Street lighting in North America has undergone a remarkable transformation over the years. It all began with oil candles, introduced by Benjamin Franklin in 1757. These early lighting methods had glass globes that tended to get dirty quickly.

In the early 1800s, gas lights invented by made their debut in Newport, Rhode Island. They were a significant improvement over oil candles and provided better illumination.

Electric streetlights arrived in the late 1800s, with Wabash, Indiana becoming the first town to adopt them. These lights, called “Brush lights,” were named after their inventor, Thomas Brush.

In the early 20th century, incandescent and fluorescent lights gained popularity but were soon replaced by mercury vapor lights, which were more efficient.

During the 1950s, mercury lights, such as GE’s Form 109 and Form 400, became the dominant choice for street lighting in America. Westinghouse’s OV-20 and GE’s M400 “Cobrahead” lights also gained popularity.

In 1966, high-pressure sodium (HPS) lights were introduced, offering greater energy efficiency and emitting a distinctive yellow glow. HPS lights remained the primary street lighting technology for several decades.

Metal halide lamps were used for a time but didn’t surpass HPS lights due to energy efficiency issues. Ceramic metal halide lamps showed some promise but haven’t replaced HPS lights unless LEDs significantly outperform them.

Since 2006, LED lighting has been on the rise. Ann Arbor, Michigan was the first city to implement LED street lights, followed by many others like Anchorage, Los Angeles, Toronto and Seattle. LED technology has become popular due to its energy efficiency and long lifespan.

Our Experience: At HCI Lighting, we have been at the forefront of exterior lighting projects for over four decades. We have completed various projects in North America, including, important landmarks, real estate developments, municipal street lighting, parks and parking lots. Our focus is on integrating advanced technology into our lighting solutions, ensuring not only efficiency and sustainability but also attractive aesthetics. We are dedicated to creating lighting solutions that contribute to a brighter and more sustainable future.