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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 9:22 am 
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David excellent photos as always thanks for sharing.
I wonder if the reason behind the new bracketry and Ampera Maxis is more than just coincidence. Due to the heavy nature of these new lanterns it's a high chance the council may have opted to replace the brackets to negate the risk of old outreach arms failing. No guarantee could be placed on 1970s brackets being sound still,  although you could argue the same for the shafts themselves.


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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 10:07 am 
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David wrote:
Beta 5 wrote:
As of next week ECC will be switching the street lights off at 1am instead of midnight
It's fascinating to see (1) a Conservative-controlled council; (2) the Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate for Colchester; (3) the Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, who is Conservative and (4) even a Conservative MP all criticising Conservative-controlled Essex County Council about their unpopular part-night lighting policy. Anybody would think there's an election around the corner!

Having said that, all these Conservatives do have a point - Essex County Council was named the worst authority for street lighting in a public satisfaction poll at the end of 2014. Sadly for all these other Conservatives, there are no elections to Essex County Council until 2017, so Essex County Council's Conservatives could theoretically ignore this tidal wave of criticism and dig their heels in as much as they like before being booted out of office two years from now!
David wrote:
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The latest poster to appear at the end of my road (where St. Peter's Street joins Middleborough) is this election poster by the Conservative Party. But can potential voters see the poster at night?

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Well, yes they can, but that's not thanks to Conservative-controlled Essex County Council, which still switch off the majority of its street lighting at 1am.

In the General Election, our Liberal Democrat MP for the last 18 years was defeated by a Conservative candidate less than half his age, causing the whole political map of Essex to turn Conservative-blue with the exception of neighbouring Clacton, which elected the United Kingdom's only UKIP MP. This is despite part-night lighting being one of the subjects that's been consistently raised in election hustings.

Conservative-controlled Essex County Council, which implemented part-night lighting, is not scheduled for elections until 2017.


Last edited by David on Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 12:13 pm 
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sotonsteve wrote:
SOX lamps are becoming very expensive.

It's perhaps becoming clear that even SOX-stronghold counties like Essex and Hertfordshire are beginning to baulk at the increasing cost of re-lamping, hence the introduction of LED lighting (albeit on a small scale for the time being) to protect against these increasing costs in the future. But what happens when you're a parish council worried by the increasing cost of re-lamping SOX, but also unable to switch to LED due to the prohibitively high initial cost?

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Well, this is Weeley Parish Council's answer!

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Weeley is just outside Clacton-on-Sea and still very rural in nature. Some of the lightly-trafficked roads clearly do not need to be lit to the same standard as urban roads (if they were, they would fall under Essex County Council's control), but an occasional pole-mounted lantern is adequate to provide the needed guidance for pedestrians and vehicles.

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And when it comes to re-lamping, bypassing the original control gear and fitting a domestic compact fluorescent seems an ideal way of converting the lantern to white light without breaking the bank. The above three photographs were taken in May 2015.

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The housing estates that do exist in Weeley are lit to the required urban standards, although the lighting is still under the control of the Parish Council. Accordingly, lighting from yesteryear lives on, for example this GEC Z5676 on a GEC ZP3000 coloured plastic column.

Such coloured plastic columns were once common in neighbouring Clacton and invariably had a pale green, blue or turquoise finish, but they were all removed in the mid to late 1980s when they begun to shed fibres. This photograph was taken in January 2009.

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The same column and lantern at night, photographed in May 2015.

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The above GEC Z5676 close-up.  Photograph taken in January 2009.

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The same lantern at night. Photograph taken in May 2015.

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Bypassing the control gear on small SOX lanterns like the Philips MI26 doesn't seem such a bad idea, as Weeley was installing mercury lanterns on the village's estate roads into the late 1980s.

This was despite some earlier estate road mercury lanterns like the GEC Z5590 and the Phosco P149 falling victim to the 1970s energy crisis and being replaced with Thorn Beta 5s and ELECO GR501s.

