History of Lighthouse Lamps
In the marine sector, lighthouses have been around for over 300 years. The structures serve very important purposes, often notifying ships about their positions during hazy or nighttime conditions.
Over time, like most structures and equipment today, lighthouses received upgrades to their illuminative components. Furthermore, cutting-edge navigational devices, such as GPS and mobile maps, have allowed ship operators to decrease their reliance on the large lamps.
Today, lighthouses are being updated with new lighting technologies. Below covers the evolution of the colossal structures.
Wood, Coal and Vegetable Oil
Initially, lighthouses applied very old methods for illumination. During the 1700s, open fires that burned wood and coal in an iron basket were used. This was extremely inefficient and operators did not have a viable way to control the light from the fires. Pan and fountain lamps eventually replaced wood and coal-based fires. The luminaries consumed oil for fuel and were easier to manage over long periods of operation.
Kerosene burners were introduced to lighthouses in the 1800s. The burners were considered to be safe and sturdy, capable of withstanding the corrosive nature of the ocean. Eventually, electric lamps (in the form of 1,000-watt metal halide and 1,000-watt halogen lights) phased out oil-based luminaries in the 1900s.
Solar Lighthouse Lamps
As mentioned earlier, new lighting technologies and navigational systems have made such structures, and the workers that maintain them, obsolete. Modern lighthouses now offer safety services, in addition to providing illuminative guidance in open waters. For lighting, the structures incorporate solar-powered assemblies and LEDs. This option is ideal for the buildings, since they are far-flung and often do not have access to mainstream power.
Lastly, instead of a continuous beam of light, a giant flashing strobe light is used for notification. The structures are still maintained today, mostly by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) for lighthouses in the US.