given out in the same direction as the traffic flow.
      • General illumination outside the carriageway is not good - other road appears to be unlit.
  • Type And Condition Of Road Surface
  • Type and condition of road surface has a very significant effect on the efficiency of any lighting installation.
  • Coarser textured surfaces had reduced the preferential component of reflection from road surfaces.
  • Road surfaces were frequently unsatisfactory from a lighting viewpoint in wet weather.
Street lighting is debated in Parliament (19th Dec 1957). Opened by Arthur Moyle MP:
  • There is a lack of uniformity of lighting installations. No legal obligation for any lighting authority to consult with neighbours. "Motorists who have to pass from the amber flood of sodium flare lighting into the glare of the mercury vapour system and then perhaps into the comparative darkness of an area equipped with insufficient of the ordinary electric lights, all sometimes along the same stretch of road, known only too well how great a strain is to drive at night in this country." Why not establish joint standing committess of neighbouring local authorities, especially in the conurbation areas, so uniform lighting could be discussed?
  • There is a lack of tidy administration and organisation in the lighting authorities. In England and Wales there are no fewer than 3200 different lighting authorities. If the 5000 Parish Councils were to take independence and became lighting authorities then there would be over 8000. County councils, although not lighting authorities, are empowered to make grants within their own county area for schemes which are approved, but they have never done this.
  • There is a lack of finance. 12 million a year spent by local authorities on lighting whilst contibution by the MOT was not more than 133,000. (Although MOT can only provide grants for trunk roads). It is utterly unreasonable that local ratepayers should be saddled with the cost of lighting installations which are part of the national service. [He then quotes Granville Berry's results (see above). The cost of road accidents to the nation is about 170 million per year, the cost of a fatility being about 500. If adequate lighting was installed on main roads within the urban areas alone, the estimated cost would not be more than 5 million per year.
  • Lack of uniform and continious lighting along main roads is one of the major causes of road accidents.
Therefore it's hoped that something will be done:
  • To try and import some order and administration into the provision of adequate lighting.
  • To co-ordinate the activities of the local authorities through joint standing committees.
  • About the financial aspect of the matter.
There were 273,858 casualties on the roads including 5,550 killed and 63,706 seriously injured.

1958 Lamps:
Crompton have improved performance of their mercury lamps.
GEC are highlighting the benefits of the SOI lamp and introduce the 280W SOI lamp (which has two inner tubes in a 140W sized bulb).
Philips are advertising their lamps for use with floodlighting.
Siemens Ediswan are advertising their lamps.

AEI introduce the Amber MK IV, Kington, Newton, Ashby and Kirby lanterns along with the Leader column.
Atlas are advertising their Alpha One which won the Gold Medal at the 1957 Milan Triennale and the Alpha Three. They also introduce the new Gamma Four and Beta Four at the APLE exhibition.
ELECO picture their Silver Ray lanterns.
Falks show off their Beaufort range.
GEC introduce the Z8430 and Z8430CM for the new mercury fluorescent lamp.
Holophane have introduced the new oval bowl unit refractor for Group 'A' roads.
Phosco are highlighting their Georgian and SO 140/S Enclosed Sodium lanterns.
Siemens Ediswan are advertising their Kuiwat Unitary System.
Wardle are advertising their Murray lantern and newly remodelled Atholl.

AEI introduce their new aluminium columns for Group B roads (the Leader range).
Concrete Utilities are marketing their concrete columns, especially the Highway X.
ELECO are advertsing their newly introduced ELECOSlim range of columns.
Horstmann are marketing their time switches which have been used in Crawley New Town.
Hunts advertise their capacitors for lighting applications.
Metal Developments are advertising their Lucerna columns.
Metropolitan Gas Meters Ltd continue repairing gas controllers and time switches.
Parmar are advertising their control gear.
Poles Limited are marketing their Adastra columns.
REVO have installed floodlighting at Molineux and are advertising their street lighting.
Stanton are marketing the 8F columns approved by the Council of Industrial Design, advertised the entire 9 range, and introduced the 10 range.
Stewarts And Lloyds are advertising their lighting columns (specifically the Gb.583, Gb.591 and Gb.825) and floodlighting towers.
TMC introduce a new range of power correction capacitors.
Venner are advertising their time switches.
Wardle are advertising their floodlight units.

REVO is now a Duport company and is also a member of the British Lighting Council.

12 top-entry AEI Amber cut-off lanterns are installed on Stewart And LLoyds GB.581 at Balloch Roundabout, Dunbartonshire.

39 AEI Amber lanterns installed on Springbank C concrete columns on the Edinburgh-Stirling A9 trunk road at Plean.

406 GEC Two-Forty (Z8245) lanterns installed on GEC Brevis columns in Richmond. In addition, 350 have been installed in Hammersmith.

68 Atlas Alpha 2 lanterns installed in Witham, Essexon the A12 London-Great Yarmouth trunk road. Fluorescent lighting is to be used for main and trunk roads through the town.

British Standard (1308:1957) for Concrete Street Lighting lanterns has been revised: scope of the standard has been extended to included columns of prestressed concrete, specification details and the purchasing function.

Specially designed post-top lanterns and concrete columns installed in Crawley New Town by the GEC. A new post-top "mushroom" fitting was designed at the request of the Crawley Development Corporation and takes two 2ft. 40W fluorescent tubes. Specially designed Two-Forty lanterns are installed in other areas of the town. The new GEC Brevis II B will be used throughout the shopping area. And in other areas, main roads will be lit with GEC Two-Eighty fluorescent lanterns.

