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Last edited 12 Feb 2023
The earliest form of street lighting was the use of torches and lanterns made from materials such as wood, stone, and metal. These were carried by individuals or mounted on poles to provide light for streets, squares, and public spaces.
Street lighting was used in cities such as Rome and Athens, where oil lamps were placed along streets and in public squares to provide light for citizens. In medieval Europe, street lighting was provided by oil lamps and later, by candle lanterns that were hung from buildings or mounted on poles.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, technological advancements brought about significant changes in street lighting. In 1780, the Argand lamp was invented, which used a glass chimney to increase the efficiency of a flame and produce brighter light. This was followed by the invention of gas street lighting in the 1820s, which provided a more reliable and efficient source of light.
The advent of the electrical age in the late 19th century brought about the widespread use of electric street lighting. The first successful electric street lighting system was demonstrated in Paris in 1878, and soon after, cities all over the world began installing electric street lights.
Over the next few decades, advances in technology and design led to the development of various types of street lighting, including incandescent lamps, fluorescent lamps, and high-intensity discharge lamps. Today, LED street lights are increasingly being used due to their energy efficiency, long life, and low maintenance requirements.
Modern street lighting serves a variety of functions, from illuminating roadways and public spaces to improving safety and security. One of the most important modern uses of street lighting is to improve road safety by providing sufficient illumination for drivers and pedestrians. In addition, street lighting can be used to enhance the visual appeal of streets and public spaces, creating more attractive and welcoming environments.
- LED (Light Emitting Diode) street lighting is a modern, energy-efficient form of lighting that is becoming increasingly popular due to its long life and low maintenance requirements. LED lights also offer a high degree of control and can be programmed to provide a range of light levels and colours.
- High-Intensity Discharge (HID) street lighting uses high-intensity gas discharge to produce light, and is commonly used in large-scale outdoor lighting applications, such as sports stadiums and car parks. HID street lighting provides a bright, white light that is ideal for illuminating large areas, but it can also produce significant light pollution.
- Incandescent street lighting uses a filament to produce light, and was once the most common type of street lighting. Although incandescent lighting is still used in some areas, it has largely been replaced by more efficient forms of lighting, such as LED and HID.
- Fluorescent street lighting uses a tube filled with gas to produce light, and is often used in commercial and industrial settings. Fluorescent lighting provides a bright, white light that is efficient and long-lasting, but it can also produce significant light pollution.
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