Godrevy Lighthouse is going modern. The winking white dual beam of the 19th-century inspiration for Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse will soon have a more limited range when its powerful light is replaced with 21st-century LEDs.
The 12-nautical-mile range of the light on the 153-year-old structure will decrease by one-third when the cost-cutting move to LED lights is made. Instead of being installed in the top of the lighthouse, the LED lights will be located adjacent to the structure.
The 153-year-old lighthouse is perched on Stones Reef at the northern point of St. Ives Bay, a stony reef that was responsible for a number of shipwrecks — some fatal — before the lighthouse was built in 1858-59.
Its octagonal tower, which rises 86 feet, was originally manned by three light-keepers who lived in an adjoining cottage before the light was automated in 1936. In 1995, the switch was made to solar power, so I am unsure why LEDs will be more cost-effective and efficient.
However, a spokeswoman called the new lights “superior” and said, “The new structure will mean less frequent maintenance visits which will reduce the overheads for providing this aid to navigation.”
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