GEC Z5699

Lantern acquired in September 2006.

This lantern was removed from a footpath running parallel to the River Derwent in the City Centre (possibly this one) when the supply was made permanently live in order to provide power for some new CCTV cameras. This lantern was not fitted with any type of control of its own; and so went dayburning when the control point was removed. Apart from the pictured example, I have never seen any other Z5699s in this area.

Although very similar in appearance to the Z5698U, the Z5699 is actually shorter. It uses the same type of bowl that the Z5670 uses. Surprisingly, the bowl isn't severely yellowed as you might think it would be from the UV produced by the lamp.

The canopy is flat on top; rather than being stepped, as the Z5698U is.

Removing the bowl and canopy reveals that the lamp is held cap-down although it could be changed to cap-up operation as the plate above has two pre-drilled holes in it which would support the lampholder. This would have been intended for SOX operation rather than SON or MBF. What the photograph doesn't convey is the amount of dead wasps and live spiders which emerged once the bowl was removed!

The gear tray is removed by undoing two screws - one on either side of it. Oddly, Thorn gear which would be of the same age as the lantern is fitted. I am just wondering if it was bought as an MBF example but was converted to SON before being installed.


The metallic components of the lantern were blasted and then repainted by Tuesday, 5th December 2006. A new bowl arrived from Marwood Electrical on the same date - meaning that the lantern could be re-assembled straight away. I had planned to fit a new ballast - identical (or so I thought) to the existing one - however it turned out to be a tiny bit longer and so would not fit on the gear tray! A new capacitor had to be fitted as the casing of the existing one had been punctured by the holder - thankfully it was modern enough not to be filled with harmful PCBs.

Upon refitting the canopy, I discovered that the securing toggle didn't seem to be as effective as it had been before the lantern was blasted. I am not sure why this is; but I found a way to counteract it by laying a length of cable above the gasket on the canopy rim - this created a sufficient distance for the toggle to successfully grip into the lantern again.

The blasting inevitably meant that the 'Disconnect before opening label' was lost - however, it wasn't really in the best condition beforehand.

The lantern was then powered - a warm glow was soon being given out by the new SON lamp!

Lantern warm-up video:

Revo Diadem | Philips XGS 104


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