Westinghouse Upscale Incandescent Luminaire

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This specimen is probably from the Westinghouse AK-10 series, commonly installed in the 1940's and 1950's.

This style was used in large urban areas, on main streets, and in upscale residential areas. With a straight or slightly S-curved horizontal bracket arm leading to a small elbow attached to the very top of the head, this luminaire gave a classy appearance to the street. This style was also seen mounted in pairs on taller poles with a short double horizontal bracket arm at the top in a T formation.

Has one piece (originally thought to be double wall) stamped aluminum reflector assembly with riveted on aluminum castings for the latch and hinge. Perhaps the reflector was manufacturered from several pieces of aluminum that were welded together but we are not sure. The reflector is bolted to the head, but is also available with snap latches to fit any standard (NEMA) head of about the same size.

For 6000 to 10000 lumen incandescent lamps. This specimen had a 500 watt (approx. 8000 lumen) lamp in it when acquired. The wiring is as simple as in smaller incandescent fixtures, just the lamp socket is inside the head.

The elongated bowl refractor directed more light outward given a not quite so high pole, and with its larger surface area it gave less glare from hot-spotting compared with shallow cone or hemispherical shaped refractors. Distribution patterns available were circular (type V) or near circular (type IV). Sometimes an extra shoehorn shaped reflector was mounted inside, beside the lamp, to reduce light directed at houses behind. Westinghouse offered a choice of heads (top mount, side mount) and refractors. The same head and reflector has been seen with a smaller hemispherical refractor.

The refractor is mounted on a cast aluminum ring hinged to the rim of the reflector. It is removed by swinging it somewhat past the point where it would hang naturally (Westinghouse safety feature to prevent accidental detachment) and then lifting it off its hinge.

On a few occasions I have seen these luminaires converted to mercury vapor. The existing mogul screw base socket is used although for best results a lower hanging socket mount is needed for the shorter necked mercury lamp. A 250 watt mercury lamp replaces a 600 watt 10000 lumen incandescent lamp. A 400 watt 20000 lumen mercury lamp replaces an 860 watt 15000 lumen incandescent lamp. The necessary ballast would have had to be mounted on the pole or in a transformer box at the pole base since it is too large and heavy to fit inside the head.

Other manufacturers also offered luminaires with similar appearance. Some replicas with plastic parts and high pressure sodium lamps are currently being manufactured.

Height of assembled reflector and head: 16-1/4"
Height overall, including glassware: 28"
Width at lower rim: 15:"(16-1/2" over latches)
Inner diameter of reflector: 12-3/4"
Glassware: 13-3/8" diam. x 12" height overall (13" diam. outside excluding lip on rim that engages mounting ring)

Weight: 20 lb. complete

A ruler or marked line in the photo indicates one foot, although there is some depth and perspective distortion.
Numbers molded into bottom of refractor: 813 and 6867 (6861?)

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