High Mast Lighting

5 Simple Steps To Successful High Mast Lighting

High mast lighting is one of the most efficient methods of lighting large areas; however, the right project process is needed for success.

Following years of continuous development, investment, and innovation many say (very kindly) that we are the world leaders in high masts. 
It’s true. Our team has designed and manufactured high mast lighting for clients across the globe for over 50 years, and our experience is unequalled in the number of high masts we have produced and installed in various applications from highways and sports to airports and ports. 
Drawing upon our years of experience, we have compiled a simple 5-step process to structure your high mast installation.
1.Understanding the scheme
As a first step, an audit of the site is needed to understand the requirements and assess the risks. Our team is on hand to help. We can then design the foundations and electrical supply, considering ground bearing pressure, terrain category, surface conditions, and environmental factors.  We also offer a full lighting design package.
2. Selecting the right equipment
High masts range from 18-60m in height. We offer ease of maintenance through a simple and effective winching system, which allows the lighting ring to be lowered to ground level for lantern maintenance. We can also offer a full high mast lighting design package to suit our clients' requirements. Rest assured we’ll help you find the right solution for your project.
3. Installation
Be sure to select a NICEIC, and HERS Approved Contractor.

Our qualified and competent in-house team has many years of experience in the specialist skills required for high mast installation.

We can complete the entire job or the specific steps you need assistance in. 

We also offer a global service where we can provide skilled personnel to supervise (and train) local operatives undertaking high mast installation and commissioning.
4. Commissioning
Once complete, you need to make sure that the lighting levels achieve the lux levels predicted within the lighting design. Our team can help.
5. Maintenance
High masts are substantial capital equipment items typically designed to last 25 years, but their normal design life can be extended with the correct maintenance schedule. 

The CU Phosco Team takes a proactive approach - we recommend regular checks of the high masts' structural integrity, including the mast shafts, lantern carriages, winches, wire ropes, and foundations, to confirm that they will be safe and operational for extended use.


CU Phosco® Lighting can help at every step of the way and offers customers who require it a complete turnkey package. Contact us for more information or view our Floodlight and Mast options below.

Recommended products 
High Masts
Stadium Mast
FL810 Area
FL810 Sports




How to Light Bridges

Lighting Bridges

If you are about to embark on a bridge lighting project and you're not quite sure where to start, you’ve landed in the right place. 

There are many objectives for a bridge lighting scheme. However, the primary goal, as with any good lighting design - is to achieve good, uniform lighting that meets road safety and regulatory guidelines without any negative impact on residents and wildlife. 

We quizzed our expert design team to provide answers to some of the key questions asked on the subject of “how to light bridges”, their thoughts, along with real-world examples, are below:
How can I increase safety and reduce maintenance? 
Bridges can be busy and dangerous places. Choosing a light source with limited maintenance requirements and combining it with a good CMS can reduce downtime, disturbances, increase safety, and cut maintenance costs. 

For inspiration - take a look at how our Barton Bridge luminaire and CMS project helped Highways England > Barton Bridge
How can I reduce complexity? 
Working with a single supplier for luminaires, columns, and controls can help relieve some of the complexity of a project. This was the case for Mott McDonald when we worked on the Dartford Crossing scheme, full case study here > QE2 Dartford Crossing
How can I update for efficiency but hold tight to heritage and history? 
When it comes to selecting a luminaire for bridge lighting, you need to consider mechanical strength, vibration, and corrosion resistance.
Updating to newer technology doesn't have to mean wiping the history and heritage of an area. Choosing a lantern with the right aesthetics for the bridge's location with the latest advances in technology, could be a more sympathetic way forward, which is precisely what we did for our client, The Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust, when lighting one of Bristol's most recognisable structures. Click here to read the case study > Clifton Suspension Bridge
Lastly, don't forget the support Columns. 
Although many projects will be under the constraints of using existing columns on new projects, you should consider the height to deck level above the water, as the base of the column is considered to be in an elevated position, as well as the overall height of the column itself. (This is in addition to the local site altitude above sea level).