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Some of the mercury lamps are looking rather dim. This one appeared to have only half the brightness of the mercury lamps in the rest of the street.

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Two main roads run through Weeley - the B1033 to Frinton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze and the B1441 to Little Clacton.

These two roads are the most heavily trafficked roads in the village, and these unusual SON cobra heads complement the existing SON-running Philips small Iridiums, SOX-running Philips MI26s and Thorn Beta 5s and SON-running Thorn Rigas. Even a white-light running Urbis Sapphire has appeared in recent months.

These cobra heads are a bit of an anomaly, even by Parish Council standards, as they are rarely seen elsewhere in my corner of Essex, and certainly not in an urban environment. The above photograph was taken in May 2015.

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One of the column-mounted cobra heads on the B1441 at Weeley. This photograph and the four photographs that follow were taken in June 2011, and the column has since been replaced.

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A day-time view of the above cobra head.

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And a close-up view of the lantern at dusk.

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An ultra close-up view of the underside of the cobra head reveals that it is a Hilclare product, and in line with much of the parish's other lighting, was originally running a mercury bulb.

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A final view of the Hilclare lantern.

A quick search on Google doesn't appear to return any further information on the lantern, e.g. its model number and whether it is still sold. The Hilclare web site does have a couple of street lights listed - a typically SON-looking lantern for metal halide lamps and these, I have to say it, really awful-looking LED lanterns.

Considering the Parish Council have used Hilclare in the past, perhaps it's a good thing that they aren't in a position to purchase LED lanterns just yet!


Last edited by David on Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 1:36 pm 
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Fascinating to see SOX lanterns converted to household CFL. Simple yet effective.

I also see that the GEC Z5676 has the lamp burning cap down, which is never the correct way to burn any SOX lamp. Given the presence of a refractor ring, perhaps this lantern was originally GLS and converted to SOX.


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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 1:48 pm 
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And it could easily be converted to domestic CFL as well!


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 3:08 pm 
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SRS201s (180 W) in Potters Bar have been replaced by LED lanterns... as have the Iridiums on the M25/A111 Jct 24 roundabout. Wasteful if you ask me.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 12:49 am 
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That GEC Z5676 is also notable in that is has an aluminium canopy, almost impossible to find on this series of lanterns anywhere other than Essex apparently. The two left in York (short bowl examples) both went this week, one as a column replacement and the other as the LED replacements swept through.... as and when these lanterns get taken down it may be an idea at the very least to keep the metal lids - I have done this with a haul I got about 5 years ago, and it means the manky fibre-shedding GRP canopies can be replaced with the more aesthetically-pleasing ally version.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:29 pm 
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A frustrated local councillor on Canvey Island in Essex purchased two 35W SOX lamps and fitted them himself by balancing a plywood board and work station on the top of his van. He was driven to take such drastic action after the lights went out and both Essex County Council and Castle Point Council refused to claim ownership of the lanterns, leaving residents in the road plunged into darkness over the winter.

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David Marchant, Chief Executive of Castle Point Council, has stated that on no account should residents (including councillors) carry out works to repair streetlights.

Full Southend Echo story here:
Canvey councillor Colin Letchford changes Marine Parade streetlight bulbs in bid to solve row over private road responsibility.

Further reports and pictures: Daily Mail,Daily Express and Daily Mirror.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:05 pm 
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In the London and the South East thread, Paianni wrote:
http://www.ringway.co.uk/our-contracts/term-maintenance-services/hertfordshire/hertfordshire-s-b-c-and-unclassified-roads-led-upgrade

http://www.hertsdirect.org/services/transtreets/highways/highwaysinfo/ledaroads/

All casual replacements for distributor roads since last Autumn have been Amperas mounted post-top on steel columns. Side roads have had a different lantern that I haven't identified yet, but they're also post-top.
In the London and the South East thread, sotonsteve wrote:
Thanks.

