The Lighthouse Directory

Welcome to the Lighthouse Directory, providing information and links for more than 24,500 of the world's lighthouses. Follow the Directory's X (ex-Twitter) feed for the latest in lighthouse news and Directory updates. Latest update June 8, 2024.

This week the pages for Western England in the U.K., Vorpommern-Greifswald in Germany, Northeast Morocco, Spain's Coast Of Morocco territories, Mallorca and Menorca in the Balearic Islands of Spain, Southwestern Thailand, Southeastern Massachusetts in the U.S.A., Trinidad and Tobago, the Eigersund Area of Rogaland County of Norway, Saga Prefecture in Japan, Southwestern Turkey, West Kalimantan Province in Indonesia, and the Sakha Republic in Russia have been checked and revised with improved information and many new photos.

The Directory's pages for Ukraine describe the lighthouses as they existed before the start of the current conflict between Ukraine and Russia. No changes in the descriptions will be made until there is a stable agreement that stops the fighting. Russian-occupied territories in Ukraine, including Crimea, are identified provisionally as East Ukraine. Similarly the Directory's page for Gaza describes the lighthouses as they existed before the start of the current conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Also in the Directory: A Checklist of Lightships in the world. Included are some 127 ships surviving, restored, abandoned, or recently scrapped.

Special thanks this week to Igor Savitskiy for recent photos of lighthouses in Vladivostok, Russia, and to Jim Smith for his comments on last week's revisions.

GOOGLE SITE SEARCH (of ibiblio.org) 

 


Chacachacare Light, Dragon's Mouth, Trinidad and Tobago, February 2023
Google Maps photo by Ambika Rampaul

A Month of Lighthouse News:


Eigerøy Fyr, Eigersund, Rogaland, Norway, August 2021
Google Maps photo by Sylwester G.

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 lighthouses.

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 ibiblio.org, one of the largest free information databases online, maintained as a public service of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Kakara Shima Light, Karatsu, Saga, Japan, March 2021
Google Maps photo by hibiki 15

Definitions: What is a lighthouse?
To begin with some basics, an aid to navigation or navaid 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. There is some diagreement among lighthouse fans as to whether there should be restrictions on the design of the building, but standard dictionaries in English all have some form of this simple definition: "A lighthouse is a tower carrying a light to guide mariners." Indeed, in many languages the word for a lighthouse translates literally as "light tower" or "fire tower." The Directory adopts this definition: a lighthouse is a tower, at least 4 m (13 ft) tall and more substantial in cross section than a post, mast, or pillar, carrying or designed originally to carry a light to guide mariners.

Many lighthouses are enclosed buildings with walls of stone, brick, wood, concrete, metal, or modern composite materials. Many others are open skeletal (framework) towers of cast iron, steel, or wood. The light at the top of some lighthouses is housed in an enclosed lantern, but many lighthouses have the light exposed with no lantern. Historically lighthouses were powered with a variety of fuels, but today nearly all are solar powered.

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 hashtag #.

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.


Deveboynu Burnu Light, Datça, Muğla, Turkey, August 2023
Google Maps photo by Mehmet Ardıç

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 (colors and flash patterns) of lights comes mostly from the U.S. Coast Guard Light List for U.S. lighthouses and from the U.S. NGA List of Lights or available national light lists 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 tower heights of the lighthouses 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, is incorrect.

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.


Pulau Serutu Light, Karimata Strait, West Kalimantan, Indonesia, May 2024
Google Maps photo by Hani Tv

Ostrov Muostakh Light
Ostrov Muostakh Light, Tiksi, Sakha Republic, Russia, summer 2012
photo copyright Dr. Thomas Opel; used by permission

Articles about lighthouses:

Special Resources


Watchet Harbour Light, Watchet, Somerset, England, U.K., March 2024
Instagram photo by Leah Apple


Greifswalder Oie Light, Vorpommern-Greifswald, Germany, April 2024
Instagram photo by Jule Koops


Cap des Trois Fourches Light, Morocco, June 2022
Google Maps photo by Khalid Yek


Porto Pí Light, Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain, February 2020
Google Maps street view by EuroWeb Media


Ko Taphao Noi Light, Phuket, Thailand, December 2023
Google Maps photo by Chadakorn Thapket

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 collection of historic light lists of U.S. lighthouses.

