IET logo
Decrease font size
Increase font size
Topic Title: Street Lighting
Topic Summary:
Created On: 29 September 2017 12:18 PM
Status: Read Only
Linear : Threading : Single : Branch
Search Topic Search Topic
Topic Tools Topic Tools
View similar topics View similar topics
View topic in raw text format. Print this topic.
 29 September 2017 12:18 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message


Posts: 77
Joined: 23 September 2016

Just for my own interest, could anyone clarify

Street lights are wired in parallel to some extent, is there an average number in a chain?

You can see photocells on top of some, is that the master for the chain

On that basis, is the master live all the time and switches power via the photocell to the rest, or is there switching at the feeder pillar that acts as a master control for all of the lights it powers?

Not for anything in particular, was out with the dog last night when they came on and realised I don't really know how they are wired or controlled, sad I know...!

Thanks all
 29 September 2017 05:04 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message


Posts: 2578
Joined: 07 August 2007

MOST street lights each have their own feed from a DNO street main and are controlled by a built in photocell, or less commonly by a solar dial time switch.

Other systems exist however.
In the city of London, most street lights have a permanent DNO supply, but are controlled by "ripple control" that superimposes a control signal on the normal mains supply.

In places without a general DNO service such as along motorways, a dedicated street lighting main is installed and is sometimes switched centrally. In some cases photocells have been retrofitted so as to permit of leaving the main live 24/7, this facilitates use of the former lighting main for other purposes also such as warning signs, and cellphone base stations.

In some places, rural street lights are mounted on the DNO poles and may be controlled in groups. The overhead DNO equipment has 5 wires in such cases, neutral, 3 phases, and a switched line for street lights.

Some older urban buried cable networks have 5 core mains, with a fifth smaller core for group control of street lights.

Virtually all modern street lights are indeed wired in parallel, however historically series connection was used.
Arc street lamps were often in series groups of 8, 9, or 10 connected between outers of a 3 wire dc system with about 400 to 500 volts in total.
Some such arc lamps were replaced with 50 volt, 300 watt incandescent lamps, in similar series groups between outers, or between phases of a 3 phase 4 wire AC system.
Series street lighting was often manually switched by a lamplighter walking or cycling around the area served.
Sometimes centralised manual control was used contactors controlled batches of lamps with switching being done at the local power station, or town hall or the police station.

Series street lighting was more popular in the USA.
Series lighting is still used for airfield lighting, but not normally for street lighting.

New here?

See Also:

FuseTalk Standard Edition v3.2 - © 1999-2018 FuseTalk Inc. All rights reserved.