The U.S. Coast Guard is considering replacing the light at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse with LED technology. While the National Park Service owns the lighthouse and the surrounding area, the Coast Guard maintains the light. Unlike the powerful marine beacon that the technology would replace, the LED technology would consume 90 percent less electricity and would not need to rotate. Furthermore, the LED-based light would not have moving parts, according to an article in The Virginian-Pilot.
The currently installed light uses a lot more electricity, employs moving parts that can potentially wear out, and needs frequent repair. In fact, twice in the past year, the light went out. Recently, the Cape Lookout beacon further south was replaced with the same LED lighting that the Coast Guard wants to use for Cape Hatteras.
The LED-based light does not seem as bright according to observers at Cape Lookout. However, the LED-based technology is said to produce a higher quality of light that makes it more visible to the human eye.
LED-base Light at Cape Hatteras Lighthouse to Have Same Flash Sequence
The new light at Cape Hatteras Lighthouse will reportedly have the same 7.5-second flash sequence and should be visible 16-20 nautical miles according to Coast Guard electrician James Harper. The new LED-based light from Vega Industries of New Zealand is said to look like a 3-ft tall stack of clear donuts. (apparently the VLB-22 Marine Beacon).
The Coast Guard spokesperson Nate Littlejohn indicated in the article that the Coast Guard will hold public hearings before making the change to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.