ESLA - Ten Years On

2013 marked the 10th anniversary of the ESLA's acquisition and subsequent installation. By then, the once glossy paintwork applied to the installation had dulled, and the golden highlights had faded to an off-silver. The installation still retained a degree of elegance; however, the winds of change were firmly in the air, and the installation's very future lay in the balance - there was a real possibility that it could be simply deactivated. In true "Dr Beeching" style, I eventually decided that I would keep it operational, provided that a solution that would reduce running costs, but still maintain the old-fashioned charm of the installation, could be sought.

Fortunately, I was successful in this venture, thanks largely to the finding of an LED lamp that promised a comparable output to that of a traditional 100 W GLS lamp, whilst maintaining similar dimensions to those of the classic 'Derby 100' lamp. Homewatt's 15 W "Astrolumen" lamp looked to be an ideal substitute, and so one was purchased. The picture below compares the modern lamp with a traditional 'Derby 100' lamp (ironically, this was the ESLA's first lamp when installed here in 2003).

 
 

I know; I prefer the 'Derby 100' too, but unfortunately, energy consumption now has to be a consideration, and the LED lamp wins on that score.


These photographs demonstrate the installation's daytime appearance after being fitted with the LED lamp.

 
 

Even with the large conical heat sink that forms part of this lamp, the focus of the mirrored facets is still maintained. The only slight downside is that the figured mirrors were really designed to be used in conjunction with lamps featuring clear envelopes, but this is only a minor issue.

 
 
 
 

 

The following photographs demonstrate that the LED lamp is more than capable of illuminating the surrounding area to a satisfactory level - no post-production brightening was required.

 
 

The camera's brightness settings actually had to be reduced to their lowest in order to capture the below image; without doing this, the shape of the lantern could not be discerned.

 

A slightly different angle here...

 

For comparison, this is how the output appears on a long exposure setting:

 
 

 

Changing the lantern's light source was not the only "modernisation" work undertaken - the opportunity was also taken to convert the installation to photocell operation. A wall-mounted Zodion SS9-DLS part-night photocell (rated at 35 Lux with a midnight - 5:30 am 'off' time) was fitted, and a length of four-core flexible cable installed that linked the photocell to the existing cable termination box. The time switch was removed from the column base for safe-keeping, and an identical (but faulty) unit installed in its place with its motor fuse removed. The override button was then pressed, in order to link the 'live' and 'load' terminals. In this way, the column can easily be converted back to time switch operation in the future, should I ever choose to do this. The photocell can just be seen on the wall in the above photograph; alternatively, a close-up image is shown below.

 
 
 

Preliminary Photographs

Restoration

Choosing the Column

Being fitted to the Column

Wiring up and Working

An ESLA for all Seasons

The First Lamp Change

Five Years On


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