20 Incredible Photos of Lighthouses Illuminating the Night

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Image: Ian Chamberlain

Pigeon Point lighthouse, Pescadero, California, USA

Ah, lighthouses! What’s not to love about these beacons of light, which have been guiding ships since the 17th century? At least, the modern versions have: the Egyptians, ever the pioneers, built their first lighthouse around 280 BC. How’s that for looking ahead?

Not surprisingly, lighthouses are most spectacular at night, when their lights beam dutifully for miles out to sea, guiding vessels through rough waters. In honor of these life-saving light-givers, we’ve found 20 simply stunning shots of lighthouses at night.


Image: Luke Hertzfeld

Here’s a great moonrise shot of Marblehead Lighthouse in Marblehead, Ohio with star trails in winter sky and a great chunk of sea ice in the background. It was built in 1821 and is the oldest lighthouse on the Great Lakes to have been in continuous operation.

Photographer Luke Hertzfeld describes his experience of being out there in the middle of a freezing winter night: “It was dead quite except the shifting ice, which sounded like huge steel cables breaking. If you’ve ever heard that sound, it’s quite unnerving, and I never really got comfortable with the sound for the three hours I was out here.”

Well, we sure appreciate the effort and can emphatically say that it was worth it!

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Image: Myles Smith

With the fog rolling in over the dark rocks, this image of Start Point Lighthouse is pretty dramatic – if not outright sinister! It’s no coincidence that the white, 92-foot (28 m) structure reminds one of a castle tower, as it was built in the Gothic style. It has been guiding ships since 1836 and is located in south Devon, England.

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