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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:20 pm 
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He he, I remember the days when the GEC Z8430CM was the most modern non-turtle 'SON' lantern on the market, and was used for casual replacements for the Revo Horizons in Frinton High Street! Then in the mid-eighties, the GEC Z8600 put in its first appearance in that street, again as a casual replacement for a Revo Horizon, and having never seen them before, I really rather liked them and thought they looked really modern.

When Phosco152 came to visit last month, we went to Frinton to check those Revo Horizons, and a great deal of them are still there to this day. The sea-front end of the High Street is almost all Revo Horizons, with an unspoilt line of five lanterns (the dense foliage prevented a good photo opportunity).

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This Revo Horizon was saved from Frinton.

A funny thing happened on the Monday after Phosco's visit. Outside my house, the new, unpainted corus pole sporting a 50w SGS203 (installed in 2007 to replace this GEC Z9480), was painted black to match the other columns in Colchester town centre's Dutch Quarter, but it looked like the crew hadn't done a proper job...

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Colchester town centre's Dutch Quarter dates from the Tudor period and is one of the town's greatest architectural and tourist assets. Accordingly, the council generally takes more care with the appearance of the street lighting here than in the suburbs. Bearing that in mind, this paint job looked particularly clumsy!

Generally speaking, the suburbs usually get Thorn Rigas and Phosco P567s (although there's still plenty of historic lighting installations to be found in the suburbs of course!), whereas the Dutch Quarter usually gets 70w SON Phosco P111s. These replace 35w SOX Phosco P111s installed in the 1960s, or 1960s 35w SOX GEC Z9480s along the Conservation Area's perimeter roads (including mine). So you can imagine my disappointment in 2007 when my street lost its GEC Z9480s, but missed out on the pretty P111s for the second time.

I wondered whether, sometime in the future, the council would ever change its mind, chop the bend off the hockey-stick outside my house (and the other ones along my street) and put on P111s. But I concluded that would be too much hassle for them to do.

Last week's incomplete paint job raised my suspicions that something like this was about to happen.

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And there we have it! This happened sometime this morning. It must have been fairly early because I slept through it! This is a really good example of the council taking care of the appearance of its street lighting, and in line with all the other fairly new stuff that gets taken down in Colchester, I'm sure the SGS203 won't be scrapped and will be installed elsewhere.

Although I haven't had a proper look at my new lantern from outside, the P111s aren't without their faults (or more correctly, the installation of the P111s isn't without fault). For some unknown reason, their Micro Stars are mounted on the underside of the post-top shoe and point to the ground. It's therefore no surprise that some P111s around here strike as early as 2PM! The older P111s have no such problem, with their canopy-mounted 2 part cells.

The crew's answer to this early-burning was to face the Micro Star on all future installations at the road (in an attempt to stop the Micro Star being further darkened by nearby buildings). This then knocks out the orientation of the bulb and side reflectors, with some lanterns now installed with the side reflectors parallel to the road instead of perpendicular. This has the effect of throwing light across the road instead of along it, so that plenty of light ends up going through the nearest bedroom window, but very little is thrown along the street where it's needed. Phosco152 saw the effect when we drove up a street with recently-installed P111s with just our sidelights on. It looked like the street hadn't been lit at all!

Again, the answer is very simple - rotate the lantern so that the bulb and reflectors are in the right orientation and light goes along the street instead of across it, and install a better photocell. But there is one more, rather simpler solution to the problem of light spilling into nearby bedrooms, and I can now understand why the crew needed to use as little paint as possible when painting the columns along my street. In the last week, the number of new P111s with half-blackened cones has almost doubled!

I just hope that the one outside my window doesn't suffer the same ham-fisted method of light control!


Last edited by David on Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:09 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 5:58 pm 
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Honestly, sometimes I wonder if lighting would be better if it was installed by us "enthusiasts" - well of course it would!

Why on earth do they not simply fit a minicell to the canopy? Failing that can the canopy/reflector assembly not be rotated independently of the base to ensure the Micro Star is facing the road yet the reflector is the right way round?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:39 pm 
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Phosco152 wrote:
Honestly, sometimes I wonder if lighting would be better if it was installed by us "enthusiasts" - well of course it would!


Haha - An enthusiast could have a county each!

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:49 pm 
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I'll tell you why I think the minicell isn't fitted to the canopy... because the gear is visible in the base of the lantern, having a minicell in the canopy would mean three more wires going up the spines of the lantern. If you have an opaque bowl like on a GEC Z5670 series then the three extra wires don't stand out, but on a clear bowled lantern having a blue brown and white wire will be clearly seen.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:29 pm 
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The amount of fun one could have with some bright, focused light source directed onto them cells at night.... :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:49 am 
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My bike light would do the trick!
On a related note, I found where the photocell controller is for the low-level Thorn Orus lights are over the bridge in York - a feeder pillar by the road. All I have to do is stop there and dump my rucksack on the top of the pillar and the lights should come on!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:15 pm 
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Stelmer wrote:
The amount of fun one could have with some bright, focused light source directed onto them cells at night.... :lol:


It would be! A 1990s Beta 5's two part cell fell out of the socket, down the side of the lantern, and it just kept turning on and off for a few days, till it eventually stopped working. But a new two-part cell is in use now.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:41 pm 
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As most of us will know that Norfolk has an ongoing PFI scheme replacing its streetlighting. However the city of Norwich is set to become an unitary breaking away from the rest of Norfolk in April 2011.

So I wonder if the Norfolk PFI will cease in Norwich when this change takes effect or the PFI will simply include the City of Norwich with Norfolk.

Maybe the PFI is currently focused primarily on Norwich by steamrolling on with the replacements to get things done over with before the city becomes an unitary next year?

This could be why last summer I saw a lot of streets being relit in Norwich which other places in Norfolk such as Great Yarmouth had mostly casual replacements.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:29 am 
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The way that a PFI works would mean that terminating part of the contract would be difficult and expensive, so assuming Norwich has been included in the Norfolk PFI (and not excluded because of possible unitary status) then the PFI would continue in this area. It's worth noting that some of Norwich's street lighting is owned and maintained by the city council rather than the county council, and I don't think this will be included in the PFI anyway.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 3:58 pm 
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I was delighted today to find the old A12 at Copdock available on google streetview! Near the end of the road (near where it has been blocked off) I found an example of a flat glass GR70 in a culdesac. This is an example of a common, modern Suffolk installation used before the Sapphire invasion. The interesting thing is, Suffolk seem to install such lanterns at extremely low mounting heights. Do you think this means that the lamp would be 50 instead of 70 watts?


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