Double Island Point Light, Rainbow Beach, Queensland, Australia, October 2006
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Neil Pierce
A Month of Lighthouse News:
- July 24. Taiwan has reactivated the historic Wuchiu Lighthouse on one of the contested Kinmen (Quemoy) islands off the mainland coast.
- July 24. The Government Island shore station of the Minots Ledge Lighthouse in Massachusetts is being spruced up with new signage, and the oil house may be restored.
- July 24. Replacing an old one-lane bridge will provide access to the East Cape Lighthouse in New Zealand.
- July 23. The community celebrates the transfer to local ownership of the Cape George Lighthouse in Antigonish County, Nova Scotia.
- July 23. A community barbecue August 1 will benefit the Fairport Harbor Lighthouse in Ohio.
- July 23. A "paddlethon" August 13 will benefit restoration of the Nottawasaga Lighthouse in Collingwood, Ontario.
- July 22. Police in Port Washington, Wisconsin, arrest three teens for graffiti at the Port Washington Breakwater Lighthouse.
- July 22. The Beavertail Lighthouse in Rhode Island has launched a GoFundMe campaign to match a challenge gift of $500,000 pledged to its endowment fund.
- July 22. Actors from the Erie Playhouse offer guided history tours of the Erie Land Lighthouse in Pennsylvania.
- July 22. A "Rum Runner's Ball" on Saturday, July 15, raises $2500 for the Presqu'île Point Lighthouse near Brighton, Ontario.
- July 21. A Tiverton, Nova Scotia, resident plans to walk 35 miles to raise funds for a keepers memorial at the Boars Head Lighthouse.
- July 21. Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream will be performed outdoors July 25-29 at the Dunkirk Lighthouse in upstate New York.
- July 20. Lightning strike knocks out power to the New London Ledge Lighthouse in Connecticut.
- July 20. The restored South Haven Lighthouse in Michigan has been dedicated, completing a $300,000 community-funded restoration project.
- July 19. England's historic Happisburgh Lighthouse will open every Sunday through the end of summer; funds are being raised for a repainting in 2018.
- July 19. The Craighill Channel Lower Range Front Lighthouse near Baltimore, Maryland, has gone on auction sale after being abandoned by its owners.
- July 18. In Kingston, New York, the Hudson River Maritime Museum is seeking volunteer tour guides for the Rondout Lighthouse.
- July 18. The Marblehead Lighthouse in Ohio needs vendors for its 22nd annual festival, scheduled for October 14.
- July 17. A $400,000 project has renovated the keeper's house of the Point Prim Lighthouse in Prince Edward Island as a visitor center and museum.
- July 16. The Cap-des-Rosiers Lighthouse in Québec, Canada's tallest, reopens after emergency repairs but remains in poor condition.
- July 16. Restoration work continues at the keeper's house of the Wood Island Lighthouse in Maine; the building may open for tours later in the summer.
- July 15. With new tour management, the famous South Stack Lighthouse in Wales has reopened to visitors.
- July 15. The Michigan Lighthouse Service is seeking ownership of the Poverty Island Lighthouse in Lake Michigan in order to save and restore the endangered buildings.
- July 15. Preservation group closes on its purchase of the North Manitou Shoal Lighthouse in Lake Michigan; restoration work is beginning.
- July 15. The annual Labor Day music festival at the Huntington Harbor Lighthouse in New York has been cancelled due to ongoing restoration work.
- July 15. At the Little Ross Lighthouse in Scotland, the keeper's house and the 29 acre lighthouse island are for sale for £325,000.
- July 14. The Port of Hamilton, Ontario, is proposing to develop a maritime museum and interpretive center at a restored Burlington Main (Beach Canal) Lighthouse.
- July 14. Fifth annual Blue Water SandFest festival raises funds for the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse in Port Huron, Michigan.
- July 13. A new replica of the Church Point Lighthouse in Nova Scotia is now open to visitors on weekdays. (The original was destroyed by a storm in 2014.)
- July 13. The privately-owned Port Sanilac Lighthouse in Michigan is open to visitors every Friday through the end of August.
- July 13. The State Park Commission approves a 20 year plan for the Pigeon Point Lighthouse in California.
- July 12. Local craftsman restores the rotating mechanism of the 4th order lens displayed at the Admiralty Head Lighthouse in Washington.
- July 11. Renovations are scheduled for the Cochin Lighthouse, one of only two lighthouses in Saskatchewan.
- July 11. Lack of clear public access stymies efforts to restore the Terence Bay Lighthouse in Nova Scotia.
- July 10. The National Park Service awards a $105,000 Maritime Heritage Grant to the Southeast Block Island Lighthouse in Rhode Island.
- July 10. Lighthouse Festival at Maumee Bay State Park raises funds for restoration of the Toledo Harbor Lighthouse in Ohio.
- July 10. An art auction set for Wednesday, July 12, benefits the Burnt Island Lighthouse in Maine.
