Philips XGS 103

Lantern acquired in April 2004.

Unlike my first MI 26, which was an unofficial conversion to 18 W SOX-E lamps, this is an 'official' Philips lantern! Despite being in virtually new and unused condition upon entering the Collection, the lantern, I am told, was due to be scrapped owing to SOX lighting no longer being installed on Derby's streets, following a clear-out of the storeroom. Luckily, it was saved for me - I was pleased to acquire such a good example of this lantern as XGS 103s are employed on my own road. The MI 26 / XGS 103 remains a common sight throughout much of Derbyshire, as it does throughout the UK, although numbers are likely to diminish in the next few years, owing to the forthcoming obsolescence of SOX lamps.

The distinctive slightly wedge-shaped GRP canopy of these lanterns serves as a way of identifying them, along with differentiating the Philips lantern from that of other manufacturers.

An inline fuse carrier housing a three amp cartridge fuse offers a degree of protection to the lantern's high frequency electronic ballast. Given that the rating of the fuse protecting the lantern circuit in the supply cut-out is likely to be rated at (around) four amps anyway, this additional fuse within the lantern seems somewhat unnecessary. The product label visible above the lamp in this view includes the date code 'M2', suggesting that the lantern was produced in December 2002.

The electronic ballast is positioned on the opposite side of the internal reflector - it's quite a tight fit; indeed, a corner of the ballast's chassis is usually removed during the lantern's assembly, in order that the ballast doesn't foul one of the gear tray / reflector support screws.

The use of the electronic ballast eliminates the slight flicker that is sometimes present when SOX lamps are run on standard magnetic gear, owing to the 50 Hz frequency of the supply.


The lantern was mounted to an AC Ford AC872 wall bracket on Sunday, 21st August 2005. The photograph was taken when the lamp had been running for a couple of minutes, and was just starting to turn yellow.

Lantern warm-up video:


Philips MI / F/XGS Lanterns in the Collection

FGS 103 (June 2003)

FGS 104 (Oct 2002)

MI 8

MI 26 (June 1992)

MI 26 2 (June 1998)

MI 50 (Feb 1988)

MI 55 (Aug 1989)

MI 80 (Oct 1985)

XGS 103 (Oct 2001)

XGS 103 (Dec 2002)

XGS 104 (Oct 2002)

GEC Z3430 | Vandalite Skye


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