Lighthouses on the Internet: A Researcher's Guide has replaced the list of links formerly on this page.


Nauset Light, Eastham, Massachusetts, U.S.A., October 2022
Google Maps photo by John X.


Punta Almina Light, Ceuta, Spain, February 2023
Google Maps photo by Carlos Corzo

Lille Presteskjær Fyr, Sokndal, Rogaland, Norway, July 2020
Instagram photo by Stine Fekjær Skogly


Kızılada Light, Fethiye, Muğla, Turkey, October 2018
Google Maps photo by Восток Подшипник


Monomoy Point Light, Chatham, Massachusetts, U.S.A., July 2023
Google Maps photo by Bob McGovern


Avonmouth South Pier Light, Bristol, England, U.K., February 2019
BBC News photo


Ciutadella Light, Ciutadella de Menorca, Baleares, Spain, August 2022
Instagram photo by Pati Blanco

Lighthouses of the Americas

Northeastern United States

Southeastern United States and U.S. Caribbean

Midwestern United States

Western United States and U.S. Pacific Territories

Atlantic Canada and St. Pierre

Interior and Western Canada

Bermuda and the West Indies

Mexico

Central America

South America, Antarctica, South Atlantic Ocean

Lighthouses of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, Australia, and Africa

New Zealand and Pacific Islands

Australia

Indian Ocean

Africa

Lighthouses of Europe

Britain and Ireland

France and Monaco

Spain and Portugal

Italy and Malta

Southeastern Europe

Southwestern Russia and Ukraine

Belgium and Netherlands

Germany

Inland Central Europe

Denmark, Faroes, Iceland, and Greenland

Norway (listed south to north)

Sweden (listed south to north)

Poland and the Baltic States

Finland

Northwestern Russia (listed southwest to northeast)

Lighthouses of Asia

Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and Caspian Sea

Arabia, Iran and Pakistan

India

Southeast Asia

Philippines

Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Timor Leste

China and Taiwan

Korea (listed clockwise around the peninsula)

Japan (listed clockwise around the main islands)

Asiatic Russia


Cap Quilates Light, Al Hoceïma, Morocco, October 2023
Google Maps photo by Abdelmounaim Ahabi

Thanks to:

Hundreds of lighthouse fans around the world have enriched this site with their assistance, information, suggestions, and corrections. For a long time I tried to maintain a list of these many friends and contacts, but it has grown too long (and too out of date) to display here. However, I must recognize the late Michel Forand for his suggestions and corrections touching essentially every page of this work, and extend thanks to Jeremy D'Entremont, Ted Sarah, Klaus Huelse, and Andreas Köhler, who have followed the development of the Directory for years. More recently Jim Smith has read nearly every page carefully, correcting errors and suggesting useful additions. Each of them has contributed information and support in vital ways, and the Directory would be much less useful without their participation.

In addition to Michel Forand, I want to recognize the contributions of two other experts on lighthouse history who have passed in recent years: Terry Pepper, the Executive Director of the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association (GLLKA), and Tim Harrison, the founding editor of Lighthouse Digest magazine. Both made useful and supportive comments on the Directory.

Formalities

Written by:

Russ Rowlett, Retired Adjunct Professor of Mathematics and Professor of Education
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

You are welcome to email the author (rowlett@email.unc.edu) with comments and suggestions.

All material in The Lighthouse Directory is copyright 2024 by Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Many images are presented by permission of their copyright holders, as noted under the image.

Permission is granted to copy portions of the Directory for personal use and study, but all other rights are reserved. You are welcome to make links to this page or to any page of the Directory, provided you credit the source and do not present the work as your own.

Please do not copy the contents of any page of the Directory to another site. This is an infringement of copyright, and it also deprives your users of the benefit of improvements and corrections made to the page. Everyone has permission to link to this page or to any page of the Directory.

The information contained in the directory is as accurate as I can make it; please notify me if you find any errors. Neither the author nor the University of North Carolina assumes any liability for uses made of the information presented by this web site.