Signature Exlite Signlite
This was by far the most common type of signlight in the Derby area prior to the commencement of the PFI, although the design was gradually phased out in favour of the Exlite LA signlight (below), due to problems with vandalism. This particular signlight is new and unused, however it was tested on the 17th June 2002, so it has had some shelf life. Thanks to Davy Warren for identifying this signlight.
Thanks to Don for telling me some information on this signlight:
"This same fitting has been in use for around 30 years! It was originally called 'Signlite Mark 3'. The body material may be slightly different and the gear tray has been changed. It was originally made by Gowshall (Pearce Signs took them over sometime in the '70s), and the first ones were in use around 1973 (very modern for the time!). It had the words 'Gowshall Oldbury' pressed into the plastic diffuser, later 'Pearce Gowshall'.
The gear tray was held in place by two thumbscrews and a plug and socket, so you could remove the tray without the use of any tools - no wires were visible, as on the new type. The lamp position was adjustable so you could use 6 or 8 W tubes. Access to the starters was by removing the gear tray. Some were available with starterless control gear with integral capacitor - these were made by Trans-Star and controlled two 8 W tubes; this company is still going today and have a website, www.transtargear.co.uk .
Two earlier versions were available:
Signlite Mark 2 - around in the 60s and 70s; this was a better quality version of the Mark 3 and was made of cast alloy (I think) and was also larger and more rounded - not seen one for years though.
Signlite - From the 60s, this had a metal body and a clear diffuser and you could see the control gear, they had two quite large Philips chokes with a starter built in the body of the choke."
This signlight is the only one I know of that has refractors moulded into the cover so as to optimise the amount of light reaching the sign plate.
Removing this cover reveals the positioning of the tubes. Both tubes in this fitting are controlled using separate ballasts and starters, however they only need one capacitor between them. The capacitor itself is shown as having a white casing, however at the date of this page rewrite (25.2.05), the side of the capacitor that is closest to the tube has gone yellow from the amount of Ultraviolet light passing onto it.
The canopy is not drilled for any type of photocell as signlights in Derbyshire are usually left running permanently.
This picture was taken when I first powered the signlight up - although it looks very dim, the two 8 W tubes give out a reasonable amount of light.
With the flash on and the cover reattached, the tubes do not look quite as yellow. They are, in fact, 'cool white' coloured, and so the colour being given off is similar to that of a mercury lamp.
Simmonsigns LUA | Signature Exlite LA
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