There is no other museum in the United States where the public can see and learn more about the lights that have shone from our nation’s lighthouses than the Maine Lighthouse Museum in Rockland, Maine. The Museum’s extensive collection of Fresnel lenses and other guiding beacons however are not just treasures confined to our seafaring past.
Thanks to a generous donation by Carmanah Technologies of Victoria, British Columbia in Canada, the Maine Lighthouse Museum is now able to publicly exhibit the finest in cutting-edge aids to navigation technology.
Carmanah Technologies has donated one of their light emitting diode (LED) beacons to the Museum for educational purposes so that visitors can learn more about the ever-evolving aids to navigation that continue to help safeguard professional mariners and recreational boaters alike from the dangers of the sea.
The British Columbia firm’s LED beacons, which are showing up on buoys and light towers the world over, are uniquely designed so that the LED optic and all of its components (solar panels, batteries and photocell) are contained within one self-contained unit.
“The friendly flash of a light on a buoy or inside a lighthouse might appear the same year after year from a distance, but a closer look at these shining lights of the sea reveals how their guiding powers are dynamic in nature and always keeping pace with the latest in technologies,” said Bob Trapani, Jr., director of the Maine Lighthouse Museum. “We are extremely grateful that Carmanah Technologies has donated one of their LED beacons to the Museum. This beacon is a ‘small wonder” that has not failed to spawn intrigue with visitors who see it on exhibit.”
Trapani went on to note, “The founder of our Museum – the late Ken Black, collected all kinds of navigational lights from Fresnel lenses to buoy lenses over a period of thirty years. He believed in educating the public on the lifesaving power of guiding lights past and present, and therefore I am sure he would have been equally as delighted to add one of Carmanah Technologies’ LED beacons to the Museum’s shining ‘sea of lights’ that he brought together.”
This particular LED beacon donated by Carmanah Technologies to the Maine Lighthouse Museum shines a red light once every second, which beckons visitors to come near and learn more about the flashing unit.
The newest exhibit to the Museum informs visitors that the LED beacon is unlike anything they’ve seen before from incandescent light sources. The Carmanah LED does not require traditional lamps to be changed as the light emitting diodes will remain shining faithfully for an amazing 100,000 hours or eleven years before needing replacement.
The United States Coast Guard is presently deploying LED beacons on smaller aids to navigation throughout America’s waters, including an array of LED units manufactured by Carmanah Technologies, in an ongoing effort to maintain a navigationally efficient and cost effective lighted aids to navigation system.
The Maine Lighthouse Museum, located at One Park Drive in Rockland, is open Monday – Friday 9am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm. To learn more about the Maine Lighthouse Museum, visit www.mainelighthousemuseum.com or call (207) 594-3301.