Following eight months of upgrading work and despite being hit by storms, Buchan Ness lighthouse is once again ready to shine bright for mariners from early April.
In June last year, the Northern Lighthouse Board issued a Notice to Mariners advising that it was establishing a temporary light at Buchan Ness with a reduced range of 12 miles.
Work got underway in July and the contractors and engineers have been on site making the alterations.
Various factors led to the decision to make the alterations to the light. The Northern Lighthouse Board along with the other General Lighthouse Authorities for the United Kingdom and Ireland carry out a five yearly review and consultation of the Aid to Navigation requirements for our waters, the most recent review having been carried out in 2010.
During this review it was considered that the light at Buchan Ness, which had a range of 28 nautical miles, could be reduced to a range of 18 nautical miles.
The recent works have included the original machine case and lens carriage being retained, however the lens bulleyes, which were installed in the 1970s, have been removed.
The lens bulleyes originally came from Out Skerries lighthouse in Shetland, therefore were not original to the Buchan Ness site.
This type of system used 3.5kw lamps, which are now difficult to obtain. This has been replaced by two LED lanterns, as a flashing light rather than a rotating light and the new system will consume an average 80w, which will make a significant saving.
The LED lights will provide the 18 mile light, and will be seen as a whiter light and will require less maintenance.