The venerable Hueneme Light — sailors never call them lighthouses — is pretty hard to pick out in the profusion of lights in the port. It is obscured by an array of sodium vapor lamps, spotlights and such. In fact, the light is easier to see in day time than after dark.
And now, the Coast Guard reports that:
“Port Hueneme Light (LLNR 190/3585) temporary change: The nominal range has been reduced to 10NM pending upgrade to modern optics. For
more details or comments LT Melissa Smith at 510-437-5984 or Melissa.A.Smith@uscg.mil”
I doubt that the improved optics — a modified airport beacon — will do much. We’ll see. In the meantime I regret the loss of the fresnel lens system that worked in lights worldwide for centuries. The lens system was capable of focusing a candle’s light, turning it into a sharpened beam visible for many miles. Next improvement: oil lamps then electric bulbs. Now airport beacons.
The lenses are works of art as well as engineering. Many of them are preserved in museums. The picture below does them little justice. They are beautiful to behold.
More info about the 1897 Hueneme light, including history, visiting hours etc.