- July 8. A major restoration project is underway at the Anholt Lighthouse in Denmark; work should be finished in October.
- July 7. Union members are donating their time to repaint the iconic Peggy's Cove Lighthouse in Nova Scotia.
- July 7. Council in Castine, Maine, votes to extend the lease of the Dyce Head Lighthouse keeper's house as a private residence.
- July 6. Restoration of the Menominee North Pier Lighthouse in Upper Michigan is nearly complete, and public tours are expected to begin in August.
- July 5. Neighbors organize to fight possible privatization of the Cabo de Palos Lighthouse in Murcia, Spain.
- July 5. The auction sale of the Minneapolis Shoal Lighthouse off Upper Michigan is in its fourth month, but there are still no bids.
- July 4. Preservation group offers the Execution Rocks Lighthouse in New York for sale, unrestored, for an eye-opening $2.5 million.
- July 4. The historic Benghazi Lighthouse in Libya has been reported damaged in fighting between government troops and militants.
- July 4. Artist-in-residence paints a mural around the base of the Kenosha North Pier Lighthouse in Wisconsin.
- July 3. The Cape May Lighthouse was temporarily closed due to the state government shutdown in New Jersey. (New Jersey state parks have now reopened.)
- July 1. The Sand Point Lighthouse in Escanaba, Michigan, will celebrate its 150th anniversary with a celebration on July 3.
- July 1. A concert July 19 will raise endowment funds for the Lorain Harbor Lighthouse in Ohio.
- June 30. The Northern Lighthouse Board advertises a major restoration project to be carried out this fall at the Neist Point Lighthouse on the Isle of Skye, Scotland.
- June 30. Restoration of the Port Isabel Lighthouse in Texas should be finished in August (six months behind the original schedule).
- June 29. The Coast Guard finishes a project to repaint and refurbish the Manitowaning Lighthouse in Manitoulin Island, Ontario.
- June 28. As Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary on July 1, the East Point Lighthouse in Prince Edward Island does the same.
- June 27. Historic markers will be dedicated Friday, June 30, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Lorain Harbor Lighthouse in Ohio.
- June 26. The first-ever Prince Edward Island Lobster Festival is held on the grounds of the Souris East Lighthouse.
- June 26. Volunteers are needed to guide visitors at the Point Bonita Lighthouse in California.
Goulphar Light (Grand Phare de Belle-Île), Bangor, Morbihan, France, July 2014
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Franck-fnba
About this site
Founded in 1999 (during the relocation of North Carolina's
Cape Hatteras lighthouse), the Lighthouse
Directory is a tool for research and study concerning lighthouses and
efforts to preserve those lighthouses. The Directory provides a brief
compilation of basic data for each lighthouse with links to other reliable
information available on the Internet. Since the addition of the Hainan
page in February 2009 listings cover the entire world. However,
this doesn't mean the Directory is complete, because new information
continues to come to light.
I'm glad to hear from site
visitors, especially if you have lighthouse news or photos of rarely-visited
The Directory has over 30,000 links, and all of them were appropriate
and legitimate when they were added. Occasionally, because a web site
is hacked or a URL is captured, a link leads not to legitimate information
but to an inappropriate site, such as a source of pornography or malicious
software. Please let me know if
this happens, and I will remove the offending link immediately.
This site is hosted by my employer, the University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Sapelo Island Light, Georgia, U.S.A., March 2013
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Larry Myhre
What is a lighthouse?
It is not so easy to define exactly
what we mean by a lighthouse, and various organizations and individuals
have used very different definitions when describing or classifying lighthouses.
Clearly, all lighthouses are lighted aids to navigation, but not all lighted
aids are considered to be lighthouses.
Some definitions are not controversial. An aid to navigation is
a structure placed on or near navigable water to provide visual guidance
to mariners. A beacon is an aid to navigation that is
fixed in place (that is, not floating). A lighted beacon or
lightbeacon is a beacon displaying a light, while an
unlit beacon is called a daybeacon. Often, a lighted beacon is
simply called a light.
Everyone agrees that a lighthouse is a lightbeacon that is, in some sense, a substantial building. Small lightbeacons such as masts, solid pillars, or small cabinets are usually not considered to be lighthouses. In this Directory, the guideline is that a lighthouse should have a height
of at least 4 meters (13 ft) and a cross-section, at the base, of at least
4 square meters (43 sq ft). This simple guideline does not require that
a lighthouse have any particular form or appearance. The structure of
a lighthouse may be enclosed, partially enclosed, or completely open.
The Directory includes listings of certain lights and other sites of
interest to lighthouse fans that aren't lighthouses by this definition.
The titles of those listings are enclosed in square brackets [...]. In
addition, lighthouses destroyed or demolished since 2000 continue to be
listed; their names are preceded by the hash sign #.
