Flamborough Head lighthouse has had its traditional bulb replaced with a more eco-friendly one (Picture: Getty)
Plans to replace traditional lighthouse bulbs with more eco-friendly versions have been criticised as being ‘harder to see’ which could lead to shipwrecks.
More than 1,000 people near Flamborough Head lighthouse on the east Yorkshire coast are protesting plans to modernise the lighthouse, which was built in 1806.
Traditionally lighthouses use 1,000-1,500-watt tungsten bulbs, magnified by a Fresnel lens.
But Trinity House, which runs the lighthouse, wants to replace the full beams with 200-watt LED bulbs, which flash intermittently instead of rotating to improve its eco credentials.
They insist the bulky traditional bulb and lens, which needs to sit in a bath of mercury to spin, is a health and safety hazard even though lighthouses are now automated.
Flamborough Head is an 87ft tall white tower, loved as a local landmark and for its beam which used to light up the surrounding countryside.
More than 1,000 people have signed a petition calling for the old light to be put back in the lighthouse. It’s currently on display at the base of the tower.
Residents say the new LED lighting system is ‘like a bloke waving a torch’ and cannot be seen at all in foggy weather.
Trinity House admitted the new optic has cut the visible range of the light from 24 nautical miles to 18 – and many fear the weaker beams will cost lives.
The lighthouse has stood since 1806 (Picture: Richard Sowersby/REX/Shutterstock)
North East fishing leader Stan Rennie said: ‘It is absolutely ridiculous just having just a flashing LED light.
‘There are all sorts of white lights on the shore any way – particularly in built up areas.
‘It was bad enough when they turned some of the foghorns off on some of the lighthouses.
‘I cannot believe they are getting rid of the sweeping beams too. It will make things even worse.’
Yvonne Sunderland, one of 1,155 people who signed the petition, said: ‘There has been a significant reduction in visibility for this lighthouse to be seen.
‘This could make all the difference to the safety of boats at sea. if it was needed in the past, it is needed even more now.
‘The light should be restored before lives are lost.’
Flamborough local Chris Traves added: ‘The sweeping light was more beneficial to seafarers. It was lit longer and could be seen further out to sea.
‘Flamborough Head is a dangerous area, needing as much protection for shipping as possible.’
Kim Tomlinson, from nearby Bridlington, added: ‘A reduction from 24 nautical miles to 18 is a danger to mariners.’
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Local RNLI Coxswain Steve Emmerson said: ‘We’ve lost part of our heritage. The worst thing about it is that it’s not a rotating …read more