Coast Guard, National Park Service complete Cape Lookout Lighthouse modernization

Cape Lookout Lighthouse file photo. (Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nate Littlejohn)

Cape Lookout Lighthouse file photo. (Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nate Littlejohn)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard and National Park Service completed the Cape Lookout Lighthouse solar modernization today.

The modernization process involved removing the previous optic, which was powered by a sub-cable, and replacing it with a solar-powered multi-tier LED optic.

The process was necessary because the previous equipment was nearing the end of its operational life.

“Many modern-day mariners rely on electronic navigational tools like GPS, radar and electronic charts, but it remains prudent to ensure physical, visual aids to navigation such as lighthouses and buoys remain available to assist mariners in safely navigating the coastal waterways of North Carolina,” said Capt. Bion Stewart, commander, Coast Guard Sector North Carolina. “By teaming with our partners at the National Park Service, we were able to upgrade the lighthouse to provide mariners a reliable visual navigation aid in addition to their electronic systems, important weather safety information and broadcast notices to mariners.”

The Coast Guard is working on a plan to move the original light apparatus, a DCB-224 rotating aero-beacon, to the National Parks Service’s Cape Lookout Visitor’s Center, and the spare to the Beaufort Maritime Museum for display purposes.

“We are proud to partner with the United States Coast Guard in the upkeep and modernization of the iconic lighthouse that lights the way for mariners who travel the Crystal Coast,” said Jeff West, acting superintendent, Cape Lookout National Seashore.

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