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.”
Read more on Woolf, Godrevy and St. Ives:
- Woolf sightings: When Virginia went to the lighthouse
- Notable Woolf places in the news
- St. Ives a place for lovers
- Seeing St. Ives and London in Woolf’s time
- Spring break on the beach at St. Ives