In October, North Carolina’s Cape Lookout Lighthouse will be that state’s first lighthouse to be powered 100% by solar power and LED lighting. According to the Coast Guard, this is being done because it would cost between $2 and $3 million dollars to replace the five mile underwater electric cable. Since 1963, Cape Lookout has been lighted by two 1000-watt DCB-24 aero-beacons that send a light 24 nautical miles out to sea and have a small solar powered back up LED light. The new lighting will only shine 14 nautical miles out to sea, which the Coast Guard says will be sufficient because most mariners no longer rely on a lighthouse, instead using GPS and ocean buoys.
Sadly, the light in the lantern will no longer rotate, but will simply be a white flash every 15 seconds - and another slice of lighthouse history will be gone forever.
This story appeared in the
Jul/Aug 2017 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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