This review describes light fittings which are mainly used for residential roads, as opposed to other locations such as traffic routes, town centres, main roads and motorways.
In the adopted European standard, BS EN 13201:2015 and BS 5489:2020 these residential roads are classified as P Class (P for pedestrian). They used to be called S Class.
Lighting for residential areas places the emphasis on both horizontal and vertical illumination. The vertical illumination helps you recognise people’s faces. The horizontal means you can clearly see objects when you approach them from any direction.
This compares with traffic route lighting where more emphasis is placed on the brightness (luminance) of the road surface and the visual field seen directly in front of the driver.
The lighting recommendations in the standards are based on many factors such as traffic volume, likely conflict/interaction of vehicles with pedestrians, the volume of parked cars, crime rate, schools, traffic calming measures, urban or rural location etc. These criteria are often quite strict.
Typically, average horizontal illumination values are 2 – 15 lx and minimum vertical values, at face height, are 0.6 – 10 lx. Uniformity is also important – dark areas can make obstacles harder to see and they can be confusing for people with impaired vision.
Furthermore, manufacturers offer a wide range of optical distributions, so you might want to use a professional street lighting designer to ensure your scheme complies.
There is a lot of discussion nowadays, and even conferences, devoted to the circular economy. The main emphasis being on how to minimise energy and material use.
It is worth remembering that streetlights are rarely replaced (compared with, say, retail luminaires) and may have to last 30 years, or more. In this respect, streetlighting lanterns could be the exemplars of this movement.
For this reason, future proofing of the streetlighting lanterns and installation is especially important.
‘Smart cities’ is an unstoppable trend and it’s also part of the latest BS 5489, and you will most probably want to add controls and sensors (temperature, movement, illumination level etc) to your streetlight now or at a later date.
Make sure your lantern has good connectivity and is easily upgradeable. Examples include the ANSI 7-pin NEMA socket and the Zhaga System Ready, SR, socket.
Although many of the lanterns on the market may look similar, it is the little differences in build quality that separate good products from bad ones.
Apart from the obvious ones like ill-fitting seals, here is a short list of other, less obvious, questions to consider: what is the power factor at different dimming levels? are the electronics properly protected against heat and moisture? can the LEDs and driver easily be replaced? what is the level of surge protection (important where you have thunderstorms)? are the fixings such as screws and hinges likely to corrode solid so you can’t open the lantern? and is there a constant light output, CLO, feature?
Remember that overall power consumption is always important – a few less Watts/Volt-Amps per lantern means big cost savings over the life of the installation.
Total Cost of Ownership, TCO, should be your guiding principle. And don’t forget to recycle the lantern and column at the end of their life.
The lantern gets its name from the box shape which has been a feature of Bega’s public lighting range for over 50 years.
This is their latest LED version and there are two aspects which provide its future proofing. Connectivity is assured through the option of two (above and below) Zhaga sockets. Perhaps more importantly, there is a 20 year availability of its LED modules.
The Koffer is shallower than many of its competitors, being only 60 mm high. It is available in two sizes and it is the 18 – 35W version which would be suitable for residential use. Typical light output is 2,300 – 4,600 lm. The larger version goes up to 70W.
Unusually for a streetlighting lantern, the CRI is > 80 and the Koffer is offered in 3000K and 4000K. One possible disadvantage is that it is only available with a symmetric and asymmetric beam distribution so it is less flexible in terms of optimising a design for narrow/wide roads, different pavement widths etc.
The Century lantern was launched to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the company’s foundation. In essence, the Century is based on an array of LEDs, approximately 220 mm square which is integrated in to the luminaire housing. This is offered in vertical entry, side entry, post top and catenary versions.
It has a rounded, smooth exterior with no visible fixing screws. There are eight beam distributions including two specifically for pedestrian crossings. The light output is 1,000 to 13,000 lm, 9W – 103W so it is ideally suited for residential applications. The 5 mm clear glass cover is also impact resistant to IK10. A visor can be fitted on any of the four sides.
In terms of connectivity, it can be fitted with 3, 5 and 7 pin Nema and Zhaga sockets.
Colour temperatures of 2200K, 2700K, 3000K and 4000K are available plus an amber option.
CU Phosco Lighting
CU Phosco has a long pedigree in streetlighting. The company started designing and manufacturing in 1923 and the E950 is its very latest lantern for residential roads.
