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Street Lighting Birmingham Green

Birmingham gets "old look",
controlled illumination with Holophane

wentieth Street, also known as Birmingham Green South, in Birmingham, Alabama, is considered the spine of the city, extending through the center of the downtown. During an ongoing economic renewal project, the area was given a facelift when the old street was ripped out and new concrete pavement poured. The renovation included landscaping the area and retrofitting the existing lighting system.

According to Jerry Northington, assistant traffic engineer for the city, the streets were formerly lighted by cobrahead fixtures using 400 watt sodium vapor lamps. The units were mounted on 35-foot, round, steel tapered poles, which were also removed for aesthetic reasons.

"Birmingham had been using an old style pole with tear-drop fixtures in various areas since the 1930s," Northington explained. "This fact, coupled with the number of historical buildings in the city, led us to replace the cobrahead units with a fixture and pole that resembled the earlier tear-drop units."

Fixtures installed are Holophane Esplanade¬ luminaires with 400-watt metal halide lamps. A total of 165 units were used, spaced 80 feet on opposite sides of the street. Holophane's Computer Aided Lighting Analysis (CALA) software was employed to determine pole placement.

The 23-foot poles are cast iron with an antiqued finish, installed two feet behind the face of the curb. Each pole has a four-foot arm. The sidewalk is 12 feet wide and runs from the buildings to the street. Landscaped areas are adjacent to the street, with some islands.

"The glass reflector on the Esplanade luminaires does an excellent job of controlling the light," Northington said. "One of our primary concerns was having enough light on the sidewalk and street to make people feel comfortable."

Light levels are 3.5 footcandles, with the fixtures provide an I.E.S. Type III cutoff distribution.

"We've found the Esplanade luminaires to be of very high quality. The metal halide is a good light source because it is efficient and dependable," Northington said.

He added, "One of our goals in renovating Birmingham Green South was to get people excited about walking around the area. The Esplanade fixtures not only provide the lighting needed, but they seem to sparkle, even during the day."


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