24 Beams of Light
This was my first year to Pigeon Point Light Station to watch and photograph the light of the old first order Fresnel lens. It was a fantastic opportunity to capture the beams of light emanate from the 24 prism panels in the lens.
They light was lit at 6pm and for the first five minutes they held the carriage still to keep the lens from rotating. Giving an untold amount of photographers the opportunity to capture 24 beams of light. After the first five minutes the lens rotates beaming a signature flash of light every ten seconds.
In the lantern room the bull’s-eye lens is 100′ above ground to the focal plane of the lens. Also 150′ (about) above sea level to the focal plane of the lens. This height compensates for the curvature of the earth. On a clear night, light has a visual distance of 24 miles from the ocean.It was announced on Saturday that this might be the last lighting of the Pigeon Point Lighthouse Lantern. With further investigation it may be discontinued until the necessary renovations are completed to fix the damaged lighthouse structure.The reason why they may not light the lamp in 2009 is a safety issue and not a cost issue. The Coast Guard engineering studies report the structure may collapse if an earthquake or a very strong wind storm were to batter the lighthouse.
Over the years the sea spray and salt air have slowly decayed the exterior structure. In 2001 part of the west facing caprice fell (cornice on the exterior of the lighthouse fell off). The result was the closure of the Lighthouse Structure to the public.
Donations can be made to restore the Pigeon Point Light Station or to Cal. State Parks Foundation.