Major lighting replacement project completed at La Corbiere Lighthouse

From Port of Jersey,
05 December 2019

Work is now complete on replacing and upgrading the light source at La Corbiere Lighthouse from its conventional incandescent lamp to an improved LED system.


This latest evolution of upgrades has remained sympathetic to the lighthouse’s history and most of the original mechanisms remain in situ. The works form part of a long history of modernising and upgrades since the lighthouse was first built in 1874. These range from the original wick burner oil lamp, introduction of clockwork mechanisms in 1933, conversion to mains electric in 1965 and more recently, making the light fully automatous in 1974.


The works were planned in response to a recent survey of the building, which indicated that the mercury bath system, which assisted in the rotation of the main lantern at the top of the lighthouse, was no longer required and posed an increasing risk of contamination to equipment and a hazard to health. The UK has over 200 lighthouses, which historically used mercury to aid rotation. Nowadays, this has been reduced to less than 20 as part of an ongoing phase out.  


As part of the light replacement project, Ports of Jersey, which is responsible for the maintenance of the lighthouse as part of its public service obligation, engaged a specialist company, Ideal Group Limited, which was brought in and removed several litres of mercury to approved containers, which have been safely stored and will be exported off-island in January 2020 and disposed of through approved processes.  


The new LED lamp has been installed and commissioned by Sealite UK, which are leading providers of Aids to Navigation. Tests have been completed and the red sectors, which warn vessels of hazards, have been replaced. The lighthouse remained fully operational throughout the works programme,


The 10-metre high lighthouse, which was the world’s first concrete-built lighthouse is unmanned and rarely opens to the public. However, it remains one of the Island’s most popular and celebrated attractions and visitors are still permitted to get a closer view of the building by walking along the 500-yard causeway during low tides to get a closer view of the iconic structure.  


Jersey Harbours