The Coast Guard lit a first of its kind LED-based rotating beacon at Oak Island Lighthouse on Caswell Beach, N.C., Monday.
This upgrade is the Coast Guard’s first LED-based rotating beacon for an active aid to navigation and will provide a permanent, cost-effective, and energy-efficient solution for the lighthouse. Necessary renovations of the lighthouse to prepare for the new beacon began in October.
“Lighthouses have navigational and historic significance here in North Carolina,” said Lt. Brittany Akers, chief of waterways management at Coast Guard Sector North Carolina. “The Oak Island Lighthouse is especially notable as it marks the entrance to the Cape Fear River. The modernization of the light will ensure its continued reliable service to the mariner in a cost-effective way that respects the historical significance of the lighthouse.”
The Oak Island Lighthouse was completed in 1958 on property that has been in use as a Coast Guard station since the 1930s. In 2004, the lighthouse was deeded to the Town of Caswell Beach, who maintains the property. However, the Coast Guard continues upkeep of lighthouse since serves as an active aid to navigation for the Frying Pan Shoal area.
The lighthouse is currently not open for public tours due to COVID-19 mitigation measures.