A light station is a collection of buildings including a lighthouse, staff quarters, and supporting structures such as a fog signal building housing a foghorn or fogbell, a boathouse, an oil house to store fuel for the light, and so on. A century ago all lighthouses required lightkeepers to maintain and operate the light, fog signal, and other equipment. Today practically all aids to navigation operate automatically, but some light stations have resident caretakers, still called keepers, to maintain the property and guard against vandalism.
Homigot Light, Pohang, Korea, August 2010
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by
The lighthouse listings
Dates shown for lighthouses are the dates when the light was first displayed;
this may be later than the construction date in some cases. A station
establishment date, when listed, is the date when a light was first displayed
at or near the same location. Data concerning the characteristics of lights
comes mostly from the U.S. Coast Guard Light List for U.S. lighthouses
and from the NGA List of Lights for lighthouses in other countries.
The focal plane height of a light is the height above the surface
of the water at which the light is displayed. (The level of the water
surface is usually "mean high water," the level at an average high tide.)
In the listings, "focal plane" refers to the focal plane height. A lantern of
a lighthouse is a room or structure that actually encloses the light.
The heights of the lighthouse towers themselves should be considered
approximate. Different sources use different methods for measuring tower
heights, and those heights may actually change due to changes in ground
level at the base of the tower.
I have attempted to determine whether lighthouse sites and towers are
open to the public. This information is inferred from whatever sources
may be available; it is certainly not guaranteed. Please let
me know if this information, or any information in the Directory,
Lighthouse listings are marked with ratings of zero to four stars based
on the extent to which the light station is open to visitors. Check the
ratings key to interpret these ratings.
Yevpatoriya Light, Yevpatoriya, Western Crimea, January 2005
photo copyright Protsko; used by permission
Åsvær Light, Dønna, Helgeland, Norway, September 2011
photo copyright Michael Boucher; used by permission
Articles about lighthouses:
- The Oldest U.S. Towers, 1764-1791
- Early Federal Octagonals, 1792-1817
- Old Style Brick Lighthouses,
- Oldest Integral Lighthouses,
- Tall Towers of Iron, 1846-1881
- Early Classic Brick Towers,
- Onshore Skeletal Lighthouses, 1861-1910
- Sparkplug Lighthouses, 1871-1926
- Canada's Flying-Buttress Lighthouses,
- Unstaffed Offshore Lights of the
Florida Keys, 1921-1935
- Storm Warning Towers
Ōge Shima Light, Imabari, Ehime, Japan
Japanese Coast Guard Sixth Region photo
Söderskär Light, Gulf of Finland, Finland, September 2005
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Miika Silfverberg
Dàcàihuāshān Light, Zhōushān, Zhejiang, China
Zhèjiāng Culture Ministry photo
Punta Jaramijo Light, Manta, Ecuador, May 2010
Panoramio photo copyright mauriciops; used by permission
Taşlık Burnu Light, Cape Gelidonya, Turkey, May 2014
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Onur Kocatas
Sandy Cape Light, Fraser Island, Queensland, Australia,November 2006
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Anthony Keim
Regional, state, and local lighthouse
preservation organizations are
recognized on each U.S. state page. U.S. organizations interested in
lighthouse preservation nationally are:
- The American Lighthouse
Foundation, based in Rockland, Maine. ALF encourages preservation
efforts throughout the country and holds preservation leases on more than
a dozen New England lighthouses.
- The United States Lighthouse Society,
formerly based in San Francisco, has moved to the Point No Point Lighthouse
in Hansville, Washington. USLHS has chapters active in the Chesapeake area,
Long Island, Oregon, and Washington, and has been active in supporting preservation
in other areas as well. The Society also publishes a respected journal, The
Keeper's Log, and has a large archive of historic photos of U.S. lighthouses.
Lighthouses on the Internet: A Researcher's Guide
has replaced the list of links formerly on this page.
of the Americas
Northeastern United States
Southeastern United States
Midwestern United States
Western United States and U.S. Pacific Territories
Atlantic Canada, Greenland, and St. Pierre
Interior and Western Canada
Bermuda and the West Indies
Mexico and Central America
South America, Antarctica, South Atlantic Ocean
of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, Australia, and Africa
New Zealand and Pacific Islands
South Indian Ocean
Britain and Ireland
France, Monaco and Switzerland
Spain and Portugal
Italy and Malta
Greece and the Balkans
Southwestern Russia and Ukraine
Belgium and Netherlands
Germany and Austria
Denmark, Faroes, and Iceland
Norway (listed south to north)
Sweden (listed south to north)
Poland, Baltic States, and Finland
Northwestern Russia (southwest to northeast)
Mediterranean and Caspian Asia
Arabia, Iran and Pakistan
South and Southeast Asia (except India)
Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Timor Leste
China and Taiwan
Korea (listed clockwise around the peninsula)
Japan (listed clockwise around the main islands)
Saint Simons Island Light, Georgia, U.S.A., December 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo by John Peltier