Osram 280W Twin-Tube SOI/H

This powerful 280W lamp was unique to GEC's SOI range. It achieves its impressive output by making use of two 140-watt discharge tubes within the same outer envelope. There is insufficient room to accommodate the usual heat-insulating glass sleeves and this, combined with the self-absorption of some of the light from one discharge tube by the tube adjacent to it leads to a drop in efficacy vs the usual 140W model. However when operated at full power the penalty was less than expected, due to the fact that the two discharge tubes help to keep each other warm.

Introduced in 1959, the primary purpose of this lamp was to offer high light output from existing 140W lanterns - it is much shorter than Philips' 5-foot long 300W SOI alternative. It also offered streetlighting authorities the opportunity to reduce electricity consumption as road traffic volumes eased late into the night, by simply switching off one discharge tube and therefore halving power consumption. Alternatively if both discharge tubes are connected in parallel, only one will ever strike up, and it was possible to double the lamp maintenance period by equipping each lantern with an auxiliary discharge tube - albeit with a small drop in efficacy.

Perhaps because of the expense of this lamp, or the fact that there was insufficient room to incorporate any heat-reflecting glass sleeves to boost efficacy, or simply because of its complexity, fragility and considerable weight, it never achieved widespread acceptance. Its requirement for two ballasts and duplicated wiring would also have added to the installation expense, and GEC decided to cease manufacture of this unusual product around 1969. This lamp is one of only five known examples still in existence.
Manufacturer: The General Electric Company of England PLC
Lamp Power: 280 Watts
Lamp Current: 2x 0.9 Amps 2x 0.81A Starting Current
Lamp Voltage: 2x 160 Volts 2x 450V ignition
Cap Type: UX4 British 4-Pin Valve
Bulb Type: T-65 T-20½ in eighths/inch
Bulb Finish: Clear Soda-lime glass
Electrodes: CCC-4 Beehive Black W + BCT emitter
Arc Length:
Atmosphere: Inner: Na | NeAr0.8% Outer: Hard Vacuum
Luminous Flux: 19,000 lm (@ 100h) 16,800 lm (average)
Luminous Efficacy: 67.9 lm/W (@ 100h) 60 lm/W (average)
Colour Temperature & CRI: CCT: 1700K CRI: Ra -44
Chromaticity Co-ordinates: CCx: 0.574 CCy: 0.425
Rated Lifetime: 6,000 hours 70% survival
Warm-up & Re-strike time: Approx. 15 minutes Instantaneous
Burning Position: Horizontal ± 20°
Overall Length: 519 ± 10 mm 20¾ inches
Light Centre Length: 280 ± 10 mm 11 inches
Factory: Shaw, Oldham England
Date of Manufacture: October 1958 Date Code PL
Original / Present Value: £7 18s 0d (1959) £164.10 (2014)
References: 1) Osram-GEC Lamp Catalogue, UK, 1959-60, p.19
2) A New Sodium Lamp, E.H. Nelson & S.A.R. Rigden, Light & Lighting August 1956 pp.217-220
3) UK Patent 845,617, Improvements in or Relating to Sodium Vapour Electric Discharge Lamps, M.A.C Heanly & E.E. Miles, Filed May 2nd 1958