Because of their association with sailors, many people gravitate toward nautical imagery when getting a tattoo.
As tattoos, lighthouses are more unique and interesting pieces that can hold deep meaning to those who get them.
Lighthouses have a long and complicated history, making them a simultaneously serene and spooky image to behold.
While not all standing lighthouses are still operational, they’re often kept around for their history and welcoming aesthetic.
What do lighthouses tattoos symbolize, and why do people get lighthouse tattoos?
Let’s illuminate the subject of lighthouse tattoos.
Lighthouse Tattoo Meanings
Lighthouse tattoosoften represent a forward path, serving as the guiding light for an individual.
They are symbolic of guidance, protection, and safety.
One may get this type of tattoo to serve as a symbol of safety and protection in their own life.
A lighthouse tattoo may represent one’s appreciation for sailing and the ocean, as well as stand as a reminder to follow the “light” taking the right path for them using the lighthouse’s light for guidance.
This may be particularly meaningful for someone who needs reassurance as they navigate life.
There are, also universal meanings we’ve attached to lighthouses over the years, and they can be just as good a reason for a lighthouse tattoo as any.
Lighthouses are considered a public good.
This means they are not exclusive, they’re just there for anyone who needs them.
In this example, lighthouses can symbolize generosity, or lawful good.
For people who are shipwrecked, a lighthouse means they can finally get the help they need.
For one reason or another, the calm presence of a lighthouse gives people hope.
Maybe you’re feeling lost, or celebrating having found some dry land of your own.
A lighthouse tattoo can be a great way to commemorate that.
Maybe lighthouses can be a good reminder to introverts that, while solitude is important, you need to step out into the daylight once in a while.
In this regard, it can also be a nice way to remind those suffering from mental illness to reach out.
Common motifs in lighthouse tattoos include compasses, anchors, and ships all significant to navigating the world’s oceans.
You may choose to pair your lighthouse tattoo up with your favorite stretch of coastline, or some more classic sailor imagery, such as:
Nautical Star & Lighthouse Tattoos
Nautical stars are instantly recognizable sailor imagery.
This bold and readable design represents a sailor being able to find their way home.
Waves & Lighthouse Tattoos
Though waves may crash upon the lighthouse, it stands tall.
Waves often represent the constant motion of the sea.
Your journey through life is not always going to be smooth, but you must learn to stay upright against the ebb and flow of the tide.
If you resonate with the idea of standing tall amid the chaos, lighthouse tattoos featuring waves will suit you well.
Swallows & Lighthouse Tattoos
For a long way traveled, either spiritually or physically.
Because swallows have a long migration pattern, they are known as a symbol of a long journey.
When a sailor had traveled nautical miles, he would “earn” a swallow tattoo.
This would show him to be a reliable and experienced seaman.
Because swallows always find their way back after a long flight, this also became a popular tattoo for sailors who wanted to make a promise to their sweethearts.
In combination with a lighthouse, the “finding your way” imagery is strengthened.
Are you someone who regularly travels far from the people you love?
A lighthouse and swallow tattoo may be the perfect fit.
Anchor & Lighthouse Tattoos
For stability in stormy seas.
If you find yourself in rough waters, an anchor and a lighthouse tattoo may be your best allies in the quest to make it through.
Ship & Lighthouse Tattoos
Of course, lighthouses were designed for people on ships, so they make a natural pair.
This is a nice tattoo for someone who enjoys nautical imagery, but it can also represent the spiritual idea of your vessel (body) being guided by a gentle light (spiritual forces).
Compass & Lighthouse Tattoos
Flowers & Lighthouse Tattoos
A lighthouse with flowers may be a purely aesthetic choice, but it also represents the balance between masculine and feminine energy.
The phallic imagery of the lighthouse, combined with the vaginal connotations of a flower tattoo, can be a G rated way to represent creation or sexual energy.
Crescent Moon & Lighthouse Tattoos
Of course, lighthouses serve their purposes at night, so the evening sky would only make sense.
A crescent moon can represent a time of transition, perhaps a time when you need a little assistance to shine your brightest.
Landscape & Lighthouse Tattoos
Can’t decide what you want your tattoo to convey?
