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Street lighting yesterday and today

Street lighting yesterday and today

Have you ever wondered who invented street lighting? After all, today we can’t imagine functioning without modern, tall city lanterns, but a few centuries ago they were something completely unheard of. When darkness fell, the streets of towns and villages were simply dark – unless the landlord or innkeeper put a lantern in the window. This created favourable conditions for robberies and accidents, which are fortunately largely prevented by contemporary and 19th century styled lamps, such as those manufactured by Art Metal.

Street lighting in the past

As far back as many years ago, solutions were introduced in various cities which, over time, evolved into modern street lighting. Obligations to light houses existed in London as early as the 15th century and in Paris in the 16th century. Many cities also introduced orders to carry one’s own lantern or lamp, which had to be lit after dark to increase safety.

The city’s first street lamp system was designed by the Dutch painter and inventor Jan van der Heyden. The streets of Amsterdam began to be lit by tall oil lamps in 1669. They quickly began to appear in other Dutch and European cities as well. Due to advances in science, 19th-century style lanterns changed from oil lanterns to gas and paraffin lanterns. The second of these two types was more efficient, versatile and cheaper, but by the end of the 19th century it had already been replaced by electricity, which became the main source of power for street lamps for a long time. Tall, stylish and historic 19th-century lanterns can still be encountered on the streets of some cities, and individual buildings continue to be powered by paraffin. Nowadays, however, both the style and the range of functions of city lamps have changed considerably.

City lanterns today

The tall, modernist lanterns of today must feature energy-efficient solutions, contribute to the reduction of so-called light pollution, and ensure the safety of vehicles and passers-by. They are no longer decorative 19th-century objects, but rather minimalist products with a simple design – although the stylish city lanterns we have on offer at Art Metal also find their enthusiasts and look great, for example in the surroundings of historic buildings.

Modern street lighting uses sodium, metal halide and light-emitting diode (LED) lamps with a very long life (up to 50 000 hours). They are often supplemented by solar panels and intelligent solutions that adapt light intensity to weather conditions and to the intensity of urban traffic. As part of the fight against light pollution, modern high street lanterns are designed so that the light does not spread upwards and sideways, but instead is directed downwards, onto the street or pavement.

Urban lanterns from Art Metal are stylish products inspired by 19th-century aesthetics that draw handfuls from contemporary technological advances. Explore the products in our catalogue and contact us to order a street light that will impress with its decorativeness.

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    F.P.H. Art Metal Sp.j.

    Address: 124 Jabloniowa st.,
    83-331 Lapino Kartuskie

    Tax no.: PL5891592239

    Phone: +48 58 681 80 78, +48 58 681 80 65 65
    Mobile: +48 538 99 77 22
    FAX: +48 58 681 80 64

    E-mail: info@art-metal.pl

    Opening hours: From Monday to Friday 07:30-15:30

    F.P.H. Art Metal Sp.j.
    Trade Department Warsaw

    Address: 6 Przemyslowa st. ,
    05-082 Blizne Laszczynskiego (Warszawa)

    Phone: +48 22 487 52 07

    E-mail: warszawa@art-metal.pl

    Opening hours: From Monday to Friday 09:00-16:00

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