Croydon embarks on a five year programme to relight all its streets which will involve 3,500 140-watt sodium lanterns. The first two stages of the programme have been completed with 850 columns to be now erected. London Road, from Norbury to Purley, will be lit using ELECO lanterns. REVO obtained the second contract (for 550 columns). And 1100 columns are being erected with GEC and REVO lanterns. All the columns are manufactured by Stewart And Lloyds (although some existing columns have been reused). It will be the largest installation in Britain using the new SOI lamp.

REVO have supplied 50 newly designed C15074 fittings for the city of Coventry mounted on REVO Slender-line steel columns which have a special underground box in cast iron which holds switches, gear etc. This box is watertight and the lid fits flush with the surface of the pavement.

Tilbury Docks in London are lit with Holophane Acorn lanterns with 400W MBF/U bulbs. The lanterns employ both a prismatic refractor bowl and internal band refractor. They are mounted on Stanton 6B columns.

Skegness is replacing all its street lighting. Roman Bank has had 98 GEC Two-Eighty (Z8281) fluorescent lanterns installed (80W fluorescent) on GEC concrete Altus pre-stressed concrete columns. These replace gas lanterns. A decorative GEC lantern is installed in Lumley Square which takes 24 2-foot Osram 40W fluorescent tubes (it is a traditional post top lantern). North and South Parades are lit by 60 GEC Four-Forty post-top lanterns mounted on Stanton 7 columns. The GEC Z5643 lantern is used to light the towns tree-lined Group B roads: 100 have been ordered.

The last section of Westgate, Leeds, is opened. 33 Stanton 8 columns support 16 twin Siemens Edison Swan Kuiwait unitary System lanterns and 17 single lanterns. There are four 80W fluorescent tubes in each lantern.

BEDA have published a followup of A Matter Of Light Or Death which is called More Matters Of Light Or Death.

The APLE publication, Public Lighting, is 21 years old and is issued in a smart new format.

Street lighting a sound investment from a financial and well as from a safety and health point of view. It reduces road accidents, aids trffic circulation (therefore assisting productivity), increases the effectivity of the police force, curbs criminal activities and boost morale and encourages social progress.

B.S. Code Of Practise (CP 1004) - Traffic Routes requires changing (i.e. some revision and extension). Bulbs are becoming so efficient they are classed entirely out of the specification as greater mounting heights are not specified. The lighting of the new motorways, other main roads and junctions, overpasses and underpasses are new problems to overcome. "Super Group A" (for arterial routes and motorways) and "Super Group B" (for bus routes through Group B areas - for which the Carpenter Lantern was designed) have been suggested.

Ian Nairn's Outrage and Counter Attack have been published. The industry feels this is a problem with the lowest tender system.

Much of the street lighting in the UK is now over 40 years old and requires replacing.

Street lighting is debated in The House Of Lords (23rd Jan 1958). Opened by Lord Hampton:

  • Attention was called to the diversity and often inadequacy of lighting on trunk and through-traffic routes in and around London and other cities.
  • (i) "Much of the economic justification of motor roads lies in the 'around-the-clock' use that can be expected of them, and such roads must be made as safe by night as by day." (ii) "The cost of completing the modernisation of our entire road lighting system is through to be in the region of 6 million extra per year which is a small price to pay for the improved safety it would give our road system." - Granville Berry - "Lighting The Roads"
  • There is a lack of coordination and planning between many local authorities: there were nearly 3500 lighting authorities as against 145 road authorities. In addition, 5000 Parish Councils could become lighting authorities if they decided to adopt the provisions of the Watching Act of 1833. But lighting authorities do their job well: in the last ten years, 5000 miles of road were relit.
  • "The Road Research Board, on whose Street Lighting Sub-committee I also serve, has been doing much useful work in the street lighting field for some years and recent researches indicate that an accident reduction of not less than 20% can be expected to follow the introduction of improved lighting and so far as the relighting of main trunk routes is concerned, the savings accuring due to accident reduction appear to be greater than the cost of providing the lighting itself, the estimated cost of road accidents today being in the region of 170 millions." - Granville Berry
The debate continued:
  • Surely it is too early to standardise on one particular type? Until there is complete agreement on the ideal lighting for all types of road and in all conditions of weather, it would be premature to try and insist on a standardisation.
  • Grants can only be paid for trunk roads. This seems a wholly inequitable system. It should not be for the ratepayers of an area to stand the whole cost of lighting improvements.
  • There is no policy for the lighting of motorways. Motorways should be lit to a modern standard along their length.
The reply by Earl Bathurst:
  • Improvement in street lighting a long term police and no quick and easy solution could be expected. It was one form of capital investment and capital had to be shared between competiting demands.
  • Much new and improved lighting had been installed in the recent years.
  • Highway authorities would be asked to make a survey of classified roads and to report the extent to which improvements or new street lighting was still needed.
  • Power to provide street lighting was a power and not a duty. It had been suggest that street lighting should be looked after by the highway authority. Some smaller authorities could not afford Group "A" lighting on main roads which traversed their area (even with grants from the MOT and Civil Aviation).
  • Steps had been taken to invite lighting authorities in the London area to a conference with a view to setting up a consultative committe, and this was the start of some form of coordination of lighting systems.