Question: is the bridge in an exposed area regarding the local terrain? If so, you should use terrain category one, the same as coastal areas.

Often, even with new columns, road authorities will want to re-use existing foundation studs, these need to be surveyed for fixing centres and size of stud. Is there a limit on the thickness of the flange plate relative to the existing stud projection above the foundation?

We hope these pointers have helped get you started, if you would like to discuss your bridge lighting project further, then please contact the team here > 


In Built Vibration Monitoring System

Innovative major scheme for Highways England, Area 10 

Crown Highways has recently delivered an innovative major Lighting scheme Highways England in Area 10, with the installation of 22 new lighting columns which incorporate an innovative CU Phosco vibration monitoring system built in the column. The scheme is located on the M62 Rakewood Viaduct between junctions 21 and 22. 

This, amidst a number of challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.

This lighting scheme was very high profile for Highways England as the lighting at this location had been subjected to previous media coverage. The location has experienced two instances where columns have been cut down under emergency situations due to them physically snapping off and falling into the carriageway.

The first instance was central reservation columns experiencing such high gusts of wind and funnelling effects the columns were snapping off. The second instance, the weather was heavy winds, with both snow and sleet. Video footage at the time showed verge lighting columns oscillating rapidly and then snapping off approximately 6 to 8 meters above ground and falling onto the verge.

Therefore, the scheme was used as a flagship for a vibration monitoring system designed by CU Phosco which monitors the movement and vibration of the column. This innovative technology can now detect the characteristics of a column and records their performance data for future analysis which reduces the possibility of further incidents occurring on this stretch of road.

The history of the previously problematic location showcases why this scheme has been so high profile and been subjected to extensive design parameters for the column design and approval.

The new columns have been subjected to a lengthy process of design to achieve Approval in Principle (AIP) and CAT 1 standards and check certification. This AIP process takes into consideration a plethora of data to ensure the column are safe for use on the Highways England network.

CU Phosco Lighting carried out wind flow analysis based on the site topography looking at the impact of the altitude and topography on the design wind speed to be used for the lighting columns. They also completed vibration analysis on the lighting columns to establish the susceptibility to wind-induced vibration; structural design conditions that are not specifically covered by the British Standard for lighting columns, BS EN 40.

CU Phosco highlighted that the original columns were likely to have been susceptible to wind-induced vibration which probably lead to resonant vibration causing the early failure by fatigue within the timescales seen on site. CU Phosco designed and supplied a bespoke lighting column using their fatigue-resistant Tapered Tubular column solution that minimised the susceptibility to the wind-induced, resonant vibration. they provided further mitigation against vibration through the design and supply of a bespoke structural damping solution that absorbs the energy built up within the lighting column that causes resonance.

Within the scheme, there were two new feeder pillars installed, 8000m of new electrical cable and 4000m of ducting laid (also giving capacity for any future schemes in the region).
Collaboration is key 
The complex project was managed by the Crown Highways Lighting Framework Manager Mark Robinson he ensured the scheme was delivered collaboratively using the wider Crown Highways, Highways England, Amey Consulting and CU Phosco. Collaborative working between all these partners has enabled this scheme to be installed ahead of schedule and to a high standard.

Whilst the scheme was in progress we collaborated further to facilitate some additional scheme work in and
around M62 J21-22, these included:
  • Lining works repairs/replacements – Highways England Area 10
  • Bridge joint repairs and essential maintenance – Highways England Area 10
  • Fencing works – Amey Consulting
  • Facilitate drainage repairs – Amey Consulting
  • Replacement of roadside technology cables following CDR reports – Crown Highways
  • Installation of a new CMS lighting system – Crown Highways / CU Phosco / Signify
Delivery ahead of schedule
Due to the lead times for the new columns and with the added difficulties of getting the AIP signed off, the program was always going to be challenging. Add to this the unexpected COVID 19 difficulties the team on-site worked together to ensure the scheme was completed ahead of schedule and before year-end.

