Benjamin Duoflux

Floodlight acquired in November 2019.

Until discharge and halogen floodlighting became commonplace in the 1980s, this distinctive type of floodlight was the go-to solution for providing night-time area illumination; even today, a number of examples can be seen throughout the country, with some continuing to soldier on in the era of LED floodlighting, although many examples have become abandoned and disused with the passage of time. Although not unique to Benjamin's product range, their versions seem to be the most common, with examples produced by contemporary companies being mistaken as Benjamin products on occasion. All are known, colloquially, as "Shovel" floodlights, owing to the shape of their reflector system. Along with collectors, in more recent years, these fittings have attracted the attention of designers trying to create an 'industrial' retro appearance to homes and businesses. This example is believed to have been used in south London, but being an eBay win, little else is known of its history.

This particular example is intended for mounting post-top to a suitable spigot, although side-entry brackets and wall mounting options were available too.


The Benjamin logo and 'Made in England' are cast into the aluminium body of the lantern.


The floodlight's tilt angle can be adjusted by loosening this nut and bolt, moving the fitting up or down, and then re-tightening the fixings. Notice that these are stainless steel, and thus, are likely to have been fitted by a previous owner as part of a basic restoration at some point.


The main body of the floodlight comprises an enamelled steel reflector, with the lamp situated at the back. Along with providing a degree of directional lighting, this also offers the lamp protection against rainwater. No form of cover or bowl over this area exists - the floodlight was intended to be run with the lamp exposed. Unfortunately, this has caused corrosion to form around the rim of the enamel, along with the aluminium plate that the reflector retaining bolts fasten onto. An asbestos gasket spaces the plate from the reflector. Sadly, the 500 W GLS lamp that was included with the lamp has a broken filament. Any manufacturer's franking on the lamp is long gone, destroying any chance of being able to decipher a production date code, and thus, allow an approximate guess as to when the floodlight was last lit, to be made. As an alternative to the use of GLS lamps, high-wattage mercury vapour (originally, MA/V; more recently, MBF) lamps could be fitted, thanks to the floodlight incorporating a GES (Goliath Edison Screw) lampholder.


Two square bolts would secure the floodlight to its post when in use.


The wiring passes through the aluminium top section of the fitting, and should be able to be guided through the section by removing a series of fixing screws; however, all were jammed upon acquisition, and so viewing the internal layout is not possible at present.


Thorn 'SONPak 7' OT 70.4 (1993) |




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