Points raised by W. Robinson in his Street Lighting Today article in Public Lighting:

  • Traffic density has doubled since 1937. The current British Standard Code Of Practise was based on the earlier MOT Report of that year but hasn't significantly changed. More people are driving after dark in the summer months and the accident figures are rising.
  • The 40 MPH speed limit has been introduced, and some lit roads have no speed limits. Concern raised that the BSCP assumes 30 MPH and no headlights.
  • In some boroughs of London, there have been pitched battles between local protective associations and their borough councils over the installation of new street lighting. The residents have even asked to pay for the older equipment to be kept in service.
  • As lamps improve, the debate between non-cut-off and cut-off lighting should be reappraised.
The Maintenance and Economics of Street Lighting by T. C. Holdsworth numerates the following points:
  • Capital Charges
    • Columns and brackets
    • Lanterns
    • Lamps and associated gear for Discharge Lamps
    • Erection Costs
    • Control gear (time switch or relay unit)
    • Wiring costs
    • Capital contribution to Supply Authority (if any)

  • Revenue Charges
    • Lamp renewels (and jackets for sodium lamps as necessary).
    • Tariff charges
    • Transport costs
    • Repairs
    • Cleaning
    • Painting
    • Patrolling or Scouting
    • Control
    • Administration charges
Electric Lamps Used For Street Lighting by J. W. Howell:

  • Tungsten lamps

    Many local authorities are replacing gas sources with tungsten, mainly on economic grounds.
    In terms of older systems is highly efficient at 12 lumens per watt (but inefficient when compared to discharge lamps).
    Approximately 84% of electrical energy dissipated as heat.

    A 5% over volting increases the light output by 20% and decreases the life of the lamp by 40%.

    Light output initially 5% above the "average throughout life" figure.
    At the end of 1000 burning hours it is 5% below.

    Burning lamps other than cap up will result in the blackening of the bulb.

    The great majority of lamps burn out close to their rated life of 1000 hours.
    Lamps should conform to B.S. 161.

    Used mainly for Group "B" lighting and street bollards, speed limit signs and beacons (although 8W fluorescent tube is starting to find application here).

  • Mercury lamps

    Lamp life increased to 5000 burning hours.

    MA: glass envelope loaded above 10 watts/cm of arc length.
    MB: quartz envelope loaded below 100 watts/cm of arc length.
    MC: glass envelope loaded below 10 watts/cm of arc length.

    F: Fluorescent outer bulb used.

    V,D,H,U: vertical cap up, vertical cap down, horizontal, or any position.

    A choke must be used to limit discharge current. Whilst power factor of lamp is almost unity, the choke reduces the power factor, so a capacitor is required.

    Type MA: available as 250W and 400W. Time to reach full brightness is 6 minutes. Magnetic deflecting devices have to be used for lamps burned horizontally which are not of type 'H' design. Should a lamp be switched off after a period of burning, it will not restrike until the the vapour pressure has fallen to the correct value.

    Type MB: Outer envelopes of pearled because of the arc brightness. As the lamps are similar in size to tungsten lamps, a third pin is added to base to prevent entry into an uncontrolled circuit. Developed as smaller wattage MA lamps would be very ineffecient.

    All mercury discharge bulbs are deficient in red.

    Lagging power factor of .8 to .85 is acceptable.

    Efficiency of approximately 32/39 lumens per watt.

  • Colour corrected mercury lamps

    Type MAF/MBF: 3-4% of electrical energy supplied to MA/MB lamps emitted as long wave ultra violet. This can be used to stimulate fluorescent materials which emit a colour addition or complimentary to the discharge. In MA lamps, zinc cadminium sulphide powders increase the red output to 5% (from 1%) but lower the efficiency by 12%. In MB, this can be corrected to 7% red.

  • Sodium lamps

    Supplied in four sizes: 45, 60, 85 and 140W.

    Have high luminous efficiency of 70 lumens per watt.

    But have serious colour limitations.

    Full efficiency varies between 10 and 20 minutes from starting.

    Must be used in the horizontal position (except for the 45W lamp).

    If mains voltage is too high or two low, premature failure will occur.

    One size of transformer is suitable for the three smaller sizes.

    The power factor of lamp and tranformer is approximately 0.3.

    The integral sodium lamp has just been introducted which gives a 10% increase in light output (140W size only).

  • Fluorescent lamps

    Average life of the tube is 5000 hours.

    Have relatively high efficiency, long life and little colour distortion.

There are over 1.5 million street lamps in use of the roads of Great Britain. In the past 10 years, over 5000 miles of roads has been provided with new or improved lighting. The cost of these new ligthing schemes are in the region 20 million and the annual cost of lighting and maintenance has been 12 million.

New street lighting is being installed in Chelsea. The main roads are being lit with 400 lanterns each housing three 5 ft. 80W Osram fluorescent tubes on GEC octagonal steel columns. For the main streets Three-Eighty tapered fluorescent lanterns on special arc brackets at 12.5° above the horizontal have been used. For the tree-lined Embankment, Three-Eighty cut-off lanterns supsended centrally on catenaries carried on GEC octagonal steel columns have been used.

AEI lanterns have been exported to Kuala Lumpur to light three roads. 42 Sapphire lanterns (250W MBF/U) have been used to light the two main streets with 54 Starcone lanterns (80W MBF/U) for the side street.

Fifty 140W low pressure sodium Orson lanterns from Siemens Ediswan have been exported to Wellington, New Zealand.

The old gas lighting in Newtownabbey, Belfast is being replaced. The Group 'A' scheme uses 200 Atlas Alpha 2 lanterns and 200 Alpha 4 lanterns. They will be mounted at 25 ft. on existing trolley poles and new concrete columns. The Group 'B' scheme involves 450 Beta 2 lanterns. This is the first large street lighting installation in the British Isles to use the Alpha 4 with three 4 ft. flourescent tubes. The lighting levels are well within the Code Of Practise. It allows the size of the lantern to be considered where aesthetic considerations indicate that the 5 ft. fluorescent lantern would be too large.