It has been specifically designed for the residential market as a replacement for existing compact fluorescent and high/low pressure sodium installations. There are two versions: high power and low power. The high power ranges from 9 – 41W, 980 – 6,600 lm and low power is 7 – 27W, 650 – 3,700 lm. There are six photometric distributions available.
Interestingly, as well as the usual CCTs, a 2200K version is offered. Combined with the low power and CRI >80 version, this would make it ideal for use in environmentally sensitive areas.
Of course, not all residential areas are the same and it may be reassuring to know that the E950 is IK10 impact resistant.
The Kirium is a well-established and popular streetlight. The Eco is offered in two versions, the Mini and the Midi containing 12 or 24 LEDs respectively. These can be run at a variety of power ratings from 250 – 1,050 mA giving light outputs of up to 5,830 lm for the Mini and 11,660 for the Midi.
Typically, this means you can use it in roads classified from P2 to P5.
There is a trend for warmer light sources to be used in residential areas and the Kirium Eco is available in a really warm 2200K version as well as 2700K, 3000K and 4000K all with CRI >70. In its normal orientation, the Kirium Eco emits zero upward light.
It has a huge range of connectivity options. There also presence detection and photo-cell where you just want some simple control.
The aptly named Street is available in two sizes and the smaller one is of more interest for residential applications. Sharp eyed specifiers will notice that it is exactly twice as long as wide, 265 x 530mm. This smaller version is typically 25 – 88W, with a light output of 2,900 – 9,800.
It is aimed at the budget to mid-range market and one feature that would appeal is the ‘middle of the night’ function. This automatically reduces the power by 30 per cent after midnight without the need for any extra control systems.
There are six beam options. iGuzzini calls the range Opti Smart, including one specifically for cycle paths and very narrow roads.
The standard lantern has a Nema 7-pin socket and the Street is also available with the smaller Zhaga 4-pin. Both can be connected to the DALI driver to provide as much or little control as you need.
As you would expect from a residential luminaire, the Street emits no upward light in its normal orientation.
Indo Lighting is a relatively new company founded in 2007. However, when you talk to its staff, you realise they have a deep and thorough understanding of what is required from a streetlight.
The main feature that distinguishes the SiCURA from the other manufacturers is that it doesn’t have an LED driver. Many people consider that the driver, particularly the wet electrolytic capacitor inside, is the component most likely to fail in an LED luminaire. This, therefore, can have a significant effect on the life of the installation.
However, the SiCURA is still fully featured for smart city applications. You can add almost any sensor you want. It also enables you to have a constant light output function. DALI 1 and DALI 2 control is also possible.
Being able to dim streetlights is a crucial aspect for saving energy and a criticism often made of driverless LED luminaires is that they cannot be dimmed. However, Indo says that the SiCURA can be dimmed down to 25 per cent whilst maintaining a power factor >.85.
It is available from 3 – 58W, typically 500 – 8,000 lm and 2700 to 4000K.
The Artera is brand new, having been launched just this month. Personally, I find it a lot better looking than many residential streetlights.
It ranges from 49 – 106W but it is the lower wattage version emitting approximately 7,200 lm that you would use for most residential applications. There is a wide range of optics available including two specifically for pedestrian crossings.
One of the mains strengths of the Artera is that it is customisable. There are flat and domed tops, side and front visors, a coloured diffuser, side/top/catenary mount etc. One of the main benefits being is that it reduces the stock holding for the client.
The colour temperature ranges from 2200K to 4000K, all with a CRI >70. There is the option of Nema or Zhaga sockets, but they might spoil the looks!
Ignis Mini Plus
There are two features that set the Ignis Mini apart. The first is the WattSet. This is a simple manual control allowing you to select your desired light output without needing an app or complex control system.
You can customise it with up to eight power levels. In effect, it is a simple, pre-programmed dimming system.
The other feature is the huge range of beam distributions. Over 50 are available depending on the road dimensions/geometry. The Ignis also has good connectivity with features such as 7 pin NEMA socket, presence detection, 24V sensor support, radar vehicle tracking etc.
The lumen output ranges from 500 – 16,000 lm.
Bearing in mind its residential use, it is good to see that Orangetek offers an internal rear baffle.
