National Lighthouse Day

A lighthouse keeper wearing a traditional sailor hat, standing beside a tall lighthouse, overlooking a picturesque coastal scene..
National lighthouse day illustration

Ever wondered about the solitary life of a lighthouse keeper or the mystery that surrounds lighthouses in spine-tingling ghost tales? Well, you don't have to be a mariner or a fan of Edgar Allan Poe to be intrigued by these beacon of lights. Come aboard as we delve into the fascinating history of lighthouses and their charming celebration, National Lighthouse Day.

When is Lighthouse Day?

It's national lighthouse day on the 7th August.

Why Are We Celebrating This Day?

Did you know this country can't help but honor its iconic maritime navigational structures? Yep, every August 7, people across the nation celebrate National Lighthouse Day, a commemoration of the day when US Congress approved an Act in 1789 to establish federal control over lighthouses.

Lighthouses - More Than Just a Light!

Lighthouses are exemplary symbols of guidance and security, standing firm against sea squalls, and guiding seafarers since ancient times. Beyond their sublime charm, they have been saviors for sailors and a target of fascination for lighthouse enthusiasts.

When Did the Internet Catch the Lighthouse Fever?

Our data spotted a whopping 7569 mentions of National Lighthouse Day online till date, with the talks peaking on August 7, 2015. But it's more than just numbers. The lighthouse love in the digital world bubbles with shared pictures of sun-soaked lighthouses, nostalgic stories of lighthouse visits and even some mouth-watering lighthouse-shaped cookies. Yes, the internet loves its #NationalLighthouseDay.

Become a proud Lighthouse Junkie

Whether you're already a lighthouse junkie or looking for a new passion, this day provides the perfect excuse to visit some local lighthouses, trawl through lighthouse history, or even light up some sea-style candle holders at home. So, grab your sailor cap and let's set sail for an adventure in celebrating National Lighthouse Day with full enthusiasm.

History behind the term 'Lighthouse'

280 BC

Early Towers of Light

The concept of guiding ships with light can be traced back to around 280 BC, where the ancient Egyptians constructed stone towers with fire beacons on the coast. These early towers served as basic lighthouses, providing a visual reference to help ships navigate safely.

AD 50

Roman Lighthouses

During the Roman Empire in the 1st century AD, the Romans developed a network of lighthouses along their coasts, especially around the Mediterranean Sea. The most renowned of these was the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria, standing over 100 meters tall. These Roman lighthouses illuminated the way for mariners using wood-burning fires or oil lamps.

14th Century

Mirror and Lens Enhancements

In the 14th century, lighthouses evolved with the introduction of mirrors and lenses to enhance the light signal. This advancement allowed for the concentration and projection of light in a specific direction, improving visibility for sailors at greater distances and in adverse weather conditions.

17th Century

Switch to Controlled Burning

By the 17th century, lighthouses transitioned from open fires to controlled burning of various fuels, such as coal, oil, and eventually gas. This shift improved the reliability and intensity of the light source, making it easier for ships to distinguish lighthouses from other coastal lights.

19th Century

Invention of Fresnel Lens

One of the most significant advancements in lighthouses occurred in the 19th century with the invention of the Fresnel lens by Augustin-Jean Fresnel. These lenses revolutionized lighthouse optics, allowing for the creation of more powerful lights. The Fresnel lens focused the light into a narrow beam, increasing the range and visibility of lighthouses.

20th Century

Electrification and Automation

In the early 20th century, lighthouses underwent significant changes due to electrification and automation. Electric lights replaced older light sources like oil lamps and gas burners, providing brighter and more efficient illumination. With the advent of automation, lighthouses were equipped with automatic lights and fog signals, reducing the need for manual maintenance and operation.


Modern Lighthouse Technology

Today, lighthouses continue to play a vital role in maritime navigation, although their traditional function has been largely complemented by modern technologies, such as radar, GPS, and electronic charts. Nevertheless, many lighthouses have become iconic landmarks, preserving the rich maritime heritage and providing breathtaking vistas for visitors.

Did you know?

Did you know the tallest traditional lighthouse in the world is the Jeddah Light in Saudi Arabia, standing at an impressive 436 feet (133 m)? Now that’s one tall tale!


adventure lighthouse national-days maritime-history travel

First identified

3rd August 2015

Most mentioned on

7th August 2015

Total mentions


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