The Royal Burgh of Kirkcaldy, Scotland, embarks on a twelve-year conversion programme for the lighting of its roadways. In the last 12 months, 398 new columns have been erected. In some roads, they've used Stewarts And Lloyds Gb. 965 steel columns with Siemens Ediswan Kuwait lanterns; in others Concrete Utilities DNN Type 3 concrete columns with BLEECO 140 watt sodium lanterns; with Concrete Utilities Midway columns and BLEECO 60-watt sodium lanterns for the side streets.

Southport starts converting its gas street lighting. 690 AEI 150W tunsten SS51 lanterns will be installed. The centre of the town and all major roads have been fitted with SO50 lanterns.

AEI have lit Whitehouse Road, Swindon, a road passing under five low railway bridges with 19 SLX 3600 instant start Residential lanterns.

Siemens Ediswan have lit the town centre of Ballymoney, Co. Antrim, with Chester vertical wall mounting fluorescent lanterns. The main approach roads have been lit with Carpenter lanterns with important junctions lit with Kuwaits. Crawley lanterns were used for Group B lighting.

There are now 7.5 million motor vehicles on roads. The number of road casualities has increased by over 100,000 per year. The total cost of reported road accidents in Great Britain is in the region of 170 million per year. After lighting has been provided, there is a reduction in personal-injury accidents at night of about 30%.

Traffic delays are costing Britain nearly 500 million a year and the average speed in the central area of London is only 10 m.p.h. The effect of street lighting on speed and traffic capacity doesn't exceed 2.5%, but that would allow an increase of 1 m.p.h and save 30 million a year.

The cost of improving lighting in accordance with the Code Of Practice varies between 2,500 to 3,000 per mile of road (depending on the width and class of road and the lightin equipment installed).

There are no plans to light any of the new motorways being constructed (only slip roads and roundabouts to be lit). It is estimated that the cost per mile to light a motorway is 4000. The Council of the APLE have asked the MOT if an experimental installation on the Preston Bypass could be erected to get first hand experience of the lighting of motorways.

A Joint Advisory Committee is set up of 107 lighting authorities in London to co-ordinate the lighting in London. It is hoped this will lead to greater continunity and more uniform standards of lighting on the roads of Greater London.

The introduction of an experimental 40 m.p.h. speed limit for 80 miles of London's roads have prompted a review; it is suggested that the illumination levels and mounting heights should be higher.

Points from BEDA:

  • Street lighting costs 7/2d. per head of the population per year and represents only 3% of local Government expenditure.
  • 80% of the Metropolitan Boroughs have all-night lighting.
  • 50% of County Boroughs have all-night lighting.

The first motorway (The Preston Bypass) is opened on the 5th December. However the APLE is not happy that no lighting has been provided on the motorway itself. "We are all behind the Minister in the excellent work he is doing in providing motorways in this country, byt we are anxious that they will be safe over the whole 24 hours of each day. Headlights cannot be expected to prvide safe driving at speed and the only way to ensure safety is to install continous lighting throughout their length and not only at flyovers and multi-level junctions. The extra cost involved in the lighting of our motorways would only be in the region of 1 to 2 per cent of the cost of the road itself - a negligible amount when compared with the safety and economy that it would make possible"

The London And South Eastern Section of the APLE is formed.

AEI have converted Eton's "Burning Bush" lantern from gas to fluorescent. The rest of Eton has been lit with fluorescent and colour corrected mercury discharge lighting (including Sapphire lanterns).

AEI introduce a 15-foot light-alloy aluminium street lighting column called the Leader for Group B roads. This has been made possible by a new extrusion technique operated exclusively by the company. It was designed by Jack Howe, F.R.I.B.A., F.S.I.A.

The AEI Kington lantern is introduced. It takes three five-foot 80W fluorescent lamps. It has been designed for use with the AEI Trefoil column.

The AEI Newton lantern is introduced. It takes the new Madza color-corrected 250-400W mercury lamp.

The AEI Ashby lantern is introduced. It was designed by Jack Howe, F.R.I.B.A., F.S.I.A. for use with the new Leader column.

The AEI Kirby lantern is introduced in two forms; one with the traditional refractor dome enclosed in a stippled Perspex bowl and the other with a diffusing opal Perspex bowl.

1959 Lamps:
AEI introduce the first linear sodium lamp, the 200W SLI/H.
GEC are highlighting the benefits of the SOI lamp and introduce the 280W SOI lamp.
Philips are advertising their lamps for use with floodlighting.

Atlas are advertising the Alpha Three.
Falks show off their Beaufort range.
Phosco are highlighting their SO 140/S Enclosed Sodium lanterns.
REVO are advertising their street lighting.
Siemens Ediswan are advertising their Kuiwat Unitary System.
Wardle are advertising the remodelled Atholl lantern.

AEI are marketing the Leader column.
Concrete Utilities are marketing their concrete columns, especially the Highway X.
Holophane are advertising a range of street lighting refractors and reflectors.
Horstmann are marketing their time switches.
Hunts advertise their capacitors for lighting applications.
Metropolitan Gas Meters Ltd continue repairing gas controllers and time switches.
Poles Limited are marketing their Adastra columns.
Sangamo are advertising their time switches.
Stanton are marketing the 8 columns approved by the Council of Industrial Design.
Stewarts And Lloyds are advertising their lighting columns (specifically the Gb.825).
Venner are advertising their MSQP time switches.

BEDA are citing an accident reduction rate of 30% with good street lighting in their advertisements.

