December 9, 2022

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Carl Johannes replaces all the lamps in the gate with lamps from 1925

Carl Johannes replaces all the lamps in the gate with lamps from 1925

For ten years, the municipality worked to renew Oslo’s streetlights. Construction of the city’s parade route is currently underway.

Over the past ten years, the City Environment Agency and Byndikvaren have renewed the lighting and lighting in the center of Oslo. The lamp pictured is a modern copy that was hung in 1925.

Between the palace and Jernpanedorget, 42 old street lamps stand and sparkle in the autumn air. The work to replace them started yesterday.

The historic “Carl Johann’s Lamp” from 1925 has become a new one. The result will be lifted by crane and installed on the main street of the entire city.

Employees of the municipality and city antiquities have worked for more than three years to preserve the unique character of the historic lights, while complementing it with modern and safe technology. Sodium LED. Bright yellow turned white.

But lighting expert Tor Mjøs assures that it’s still blonde and beautiful. It reproduces colors much better, he says. In the dark, not all cats are gray. New lighting will reveal the nuances of buildings, clothes, bicycles and trees.

The light switch that will take place on the city’s main street over the next few weeks is not unique. It happens all the time around town, mostly while you sleep.

It has its own lighting scheme

Today, it says, city lights are for cars, not vacationers, walkers or cyclists. Municipal lighting scheme. The light falls on the carriageway, while the cycle path, sidewalks and facades are left in darkness.

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Oslo will keep the lights on making the city accessible and safe for everyone. They want new lighting to highlight architecture, buildings and unique urban spaces. The target is a completely separate “night sign”.

While the lighting project itself is hosted by the Planning and Building Agency, the project is being pursued by Bindikvaren and the Urban Environment Agency. They believe that every time they change the light bulbs, the city will become safer and clearer. But the municipality also saves electricity.

In total, Oslo has 64,000 lights on its streets and parks. Over the past eight years, 51,000 have been converted to LED lights. More than half of them are dim.

As a rule, they can cut consumption in half with LED bulbs and dimming, says Mjøs, an employee of Norconsult, but working on behalf of the Urban Environment Agency.

New technology is more energy efficient. An important point these days.

Municipal and city antiquities staff have worked for more than three years to preserve the uniqueness of the historic lamp, which dates back to 1925. The first light was installed on Wednesday.

Be a little fancy

But changing the lights isn’t free. In Carl Johann they have taken additional good advice. At least a million, the estimate they give.

– It should be a little fancy. It’s important that it’s done right on such an important street, says Bente Flesvik of Urban Ecosystems.

– For tourists, but also for safety and environment.

The dim option is extra important here, he says.

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Trees can actually get a bad circadian rhythm from too much light, he says. Birds can be annoying. Every year, the city environment agency receives messages about people wanting lights around Østensjøvannet, says Flesvig. But the area is a nature reserve. Light affects both animal and plant life.

In terms of security, Norway’s Environment Agency is in constant contact with the police. The latter can light up a park or road if they report unwanted activity in an area. They now have those opportunities in the city center as well.

New lights can be dimmed, but only to white light, not different colors. Thus, it is suitable for the day and season. Stig Anders Hagen lifted one of the new lamps on Universitätsplassen on Wednesday.

Paintings from the mid-20s

Urban Antiquity A slightly different focus: What’s the oldest picture that can be found?

Bengt Lifos visits Berlin and the city archives to search for old versions of the parade lights.

Towards design, construction, prototypes and 3D models, he says, Oslo’s lighting program has been absolutely central since 1925. Maps from this time are the starting point for new devices. Both dome, mirror and “dolphin’s mouth”.

The process is long, and now the result finally rises into the air on a crane behind them.

Oslo’s needs for new lighting are many. They should reflect both history and region. The expression should be beautiful and practical. You need to get an overview of the street you’re walking on, feel safe, and stay grounded. At the very least, they should use less electricity.

Always on the lookout

But even though the lights are constantly being replaced throughout the city, the “Karl Johannes lamp” isn’t at the top of every street.

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The municipality regularly installs a mix of modern and historic lights. In Stortorvet, for example, the lights are from a different period than in Rådhusplassen. Here, the lighting is by Carl Johann, but the sculptures have new lighting. At Youngstorget, Grev Wedels plas and Kong Olavs gate, the lighting is modern again.

– The goal is to return the lights, they fit the history, but also the buildings, says Lifos from Piandigvaran – always looking for an ancient variation from a given area. Filmwissen is a dear friend.

If we are to believe him, it has been very different over the years.

– You won’t believe everything that is placed in the city center.

The picture shows the center of Oslo and Karl Johans Gate in 1980.

Christmas is ready

The replacement is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year. Perhaps on Lucia Day on December 13, Lifoss suggests. He says that this was the day in 1892 when the street lights came on for the first time in Karl Johan.

If so, the street will be ready with new lights for both the Christmas market and the winter darkness.

That would have been great, Mjøs thinks.

New poles are on his wish list this year.


In the 1980s Carl Johann’s image was used with a Creative Commons License.