Today’s topic is about the lamp in the Heceta Head Lighthouse, located in Yachats, Oregon. I have created a fusion hybrid eProduct that I think you will find interesting. Even though I live in Tustin, which is in Orange County California, I travel extensively in the Pacific Northwest and go on a lighthouse pilgrimage every year.
Ancient lighthouses were open fires built on hilltops and placed on platforms so that they could be seen from far away. The platforms led to the development of the lighthouse towers that we know today. Wood pyres or burning coal, led to whale, colza, olive or vegetable oils for fueling the lights.
At the turn of the 18th century, lighthouse development increased due to the growth in transatlantic commerce.
The electric light was used in 1875, with steam-driven magneto, gas illumination, and vaporized oil burners also in use.
French physicist and engineer, Augustin-Jean Fresnel designed the multipart Fresnel lens. With the development of a large aperture and a short focal length (I can related to this concept because we use aperture and focal length in photography), there is less volume and materials required for production. It was thinner than a conventional lens. It also captures more oblique light from a light source, which allows the light to be visible over greater distances. The first Fresnel lens was used in 1823 and the light was seen more than 20 miles out.
The source of light is the lamp (which you will see in the video posted here). The concentration of light is the lens or optic.
Fresnel lenses are ranked in order, based on the focal length and measure of refracting power. First order is the largest, most powerful and expensive with the longest focal length. Sixth order is the smallest of them all. Coastal lighthouses generally use 1st, 2nd, or 3rd order lenses. Harbor lights and beacons use 4th, 5th or 6th order lenses.
Lighthouses are being replaced with new technology like Vega Lights/LEDs that don’t require tower structures. They don’t require maintenance and operate more reliably.
If you have read this far and haven’t fallen asleep, I thank you for your attention. Please email me to receive your
– a digital file of a lighthouse from my collection.
Watch for these upcoming articles:
The Ghost and the Innkeeper
Heceta Head Lighthouse Renovation (Before and After with photos)
United States Lighthouse Society Passport – The Collecting Game
Information resource – Wikipedia