Trials of a low mounted lighting scheme is carried out by the Scottish Home Department. A length of dual carriageway near Longniddry, East Lothian (A 198) is chosen. On each side of the carriageway, 12 2x80 watt 5-foot fluorescent tube lanterns of the sort normally used for horizontal wall mounting are erected on tubular steel stands. Discomfort glare and flicker are found to be intolerable at some angles and heights. Silhouette lighting is only achievable through the use of a very carefully controlled cut-off whilst direct lighting causes problems seeing more than 20' ahead. Economically the scheme has a capital cost four or five times a conventional scheme with maintenance estimated as three to four times higher.

The Illuminating Engineering Society celebrated its golden jubilee.

The lighting of the east-west traffic route through Leeds is completed with more Kuwait style lanterns at Eastgate, Headrow and Westgate. The light output of each lantern is reduced by 50% at 11.30PM. 100 Cathay pole-top coloured lanterns are installed in shopping areas, walkways and other areas.

A new lighting scheme relighting the whole of the borough of Acton is switched on. 110 of the new REVO Sol-etern lanterns with three 80W MBF/U tubes are used to light the shopping centre whilst the remaining traffic routes are lit with 640 REVO Sol-D'Or 140W SO/H lanterns. The Group-B installation consists of 1875 REVO Post Top fluorescent lanterns mounted on REVO Council cast-iron columns together with 225 REVO C15152 60W SO/H lanterns. All are switched by Venner time switches.

AEI transfer all lamp and lighting factories of BTH, Rugby to the AEI Lamp and Lighting Co. Ltd. at Leicester. This groups all manufacturing, engineering and selling facilities under a single control. This amalgamates the lamp and lighting marketing organisation of BTH, Edison Swan and MV.

AEI supply Aberdeen Corporation with 50 Leader columns and Ashby lanterns.

Birmingham Public Works Department, under the direction of Sir Herbert J. Manzoni C.B.E. have designed a new post-top lantern for the city's new inner ring road. This will give a higher intensity of illumination than any other roadway in the UK. The lighting will be of 30,000 lumens per 100 ft. of roadway. Columns will be mounted in opposite pairs on the outer kerbs only at 100 ft. intervals. Many types of high intenstiy lighting fittings were trialled before it was decided to design a whole new unit housing three 400W MBF/U lamps. The GEC produced a prototype which has been accepted. The first order of 100 units for Hurst Street to the Market Hall has been placed with the GEC. The lanterns are mounted on steel poles at 30 ft., and the light output from each will be 36,500 lumens. The columns have special long bases to accommodate three sets of control gear.

326 GEC Z8430CM lanterns housing 400W Osram MBF/U lamps have been installed along sections of the Great West Road and Great South-West Road. Stewarts And Lloyds supplied the columns. The lanterns are spaced at 120 ft. and mounted at 25 ft. It replaces a tunsten lighting scheme.

Feltham have finished a relighting scheme started in 1956. After three trial installations are installed by the GEC (tubular fluorescent, high pressure mercury vapour and low pressure sodium vapour) in 1957, members of the council decided that all Class I and Class II roads to be lit with fluorescent tubes. The council sent out tenders for 363 lanterns to house 5 ft. 80W tubes which was accepted by the GEC. Therefore Three Eighty lanterns are installed on Stewards And Lloyds columns. Existing gas units are replaced by 97 low pressure sodium fittings (Z9465 lanterns). In March 1958, the scheme is extended by an addition 150 Three Eighty lanterns, 54 of which have a special cut-off distribution due to the proximity of the A312 to London Airport.

50 Siemens Edison Swan Carpenter lanterns are installed in Adelaide Street, Albert Road, Palatine Road and Regent Road, Blackpool. The lanterns are named after the town's Illuminations and Public Lighting Officer Harry Carpenter, M.I.E.E., F.I.E.S. They each take four 3 ft. 30W fluorescent tubes. Trials were required to determine the correct lantern height; 16 ft. 6 in. was originally trailled, but 20 ft. with a spacing of 120 ft. was found best. The lanterns were designed to meet a special need between Group A and Group B lighting.

100 Siemens Edison Swan Orson Group B lanterns with a 60W SO/H lamp have been supplied to Bootle.

After studying the Leed's Siemens Edison Swan Kuwait scheme, a major relighting of Middleton using these lanterns is planned.

69 GEC Z8387AB Three Eighty fluorescent lanterns are installed on the quays and esplanades of Guernsey. They are mounted on GEC Altus cincrete columns.

The inaugural meeting of the Lonon And South Eastern Section of the APLE is held.

The first experimental installation of the 200W SLI/H lamp is erected on the Coventry by-pass. The new Siemens Ediswan Oline lantern is used.

The Consultative Committee on the Lighting Of Traffic Routes within the London Conurbation issue an Interim Report.

1960 Lamps:
Stella are advertising their range of lamps.
Philips are advertising the use of their lamps in the Lanark installation (probably the 280W SOI/H which featured two 140W/H inner tubes back-to-back).
The GEC introduce a gold film as a heat reflecting layer for low pressure sodium lamps - this gives up to 100 lm/w efficacy.

The Atlas Gamma 4 and Gamma 5 won Design Centre Awards from the Council of Industrial Design.
AEI are advertising the Amberline lantern.
Atlas are highlighting their Alpha Three and Gamma Four lanterns.
ELECO are highlighting their Silver Ray lanterns.
GEC introduce their new post top lantern specifically designed for the new Birmingham Inner Ring Road. It takes three 400W MBF/U lamps providing a light intensity of 30,000 lumens when spaced at 100 feet and mounted at 30' height.
Holophane are advertising a range of street lighting refractors and reflectors.
Siemens-Ediswan introduce their Osprey and Oline lanterns for linear sodium lamps.

