Philips MU 80 (Unconfirmed)

Lantern acquired in June 2006.

The reason that I am unsure about this post-top's identity is because I have been unable to find any form of identification on it. Jeremy thought that it might be an MU 80 and this would fit, as the lantern uses Philips control gear; however, this name does not appear on the Philips site and so the design has either been renamed or discontinued. I cannot recall seeing this type of lantern in Derbyshire before although examples may exist.

As received, the lantern is in fairly good condition; however, a small hole in the sphere has let moisture and dirt enter. The sphere is made by Elkamet . With a black metal band around the centre, and decorative finial to the top, the sphere is intended for use as a faux 'heritage' lantern.


The sphere is removed from the base section with a bayonet-type procedure (twist anticlockwise slightly, then pull up). The lamp control gear is housed within the raised cylinder in the base.


The lamp control gear is housed within the raised cylinder in the base. A plastic grille covers the cylinder in normal use, but can be removed by being prised out with a small flat-blade screwdriver.


Doing just that allows the ballast and capacitor to be seen sandwiched inside the cylinder. A lack of space prevents an external ignitor from being fitted, meaning that internal-ignitor lamps are required.


For many years, no further work was possible on this lantern, as the cylinder also secures to the base by means of a bayonet fixing, but a lack of resistance on the base prevented this from happening. Only when the base was secured to a 76 mm stand in late October 2018 could access, finally, be gained. No manufacturer information was supplied here either, and unusually, the supply cable connects directly into the gear components, rather than terminating into a separate block connector. The gear comprises a Philips BSN-70 ballast and ICAR Ecofill 8 F capacitor dating from May 1998. As the capacitor's casing was damaged, I decided to replace it.


The Elkamet logo is moulded into the base section too, but this still doesn't confirm the lantern's manufacturer, as this company, it seems, only produces plastic components that are used in lighting products. There is no mention on their website that they supply complete luminaires.


After giving the sphere a surface clean in and out, the lantern was reassembled and powered up. The combination of an uncoated lamp, and transparent surround, made for a rather glary appearance at full power!


Lamp warm-up video:

Testing 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 to rated wattage Percentage Difference
243 0.51 85 124 49.8 0.69 85.51 15.51 22%

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