Lanterns @Home

I have a couple of lanterns now mounted on the house, one running a CFL lamp and the other with an LED corn lamp. I also have a few lanterns in storage

Thorn Beta 4 Acquired November 2008

A local lantern that was originally pole mounted so I had to make an adaptor to enable it to fit on the wall.

The lantern is a late version of the Beta 4 from the 1980's, it was designed to run GLS and has a bayonet lampholder. This version of the lantern has no refractor ring or refractor on the bowl so is completley clear. The lamp came with a domestic CFL lamp installed as can be seen above. The bracket was rusty so was cleaned and painted while the lantern just needed to be cleaned and polished to remove marks from the canopy. The cable hanging down is ready for a photocell to be added.

The lamp fully restored and PEC fitted above the bracket, the bowl has been treated with a frosted spray coat to hide the appearance of the CFL Lamp. The lamp gave a rather yellow appearance so was replaced with a behive shape 32W CFL which runs at a colder colour temperature of 6400°K, ideally i would like to run a 4000°K lamp but they are hard to find in a decent wattage.

UPDATE: The lantern was replaced in Feburary 2010, see further down

I have now gained another Beta 4 but it is missing its bowl

Thorn Beta 5 Acquired June 2009

A local lantern that was originally on a wall bracket and removed due to faulty control gear. 


I was curious to see how the Beta 5 that was designed to run a 35W SOX lamp would look with a CFL lamp installed, so I purchased a 68W lamp which when compared with the domestic 20W lamp next to it looks rather large.

The lantern is an early 1980s example as the control gear is on a short lengh housing, later models are the full length of the housing. The lantern was in physically good condition, a good clean and polish and the lantern looks almost as good as new. The control gear was removed and the retaining spring was altered to support the larger girth of the CFL when compared to a 35W SOX lamp.

The cover is replaced and the lantern powered up. This photo makes the lamp appear a little yellow, in reality it is a warm white though not to warm as some CFL's have a tendency to be.

The Lantern is mounted on a corner bracket and powered up. The lamp suits the beta 5 very well. The output is quite impressive giving a similar lumen level to that of the SOX version. the light quality is similar to that of a Halogen but with a wider spread. The refractors on the bowl do a good job of providing diffused light.

UPDATE: This lantern was replaced in 2012 for a while and then refitted in 2013 see below

Refitted in 2013 with a 60W 5500K CFL lamp 

In 2014 a 24W LED 'Corn' Lamp was installed


As the 'Corn' lamp was rather poor in terms of output I broke it apart and installed the LED strips onto a steel plate inside the Beta 5

The light in operation without the cover on, note that some of the LED's had already failed (this had already occurred prior to my 'modifications') 

With the cover on the output was considerably improved from when it was just a 'Corn' lamp as the LED's are now all facing down 

Top of Page


Siemens Z8897 Acquired Febuary 2010

Thanks to Andy Muskett for this lantern. It was actually a "new" lantern that had never been installed.

The lantern is the later siemens version of the classic GEC Z8897. As the lantern has never been used the bowl is totaly clean without any discoloration. the canopy still has its original sticker on but has rust from the shelf it has sat on for several years.

The Lampholder inside is an E27 Screw Type so it is likely to be designed for use with SON-E lamps. I have a Mercury lamp with ES thread or may use the CFL again.

I decided the replace the Beta 4 with the Z8897. The old lantern was removed and the bend cut off the bracket ready for the new side entry lantern to be installed. The lantern was cleaned and the lampholder changed to a BC so the CFL lamp could be used. The 34mm side entry of the lantern was too big for the old old 3/4" BSP bracket. Having no suitable longer grub screws, I used metal packing pieces instead to ensure a secure fit. Lastly the 32W CFL lamp was installed. The photo shows how good the condition of the lamp is even though it has been in nightly use for well over a year.

The Lantern's cover is fitted and ready to be powered up. 

At night the daylight white of the CFL gives a really good light and its length being similar to a Mercury lamp keeps the optics or the diffuser bowl working pretty much correctly 

 Around Christmas 2010 the lantern is covered in snow, the heat of the CFL lamp is not enough to melt it properly.

In 2015 remote control gear was installed and a 70W metal halide lamp fitted which increased the output to that similar of a 125W MBFU lamp

Top of Page 

GEC Z5590 Acquired Febuary 2010

This lantern came from the Village of Harrowden which has had all of its lanterns replaced. Again thanks to Andy for giving me this example.

The lantern has a very nice pole mount bracket but the lantern itself is in poor condition with a badly discoloured bowl. The inside of the lantern can no longer be seen so the light output would have been severly compromised.

When open, the poor condtion of the bowl can be clearly seen. The lantern is also missing its refractor ring and is full of dead insects. The lampholder is a 3BC for Mercury Lamps which were very common in Bedfordshire though they are in slow demise now. I am not sure if I will use this lantern at all.

Top of Page 

Revo Sol D'or C15152 Acquired April 2011

This lantern was originally from Lowestoft, Suffolk

The latest aquestition is a lovely little Revo Sol D'or. Thanks to James Wright of Lowestoft Streetlighting for this lantern. There are some samples still in use in Lowestoft though not many (see Photo's pages). I hope to restore it to its former glory at some stage as Mike Barford has done.

Top of Page 

GEC Z8591 Acquired March 2012

This lantern was located in Woburn Bedfordshire


When first aquired the lantern had quite a lot of pitting to the outside of the canopy and a 2 part photocel was installed in the case. The lantern is an older cousin of the same family as the Z8896 but has an unusual off-set entry which gives a distinctive look to the lantern.

Inside the lantern and the paintwork has flaked away making the inside rather scruffy. I am unsure if this is due to the heat or UV damage by the Mercury lamp that was fitted. The grub screws for the side entry bracket needed an overnight soaking with WD40 to free them up.

This lantern is a newer version of the Z8491 which had a glass bowl and the lampholder at the opposite end.


 The inside has been cleaned up and re-painted and the hole filled in.


The canopy has now also been polished up and repainted and looks almost as new. Unlike my other Z8896 (7) it has the GEC logo embossed on the canopy.


 The lantern was fitted with a BC lampholder instead of the old 3BC lampholder and a 36W umbrella lamp fitted. The lantern has now been mounted on the corner of the house and is in nightly use. The brown bowl doesnt seem to affect the output too much but I am on the lookout for a new bowl.


UPDATE: In October 2012 I decided that the bracket was a bit 'stumpy' so created an extension bracket by inserting a length of 3/4" BSP pipe which fitted inside the bracket arm perfectly. I had to replace the grub screws in the lantern with longer 6mm bolts to successfuly reach the smaller diameter extension pipe. The lantern was removed in 2013 and the Beta 5 reffitted

Top of Page

Unknown Induction Lamp Acquired August 2013

This was part of a Thorn Beta 5 style lantern in a Central Bedfordshire village


This is an induction lamp rated at 40W brand unknown, it was installed in this gearless gear tray and it was inside what appears to be a Thorn Beta 5. It was removed as its inbuilt gear had burned out within a few weeks of installation. The lantern was replaced with a standard SOX Beta 5 to match the ones in the area. This install was carried out by a contractor for Central Beds but the column belongs to Parish so should have not have been worked on by CB at all.

Top of Page

Urbis Sapphire 1 Acquired November 2014

This was an eBay win purchased to replace the Beta 5

This diminutive lantern is very well designed for access even the wiring can be routed into the lantern when the bracket is already in situ. This example is designed to run 70W SON-T lamps and has a GRP canopy.

Top of Page