Concrete Utilities introduce the New Highway column which has a mounting height of 35'.
Horstmann are marketing their time switches.
Hunts advertise their capacitors for lighting applications.
Parmar are advertising their control gear.
Poles Limited are marketing their Adastra columns.
Sangamo are advertising their time-switches.
Stanton are marketing the 8G columns approved by the Council of Industrial Design.
Stewarts And Lloyds are advertising their new 35' lighting columns (specifically the Gb.995) as used in the Lanark and Whitchurch installations.
TMC are marketing their capacitor range.

The first 35' lighting columns in the UK are introduced in Lanark. 52 columns are installed along a ¾-mile stretch of the main Glasgow-Edinburgh road. They are manufactured by Stewarts And Lloyds and have bracket arms giving an outreach of 10'. ELECO Golden Ray 280 lanterns are fitted. (It is believed these took the unique Philips 280W SOI/H bulb which was two 140W inner tubes in a single linear bulb).

Siemens Ediswan Osprey and Oline lanterns are used to light the Coventry by-pass. They're housed on 35' columns produced by Poles Limited.

AEI Amberline lanterns are used to light the entrance to Britain's first motorway: the Thurlaston Roundabout, Dunchurch leading to the M1. However, no lighting is installed on the actual motorway itself.

An experimental installation in Coventry is increasing the lighting levels at peak hour on conjested city centre routes. This is to determine whether safety and traffic flow is improved.

The Importance Of Road Lighting to the Highway System. Talk given to the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Branch of the Institution of Highway Engineers at Leeds in December 1959 by Granville Berry:

Administrative difficulties delaying the completion of the lighting of the road system:
  1. Multiplicity of lighting authorities (over 3,500).
  2. The financial inability of 75% of lighting authorities to carry out the work satisfactorily.
  3. The inadequacy of the Grants to local authorities for the lighting of MOT Trunk Roads (50% only).
  4. The need for the provision of lighting on Classified Roads to be included within the Improvement Grant System.

This was discussed in the House Of Commons where the administrative difficulties and the need for continuity and more uniform standards was discussed. The Minister then undertook:
  • To ask Divisional Road Engineerings to make a survey of street lighting on all trunk and classified roads.
  • To ask D.R.E.s to consult lighting authorities which are in large conurbations and adjacent to each other to form some local joint advisory committee to co-ordinate street lighting in the whole area.
The Joint Parliamentary Secretary, early in 1958, called together representatives of the 107 Local Authorities in the Greater London area and examined ways of achieving co-ordination in the lighting of "through" traffic roads. As a result the Consultative Committee on the Lighting Of Traffic Routes within the London Conurbation was set up, and in July it issued its Interim Report. Consideration is being given for similar committees in other parts of the country.

With the development of road transport, particularly in the last 40 years, the purpose and importance of road lighting has changed. Prior to World War I it was concerned with the lighting of footpaths in order to safeguard the individual; its importance as a means of lighting the road was unknown, and grew out the rapid increase in motor vehicles. The number of vehicles on the road is expected to double in the next 10 years. 400 miles of high-speed motorways will create new problems.

Along with the increase in traffic has gone a rise in the number of road accidents. In 1958, 293797 people were injured with 5970 killed. Unless more is done to make streets safe at night, then the rising toll will continue. The risk of death or serious injury on the roads is still might higher at night than day.

It is now well established that reductions in the order of at least 30% can be anticipated when lighting is installed.

Road accidents in 1959 cost the country 190 million, and each personal injury accident cost in the region of 500. The cost of lighting on Classified Roads is 2500 to 3000 per mile so the savings due to less accidents will generally be greater than the cost of providing lighting installations. Therefore, it is one of the quickest and cheapest form of road improvement available to local authorities. Motorway lighting may cost around 4000 per mile, but the cost of personal injury accidents is likely to be higher than Classified roads; so the cost of the installation is not likely to be fully met until traffic increases to about 25,000 vehicles per day.

Much of the economic justification of the Motorway system would depend on "round the clock" use and it is essential that motorways are made "as safe as night as by day." It is already becoming apparent from M.1. (listed as the Preston Bypass) that motorways are going to be more dangerous at night due to the greater average speeds. There will be glare from vehicles moving in the opposite direction and headlamps are not able to provide safe driving at the speeds expected.

Only a limited number of Continental and American motorways are lighted; but on the Paris Motorway (Autoroute de l'Ouest) a low-powered high-mounted lighting installation as reduced accidents by 40%; whilst higher reductions have been claimed in the USA. It would seem that lighting motor roads in urban areas of the country would reduce night accidents from 40%-50%.

The cost of installing motorway lighting at about 4000 per mile would only be 1½% of the total cost - an insignificant figure when compared with the saving of life that would result.

The recent development of high wattage linear sodium lamps is making possible increased levels of illumination with the employment of higher mounting heights and wider spacing of columns and may provide the economic solution to the problem of lighting motorways. These lamps are being used experimentally on sections of the Coventry By-Pass (200W linear sodium, mounted 35 ft., staggered formation, 200 ft. spacing between lanterns).

There are many other advantages: improved driver comfort, easier and safer overtaking, better visibility under poor weather conditions. It also improves traffic flow by discouraging drives from "hugging" the centre of the road.

There are now 1½ million street lamps in nightly use in the UK.

