Kingswood Precinct

Lantern acquired in December 2007.

Thanks to George Mela for identifying this lantern. This Heritage-style post-top fitting is unused but was one of twelve which were ordered for a job at a stately home near Lichfield, along with twelve 4 m Kingswood 'Metro' columns. Only nine of the lanterns/columns were installed in the end - leaving the remaining three in storage until new owners moved into the house and auctions were drawn up to sell off the contents. Whilst the columns disappeared, the three unused lanterns returned to Jeremy, who had been largely responsible for the nine lanterns being installed and maintained over the years.

The 'strange' 35 W size came about on his suggestion - the specification called for SON specifically for the warm golden colour and to match existing floodlighting around the house, gardens and lake. An initial trial column used a 50 W SON in a round lantern but this proved too bright, so he suggested 35 W (the original owners didn't know that SON lamps were available in wattages lower than 50 W!) and Kingswood made up the first two of these lanterns, which proved successful. Consequently they supplied ten more (all complete with 'Metro' columns, etc.) - but Jeremy had to supply the lamps of course!

Several examples of this type of lantern can be seen in Derby's Arboretum; however, these are fitted with 70 W SON or 125 W MBF lamps and the gear is arranged differently. A 110 W SON (i.e. also running on 125 W gear) example can be seen on the top of the plinth in the adjacent Arboretum Square - this originally held a gas lantern until the 1930s, when a Revo 'Spondon' was fitted. This lasted until the 1970s, when a Phosco P111 was used.

The lantern is of a die-cast aluminium construction and the bowl is of a one-piece construction rather than each 'window' being a separate panel. The Derby City-owned examples often feature refractor rings, and miniature photocells are fitted instead of the one-part conduit thread Royce Thompson P6 seen here.


Access to the lamp is gained by removing two brass screws located on either side of the canopy. The supply cable passes up through a corner of the lantern frame, and then enters the area above the lamp, where the gear is located, by means of one of the cut-away corners in the reflector.


The ballast, ignitor and capacitor are situated in the approximate centre of the gear tray. The cable connecting the photocell can be unplugged, in order for the canopy to be moved away from the lantern. The gear was manufactured in 2004.


The ability to disconnect the photocell wiring is necessary, as they are relatively short and are strained if the canopy is opened fully.


With the lantern fitted to a post-top stand in October 2018, it was time to power it up. Despite the lamp being exposed, its coated outer bulb, combined with the low wattage, ensured that the light produced was subtle.


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
245.3 0.32 44 78 49.9 0.58 45.53 10.53 30%

Philips MI 80 GO | AEC Uno




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