The Lighthouse Directory

Welcome to the Lighthouse Directory, providing information and links for more than 23,400 of the world's lighthouses. Follow the Directory's Twitter feed for the latest in lighthouse news and Directory updates. Latest update October 16, 2021.

This week the pages for Ille-et-Vilaine in France, Värmdö to Nynäshamn in Sweden, Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, El Salvador, Northern Wisconsin in the U.S.A., the Central Gulf Coast in Mexico, the Cook Islands, Niue, the Arkhangel'sk Area in Russia, European Turkey, Southern Tàizhōu in China, Papua Province North Coast in Indonesia, Northern Ehime Prefecture in Japan, Jersey, and the Uljin Area and Pohang in South Korea have been checked and revised with improved information and several new photos.

Covid closures: Many lighthouses have closed due to the pandemic and many that have reopened have restricted hours or no longer permit tower climbs. Because these closures and reopenings change frequently, it's not possible for the Directory to keep up with them. We present information on the normal schedules of lighthouses, pre-pandemic: check lighthouse websites or Facebook pages before visiting to find out the current situation.

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 Michael Ellison for information on the history of the Cape Pembroke lighthouse in the Falkland Islands, to John Hopp for a correction concerning the Craighill Channel Entrance Range Lights in Maryland, to Kirby Lemon for news regarding the Curtis Island lighthouse in Maine, and to Jim Smith for his comments and suggestions on last week's updates.



Svenska Högarna Light, Värmdö, Stockholms Län, Sweden, June 2014
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Arild Vågen

A Month of Lighthouse News:

Ra's Bir Light
Ra's Bir Light, Obock, Djibouti, November 2011
photo copyright Jean-François Rodriguez-Nadal; used by permission

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

La Union Light, La Union, El Salvador, May 2017
Google Maps street view

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 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.

Raspberry Island Light, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin, U.S.A., August 2016
Google Maps street view by Ranger Scott

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, 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.

Faro de Tecolutla
Tecolutla Light, Tecolutla, Veracruz State, Mexico, March 2012
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Alejandro Linares Garcia

Avarua Range Rear Light
Avarua Range Rear Light, Rarotonga, Cook Islands, February 2009
ex-Panoramio Creative Commons photo by sunmaya, now posted by

Articles about lighthouses:

Special Resources

Kur'yaretskiy Range Rear Light
Kur'yaretskiy Range Rear Light, Arkhangel'sk, Russia, March 2010
ex-Panoramio photo copyright Mikhail Shishov; permission requested

Ahirkapi Feneri
Ahırkapı Light, İstanbul, Turkey, February 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Julian Kücklich

Xià Yǔ Light, Tàizhōu Islands, Tàizhōu, Zhèjiāng, China, September 2007
unattributed photo from a blog by Bìshān Yúnsǒu

Oinake Light, Jayapura Regency, Papua, Indonesia, November 2007
Flickr photo copyright Billy Gabriel; used by permission

Ōge Shima Light
Ōge Shima Light, Imabari, Ehime, Japan
Japanese Coast Guard Sixth Region photo

La Corbière Light
La Corbière Light, St. Brélade, Jersey, July 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Em Baker

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.

Old Port East Breakwater Light, Pohang, South Korea, June 2017
Google Maps photo by Byungsung Lim

Sanganeb Reef Light
Sanganeb Reef Light, Red Sea State, Sudan, December 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Clifton Beard

Chuksan Light
Chuksan Light and Observatory, Chuksan, North Gyeongsang, South Korea, June 2011 photo by Cheongsol customer; permission requested

Ra's Madur Light
Ra's Madur Light, Massawa, Eritrea, May 2013
Port of Massawa photo by Silvio Niccolai

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


Central America

South America, Antarctica, South Atlantic Ocean

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

New Zealand and Pacific Islands


Indian Ocean


Lighthouses of Europe

Britain and Ireland

France and Monaco

Spain and Portugal

Italy and Malta

Southeastern Europe

Southwestern Russia and Ukraine

Belgium and Netherlands


Inland Central Europe

Denmark, Faroes, Iceland, and Greenland

Norway (listed south to north)

Sweden (listed south to north)

Poland and the Baltic States


Northwestern Russia (listed southwest to northeast)

Lighthouses of Asia

Mediterranean, Black Sea and Caspian Asia

Arabia, Iran and Pakistan


Southeast Asia


Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Timor Leste

China and Taiwan

Asiatic Russia

Korea (listed clockwise around the peninsula)

Japan (listed clockwise around the main islands)

Sand Island Light, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin, U.S.A., August 2019
Flickr Creative Commons photo by David Martin

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, and Klaus Huelse, 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. Also, in recent years Jim Smith has reviewed many of the pages of the Directory, identifying errors and locating improved satellite views.


Written by:

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

You are welcome to email the author ( with comments and suggestions.

All material in The Lighthouse Directory is copyright 2021 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.