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The following is the report presented by Mr. Farrand: REPORT OF COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER


In the year 1894, a committee of experts, appointed by the association to consider the rating of arc lamps, reported at the seventeenth convention, then in session at Washington, a preamble and resolution which was adopted as follows:

“Recognizing the difficulty, if not impossibility, of measuring with any degree of accuracy the illuminating power of the arc lamp, and the great necessity for a more precise definition and statement of the obligations of the producer of electricity for illuminating purposes to the consumer thereof, be it

Resolved, That in the opinion of this convention what is ordinarily known as a 2000-cp arc lamp is one requiring on the average 450 watts for its maintenance, the measurements being made at the lamp terminals, where no sensible resistance is included in series with the arc. In case such resistance is used, it must be excluded in the measurement of the voltage."

The rating of arc lamps on the basis of energy consumed, as set forth in the resolution, was then and would now be satisfactory as an equitable means of determining either a proper rate of charge or illuminating value for street arc lighting furnished by a company to a municipality, under the same conditions, but at the time of the adoption of this resolution there was in use in the United States no type of arc lamp other than the open arc, which, although of many makes and designs, gave approximately the same illuminating power for a given amount of energy. Wherever the rating adopted by the committee in 1894 has been employed in connection with open-arc lamps of the general type then in use, little or no difficulty has been experienced in the adjustment of differences arising from interpretations of contracts.

During the very year in which this rating was adopted, however, the commercial introduction of enclosed-arc lamps began, and within the past ten or twelve years the gradual displacement of open-arc by enclosed-arc lamps has taken place. The manufacture of open-arc lamps has practically ceased as a result of their inability to compete with the enclosed type, and manufacturers have devoted themselves almost exclusively to the latter until quite recently. During the past four or five years there have been placed upon the market a number of distinct new types of lamps, which have been known by the general designation of "flaming carbon" or "luminous arc" lamps, some of which originated from American ideas, while others were imported.

The characteristics of the various lamps mentioned, taken either individually or grouped in classes, are so widely at variance in performance in the ratio between light produced and energy expended that the difficulties experienced by operating companies are greater now than they were in 1894, and the preamble then adopted is equally applicable to-day by reason of the introduction of these new devices.

In addition to the new types of arc lamps, there have also been placed on the market and are now offered for sale certain kinds of mercury-vapor or vacuum-tube lamps, which can be used for street lighting, as well as a considerable number of new incandescent lamps constructed of some form of metallized filament. Quite a number of the latter are already in use, with every prospect of their general introduction within a reasonable time.

Any attempt to compare the illuminating value of these latest forms of lamps, which are or may be used for street lighting, on the basis of energy consumed, is not only futile, but would be ruinous to the contracting company, for while the so-called highefficiency lamps operate on a lesser expenditure of energy, , they also give a larger volume of light. No reason be given why a contractor should be penalized for giving more light than contracted for, after having made considerable investment for that purpose, simply because the number of watts consumed is less, notwithstanding that other items of expense and renewals may be considerably increased.

Your committee, after a most careful consideration of the difficulties to be met and for the purpose of establishing a definite basis, assumed: That, inasmuch as the lighting of streets by contract is a matter of illumination produced rather than of apparatus employed, the terms used in specifications should be in terms of illumination and not of energy consumed; that the individual lamp of each class should be the unit of number charged for; and that the average illuminating power of each unit should be comparable with and have a value equal to a known standard at proper relative distance.


The following report is submitted as the best provisional solution of the problem of street lamp specification that the unsatisfactory existing state of the science and art of outdoor photometry permits.

The committee considers that street-lighting lamps should not be rated in candle-power under contract specifications; because unless qualified as to the space distribution of the candlepower, such rating may be entirely misleading. The lamp may, by suitable reflectors, be made to possess a large candle-power in some particular direction or zone, and yet be very ineffective as a practical street illuminant. Consequently, the committee considers that the rating of street lamps in contract specifications should be in terms of the mean normal illumination cast at a considerable distance from the lamp, along the street which it illumines, i. e., the mean illumination thrown by the lamp upon a plane surface at a considerable distance from the lamp and supported perpendicularly to the rays.

The following specifications are drawn to cover the ordinary conditions of street lighting, and are recommended to replace previous specifications, such as those appearing in the Report of the Committee on Rating of Arc Lamps of the National Electric Light Association at the meeting of 1894, a copy of which is reported above:

(1) Under ordinary conditions of street arc lighting, with lamps spaced 200 to 600 feet apart, specifications for street lamps should define the mean illumination thrown by the individual lamp, in position in the street, as measured at the height of the observer's eye and perpendicular to the rays, at some point not less than 200 feet nor more than 300 feet distant, along a level street, from a position immediately below the lamp, with all extraneous light screened off and with no reflection from surrounding objects not forming part of the lamp equipment.*

(2) When using smaller units of light, such as series incandescent lamps spaced shorter distances apart, a correspondingly

* The reason for leaving the horizontal distance flexible along the street within the range between 200 and 300 feet, is that a definitely specified distance such as 250 feet might be unsuitable for the purpose of the measurement.

Within the horizontal distance in excess of 200 feet, the distance correction for the height of the lamp above the observer's eye is ordinarily unimportant.


shorter distance from the lamp should be chosen in measuring the illumination.

(3) The lamp contracted for should give a mean normal illumination at the test point (selected as in Sections 1 and 2), not less than the illumination given by the stationary standard incandescent lamp of 16 candle-power at 1/x of the distance. The said standard incandescent lamp should be a standardized seasoned lamp having a determined candle-power in a fixed direction.

(4) When the lamp tested fluctuates in intensity, a number of observations of the maximum normal illumination should be made at a distance of not less than 200 feet horizontally from beneath the lamp, and the average of these measurements should be taken as the average maximum illumination. A similar number of observations of the minimum normal illumination should be made, the average of which should be taken as the average minimum illumination. The arithmetical mean of the said average maximum and minimum illuminations should be taken as the mean normal illumination called for in Section 1.*

(5) A reasonable number of lamps covered by the contract should be tested.

(6) For measuring the mean normal illumination of a lamp, comparison with the standard incandescent lamp may be made either with a suitable portable photometer or with a reading distance instrument, such as the so-called "luminometer."

(7) The unobstructed mean normal illumination must not be less at shorter distances than at the point of test.

* (a) When a reading-distance instrument is used for measuring the mean normal illumination at specified horizontal range, the average of a number of maximum distances at which a certain size of print can be distinguished may be called the average maximum distance, and the average of a similar number of minimum distances the average minimum distance, From these, the mean distance at which an illumination is cast normally, sufficient for distinguishing that size of print can be determined. This mean distance must lie within the 200-300 feet horizontal range specified in Section 1. In most cases the arithmetical mean of the average maximum and average minimum distances may be taken as the said mean distance with an accuracy sufficient for practical purposes. The illumination needed for distinguishing the size of print may be determined for each particular observer from measurements of the reading distance with the standard incandescent lamp referred to in Section 3.

(b) When a portable photometer is used at a fixed horizontal distance, such as 250 feet, the mean normal illumination of a fluctuating lamp may be obtained by taking the average of not less than 50 observations at intervals of not less than one-half minute.

(8) An approximate list of the mean normal illuminations thrown by street lamps of standard manufacture, at horizontal distances within the 200-300-foot range, hung approximately 20 feet above the level of the observer's eye, is given in the following table:

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