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Philips Lighting

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Philips Lighting
Double-bracket MA50s on A1306 Arterial Road - Coppermine - 22530.JPG
A typical Philips MA50, in a double-bracket installation on the A1306
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Type:  SOX 90w, 135w, 180w
Models:  MA50, MA60 , MA90
A diagram showing the basic variations of MA street lanterns manufactured by Philips

The lighting brand of Philips, a multinational electronics corporation possibly best known for inventing the CD, has been responsible for several common designs of low pressure sodium (SOX) street lights in the UK from the 1960s to the 1990s.

The earliest designs of Philips lanterns in the 1960s featured a number of designs at different wattage, which allowed them to be fitted on a variety of roads, trading off high visibility for power consumption.

MA Series

The most commonly found type of Philips lantern was the SOX based MA series introduced in 1972, which due to its modular design, durability, and efficient but powerful light, made it an ideal choice for installation on main roads, where maintenance would be costly and cumbersome. They were a staple of many trunk roads and motorways throughout Britain, and won a Design Council Award in 1975[1].

The MA lantern came in three basic series, in increasing order of size and output capacity :

  • The MA90 - 90 watt, the smallest model, largely used on minor roads
  • The MA50 - 135 watt, used on more major roads
  • The MA60 - 180 watt, used on motorways and major dual carriageways.

Each series allowed a choice of body housing with interchangeable parts.

Philips ceased production of the Philips MA lanterns in 2014. Due to the problems of SOX lanterns reacting with themselves and ultimately failing, followed by growing concerns over climate change, many of them have been replaced by high pressure sodium and LED lanterns. In 2017, Philips Lighting announced plans to stop producing SOX lamps in 2020[2].

Surviving examples

London (within the M25)

Location Coverage Count Date checked
MA90 MA50 MA60
M1 103 pairs of MA60s on the mainline, from Junction 5 (Berrygrove) to the 31.0 km marker. 206 2 March 2018
M1 MA50s on the slip roads of Junction 6 (Waterdale). 2 March 2018
M1/M25 MA60s on the slip roads of Junction 6A (Chiswell) – in process of being removed or replaced, but most remain.
M25 Slip roads of Junction 25 (Waltham Cross)
A282 Southern slip roads and a short mainline section south of Junction 31 (Purfleet).
A406 (Staples Corner) 16 MA50s with integral gear on the eastern slip roads to/from the A406. 16
A406 (Great Cambridge Road) Two MA50s and one MA90 (all with integral gear) on the south western slip road to the A406. 1 2


Philips Lighting
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Street Lighting
Main articleStreet Lighting
ManufacturersEleco • GEC • Philips • Revo • Urbis
FeaturesDayburning • Design of Systems

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