Keyword Site Search

Decorative Streetscape Products

Street Lighting The "Old" is "New" on Modern Streetscapes

Americans are sentimental, often reminiscing about the past. This desire for a piece of history is reflected in the lighting fixtures that cities across America are choosing to illuminate their streets. While these fixtures are designed to create a sense of nostalgia, their state-of-art optical and electrical systems provide the performance required for greater volumes of traffic and to promote safety.

Along State Street--once Chicago's shopping mecca--the elegant Beaux-Arts lampposts installed in the 1920s had been replaced several times over the years with more modern luminaires, including the most recent "space-age" type fixtures. When city officials decided to renovate the area in an effort to lure back the shoppers who had since flocked to the more convenient shopping malls in the suburbs, one of the most radical changes made was in the street lighting fixtures mounted along a mile-long stretch. Fixtures installed--which are part of a $25 million renovation--are double headed luminaires mounted on steel and iron tavern-green lampposts that resemble the units specifically designed for State Street in 1926. The units are similar to the acorn-shaped fixtures that graced many American city streets during the first half of the century. 250 watt, high color rendering, high pressure sodium lamps create a warm environment. In addition, frosted globes with 50 watt HPS lamps installed near the base illuminate the walkways. "The downtown renovation has replicated what was here in the '20s, and has actually improved upon it," commented Bruce Worthington, City of Chicago, Department of Transportation, Bureau of Highways. "From all indications, this change in visual character has helped put State Street back on the road to economic recovery."

San Diego--like many larger American cities--had witnessed fairly widespread deterioration in sections of its downtown. In some areas, crime had become such a problem that people feared for their safety and avoided venturing out after dark. In an effort to rejuvenate the downtown, the city launched a massive street lighting project that is being completed in several phases. Phase I involved installing street lighting in the Center City area, which had not been lighted previously. The lighting system installed along the streets in a 20-block area feature Victorian-style fixtures. A five-globe gas light-type fixture was also installed in the adjoining 20-acre Gas Lamp Quarter, which is home to a variety of restaurants, clubs and entertainment establishments.

Double-globe, acorn-shaped fixtures were mounted along the gateway or major arteries within the Gas Lamp Quarter, with single globe units installed along other streets. Fixtures were mounted on painted dark blue cast iron poles. Lamps are high pressure sodium to provide a softer light. "We feel a good street lighting system gives us a better return on our investment than any other capital improvements we can make," commented Al Mercer, senior project manager-public works. "Not only are the results highly visible, but the lighting system makes a lasting impact on the area where it is installed."

With today's technology, designers can have it all. Cities and towns can install an attractive lighting system that provides high levels of uniform illumination to promote safety. Yet, the system can be efficient enough to meet specific operating and budgetary requirements. lasn

Related Stories

October 15, 2019, 10:16 pm PDT

Website problems, report a bug.
Copyright © 2019 Landscape Communications Inc.
Privacy Policy