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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 5:40 pm 
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Paianni wrote:
sotonsteve wrote:
Paianni wrote:
I imagine they would still be able to supply SOX gear with the lanterns that supported them, if they were faced with a big enough order.


Well, no, that's the point of the announcement. They are saying they are not going to offer SOX anymore. And nobody is going to place a big enough order are they.
Exactly, if enough demand was shown than there would be a possibility of reconsideration, given that some of their lanterns have been provided with SOX gear in the past.


No no no. Nobody is going to place a big enough order, end of. SOX is dead like mercury. Worse, mercury was popular before it was banned purely because it was cheap white light. SOX isn't cheap and the light output isn't favourable.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 6:51 pm 
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Or look at it this way.

A lantern manufacturer that only has a limited SOX lantern range in the first place,  has decided that even that small range is no longer worth producing as there has been little or no demand - it is not economic for them to keep/stock the SOX specific parts.

Now they wouldn't have suddenly made that decision, it would have been based on analysis of the number of SOX lanterns they have sold over a period of many years.

I suspect the same manufacturer's sales of SON lanterns is also falling due to the popularity of LED.

Throw in the poorer colouring rendering of SOX and the rapidly increasing lamp cost - which has even seen the Philips plant in Hamilton that makes SOX lamps, reduce staff numbers due to falling SOX demand, there really isn't much likelihood of a large order of SOX lanterns.

When I say "large order", I'm talking several hundred if not thousands of lanterns, not 20 or 50.

SOX may have a special place in lighting enthusiasts hearts but hard economics rule the real world, and in the UK SOX (and SON) lighting is on the way out.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 10:47 pm 
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Phosco152 wrote:
SOX may have a special place in lighting enthusiasts hearts but hard economics rule the real world...


I would suspect that back in the real world of the 1930s, it was the same hard economics which provided the impetus to develop the low pressure sodium lamp in the first place. The ability to distinguish colours at night was not considered important back then.

The same hard headed economics subsequently allowed it to become the municipal lightsource of choice in the 70s. The fact it provided the highest lumens / Watt continued to make economic sense, especially during the OPEC energy crisis at the time.

Had the same economics continued to be the primary objective back in the 80s, the SON lamp would have unlikely made any major headway in streetlighting. The dominance of SON had less to do with economics and more to do with fashion and an increasingly unsustainable trend to blast the streets with more and more light. Whilst SON does have a longer service life than SOX, surely any savings are reduced due to the increased amount of columns, lanterns and mounting heights required to provide this excess illumination.

The technology used to light our towns and cities only changes to something different, if there is a valid (and profitable) reason to do so. In the early 1970s we changed to SOX because (amongst other reasons)  the UK was running out of affordable fossil fuels to burn in her power stations.

In 2016, we are now changing to LED because the UK is running out of affordable power stations.

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Mary Antin - US author & activist. 1881-1949.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:38 am 
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This is why the development of laser diodes is the only feasible future for monochromatic light sources, being even more efficient than LEDs, without the glare and the efficiency 'droop'.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:59 pm 
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It's worth remembering that the current rush to LED is only happening because of the huge capital cost is being largely covered by special funding for green initiatives.  It's supposed cost-effectiveness is based on a huge number of completely unrealistic assumptions - especially that no maintenance will be required and that the luminaires will last an average of 25 years before needing to be replaced.  If LAs had to fund relighting projects themselves based on realistic assumptions and taking account of all cost elements, I doubt that a single mass luminaire replacement scheme would be going ahead - at least certainly not as currently envisaged.

There is also a huge risk in a single step change to what is still a relatively new  technology with little in the way of a track record that goes anywhere near to substantiating many of the claims made by manufacturers...as yet...claims not guaranteed in case of failure.  I've heard of many examples of LED luminaires requiring replacement within 6 months of installation.  What if it transpires that after sitting out in the British weather for a decade or so, well short of the supposed 25 years lifespan, the typical LED luminaires give up the ghost???

And events have a habit of overtaking you.  Consider the PFI initiatives of the last 20 years with mass conversions to SON based on assumptions that have proved to be less than accurate.  Disruptive technologies can turn everything on its head; only last month researchers in the US at MIT announced that they had developed a way to coat the glass of an incandescent bulb that would 'recycle' the heat that would otherwise be lost changing the energy-to-light conversion efficiency from 5% to nearer 40% - substantially better than that of LED.

