US Lighthouse Lamp Database


At the Maritime Heritage Conference held in San Diego CA in 2007 a proposal was made that the American Lighthouse Council (ALC, formerly ALCC) should try to determine the types of lighthouse lamps still in existence and their current locations.

American Lighthouse Lamp Identification Document

This document was commissioned by the American Lighthouse Council to assist in identifying lighthouse lamps used in America. The first page is a chart of the types of lighthouse lamps used in America with some description details and identifying the page where further details can be found for each lamp type. You can then go to that page to find photos and further details.

Lighthouse Lamps Through Time by Thomas Tag

The ingenuity of man is truly amazing and this can easily be seen in the odd collection of techniques used for the illumination of lighthouses across the centuries.  Lighthouse illumination began with simple wood fires and progressed through generations of other methods.  Even the oil lamp began in simplicity and evolved into a machine with multiple wicks, clockwork oil pumps, specialized chimneys, hydraulic, pneumatic, and other variants.  This story will take you through the history of illumination methods in lighthouses.

Trotter - Lindberg Lamp and Rotating Screen

Trotter, Lindberg, Lyth, Arzberger Lamps

Lamp Glossary of Terms


Acetylene Lamp – A lamp composed of a Regulator and Flasher that uses acetylene as a fuel.

What is Candlepower?

Oil Consumption for American Lamps 1880 - 1881

Luminous Range of Lamps by Candle Power

Candle Power of Lamp Burners

Lighthouse Illumination Through the Ages