Mark Jones, Project Manager, Highways England commented:

“We are very happy with the delivery, support, collaboration and communication of the teams throughout this entire scheme.”

Mike Dale, Crown Highways Managing Director said:

“This was a great project to be involved in and it's always great to see new technology added to our network. The teams within Area 10 have really pulled together to ensure this project was delivered safely and on time. Given the recent constraints and safe operating procedures around COVID-19 we should all be proud to have a delivered an essential scheme in the region.”

David Lodge, Technical Director at CU Phosco Lighting said:

“It was great to work with Crown Highways who planned, coordinated and installed the columns on this project for Highways England delivering these market-leading innovative solution on time and to budget.”

If you would like to find out more about our vibration monitoring system or would like to discuss your lighting project further, then please contact the team here > 


Retrofitting LED Luminaires

Retrofitting LEDs has become widespread over the years, but how clear are you on what design checks are required? Take a look at Guidance Note 6 from the Institution of Lighting Professionals, co-produced with our technical director David Lodge, for a better understanding.

Click here to access > https://bit.ly/3iJm6Ep 

Want to learn more about Maintenance Factors?

Want to learn more about Maintenance Factors and how to use them? This free download from the Institution of Lighting Professionals, co-produced with our technical director David Lodge, helps explain how to determine maintenance factors and their impact on the performance and overall efficiency of LED luminaires.

Click here to access > https://bit.ly/3f1Z6hP

Safety of LED Luminaires - Blue Light Exposure

Comparison of Blue Light content in LED Luminaires Versus Moonlight and Sunlight

Residents and general public are noticing the change in lighting technology as we move from orange sodium based lighting to white LED lights. The public have raised questions about the relative safety of this technology particularly due to uncontrolled information on the web which is not scientifically rigorous in its approach. This summary provides some clarity based on the scientific data for the safety of LED Luminaires.


Figure 1 below shows the spectral distribution for sunlight. White light we see is made up of a mixture of light wavelength across the rainbow. It also includes spectra outside the visible spectrum including both infra-red (heat) and ultraviolet light which is responsible for tanning skin and when exposed for too long, to an increased risk of cancer.

The mixing of the red, green and blue light creates the impression of white light in the eye.

It is also worth noting that the colour temperature of sunlight (indicating how blue it is) is close to 6500 Kelvin. Note that the higher the colour temperature the bluer the light is and the lower the colour temperature the redder the light is.

Figure 1 Sunlight – Spectral Distribution


Figure 2 shows the spectral distribution for moonlight. This is the baseline distribution for human vision at night. This light has been reflected off the moon back to the earth and so there is some absorption of wavelengths in the ultraviolet spectrum, below 380nm, resulting in significantly less of the light that can lead to damage.

It is also clear that the spectrum needs to consist of similar amounts of red, green and blue light to make the white moonlight.

The colour temperature of Moonlight is 4500K meaning it is less blue than sunlight reflecting the absorption of light in these wavelength by the surface of the moon.

Figure 2 Moonlight – Spectral Distribution

Figure 3 shows the spectral distribution of the LED light involved in the project at Dover. As you can see the peak of the blue light (on the green curve representing our LED) is level with the peak around the red wavelengths of 590nm.

As you can see, the spectral distribution cuts out all of the UV spectrum and the LEDs have less blue light than moonlight because we have reduced the blue light content between 400 and 425nm and between 460 and 525nm. By doing so we are significantly reduced the amount of blue light relative to both moonlight and sunlight, however the mixing of the red, green and blue wavelengths are sufficient to still create a good quality white light.

Figure 3 – LED Light – Spectral Distribution



Although, very few people would argue that exposure to visible spectrum (red through to blue) light is damaging to our health, we know that too much exposure to ultraviolet light does carry a health risk. Let’s look at the cause of the risk from ultraviolet light.
Ultraviolet light is split into three bands, UVA, UVB and UVC.

