History of Street Lighting in Liverpool

Liverpool's Street Lighting

History of Street Lighting in Liverpool

The History of Electric Street Lighting in the City of Liverpool, Dates back to the early 1900's when the First Carbon Arc Lighting was installed around St George's Hall and the Walker Art Gallery as well as other parts of the City..
1890's Street Lighting using Carbon Arc Lamps

By the 1920's Most Streets were still using Gas Lighting in the Box Type Street Lantern however some were converted to Electricity by using 2 x 100 watt Filament Lamps (Light Bulbs) as used in our Homes,


Gas Street Lighting as used around Liverpool circa 1890's

Electric Discharge Lamps

1st type of Sodium Lamp used for Street Lighting (85w SO/H)

After the First Trial Run of the Philips Low Pressure Sodium Vapour Lamp in Purley Way in Croydon in 1931/2, the Liverpool City Lighting Department the Following Year was the First to Install the Low Pressure Sodium Vapour Lamp on Queens Drive Liverpool, and Cooper Avenue in Conjunction with Wardle Engineering in Manchester UK, designed the First Cut Off Street Lantern known as the Wardle "Liverpool" Sodium Lantern, these Lanterns first used the 100 and 150 watt SO/H Sodium Vapour Lamp, these Lamps were re-rated 85 watts and 140 watts in 1938,

Wardle Liverpool Street Lantern circa 1930's

Other Lighting Installations Followed by using the MA/V Medium Pressure Mercury Vapour Lamp to replace Early Filament Lighting in existing installations and on Side Roads the new MB/V High Pressure Mercury Vapour Lamp was adopted, as the Early High Pressure Mercury Vapour Lamps needed a Ballast to operate on the mains supply, as they also looked the same as the 150 and 200 watt Filament Lamp, as a result they used a 3 pin BC cap to avoid them being accidently used in a Filament Lamp Fitting.

1st type of Mercury Lamp used for Street Lighting (400w MA/V)

After the Second World War and as Blackout Restrictions were Lifted, Most of the Street Lighting in Liverpool were Damaged due to Air Raids etc. and also due to Bombed Out, there was a major Redevelopment Scheme to both Rebuild the City as well as Improving the Street Lighting, as a result of Metal Shortage, due to the War Effort, and with CU (Concrete Utilities and Phosco Lighting) Concrete Lighting Columns were being Installed around the City however the First Concrete Lighting Column was developed by the City of Liverpool in 1932 and was known as the Liverpool No 1 and some are still used today.

Highfield Minor Street Light

By 1948  the Highfield Minor Street Light first became installed in Liverpool this Street Light was Specially developed by Both the City of Liverpool and CU-Phosco and were open Lanterns using 2 x 100 watt Filament Lamps,  on Main Roads the Wardle Liverpool became so popular they were installed through out the City, also as by the 1950's the Highfield Manor became so popular they were redesigned to use the Mercury Vapour Lamp as well as using a Opalescent Bowl to both improve the Light and protect the Lamp,
By the 1960's Liverpool had changed a lot in the City as well as the new Wallesey Tunnel being Constructed the New Osram GEC High Mast Lighting system was installed, they comprised of a Metal High Mast Column ranging from 20 metres to 45 metres, and used 6 x Fittings per mast with 1000 watt Mercury Vapour Lamps, also these High Masts were also installed around the City Centre, by the late 1970's Early 1980's these High Mast had the fittings changed to operated the 400 watt SON-T High Pressure Sodium Lamp. Other Lights in the City were also changed with Concrete Utilities Concrete Lighting Columns and drpending on the traffic Route they adopted the New SOX lamp, 90 watts  on 8 metre Columns, and 135 watts on 10 Metre Columns, (the 10 metre Column comprised of the 8 Metre Column with a 2 Metre Tubular Steel Bracket/arm to raise the Lantern above Ground Level, within roads within the City itself the new Atlas/Thorn Alpha 3 Street Lantern was adopted using the 400 watt MBF/U Mercury Fluorescent Lamp, also by the early 1980's these were converted to 250 watt SON-E or SON-T High Pressure Sodium Lamps, some cases the 400 watt Lamp was used where increased Lighting Level was needed.

Typical 35 watt Sodium Street Light circa 1986

During the 1980's/1990's saw a major Change to the Street Lighting in Liverpool as Electricity was becoming expensive the vast Majority od Mercury Lighting was being Replaced with the 35 watt SOX Low Pressure Sodium Vapour Lamp, in various Manufacturer's Fittings, back then Simplex, GEC Philips and Thorn Street Lights were normally adopted, even to date the 35 watt SOX lamp is still used to light 1000's of Side Roads, Footpaths, Walkways and Alleyways within the City. However the 70 watt SON High Pressure Sodium Lamp is also used where Light Colure is required, as well as in Conservation Areas using the Reproduction Gas Street Lantern.t laborum
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Typical 70 watt SON Heritage Street Light circa 1980's

News Update

Typical Side Road Street Lighting using LED Lanterns

News Update 13/6/2014.
The City of Liverpool's Street Lighting Department is to introduce energy-efficient LED Street Lighting.
All of Liverpool's street lights are to be replaced with LED lights in a bid to make the city more energy-efficient. LED lighting produces a whiter, clearer light which would also help with visibility at night, the council said.
The first phase of the £7m project will see 1,038 lights replaced in Fazakerley in Liverpool L9 , with 1,038 street lights being converted across 158 streets.
The remaining 22,500 street lights, serving 3,214 streets in the city will be upgraded over the next two years.

Hardie Nightsight 12 watt Side Road Street Light using LED Chips

Disclamer Note
This Website is about Liverpool's Street Lighting as a Hobby and not to Report Street Lighting Faults, etc. if you have a Fault with a Street Light in your Street you can contact Liverpool City Council on
http://liverpool.gov.uk/report-it/ or Telephone 0151 233 3001.