GEC Z8896

Lantern acquired in August 2003.

This lantern was removed in summer 2003 due to the bowl being too yellowed to give out much useful light. It was mounted on a housing-association concrete column in Mackworth, and was replaced with a Thorn Beta 79. Had it been directly owned by the Street Lighting department, it is likely that the lantern would have been replaced many years ago. I know of no other Z8896s in the Derby area, and so this may well have been the last one in the city.

The Z8896 as received. The yellowed polycarbonate bowl shows that it has had many hours' use over the years. The bowl clip is almost identical to the one used on the Z5698U, and it creates a very tight seal! The P42 photocell can be seen in the background. This is my first lantern to have a two-part cell, so it is quite an interesting lantern for me to work on. I will probably leave it in the lantern and just not connect it up - the wires have been cut just as they reach the outside of the lantern.

The filthy insides of the Z8896. The lamp holder support is loose and so the lamp leans to one side. I couldn't use the flash on the lantern as the reflector kept reflecting it, funnily, despite having a thick layer of spider webs!

Cleaning the inside of the lantern proved to be an easy task - all I had to do was to remove everything from the lantern, wipe the reflector over a few times with some 'Exodus' cleaner, and the lantern looks as good as new internally! The ballast is original - it's an old Thorn one. As acquired, the capacitor was missing; however, I may install a new one.

I was so shocked (not literally, in an 'electrical' sense!) at the state of the live wire into the lantern that I had to take a photograph of it! The insulation that was in the lantern has been almost completely fried. The section at the top was covered by the cable clamp and so was not affected as badly as the other sections were.

The cleaned Z8896, resting in a baking tray (a very effective method of stopping the lantern from rolling over!)

Finally, a photograph of the Z8896 as it appears when on. The lamp seems to be OK; however, it appears dimmer than it should because of the yellow bowl.


Thanks to Davy Warren for sending me a bowl without any yellowing on it at all! (17.1.04)

Following the replacement of the bowl, I felt that no more work was required to make the lantern look as it had done when new. However, on the 30th June 2005, I decided to remove the P42 detector and fill in the hole in the canopy. Once the filling was complete, the canopy was re-sprayed, both outside...

...and in.

This sideways view showed that although the lantern had had limited usage since the replacement bowl was fitted, even this was sufficient to add a slight amount of yellowing!

Fortunately, the discolouration remained relatively minor.


The lantern was mounted to a wall bracket on Sunday, 14th August 2005.

Lantern warm-up video:

Testing with my energy monitoring device revealed the following results (the high power factor can be attributed to my installing a new 8 F capacitor in the circuit):

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
235.8 0.42 90 99 49.94 0.91 90.12 10.12 13%

ESLA 155 | Philips MI 26


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