UVC is furthest from blue light on the electromagnetic spectrum and is the most harmful meaning high energy, light. Fortunately, UVC is completely absorbed by our atmosphere and doesn’t reach our skin to cause us any harm.

UVA light has enough energy to contribute to skin aging but is not high enough energy to cause skin burning that is caused by the higher energy UVB wavelengths.

On a scale of potential harm, UVB is a moderate risk, UVA is a low risk. Blue light from the sun has a very low risk of causing any damage to health and is not recognised as an important factor in causing skin cancer.

However, all UV light has been removed from the LED light spectrum and so we can deduce that the impact on health from the LED light spectrum is consequently very low for equivalent light levels. Which raises our final consideration: how do the light levels from LED lighting compare to sunlight and moonlight levels.


It is difficult to say absolutely what is the quantity of blue light that could affect our health as the impacts are very small meaning very high levels of blue light exposure would be required. Its probably easier to look at the relative levels of light to illustrate the relative impacts of sunlight, moonlight and LED light to give us a feel for the exposure levels versus a common sense position on safe exposure levels.

From the above figures and discussion, it’s clear that all white light we are considering includes a mix of red, green and blue light. We can also see that the proportion of blue light in the LED is much lower than both sunlight and moonlight and that there is none of the more harmful ultraviolet light in the LED light meaning that this is less harmful than sunlight or moonlight at the same light level.

So the question is how much blue light are we exposed to from LED luminaires.

A good measure it to look at how much light (illuminance) we measure as hitting the ground from the three sources. The measure of illuminance is expressed in lux which is a linear scale:


Light Level


Moonlight  < 1 lux  On the ground on a clear night
LED Light 5 lux  On the ground on a clear night at the edge of a lit area
Sunlight  110,000 lux  On the ground on a clear day

It is clear that the light levels that we are exposed to as a result of moonlight are very low, which is intuitively correct. However, the light levels we are exposed to from LED lighting is not significantly higher, being 5 times higher than moonlight at the edges of a lit area. By contrast, the exposure levels from sunlight are 22,000 times higher than from LED luminaires.

Given the ultraviolet light has been eliminated from LED lighting we can deduce that the actual health risks from LED light are even lower this comparison would indicate.


The light level reduces with distance from the LED luminaire by a ratio of the distance squared. For a scheme which is typically lit to 100m from the lighting column or mast, we can show that the light levels for a person stood 150m relative to 100m from the light source are 2.25 times lower. This means the levels at 500m from the lighting mast are half a million times lower or 0.000 002 times the levels in sunlight.


The final evidence is the effects of long term use of other white light sources, such as mercury vapour lamps which were introduced in early 1900s. There have been no health concerns raised with the long term use of these products despite these lamps having a more blue light content and an some ultraviolet light. The evidence suggests that LED luminaires would have relatively less impact on health that these other white light sources due to reduced blue and ultraviolet levels indicating that there is no measurable risk to human health over the long term.


Lighting technology improvements show that LED lighting is both safe and effective having significant safety benefits to those working in the lit area when compared to sodium based light sources.

Similar white light technology (using mercury vapour light) was first introduced in Europe in the early 1900s and no adverse health effects have been recorded from this technology despite the levels of UV being significantly higher than from LED lights we use today.

The refined wavelengths of light from LED luminaires compared with sunlight make LED sources far safer than sunlight. The light levels that we are exposed to at the edge of a lit area are at least 22,000 times less than those we experience from sunlight.

The impact of distance from a lighting installation further reduces the impact. At only 50m distance from the edge of a lit area are less than half those at the edge of the lit area, and at by 500m away from the LED light, the light levels produced are around 500,000 times less than produced by sunlight.

CU Phosco Lighting are a responsible company with high standards of social and environmental responsibility and we only offer products onto the market that are of the highest quality and design. We make every effort to ensure that our products are completely safe both for our customers, there staff and the general public.

David Lodge CEng MICE MIEAust CPEng – Technical Director