Lantern acquired in February 2008.

While this lantern was badged as a WRTL product towards the end of its manufacture, the design design dates to GEC days; it being known as the Z8600 back then, and was also sold as the Phosco P426. This lantern is brand new and unused, and entered the collection on Monday, 18th February 2008. It is internally dated to 2006, proving that there was still a market for these lanterns right into the 21st century, albeit in much smaller numbers than there once was.

The lantern is constructed of GRP - this has a nasty habit of becoming rather rough over time, when the lanterns are installed in their native outdoor environment.


The lantern is not fitted with a NEMA socket, although the GRP covering the socket holes appears to have been made deliberately thinner to make fitting a socket easier. Although not visible here, there is a mark on the front part of the canopy that would once have been the location of the GEC logo on earlier versions. When the design passed on to Siemens after the dissolution of GEC's Street Lighting division, the old logo was (understandably) blanked off.


A characteristic of these lanterns is the 'eye-shaped' refractor panel in the centre of the bowl.


A steel support bracket allows the lampholder to remain horizontal. Earlier versions of this lantern featured a plastic support bracket. This was found to wear out over time due to the daily heating from the lamp; eventually, this caused the lampholder to tip forwards, and if the lamp then made contact with the bowl, it would eventually burn a hole in the polycarbonate.


The ballast and ignitor are made by Tridonic, whilst the capacitor is made by Cambridge Capacitors.


The moulded space on the rear of the gear cover was designed to accommodate a narrow GEC label; this feature was never altered on later models, and so the much larger WRTL sticker engulfs the space.


The lantern was attached to a wall bracket on Friday, 4th May 2018. As can be seen, a different lamp to that seen above is fitted. This is because I didn't feel that the uncoated elliptical metal halide lamp was suitable for this lantern, on the grounds of historical accuracy; thus, a coated elliptical SON lamp was used instead.


The trusty SON lamp warmed up to its familiar golden colour within a few minutes of the lantern being powered up.


Lamp warm-up video:

Testing the lantern 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
243.8 0.85 183 207 49.9 0.88 182.36 32.96 22%

Simplex Aries | Philips MI 55 GO




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