So it seems that these plans will still not cull everything, as it suggests only the "all night" lighting is being upgraded to LED, and not the part night lighting.

There was a full council meeting at Essex County Council on the 9th of February 2016 to discuss Essex County Council's new budget. Pages 41 to 45 deal with Infrastructure & Highways Delivery, and there are references to money being set aside (circa £4.5 million in 2016/2017 and £4.75 million in 2017/2018) for an LED roll-out. To quote pages 41 and 42:

"These pressures are being mitigated by an ongoing efficiency and savings programme including reduced street energy consumption from the LED replacement programme and focus on maximising income opportunities. A total of £4m of savings are planned for 2016/17.

In addition to the routine maintenance activity, there are a number of projects currently ongoing that are improving infrastructure for residents and businesses and delivering better value for money over the long term; primary examples are the Jaywick road investment scheme which will deliver significant improvements to the road network in that area and the LED lighting programme which will see a major part of the lighting network converted to state of the art LED technology over the next two years."


Essex County Council's future commitment to LED sreet lighting in their budget was also reported in the Echo newspaper.

A comment by Councillor Stephen Robinson on the Keep Chelmsford's Street Lights On Facebook Page sheds some extra light on what the proposed changes may mean for Essex - he understands that the proposed £9.25 million investment by Essex County Council is to convert the street lights that stay on all night over to LED, as per the LED roll-out currently underway in neighbouring Hertfordshire. Notably, Hertfordshire's casual replacements in part-night lit areas are also LED.

Councillors approved Essex County Council's budget at the meeting, paving the way for the LED rollout to begin. If Councillor Stephen Robinson is correct (in his understanding that the roll-out is proposed only for street lighting left on all night), this will result in between 17% and 30% of Essex County Council's lighting stock being converted to LED by 2018. The lion's share of the rest of Essex County Council's lighting - the part-night lanterns - will stay as SOX, with SON for casual replacements, new roads, road upgrades and new and recently-built housing estates.

Since the Essex County Council LED street light trial in 2014, there has been no evidence that casual replacements of part-night lanterns will be LED, as in neighbouring Hertfordshire. SON is still the light source of choice for casual replacements in Essex, although that may now change (having said that, if a SON casual replacement is only lit for half the night, it should arguably last twice as long before it needs re-lamping).

For reference, Essex's £1 million LED trial in 2014 bought them circa. 1,700 Schréder Ampera Maxis and Midis and paid for their installation. I am unsure of the proportion of the 127,000 units that are left on all night, but the figure could be as high as 30% or as low as 17%. Based on the 2014 prices, an approved budget of £9.25 million should pay for the purchase and installation of circa. 15,725 Schréder Amperas, which would be a significant chunk of Essex County Council's all-night lanterns, and economies of scale and ongoing price reductions of LED lanterns could stretch that to cover every lantern that stays on from dusk to dawn.

So there you have it. Even Essex County Council is jumping on the LED bandwagon. In a few years from now, Essex will soon be between 17% and 30% LED, and consequently up to 17% - 30% less vintage Atlas, ELECO, GEC, Philips, Phosco, REVO, Siemens and Thorn. Having said that, even after this new LED roll-out finishes in 2018, the lion's share of Essex County Council's street lighting is still likely to be SOX.

Both of Essex's Unitary Authority Councils - Southend and Thurrock - have previously approved plans to replace all of their street lighting with LED, and both schemes are currently ongoing.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 5:53 pm 
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First of all, good on the councillor who took matters into his own hands. Shame on the bungling councils unable to identify whose responsibility a long standing asset was that has clearly been maintained up until the previous lamp change. No doubt a bit of lost data and "computer spreadsheet says..." rubbish overruling engineering judgement and common sense.

As for Essex moving towards LED, it was only a matter of time. Surely they will now change the requirements for developers of new housing estates to install LED.


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