Street Lighting in Summertown: Lamppost Replacement Program

Posted for Ted Dewan of the Beechcroft Road Association:

I’m hoping to canvass opinion in Summertown about the proposed design of the replacement lanterns for the council’s impending lamppost replacement program. The existing lights in the neighborhood do a pretty crummy job, and the new lanterns should do a much better job, but unfortunately their design is pretty ugly, and I’m hoping we can do better for our neighbourhood.

BCR Light

BCR Light

So here’s a link to the Beech Croft Residents’ Association (BCRA) site where you’ll find an entry on Street Lighting, photos of the existing and the proposed new lantern, and a design that I think would be far more appropriate for the area.

Soho Light

Soho Light

Street light design might seem like small beer when compared to other issues, but street furniture design matters a great deal (clearly, property developers believe so, too, or they wouldn’t pay the extra to pepper the Waterways/Rutherway developments with what they think pass as stylish ‘period’ lights–still a lot better than the bland utilitarian design of the proposed Iridium lamps). As these things will be in place for nearly half a century, or until the electricity runs down, it is a good time not to be asleep at the wheel.

Philips Iridium

Philips Iridium

I’m not sure people outside the BCRA can post comments on the BCRA site, so please feel free to comment on this Victoria Road Group blog. The VRG will pass on your comments to me and the BCRA. Finally, if any resident of Victoria Road might have time and energy to really champion this, please speak to the Chair of the Victoria Road Group. If there are more individuals to generally represent a broader Summertown constituency, it would help.

The photos are of the existing Summertown lantern and a similar more attractive lantern recently installed in Soho. The third picture is the Philips Iridium due to appear all over Summertown.

All the best,

Ted Dewan


  1. vrgblog said

    Posted for Mireille and Mike

    The street light question is interesting especially as I am not impressed with the new lights in the Summertown shopping area, which are far too high and too bright, although they do have a certain style to them, which can hardly be said for the Phillips Iridium; it may well avoid light pollution but does it have to look like a ladle on a stick? I agree with the comment that street furniture is important, and I think it is not given the design attention it deserves. I am not sure about the ‘Soho’ version but where is this going and how can we express our views- not sure if the blog helps on this?

    Mireille and Mike

  2. Janet Rodgers said

    I agree completely that the current lights put more light into the first floor bedroom than down on the tipsy pavement; but the proposed Phillips light is inappropriately ugly for a residential area. The Soho light, while prettier to look at, also fails to direct light downward. Is there a way we can see what our choices might be?


  3. vrgblog said

    If I understand the comments, I agree that there are major weaknesses to all three that we are looking at. As Janet asks, I wonder if there are other choices that could be considered.


  4. Ted Dewan said

    The lights in Soho do throw the light downwards onto the street. The bulb is nestled in a parabolic reflector seated in the top of the lantern. The glass dome that hangs beneath is mainly for appearance. Another option could be the ‘shepherds crook’ style lantern that appears throughout North Oxford, but the lighting chap at the County Council said they didn’t have the budget for those. I dont know if the lantern style chosen for the streets of Soho is any cheaper, but at least it could be argued that it is similar to the existing lantern profile throughout Summertown. That might be a more persuasive point to make.

    When some more comments appear on this site, I’ll forward the link to our local councillors and the lighting people at the County Council.

  5. Mary and Rodney Stableford said

    There is an example of the proposed Philips Iridium street light already in place on the left hand side of Lucerne Road, as you turn right into Lucerne Road from Victoria Road. Viewed at night, it would seem to be an improvement on the BCR as there may be less light pollution into adjoining houses, without any loss of effective lighting onto road and pavement surfaces.

    The County Council should perhaps be asked to explain its lighting proposals in detail to our City Council representatives and to residents before going ahead with the scheme as a whole. This may help to reassure us that whatever replacement street lighting is chosen, it will be an improvement both visually and functionally when compared with the existing BCR and will effectively reduce light pollution into houses as well as helping to improve road safety.

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: