South Shields Daily Photo

A collection of images from South Shields and the North of England

Souter Lighthouse, the lamps

with 8 comments

lamps inside Souter lighthouse, South Shields

Bright ideas

These are the two lamps which illuminate Souter Lighthouse at Whitburn, near South Shields. A white lamp and a red lamp of 4.5 million candle power. The lighthouse was the first in the world to operate using electricity. The glass prisms which focus and direct the light out to sea weigh over four tons, yet the whole turntable can be pushed around using one finger as it floats on one and a half tons of mercury. (I tried it, so I know it works!)

Camera details; Pentax K100D, lens 30mm, 1/30 second, f8, iso 200, np flash.



Written by curly

September 11, 2007 at 12:01 am

8 Responses

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  1. What a fantastic image! This is stunning. In the thumbnail, I thought it could be a couple of boats on their sides, or a sculpture of whalebones, but no!!

    Meg in Nelson

    September 11, 2007 at 2:10 am

  2. wow. the first in the world to be powered by electricity.
    4.5 million candle lights must be very very bright!


    September 11, 2007 at 3:13 am

  3. Oh, wow! Did you feel insignificant at first, next to the huge lamps, then all-powerful when you moved the turntable?


    September 11, 2007 at 8:30 am

  4. Great photo, crisp and innovative by its angle !


    September 11, 2007 at 2:48 pm

  5. Gee, that’s quite a heavy and powerful stuff to be floating on liquid. You said it was the first to use electricity? That makes this lighthouse quite an important place then. By the way, the way you caught those circles in the spotlights makes it look like some sort of artwork on a first glimpse. I like the calmness in the picture below and the combination with the green color. Now I now what you meant about saltiness and smell 🙂

    Carlos Lorenzo

    September 11, 2007 at 11:47 pm

  6. I’m glad nobody turned it on while you were looking at it!


    September 21, 2007 at 5:22 pm

  7. C’est joliiiii


    August 29, 2008 at 2:24 pm

  8. This is a MIRACLE….a suspension of the laws of physics. Four and a half tons of optics floating on one and a half tons of mercury??? I don’t think so! That is IMPOSSIBLE. A FLOATING body (ANY floating body) displaces its own weight of liquid (ANY liquid),,,,so it is IMPOSSIBLE to float four and a half tons of ANYTHING on one and a half tons of ANY LIQUID.

    Tom Kirby

    March 15, 2009 at 9:58 am

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