Philips FGS 103

Lantern acquired in April 2010.

This lantern was removed from mid-hinged column 97893 on the footpath linking Telford Close with Uttoxeter Road in Mickleover, after the column had been decommissioned and was awaiting removal as part of the Derby Street Lighting PFI in April 2010. The lantern was then collected from the Balfour Beatty depot on Friday, 7th May 2010. The 'FGS' prefix on this lantern is unusual - this usually represents a lantern that runs a compact fluorescent lamp, however, this example is wired (and indeed, labelled) to run a 35 W SOX lamp.

The following is the inventory record for this installation. This record is as it was in 1997, when Derby City Council took control of its own street lighting repairs from the County Council, and long before the FGS 103 was fitted. Therefore, any changes made after this date (including the change of lantern type) are not shown.

Unique Number: 97893 Location: F/PATH TO UTTOXETER RD
Postcode: DE3 5NU Road: TELFORD CL
Road Number:   Parish: MICKLEOVER
Sequence Number: 6 Patrol: Y06
Lamp Type: SXPL3 Wattage: 35  W Control Type: PE1
Lamps/Lantern: 1 Lanterns/Unit: 1 Control Setting: 3
Lantern Type: PT Lantern Manuf:   Control Gear:  
Height: 5  m Support Type: DD RAISE & LOWER COL - PAINTED
Bracket Proj'n.:    m Support Finish: P PAINTED COL/SIGN/PILL/GANTRY
Bracket Type:   U/G or O/H: U UNDERGROUND
Board Code: E76 Status Code: 0 USUAL / NORMAL
Service Owner: A Is this lamp/sign an Isolation Point ?: N
EB Order number:      
No-supply sheet: 0 Isol Pt: 36410 / Circuit: 1 / Seq: 1
    Location: JNC FP TO TELFORD        
    Road: UTTOXETER RD        
    Parish: MICKLEOVER        

We start this photograph gallery with a couple of pictures of the lantern in early April 2010. The lantern was still in operation at the time, but would be disconnected only a few weeks later.

The columns on this footpath were group-switched from a column on Uttoxeter Road, so the cell attached to this lantern is unnecessary, unless the control point cell started dayburning...which it actually did towards the end of 2009! The FGS 103 replaced a defective GEC Z5698U in about 2004.

The aluminium shoe attached to the rear of this version of the lantern was virtually unknown in Britain until about 2000 (there being a smaller GRP cover over this portion of the lantern on UK examples), however, it was already common in Europe, due to the wider diameter (60 mm) of side-entry brackets on the Continent, than the narrower (34 mm) diameter of side-entry brackets in the UK. Despite this, most side-entry versions of this lantern in Britain continue to be of the all-GRP canopy, and the aluminium shoe is only supplied when the lantern is to be spigot-mounted to a column, as was the case here.

The addition of the shoe naturally adds length to the lantern; though it probably only increases the lantern's length to that of a 55 W SOX lantern, so the addition is not excessive. The SS3DR cell seen here dates from 2004, and is probably original.

A plastic cover hides the column attachment clamp from view within the casting.

With the cover removed, the construction of the assembly is revealed. The 'C'-shaped strut of metal opposite the clamp prevents rotation of the lantern once installed. Notice two unused threaded holes located beneath the bolts - these would be where the bolts would screw into on the side-entry version of this lantern.

Opening the bowl reveals a rather worn Philips 35 W SOX lamp. Considering that this lamp dates from 2006, it is not surprising that it is in this condition!

Unlike the XGS 103, the gear tray / reflector contains few screw holes for attaching components.

Here is the proof that this lantern is, indeed, an FGS 103. The date code 'f3' suggests that this lantern was produced in June 2003.

Despite the lantern being only a few years old, the lamp control gear is of the conventional ballast / ignitor / capacitor type, rather than being of a one-piece, high frequency electronic type seen in the XGS 103. The lantern's supply cable was clearly not replaced when the new lantern was fitted - dark green earth conductor sleeving has not been used in fixed wiring for many years.

The gear is packed tightly within the lantern. As can be seen, the capacitor was manufactured on the 4th January 2002. The lantern's NEMA socket also carries 2002 as a year of manufacture.

The lantern was powered up on Saturday, 20th November 2010. Despite the worn appearance of the lamp, it operated without any problems.

The lantern was attached to a post-top stand in October 2018.


Testing the lantern with my energy monitoring device revealed the following results:

Test Voltage (V) Current being drawn at full power (A) Measured wattage (W) Apparent Power (VA) Frequency (Hz) Power Factor True Power (W) Difference (W) Percentage Difference
241.4 0.43 56 104 50 0.54 56.05 21.05 60%

These results show that the lantern's capacitor was probably about ready for replacement!

Simplex Aries | GEC Z9539

Philips MI / F/XGS Lanterns in the Collection

FGS 103 (June 2003)

FGS 104 (Oct 2002)

MI 8

MI 26 (June 1992)

MI 26 2 (June 1998)

MI 50 (Feb 1988)

MI 55 (Aug 1989)

MI 80 (Oct 1985)

XGS 103 (Oct 2001)

XGS 103 (Dec 2002)

XGS 104 (Oct 2002)




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