Tottenham Borough Council have erected 171 Atlas Alpha One lanterns on Stanton concrete columns on the Great Cambridge Road (A10), Downhills Way and Westbury Avenue. Old mercury vapour lanterns on trolleybus poles on Green Lanes, Seven Sisters Road, Lordship Lane and High Road have been replaced with 248 Atlas Alpha One lanterns on Highway "X" lighting coulmns.

AEI install 20 Teheran lanterns made by Siemens Ediswan on the new bridge over the River Karun at the Persian port of Khorramshahr. They're mounted on Stewarts And Lloyds columns.

700 Atlas Alpha Threes have been exported to Australia to illuminate the main highway between St. Kilda and Melbourne.

Poles Limited have produced a 35' Adastra street lighting column called the Curlew. The first examples have been installed on the Coventry By-Pass. These support the new Siemens Ediswan Oline lanterns which can take one or two 200W SLI/H lamps.

Ten Siemens Ediswan Cathay lanterns are installed in Winston Square shopping centre, Barry, Glamorganshire. They are mounted on timber columns (Malayan Kapur), which was selected as there would be no maintenance problems.

The GEC supplied the street lighting for the New Ferry Bypass, Birkenhead. It comprises of 97 Z9455 lanterns, each housing a 140W SOI/H lamp, on Stewarts And Lloyds GB.586 and GB.594 steel columns.

The Haddington lighting scheme received a commendation by the Civic Trust under the County Amenity Award Scheme for 1959.

Lisburn, the first town in Northern Ireland to have fluorescent street lighting, is embarking on part two of a plan to change over from filament lighting to fluorescent. Siemens Ediswan Carpenter lanterns have been used to complete the scheme. In Banbridge, Carpenter lanterns have been installed at 20' with the housing estates being lit by Crawley lanterns at 15'. Limavady's main street is being relit with Chester lanterns, with the remainder of the town being lit by Crawleys.

The first full-scale installation in Wales of lighting using the new Mazda sodium linear lamp has been completed on the Whitchurch Bypass near Cardiff. 78 Amberline lanterns are mounted at 35' on Stewarts And Lloyds Gb 1008 steel poles. The illumination level is 10,000 lumens per 100 ft. linear.

Southport is the first town in the world to have Sodium Linear street lighting with an installation of 8 AEI Amberline lanterns burning 200W SLI/H along Chapel Street. Existing columns were extended to 32½'.

140 SOI/H lanterns have been replaced by 200W SLI/H Amberline lanterns in Camden Town. Existing columns have been extended to 27'.

It is clamined that the linear sodium lamp will lead to cheaper street lighting. 31 AEI Amberline lanterns mounted at 35' and spaced at 170' intervals will light a mile of trunk road to a better standard than 44 traditional 140W lanterns (mounted at 25' and spaced at 120').

AEI supplied 37 SLX.3521 Post Top Lanterns to light the entire length of the Roker Seafront. They are mounted on ALFA Spun Concrete Columns.

Wardle announce the Aureole lantern, designed for Group A and Group B installations.

1963 Lamps:
Prototype high pressure sodium (HPS) and mercury iodide (MBI) lamps are demonstrated at the annual conference of the APLE.

Under the chairmanship of J. M. Waldram it is decided to extend and divide the Code Of Practice into nine parts to deal with the different classifications of road lighting. They will be:

  • Part 1: General Principles
  • Part 2: Lighting for Traffic Routes (Group A)
  • Part 3: Lighting for Lightly Trafficked Roads and Footways (Group B)
  • Part 4: Lighting for Single-level Road Junctions including Roundabouts
  • Part 5: Lighting for Grade-separated Junctions
  • Part 6: Lighting for Bridges and Elevated Roads
  • Part 7: Lighting for Underpasses and Bridged Roads
  • Part 8: Lighting for Roads with Special Requirements
  • Part 9: Lighting for Town and City Centres and Areas of Civic Importance
  • Part 10: Lighting for Motorways (added later but never implemented?)
British Standards Code Of Practise (BSCP) 1004: 1963: Part 1 (General Principles) and British Standards Code Of Practise (BSCP) 1004: 1963: Part 2 (Lighting for Traffic Routes) published.

1964 Other:
British Standard Lantern Specification 1788:1964 is published. This superceeds the 1951 specification.

The GEC install the first motorway lighting in the UK on the elevated section of the M4 between Chiswick and Langley. 200W linear sodium lamp lanterns are used.

1965 Lamps:
The first trial installation of mercury iodide (metal halide) lamps takes place at Shaw, Manchester by the GEC.

The GEC install the first UK installation of high mast lighting in the Cumberland Basin, Briston, using 25 meter masts and 1000W MBF/U lamps.

1966 Lamps:
In Jaunary, the GEC install a prototype installation of high pressure lamps along a 1,450 ft. section of East Lane, Wembley. Fifteen 400-watt Mark I hand-made Solorcolor lamps are installed in conventional Z8526 lanterns. The lanterns are mounted at 35 ft. at an average spacing of 100 ft. The test is designed to test the operational life of the bulbs.

The 400W HPS Solorcolor lamp is demonstrated at the APLE's conference in Blackpool. Eighteen lamps in six post-top lanterns are installed outside Blackpool's North Station.

The City Of London become the first authority to trial the new HPS lamp for a major street lighting program.

Concrete Utilities install the first British made high masts which are installed at the Severn Bridge approaches.

The GEC install the first UK installation of high mast lighting using low pressure sodium lamp lanterns at the Brent Cross Flyover in Hendon, London. It comprises of 30 meter masts with 180W SOX lamps.

