St. Augustine Light, photo by Jonathon Zander
Did you know there are no two lighthouses just alike?
Every lighthouse is unique, built specifically for the location where it stands. The height is determined by how far the light shows on the horizon and therefore gives ships information about the geographic area, whether it’s shallow and sandy, or rocky with high cliffs. There are some that are built in the same style, but their other characteristics distinguish them.
For instance, many lighthouses are distinguished by their daymarks. The daymark is the color scheme or way the lighthouse is painted that identifies it in daylight. Often when situated among white sand backgrounds, the lighthouses have bands of color, like black or red, to make them easier to see.
At night, lighthouses are recognized by their nightmarks, which is their flashing pattern. Sometimes called a signature, the number and length of flashes and intervals identifies each lighthouse as well.
I find it fascinating to see how lighthouses vary all over the world. Each one is different, but each one has a special purpose for the setting it’s in.