Street lighting

All about fixtures and street lighting lamps: choose the best option

All about fixtures and street lighting lamps

Street lighting is of no small importance in our life. Lamps mounted on masts, poles and viaducts increase optical visibility in the dark. Light is needed both on the wide streets of the metropolis and in the yards of small towns. And if earlier, roadside lights of the same type and distribution method were used as night watchmen, showing the way, today street lighting fixtures amaze with the external variety and breadth of use. The zone of their influence is by no means limited to roads and sidewalks – sculptures, fountains, billboards, building facades become active participants in a simple but very effective process of transforming the appearance of the surrounding space.


  • From the history of street lighting
  • Street Light Requirements
  • Landmarks and nuances of choice
  • Types of Street Spotlights
  • Powerful halogen spotlights
  • Pros of metal halide lights
  • Productive Sodium Luminaires
  • Progressive led bulbs

From the history of street lighting

The first street lighting system was created in Amsterdam in the 17th century, thanks to the efforts of the firefighter Jan van der Heiden. The grandiose project involved the installation of more than 2.5 thousand lamps, designed by him without anyone else’s help. These oil lamps were used until 1840..
Other cities were in a hurry to adopt successful experience. So in 1807 in London there were gas lamps of street lighting, which with the onset of dusk were lit by lanterns. In Moscow, street lighting began even earlier – from 1730.

The end of the XIX century was the beginning of a new era where electric lamps reigned. In the 20th century, they are replaced by discharge lamps, which are still used today..

Street Light Requirements

Outdoor lighting is radically different from the interior in design, installation method and technical specifications. Other priorities determine the characteristics of the choice of street lamps. For example, the color indicators, which are extremely important when acquiring fixtures for rooms, in this case do not matter. Such a property as power (light output) comes to the fore.

Outdoor lighting is radically different from indoor

Outdoor lighting is arranged taking into account the negative impact of the external environment

It is important!
Luminous efficiency is the ratio of the flow of light to its power, in other words, the efficiency of work. Usually, Street lights are LED (up to 200 lm / W) or gas-discharge (85-150 lm / W).

Service life is another indicator that deserves close attention. Due to the fact that replacing street lighting is a labor-intensive measure that requires the use of specialized equipment, a long “life” time is a significant plus that outdoor installations must have.

Landmarks and nuances of choice

Street lights must be selected, adhering to the following criteria:

  • climatic features of the territory;
  • traffic intensities in the illuminated area;
  • taking into account the negative impact of the external environment;
  • necessary light saturation of certain areas;
  • installation features.

The luminaires are operated in conditions of high humidity and temperature changes, so pay attention to the level of protection (IP). The degree of protection indicates the impossibility of penetration of dust, moisture, foreign bodies into the lamp.

Street lights operate in difficult conditions

One of the interesting options for organizing street lighting

It is important!
For the compartment of luminaires with electrical equipment, the required degree of protection is 23 IP, for the compartment with a lamp – 54 IP.

The degree of protection is indicated in a special table in the lamp passport. The value consists of two digits:

  • the first (1-6) indicates the degree of protection against getting into the body of solids;
  • the second (1-8) shows moisture protection.

Types of Street Spotlights

Street lamps are divided into 2 types: general use and specialized. The latter are used in the navy, in the army, when arranging concerts in the open air. These include search (fleet, army), signal (warships, lighthouses) and special-effect searchlights (scenario lighting, laser show). We are interested in the first type – general-purpose floodlights, which are indispensable in the illumination of streets, buildings, sports grounds, etc. Such equipment is also called flood light, because its main function is to maintain a constant illumination of the territory, which contributes to the visual separation of the object from the background and the environment.

The classification of street lights is diverse

Round-symmetrical configuration of the lighting range

The classification of street lamps is quite extensive. According to the principle of light distribution, they are divided into symmetric and round-symmetric. Symmetric, in turn, are divided into single-plane and two-plane.
There is a separation based on the numerical expression of the luminous intensity, the angle of the light flux and the KSS (light intensity curves), but the most common classification is based on the type of lamp used.

Powerful halogen spotlights

Perfectly reproduce color and create the illusion of sunlight – directional point or soft shadowless. Used to illuminate bridges, buildings, advertising signs. According to the principle of operation, halogen lamps are similar to classic incandescent lamps, only fluorine, bromine, iodine and other halogens are added to the buffer gas, which increase the life time by 2 times.

Halogen street light

Halogen street lamp: voltage power and light intensity can be adjusted using a dimmer

It is important!
Currently produced halogen lamps of different capacities – from 3 to 20,000 watts.

Despite the fact that such light sources are not gas-discharge, high color and light output make it possible to use them in the most modern models of lighting devices. The pluses include the ability to adjust power through dimmers, high security optical compartments and the ability to work in any conditions.

Pros of metal halide lights

Discharge lamps give a cold, bright light as a light source. This is ideal for lighting exhibition centers, shopping malls, open spaces. The main advantage is insensitivity to sharp power surges.

Metal halide floodlight

Metal halide floodlight does not respond to power surges

Other advantages should be mentioned: admissibility of enhancing technical priorities with the help of a reliable housing, long service life, wide range of color temperatures.

It is important!
The color temperature of metal halide floodlights ranges from 3,000 to 20,000 K. The highest values ​​are close to the spectrum of daylight.

Productive Sodium Luminaires

They are characterized by low color rendering, but exhibit a yellow color spectrum. Most often they are used in landscape design. The luminaires are equipped with high-pressure sodium lamps, the operation of which is based on the glow of sodium vapor in the flask by means of an electric discharge.

Sodium Outdoor Light

Sodium outdoor luminaire with high light output with low energy consumption

Sodium energy-saving lamps for street lighting differ with a low color rendering rather high light output. This means that such spotlights form a yellow light field, leveling the remaining colors. But a decent life (more than 30,000 hours) puts sodium floodlights in the category of the most unpretentious and economical equipment for street lighting.

Progressive led bulbs

Differ in ideal color rendition and big contrast. The main advantages are increased service life, profitability, and high resistance to mechanical stress. The scope of LED street lamps is wide: designers use them in landscape, interior, architectural lighting.

It is important!
The power of LED spotlights is 15-30 W, the service life is 100,000 hours.

LED lamp

LED lamps are a group of LEDs in a single housing

For the implementation of different types of lighting, a single searchlight or group can be used, depending on the objectives pursued. So for illumination of a large building, it is preferable to install lamps around the perimeter at regular intervals, while to illuminate the monument, one lamp is enough. LED spotlights allow you to create interesting effects in outdoor lighting.

Monochrome design gives a bright, uniform illumination of the object. Full-color – indispensable for creating original light-dynamic effects controlled automatically.

These are the main types of streetlights, the use of which not only provides comfortable movement in a dark city, but also gives the surrounding landscape an individual and memorable appearance.


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