I'm sorry to see SOX go, and go so quickly, and it won't return for all sorts of reasons.  But in the end every technology will have had its day.  VT was a battle between VHS, Betamax and V2000 and the 'worst' tech won, but now VT is history too.

Food for thought.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:29 am 
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Paianni wrote:
...the only feasible future for monochromatic light sources...


Regardless of the method of monochromatic light production, the widespread use of the 589nm wavelength for street lighting is unlikely to return to the halcyon days of nationwide SOX.

The main reason is that the public have been conditioned over recent years to see SOX's orange colour as a sign of obsolescence, under investment and a danger to society which must be removed at all costs. The increasing use of  CCTV in our towns and cities continues to demand high quality white lighting, if only for the footage to appear on reality TV programmes.

In addition to this, the recent thinking on photopic, mesopic and scotopic vison with regards to LED streetlighting, is aiming to rewrite the theory on the accepted peak sensitivity of the human eye.  By moving away from the 589nm wavelength, the traditional role of the low pressure sodium vapour lamp will once again come under scrutiny.

_________________
"As we moved along in a little procession, I was delighted with the illumination of the streets. So many lamps and they burned until morning, my father said, and so people did not need to carry lanterns."
Mary Antin - US author & activist. 1881-1949.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:25 pm 
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In February 2018, GreatNorburyStDepot posted the official letter from Philips that gave details of the end of SOX lamp production.

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Meanwhile in September 2016, David had discovered a LED SOX lamp replacement by Magnatech.

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Having identified the bulb now being used in Little Clacton, and seeing what a good job it was doing, I went and bought one. These photographs were taken in September 2016.

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The 16W SL07 LED SOX-replacement bulb.

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And here is how it looks close-up in a Thorn Beta 5 (Ebay purchase).

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The only "improvement" I would make to this design, excellent though it is, would be to make a clear plastic hoop of the same diameter as the SOX bulb which would slide along the bulb to the wire loop that holds the lamp in place, take up the slack in the wire loop and level the bulb in the fitting.

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How the lamp looks in operation, once the control gear has been bypassed of course!

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A view from the underside.

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How the illuminated LED lamp looks inside a Thorn Beta 5.


His pictures were so good, that Magnatech have used them on its website. It's not the first time his images have been borrowed.  ;)

It now seems that Philips have brought out their own LED SOX retrofit.

I'm not sure it will catch on though given its eye watering price.

The Magnatech version is far more reasonably priced.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:46 pm 
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Hi Phosco152,

Cumbria county council have been using these for a few years now. The first time I seen them was in 2015, I put a post up in the regional discussion thread\Northwest discussion on Sat Oct 17, 2015 9:26 pm. It shows an old concrete column with a top entry beta 5 running one of these lamps.

The council have since changed to a different manufacturer as these lamps kept failing. The main source of failure is the fact that the circuit board and LEDs have no IP rating are open to moisture and water. As the old Beta 5s aren't particularly very water tight moisture gets in, I assume the moisture then shorts out the LEDs hence blowing the driver circuit.

I will try and find out which manufacturer the council use now.

Regards,

Andrew.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:30 pm 
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Hi All,

I hope everyone is well!

This week I found out that the Council now use an LED sox replacement lamp called an INDO instead of the Magnatech lamps. The switch was made due to the fact that the Magnatec lamps are not waterproof and Cumbria's Beta 5s aren't either  :D . Today whilst I was looking for a 70w SON lamp I found a couple of these lamps in my lamps box.

I have taken some pictures of the INDO and the Magnatech lamps. As I understand it the INDO lamp is more expensive than the Magnatech but you can see that in the build qulity.

Best Regards,

Andrew.


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File comment: Magnatech and INDO next to each other. As can be seen in the photo, as well as having a protective cover over the circuit board on the INDO, the LEDs are better insulated.
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File comment: Close up of the Magnatech lamp showing corrosion around the LEDs. As can be seen the soldered joint is exposed!
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File comment: MagnaTech  lamp.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:28 pm 
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It will be interesting to monitor the performance of the LED corn-on-the-cob lamps at RoadChef services too.


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