Bedfordshire Streetlighting

Replacement Schemes Northamptonshire PFI

This page is dedicated to the new installations taking place in the neighbouring county of Northamptonshire as part of the PFI. I do not intend to show every installation but simply a selection of the lighting being used.

Before The PFI

Northamptonshire before the 1980's had various types of Lanterns which were normally GLS or Mercury type which occasional examples of SON (normally Alpha 3's) and some SOX in use. lots of concrete and Cast Iron Columns as well as some Aluminium were around. During the 1980's huge numbers of lanterns were replaced, (many Thorn Beta 5's on minor and Eleco lanterns on the main roads) and always SOX was chosen for this. The standard column for minor roads were 5M and 6M hockeysticks though some older colums were reused. Then in the 1990's the remaining Mercury stock was replaced by new Philips MI26 and its larger 55W counterpart with many main roads moved over to Philips MA and SGS 203 lanterns. . 

Examples of some more unusual surviving columns and current stock in Rushden, Higham Ferrers and Irthlingborough can be found in the Photo Galleries

The Big Switch Off

In spring 2011 to save money the county council removed the fuses from every second column in suburban areas and switched off out of town areas completely leading to a backlash from road safety campaign groups and residents. Some areas have been partially reinastated following accidents though many areas remain off.

Some of the Beta 5's have quickly become brown due to moisture building up and corroding the gear tray. Many of these will no longer be able to be used again.

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PFI Commences 2011

The first phase consisted of a few replacement schemes on random roads in several towns in Northamtonshire and the new lanterns were Philips Cosmopolis Mini Iridiums on 6 or 7-8 M columns, mostly spaced at 1.5 to 2x the original column spacing. Presumably the idea was to provide similar coverage as current lighting by reducing the quantity of lanterns with lower maintenance costs while saving energy by running at a lower luminance level as the lanterns chosen were not all that bright. I suspect they are either 45W or 60W CPO-TT versions depending upon the mounting height.

The issue with running the Iridiums in this manner has been that the small lanterns used are designed for lower mounting heights and thus on a taller column there are noticable 'Stripe' effects on the road and the lanterns tend to dazzle drivers and pedestrians.

  One Street chosen for the first phase was Trafford Road in Rushden where the old 5M hockeysticks with 35W Beta 5 lanterns were replaced.


The replacements were these new 7M? columns with (I suspect) 60W lanterns. The spacing between these is huge!


Nippendale was built in around 1974 and originally had 5M Concrete Utilities alluminum columns with GEC Z8896 lanterns, these were replaced around 1995 with new hockeystick colums with Philips M!26 lanterns.


 In 2011 the old columns were removed and 6M columns were installed with CPO-TT Iridiums also the 5 no columns was reduced to 3. At the time of this photo the flats were in process of demoltion as they were deemed no longer fit for purpose.


In Drayton way Irthlingborough this typical Hockeystick and Beta 5 arrangement was in place


In 2011 the 7M colums replaced the old hockysticks and again the columns were repositioned and spacing dramatically increased. The above example is approx mid point between 2 older locations

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PFI 2012

The second phase has concentrated on Northampton, Corby and Kettering but some of East Northants has had some works carried out.

 Duchy Close in Higham ferrers had some surviving concretes but not for much longer


In Spring 2012 The entire street had new columns installed but instead of using the taller columns, this time normal 5M ones have been installed in the original locations and instead of Philips Iridiums they have installed Residiums with PL Lamps and remote controlled photocells, perhaps the PFI management have decided to change over to these instead. As more are installed it may become clearer.


Fernmore Drive in Irthlingborough and the Hockeysticks which originally were fitted with Philips XGS 103's fitted have been kept and are now fitted with Philips Residium's. The Downside of a this install is the Residum's appear to droop. .


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PFI 2013

In the later half of 2013 huge numbers of replacements have taken place in Rushden and Higham Ferrers. Most installations are still using 6,7, and 8M columns mostly fitted with 45W CPO lamps but some with 60W all at wider spacing than their predecessors, some areas are rather badly set out leaving junctions and bends very poorly lit. Some extreme reductions in lighting have been extreme where 135W SOX installations on 10M columns have been reduced to 8M 45W at double (or even more) the spacing. It could have been argued that the previous install was too bright but now it seems to be too far the other way.

The photos are rather poor due to low light levels at the time. I hope to obtain better photos in the future.


A typical replacement in Grangeway, Rushden The replacement columns are 8M and fitted with 60W Mini Irridiums. The distance between this and the next replacement column is the same taken by 4 of the original columns.


On Lodge Road 7M columns are being installed at approx. 2x the original spacing, these are fitted with 45W lamps. There are some roads in this estate now using 8M columns and 45W lamps which gives very low light levels at the ground.


This installation is often used in the shorter roads and closes in the Rushden. One 6M column with a 45W CPO lamp is fitted replacing two 5M columns fitted with 35W SOX


An example rarely being used in Rushden but is used more in Higham Ferrers. where the same numbers of columns are used as original fitted with 36W Residium's . Personally I prefer this approach as the coverage is more even than with the taller columns and wider spacing normally used.

On Conway Close further example of 6M columns are in use, only 2 are installed compared with the 4 SOX lanterns previously in situ.

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PFI 2014

There is a change of lantern type now being specified for some streets where instead of the traditional Philips products it is planned to use Philips WRTL Libra instead on standard height  columns though the use of oversized columns will continue in others. In my opinion this option should have been used in the majority of side roads as it would have been cheaper to install and provide a better quality of output than the Iridums.

 This phase went ahead in October 2014 and saw the majority of minor roads completed in the east of the county.

On  Bates Close in Higham Ferrers unusually the existing columns have been reused and Mini Iridiums fitted


Wharf Road in Higham Ferrers, on this very small lane, 2 of 10M columns fitted with 90W CPO lamps have been used which seems rather overkill?


 In Rushden, Hayden Road sees all columns replaced with 7M columns fitted with 45W CPO Mini Iridiums. Some examples of 8M columns fitted with the same wattage are in use in other streets.


Just of Hayden Road, is Ashwell Road where the existing columns were reused. The replacement Residium lantern are rather 'droopy'

 In Crouch Road, Irthlingborough the existing pole mounted brackets are replaced and Residium lanterns fitted, the last ones before the move to Libra

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PFI 2016

The last full year of replacements is underway and major routes are now seeing the impact of the PFI. 60W Iridiums mounted on 10M columns is usually the norm with very wide spacing between columns, in town centres the spacing is reduced and 90W columns are often used.

This coming winter will see how this very low luminance level fares on the main routes.


Station Road in Irthlingborough is one of the main routes having new columns installed this year

College Street sees the demise of the few remaining 'casties' in the town. The new column is significantly taller than the original.


On Lilley Terrace (left) some pole mounted examples of new PFI Mini Irridum and (right) on Queen Street the wall brackets are replaced with new ones giving the householders their own free garden lighting

Still in Irthlingborough 8M columns on High Street are being replaced, the original is 90W SOX and the replacements are 60W CPO. This one aligns with its predecessor but the majority have been moved to increase spacing as can be seen in the distance


 In Hecham Way Higham Ferrers unusually the old columns have been re-used and fitted with new Mini Irridium's

Newton Road - Rushden 

Newton Road in Rushden sees its Eleco's replaced by 36W Libra's on new 8M columns, yes it is very dim at that height

UPDATE: The Libras have since been changed to 45W Mini Iridiums

Duck Street in Rushden (a major route) sees its columns changed to new 10M ones spaced wider than before fitted with 60W Mini Irridiums

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