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

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

An inexpensive and very effective light, the "Trotter Lindberg," was introduced into the lighting system of Europe. This light was produced by burning paraffin or lythene oil in a specially designed apparatus. With the latter the light burned 14 days, and with the former 7 days without attention. A special feature of the apparatus was that an intermittent light was produced by the automatic action of a screen, which was made to revolve by the ascent of the heated air produced by the light.

Lamp Glossary of Terms


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