The Luma range, from its initial concept, has been specifically designed to be inter-connected, easy to maintain and install, and upgradeable.
The Luma Gen 2 is available in four sizes all the way up to 59,000 lm but for residential use, you would be better using the 720 – 6,600 lm, 720 – 13,000 lm versions. There are over 20 different light distributions available.
For me, one of the best aspects for residential applications is that it can be fitted with internal or external louvres to block the light where it isn’t required.
In terms of maintenance, the lantern has a GearFlex box inside which Philips claims can be removed in 30 seconds. This contains all the major components and the QR code service tag enables you to instantly identify the configuration of the driver and optics and includes installation and diagnostic information.
The Luma excels at connectivity and is fitted with two Sensor Ready sockets, one on the top and another underneath. Naturally, the luminaires are built to be connected to the well-established Signify Interact City Touch lighting management system where you can measure, monitor and manage the complete lighting installation.
The Axia 3 range is available in three sizes with 16, 32 or 64 LEDs and it is the smallest of these which you would most probably use on residential roads. This version is typically 1,500 – 5,500 lm and 11 – 44 W.
Schreder claims high optical efficiency for the Axia 3 and this is achieved by integrating the lenses directly into the polycarbonate protective cover. This increases performance by minimising the number of internal reflections in the optical system. There are 12 beam distributions but you might only use half of these for lighting residential roads.
Schreder has their own IoT communication system called Owlet which works using local wireless mesh communication networks. These communicate with a cloud-based CMS system. For complete security, the Axia is also fitted with an astronomical clock and photo-cell in case of a complete failure of the network.
Siteco describse the SL21 as ‘the backbone of smart cities’. There is a huge range of control features available including one, or two, Zhaga sockets, NFC, constant light output, DALI/D4i, time dependent dimming, CMS etc. Where there is little vehicle or pedestrian traffic, you can group motion sensors, in conjunction with dimming, to achieve a ‘running light’ regime.
The SL21 is available in three sizes but for most residential areas, you would probably use the Mini Lite which has an output of 5,320 lm, 39W. The larger versions emit 13,400, or 23,000 lm, 87W and 153W respectively.
As well as 3000K and 4000K, there is a 2200K version for environmentally sensitive areas. Related to this is that the SL21 has a Back Light Control. BLC, which is a reflector that fits inside the body to minimise rearward light. Visors are also available.
In terms of beam control, there are eight standard beam distributions and four ‘Comfort’ ones. These are especially useful in residential areas. In technical terms, the Comfort options have a lower Threshold Increment, TI.
All the major components, including gaskets, are easily replaceable. Most can be replaced in situ instead of taking the whole lantern back to base.
All these features combined mean that the SL21 is a serious contender whenever you are designing residential lighting.
Thorn has been manufacturing luminaires for 90 years and it is one of the reliable, go-to companies whenever you think of streetlighting. Of course, there is a huge range of conventional streetlighting lanterns but I chose the Plurio because it looks and performs a bit differently.
In essence, it is a post-top lantern providing direct and indirect light and this means that glare is kept to an absolute minimum. The top hood is available in four shapes and five colours.
A particular aspect I like is the Nighttune feature. The Plurio contains a 2200K LED which is always on at 100 per cent.
Plus it also has a 4000K LED which varies in output. Thus, the appearance is warm and subdued late at night but cooler and more vibrant in the early evening and at dawn.
Light output is approximately 2,400 to 6,300 lm, 19 – 51W.
The Optio has three patents but maybe it is the clean profile that you notice first. It doesn’t have the lumps, bumps and fins of so many of its competitors. The appearance is softer against its surroundings.
One of the patents concerns the beam shape which can be altered on site. Three beam distributions are available.
Another patent concerns the universal mounting bracket which means the Optio can be fitted to spigots from 34 to 76 mm diameter. No extra sleeves or reducers are required.
You can adjust the light output on site by use of an internal jack plug which connects to a row of power sockets. TRT call it PowerSet. DALI control is also available for CMS systems. Constant Light Output, CLO, and Part Night Dimming, PND, are other features.
Light blocking shields are also an option.
All these features make the Optio ideal for retrofitting and minimising the cost/space of stockholding for the user – usually the budget-conscious local authority.
Typical power and light output ranges from 11 – 49 W and 1,500 up to 7,500 lm.