Victorian Street Lights
Victorian street lights have a distinct charm and are reminiscent of simpler times, when streets were lit one by one at the hands of lamplighters. True replicas of Victorian street lights include horizontal bars, which lamplighters would lean their ladders against as they performed their job of lighting or extinguishing the gas-lit Victorian street lights.
Lighting is a major factor in setting the mood for any location, inside or outside. When lighting is combined with the style of romantic days gone by, such as that provided by Victorian street lights, there is an undeniable charm that can draw people in. Studies have proven that lighting combined with other design factors make for a winning combination that can improve company branding.
In our modern times, with most people carrying cell phones around and staying connected through mobile Internet devices, harking back to quieter days is a very good thing. You can’t get a better symbol of simpler times than with Victorian street lights. It especially helps when you are familiar with lamplighters, a profession that is almost completely extinct. The following is information about the original Victorian street lights and lamplighters of the 1800s:
- At first, street lights were lit with oil, such as whale oil. Lamplighters not only lit the lamps, but they replenished the whale oil and trimmed the wicks.
- Once gas lights came along, they replaced the oil-lit lamps.
- When Victorian street lights were used in the early 1800s, the lamplighters had to be careful that too much gas didn’t build up in the lamp before they got it lit because they were sometimes blown off the ladder.
- Pall Mall was the first London street to be lit by gas-lit Victorian street lights. The gas lights caused London to be the city which shone more brilliantly at night than any other.
- Lamplighters carried their ladder from lamp to lamp, lighting them just before dusk. They dressed in a recognizable hat and coat and would usually whistle or sing cheerily, as a way of letting people know they were carrying out their important duty.
- The lamplighters extinguished the Victorian street lights every morning at dawn.
- Lamplighters were also night watchmen. Those employed as lamplighters were typically considered to be trustworthy, reliable men. They brought a sense of safety and reassurance to residents.
- Lamplighters frequently had a tradition of passing the profession on to family members and marrying within other lamplighter families.
- The image of a lone lamplighter lighting the way along city lanes is a staple of a long-ago but not forgotten era.
- A typical route for a lamplighter included up to 80 lamps to be lit at dusk and extinguished at dawn.
- Lamplighters also had the job of cleaning, setting, and fitting the lamps, as well as resetting posts, when needed.
The Victorian street lamps of today can be illuminated with a variety of bulbs. The type of bulb that is the most popular for use with all types of lighting is LED lighting. Instead of demanding attention every dawn and dusk, LED lights can last as long as 50,000 hours. They also turn on and off automatically, using modern technology, quite a change from the Victorian street lights of yesteryear