In 1878, the first electric street light poles were installed in Paris. Since then, they have become a common feature in almost all cities in the world, and globally, there are 326 million streetlights. ANSI C136.11-2011 (S2021): Roadway And Area Lighting Equipment – Multiple Sockets discusses specifications for medium and mogul screw base sockets used to illuminate roadways and other areas for the public.
What Is ANSI C136.11-2011 (S2021)?
ANSI C136.11-2011 (S2021) covers medium and mogul screw base sockets as used in multiple fixture circuits or in luminaires designed and intended for parallel wired circuits and used in lighting roadways and other areas. The American National Standard aims to provide interchangeability of lamps, minimum safety Standards for operating personnel, and minimum performance criteria in lighting roadways and areas open to the public.
A History of Street Lighting
A lack of natural light during nighttime in the urban environment was always a safety problem. As early as 500 BC, natural gas was led through bamboo pipes from volcano gas leaks to serve as a fuel for street lamps in Peking to. In ancient Rome, wealthy citizens used vegetable oil lamps to light the front of their homes, and special slaves were responsible for lighting, extinguishing, and watching the lamps. 1417 marked the first organized public street lighting when the Mayor of London, Sir Henry Barton, ordered that all homes must hang lanterns outdoors after nightfall during the winter months. Paris streets were illuminated for the first time by order in 1524 that said that all houses must have light in the windows at night if they face the streets. Another method used to brighten the streets at nights were “link-boys”—child servants that wealthy citizens of London paid to carry torches while accompanying them throughout the city.
In 1802, Scottish inventor William Murdoch kicked off a movement toward more streamlined street lighting. His coal-fueled gas light illuminated the outside of the SoHo Foundry for a public presentation. Five years later, London had its first gas-lit street. In 1816, Baltimore became the first US city to install gas streetlights, and Paris followed closely behind in illuminating their streets. These early gas lights consisted of gas lanterns placed on poles. Every evening, men employed as lamplighters lit the lanterns, and every morning, they put them out.
Invention of Electric Streetlights
The first electric streetlight used arc lamps, namely the “Yablochkov candle” in 1878 in Paris. Thomas Edison changed the world when he determined how to create a pure vacuum in his bulbs. Edison’s carbon-thread incandescent lamp, introduced in 1879, led to the development of light bulbs for streetlights. By 1881, 4,000 electric arc lamps were in use, effectively replacing gas lanterns mounted on poles. After the spreading of the arc lamps in the United States, by 1890 there were more than 130,000 arc lamps installed as streetlights, mostly on the tops of “moonlight towers” (tall, metal constructions that illuminated more city blocks at once). Arc lights had two major flaws: they made strong, harsh light, and they did not last long. They, however, are useful on industrial sites.
In the 1930s in Europe, low-pressure sodium lamps were introduced that included a removable outer jacket and a vacuum layer for insulation. These lamps maintained a high temperature to keep the sodium in vapor form, and to this day, remain a very efficient available light source, emitting monochromatic yellow light. In 1962, American Nick Holonyak, Jr. developed the first practical visible spectrum light-emitting diode (LED). In 1965, high-pressure sodium (HID) lamps brought superior color, emitting a broader spectrum of light, and efficiency compared to their low-pressure predecessors. HID lamps are still the most widespread type of streetlight used today.
Modern LEDs last longer, produce better light, and use less energy than HID lamps. While LEDs represented a tiny fraction of streetlights in the U.S. a few years ago, the pace of adoption of LED and also smart streetlights is growing as cities seek initiatives to save money and lay the foundations for smart city projects related to mobility, public safety, and sustainability. When designing smart cities, adhering to standards like ANSI C136.11-2011 (S2021) for lighting roadways and general public areas helps provide exceptional performance criteria.
ANSI C136.11-2011 (S2021): Roadway And Area Lighting Equipment – Multiple Sockets is available on the ANSI Webstore.