New light source in heritage lens for Split Point Lighthouse
The new light source will be a modern LED (light emitting diode) to replace the current incandescent lamp at the lighthouse which is located in Airey’s Inlet.
Incandescent lamps have been used in lighthouses across the country for many decades, but they are being progressively phased out and replaced by LED lights. LED lights are proven to be more cost effective and reliable.
The LED design that will be installed at Split Point is derived from research and field trials undertaken by the Joint Lighthouses Authorities’ Research and Radionavigation facility in the United Kingdom. The LED light is commercially produced by Sealite Pty Ltd, a Victorianowned company headquartered in Somerville on the Mornington Peninsula. The installation will be undertaken by AMSA’s aids to navigation maintenance contractor Australian Maritime Systems Ltd.
A similar LED light has recently been installed at Cape Byron, New South Wales, the only difference being the light at Cape Byron has a rotating lens with the light continually illuminated creating a flashing light where the Split Point light uses a fixed drum lens and flashing LED to create the light character.
When the changeover occurs later this month, maintenance crews will remain on site when the lantern is lit to ensure it operates effectively.
The use of the LED light will reduce maintenance needs at the lighthouse due to increased longevity and reliability; make the light more visible closer to shore, while ensuring an improved aid to navigation for mariners is provided. However, the history of the light will not be forgotten, with the original heritage lens being kept operational.
The Split Point Lighthouse was originally known as the Eagles Nest Lighthouse and has been lighting the dark coastline around Aireys Inlet, located between Cape Otway lighthouse and Point Lonsdale at the entrance to Port Phillip Bay, since September 1891.
The lighthouse is famous as the setting for the popular children’s television show Round the Twist, which first screened in 1989 and sparked an enduring public fascination with Australian lighthouses.