St Mary’s Lighthouse is located on a very small island just off the coast of Whitley Bay in the north east of England.

Although it is connected to the mainland by a concrete causeway, the island, also known as Bait Island, becomes inaccessible during high tide. In the 11th century, it was inhabited by a monastic chapel and the monks who resided there used a lantern to warn ships of the danger of the surrounding rocky waters.

The existing lighthouse was built in 1898 alongside a row of keeper’s cottages. Its purpose remained the same as centuries earlier – to warn passing ships. Instead of a lantern, a paraffin-powered rotating optic was installed and eventually electrified in 1977 when the lamp was replaced by a revolving sealed beam lamp.

Seven years’ later, the lighthouse was decommissioned, later being reopened as a visitor attraction. Today, the Grade II listed building is open to tourists who visit the island’s museum, café and visitor centre.

Instead of shining light from the lighthouse, this new installation means luminaires shine light on the lighthouse, making it standout to observers for very different reasons. Park Lighting Design created the scheme for North Tyneside Council and the project’s key considerations were wiring and luminaire aesthetics. The lighting objectives were to achieve suitable luminance and colour control to create a dynamic colour effect without over-lighting the lighthouse.

acdc’s FUSION 24 floodlight was chosen for this scheme because of its colour lit effect, optics and quick turnaround for delivery and installation. After an initial design render was generated and the decision made to use seven FUSION floodlights around the perimeter of the lighthouse, the team had two weeks to get the products fitted. This was so that the lighting would be ready in time for the Holocaust memorial event in January which saw the structure illuminated in purple.


The team at Park Lighting Design explained that the most challenging aspect of the project was the shape of the lighthouse, but that all their objectives were met and the final result was exactly as had been demonstrated by 3D renders, adding ‘acdc performed really well considering the tight schedule with production and delivery of the floodlights – both were met with no problems’.

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