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Line Materials Night Sentry

This is one I've been wanting in my collection for about 16 years. This particular one was disconnected from power, but on a pole in the back yard of a friend's house. The whole place is going to be razed, so I went to help him pack, bringing along a 25 foot extension ladder. My first discovery was the Tabet photocell, which I was pleased to see was a 120v version. Next was the H39 ballast. Finally the lamp, which turned out to be a GE Bonusline 250 watt clear MV.

The only major user of these I still see in the area is the power company. There were disconnected wires on the pole running to the streetlight feeder in a back alley. The wires it was connected to dropped down to an old garage next to the pole (where this was found!). I suspect it could have been some sort of lease light at one time, and was later reconnected to property metered power.

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File information
Album name:icefoglights / HID Lights
Company and Date Manufactured:Line Materials
Lamp Type:Mercury Vapor
Filesize:431 KiB
Date added:May 02, 2015
Dimensions:2048 x 1536 pixels
Displayed:495 times
Color Space:sRGB
DateTime Original:2015:05:01 23:24:15
Exposure Bias:0 EV
Exposure Mode:0
Exposure Program:Program
Exposure Time:1/16 sec
Flash:Compulsory Flash
Focal length:4.15 mm
Model:iPhone 6
Favorites:Add to Favorites

Comment 1 to 18 of 18
Page: 1

lite_lover   [May 02, 2015 at 09:13 AM]
Great you got it!! Tabet PC's are pretty rare,neat that it has a GE Bonusline in it. Cool

Mercuryvapor123   [May 02, 2015 at 02:10 PM]
Great catch, I'v always wanted to see one up close. The city of Newark DE, still has plenty of these in service with greened out merc. lamps.

streetlight98   [May 02, 2015 at 02:59 PM]
Nice! I've yet to see one of these in person. They're very cool lights for sure! The Tabet photocell and Bonusline lamp are more than likely original to the fixture too!

joe_347V   [May 03, 2015 at 03:35 AM]
Nice save! I've also yet to see one of these in use. Yeah I also think the Tabet PC and Bonusline merc is original to the fixture.

icefoglights   [May 03, 2015 at 04:52 AM]
I'm sure the Tabet is original. The lamp I'm not so sure about, since it's 250 watts and the ballast is 175 watts.

streetlight98   [May 03, 2015 at 01:32 PM]
Yeah I didn't realize the lamp and fixture were two different wattages. It is possible that the fixture was installed with the wrong wattage lamp but these fixtures came as a kit with the lamp, PC, wiring, mounting bracket stub, and all the hardware necessary, just like a NEMA head.

GEsoftwhite100watts   [May 03, 2015 at 06:52 PM]
Either the lamp was a replacement, or the wrong one was included, or a different (and inappropriate) lamp substituted from the very start. A Bonusline lamp seems old enough to possibly be original...but Mike, do you know if these normally came with a certain brand of bulb? (GE, Sylvania, Westinghouse, etc).

joe_347V   [May 05, 2015 at 02:28 AM]
That's what I'm thinking too, since these came as a unit pack (usually lamp, PC and a short length of wire is included) maybe someone from the factory stuck a mistakenly stuck a 250w merc in and the installer didn't check to see if the included lamp was the right wattage.

Here's an old ad for this fixture BTW.

streetlight98   [May 05, 2015 at 11:03 AM]
I don't know what brand lamp these came with but they did exclusively come with Tabet photocells since I have an electronic copy of a Line Material ad advertising Tabet PCs. I forgot that they did make these in 250W so the wrong lamp could have been included. That makes me wonder if this was sold as a 175 or a 250W light?

GEsoftwhite100watts   [May 05, 2015 at 03:21 PM]
Maybe the ballast was wrong then? Laughing

streetlight98   [May 05, 2015 at 07:32 PM]
LOL Maybe. Laughing

GEsoftwhite100watts   [May 06, 2015 at 03:29 PM]
Or the original ballast failed and the replacement was the wrong wattage?

streetlight98   [May 07, 2015 at 01:05 AM]
Looking at the other pic the ballast is definitely original.

icefoglights   [May 08, 2015 at 08:27 AM]
The ballast is original. I suspect the bulb maybe a mismatched replacement, and think it maybe older than the fixture, though I have no evidence yet.

GEsoftwhite100watts   [May 08, 2015 at 05:53 PM]
Older, wow! But lamps do sit around NOS in warehouses, etc.

streetlight98   [May 09, 2015 at 02:18 AM]
Yeah I'm thinking the lamp is older than the fixture too. Perhaps the guy who owned the garage had bought the Bonusline at a liquidation place or at a flea market, thinking any wattage lamp would work? There's no way of telling when the lamp was installed since the PC is original to the fixture. BTW, Joe Maurath said that these lights were offered with the choice of a Tabet or Fisher Pierce photocell, which is really interesting. I figured they would have been brand-loyal to get a discount, kinda like how stores typically carry one brand of a product or fast food places only sell one brand of soda.

GEsoftwhite100watts   [May 09, 2015 at 04:15 AM]
I wonder if the PC is from 2/69? If so then the Bonusline would be older...
I've thought of putting NOTES in my fixtures, explaining things like mysterious ballast/lamp combos, in case someone else really into lighting and lamps, especially anything vintage, comes across them decades from now. (For example: WHY is there an 80s Universal ballast in a 70s Sears shoplight that has ALL spliced wires, powered by a 2010s looking cord, with GE Mainlighter lamps that date to 1979?) (An example of a plausible mashup of lamps being older than their ballast, but by only a few years, though that's not how it happened).

joe_347V   [May 10, 2015 at 06:48 AM]
Hmm, I wonder if the original lamp somehow failed early or got misplaced so whoever installed it just put in any MV lamp that they could've found.

Comment 1 to 18 of 18
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