1967 Lamps:
The GEC begin commercial production of their Solorcolor HPS lamp. Philips and BLI are not far behind with the production of their versions.

The first HPS installation in the UK is at Southend-On-Sea, Essex by the GEC when they light their new new ring road with 54 Solorcolor lamps.

In June, the City Of London starts their relighting scheme using HPS. The lanterns used are GEC Z8426 lanterns (with modified bowl) and BLI Alpha Threes (with modified bowl). The first installation is along Moorgate, Princes Street and King William Street.

British Standards Code Of Practise (BSCP) 1004: 1967: Part 4 (Lighting for Single-level Road Junctions including Roundabouts) published.

British Standards Code Of Practise (BSCP) 1004: 1967: Part 6 (Lighting for Bridges and Elevated Roads) published.

British Standards Code Of Practise (BSCP) 1004: 1967: Part 8 (Lighting for Roads with Special Requirements) published.

Philips introduce the first ever public lighting competition open to all UK lighting authorities. Final judging takes place every two years at the APLE Conference and Exhibition, when delegates are invited to cast votes for their choice of scheme in three categories: street lighting, public building and works lighting, and public amenity lighting.

1968 Lanterns:
The GEC invent and market the first plug-in high pressure sodium Solarcolour lamps (310W and 360W) to replace 400W mercury lamps without a change of control gear.

The GEC install the first motorway lighting in Scotland at the M8 in Renfrew. Cut-off lanterns using 135W SOX lamps are used.

The GEC also install the first UK installation of high mast lighting using high pressure sodium lamps at Huddersfield. 25 meter masts and 400W lamps are used.

1969 Other:
British Standards Code Of Practise (BSCP) 1004: 1969: Part 3 (Lighting for Lightly Trafficked Roads and Footways: Group B) published.

British Standards Code Of Practise (BSCP) 1004: 1969: Part 9 (Lighting for Town and City Centres and Areas of Civic Importance) published.

Under the chairmanship of Harry Carpenter, its decided to review street lighting practice. Therefore revisions start on Parts 1, 2 and 3 of the specification.

1971 Other:
British Standards Code Of Practise (BSCP) 1004: 1971: Part 7 (Lighting for Underpasses and Bridged Roads) published.

1972 Lanterns:
Philips provide lighting equipment for the first major catenary lighting schemes on motorway and major trunk roads in the UK e.g. The Worsley Braided Interchange on the M62 and the A4 in Hounslow.

Philips also light the largest motorway interchange in Europe with low pressure sodium lamps and lanterns. (The Gravelly Hill interchange or Spaghetti Junction).

1973 Lamps:
Philips provide high mast high pressure sodium lighting for the urban motorway into Leed's city centre.

British Standards Code Of Practise (BSCP) 1004: 1973: Part 5 (Lighting for Grade-Separated Junctions) published.

British Standards Code Of Practise (BSCP) 1004: 1973: Part 1 (General Principles) is published in a revised form.

1974 Lanters:
Philips introduce three new low pressure sodium lanterns onto the UK market (the MA50, MA60 and MA90). The outstanding feature of the new lanterns is that the combine both semi-cut-off and cut-off light distribution in one lantern, giving substantial cost and convenience benefits.

British Standards Code Of Practise (BSCP) 1004: 1974: Part 2 (Lighting for Traffic Routes (Group A)) is published in a revised form.

1977 Other:
BS 5489: Part 3: 1977 (Code Of Practice for Road Lighting: Part 3: Lighting For Subsidiary Roads) is published in a revised form. A change at the BSI means the code is given a new BS number; it would've been British Standards Code Of Practise (BSCP) 1004: 1977: Part 3. Consideration is being given to change the numbering of the other parts of the code to match.

The standard makes provision for two categories of Group B road lighting: Distributor Roads (Group B8) and Access Roads (Group B5/6). Group B8 replaces the old Group A3 (1963) requirements for minor traffic routes which was excluded from the revised Part 2 (1974) as being inappropriate for all-purpose traffic routes. Group B5/6 lighting is for all otehr minor roads, such as access and residential roads.

1980 Lanterns:
Urbis launch the ZX1, the first lantern to feature the company's revolutionary SealSafe optical system. Three versions of the optical system are provided: the 1027, 1200 and 1211. The first installation is in Wandsworth.

1982 Lanterns:
A modified full cut-off flat glass version of Urbis' ZX1 lantern is designed for British Rail.

1985 Lanterns:
Urbis introduce the first IP66 rated SealSafe optic. The 1317 metalised plastic reflector is sealed to the refractor bowl.

1992 Other:
BS 5498: Road Lighting (10 parts) is revised and republished.

1996 Lanterns:
The Urbis 1543 SealSafe reflector introduced for better illuminance performance with high level of uniformity and low glare after trials with Devon County Council.

1999 Lanterns:
Urbis introduce the SealSafe 1627 reflector which gives more photometric options.
The first electronic gear is used with the Urbis ZX1.

2001 Lanterns:
Urbis win the Queen's Award For Enterprise: Innovation For 2001. The Sealsafe and ZX1 play the major role in the awards.

2003 Lanterns:
Urbis introduce the SealSafe 1770 reflector which gives more photometric options.

BS EN 13201, the new European Standard, is published. This superceeded many clauses in the ten parts of BS 5489:1992 which are then withdrawn. It has three parts.
BS 5489:2003 is published which facilitates BS EN 13201:2003 in the UK. It has two parts.

2004 Lanterns:
The Urbis ZXU1 is launched. This includes an integral post mounting option.

PD CEN\TR 13201-1 is published which sets out the new lighting classes.