Lighthouses on the Internet: A Researcher's Guide

The Lighthouse Directory is a personal research project that is based on the use of Internet resources. Armed with Google's search engine and translator and the maps of Google and Bing, I explore the Web looking for knowledge about lighthouses around the world. This page includes some of the links I've found to be most useful.

Basic references

  1. The Lighthouse Explorer Database, maintained by Lighthouse Digest magazine, contains a wealth of information on lighthouses around the world.
  2. The World Lighthouse Society is an informal online gathering of lighthouse fans. Membership is free. The Society publishes an informative quarterly online newsletter.
  3. The ARLHS World List of Lights, maintained by the Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society (ARLHS), is a huge catalog of navigational aids covering all countries, although it does not provide any descriptive information.
  4. The NGA List of Lights, an official light list describing navigational aids in all countries except the U.S., is published in seven volumes by the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). Select the desired volume and click on "View" to download all or parts of each volume in PDF format.
  5. The U.S. Coast Guard Light List, covering lights of the U.S. and its territories, is also published in seven volumes and can be downloaded in PDF format. Click on any of the Coast Guard Districts shown on the map to download the list for that area.
  6. For Canada, the List of Lights, Buoys, and Fog Signals, published in four volumes by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and posted in a large number of short sections, can be downloaded in PDF or viewed online.
  7. The British Admiralty List of Lights (ALL) is a traditional reference for mariners worldwide. Unfortunately, the ALL cannot be viewed online or downloaded, although the Admiralty's weekly Notices to Mariners can be searched for information on recent changes to lights.
  8. The U.S. Lighthouse Society has abstracted information from historical U.S. light lists.

Eagle Bluff Light
Eagle Bluff Light, Door County, Wisconsin, U.S.A., May 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Christopher Franklin

Lighthouses of the World

Only a few web sites have information on the lighthouses of more than one country. Some of the best international efforts include:

U.S. Lighthouses

There are many web sites for U.S. lighthouses, but a small number have distinguished themselves for quality of information and photos. These include two official sites:

Among privately maintained web sites, these stand out:

All U.S. lighthouse fans should be familiar with these outstanding support organizations:

Return to the Lighthouse Directory index

Posted June 2006. Checked and revised March 8, 2014. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.