From open flame burners to high performance gas mantles, there are a variety of modern gas lamps and lighting designs that make them a great addition to homes, towns and cities in the 21st century. We discuss the history behind gas lights and some of the reasons how modern gas lamps have adapted for safer use today.

History of gas lights

The first use of gas lighting was in 1792 when Scottish inventor, William Murdoch, equipped his home with pipes that delivered coal gas to lamps. The coal gas flowed through these pipes in large volumes and produced light a lot more efficiently than candles used for light sources previously. People were thrilled to learn about the new invention of gas lighting, and by the early 1800’s, London and Paris had installed gas street lights along their streets. This changed the nighttime culture and allowed for more nighttime activities to take place. By the early 20th century almost all homes and cities used gas lamps and lighting of some form as their main light source, however the gas lights did prove to be very high maintenance. Due to providing safer, cleaner, brighter and more efficient light, electric lights replaced most gas lighting across the world by the mid 1900s. However, there are still modern gas lights used across the UK to this day for many different purposes.

Why are gas lights still used in the modern day?

Although gas lighting is not the main light source for homes, towns and cities today, there are still many great reasons gas lamps are used in the modern age. In central London around 1500 gas lights are still operating today and can be seen surrounding places including Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and Covent Garden. These gas lamps are still run by lamplighters, however only 5 remain who are employed by British Gas. The lamplighters do not light the gas lamps by hand, but they are there to ensure they are illuminated automatically by a mechanical clock. Many of these gas street lights are still used to help keep the tradition and heritage of the area. For example, some of the original gas lanterns hang in Westminster Abbey and use the same technology to illuminate them. This helps retain the historical appearance of Westminster Abbey to help hold on to its place in history. Not only are gas street lights used today, but gas lights are also used in homes just as often. Using gas lights in homes and gardens can help to create an authentic atmosphere as well as the light emitted producing a warm and comforting glow creating a relaxed ambience. Not only this, but people still use gas lighting in the modern day as they do not rely on electricity for them to work. This means they are more reliable when there are power outages.

Our collection of modern gas lamps and lighting

At William Sugg and Co Ltd. we have a wide collection of gas lights for the modern day. All our gas lights use the latest modern technology while being paired with a traditional design. Whether you are looking for aluminum globes or copper lanterns, we supply styles that are suitable for any setting. Some of our favourites include the 1800’s style Camberwell lantern, the classic Westminster lantern and the copper Victoria Backlamp. Many of our gas lights come in a variety of sizes and finishes to suit your desire as well as a choice between open flame burners or high performance gas mantles. If you want to discuss your gas lighting options, get in touch with our team of lighting experts today!