Landscape tattoos are a wonderful way to incorporate multiple elements into one meaningful image.
Or, if you’re lucky enough to live by a gorgeous lighthouse, you could pay homage to your hometown!
House & Lighthouse Tattoos
Houses typically symbolize the idea of home, community, being part of a family.
Because a lighthouse can be a symbol of solitude, the two combined may express a desire to achieve balance.
To have love in your life while maintaining your sense of self.
Lighthouse Tattoo Designs
Lighthouses belong to everyone, so there’s no reason not to get one as a tattoo.
Still not sure?
Take a look at our lighthouse tattoo gallery to illuminate the possibilities!
- Black & Grey Lighthouse Tattoos
A black and grey tattoo is achieved with all black ink, diluted to create different intensities and washes of pigment.
Lighter colors and contrast in a black and grey tattoo are made using “skin breaks,” where the person’s skin tone becomes the lighter color against the black ink.
For lighthouse tattoos, a black and grey design will give it a classic, slightly moody effect.
- American Traditional Lighthouse Tattoos
An American traditional lighthouse tattoo is the closest you’ll come to those original tattoo-wearing sailors.
Traditional lighthouse tattoo meanings are similar to the function of a lighthouse as we know them.
They are guiding lights that lead people in the right direction.
Lighthouse tattoos are particularly appropriate for traditional tattoo designs.
Traditional tattoosoriginated from sailors, and often depict objects and symbols related to sailing and the ocean.
They consist of bold colors and dark outlines for detailed and colorful pieces that hold deeper meanings.
American traditional tattoos are simple designs with large areas of saturated color and thick black outlines.
These nautical tattoos often hold deeper meanings beyond just sailing, however, and are unique to the person who gets these tattoos.
They can be depicted in a variety of ways, ranging in colors and landscapes for an overall interesting and unique tattoo piece.
Traditional lighthouse tattoos connect back to the history of traditional tattoos rooted in sailors and maritime-related themes, including the classic colors often seen in traditional tattoos.
Red, yellow, blue, green, and black colors are particularly common when it comes to traditional tattoo designs.
- Geometric Lighthouse Tattoos
- Black-work Lighthouse Tattoos
In black-work tattoo designs, large areas of the tattoo are covered in saturated black.
This takes a skilled hand but is stunning when applied well.
Because a lighthouse is designed to pierce the darkness, blackwork tattoo aesthetics are perfect to communicate that stunning contrast.
- Contemporary Lighthouse Tattoos
Contemporary tattoos are a nice compromise for someone who loves old-school tattoos but wants something a little more playful and original.
Using tattoo aesthetics from American Traditional, but with modern techniques and color combinations, a contemporary lighthouse tattoo gives you the best of both worlds.
- Lighthouse Dot-work Tattoos
If you want a tattoo that looks a little less “tattoo-like,” consider a dot-work design.
This has a classic pen and ink look to it, making it seem as if your lighthouse tattoo is ripped right off of a sketch pad.
These tattoos play to the soft, romantic elements of lighthouse imagery.
- Graphic Lighthouse Tattoos
Graphic tattoo designs are the ultimate in modern tattooing.
These bold, graphic designs are hard to miss.
Combining today’s techniques with old school imagery (like the lighthouse) makes for a unique and timeless design.
- Illustrative Lighthouse Tattoos
Illustrative tattoos give you a smooth, painterly look.
In these designs, lighthouses play off of surreal imagery to create a trippy overall effect.
Ahoy, space coyotes. This may be the psychedelic design you’re looking for.
- Neo-traditional Lighthouse Tattoos
Neo-traditional tattoos have the bold, old-school punch of an American traditional tattoo with a more New School, 3D effect.
These tattoos pop off the skin, making them well suited to design elements like crashing waves and cracking lightning.
- New School Lighthouse Tattoos
- Realistic Lighthouse Tattoos
A realistic portrait, when done with a skilled hand, is a thing of beauty.
If you want to represent a specific lighthouse in its truest form, this is the style for you.
We love how these tattoos capture the gorgeous colors of the night sky along with the hopeful image of a lighthouse shining over the water.
- Sketchy Lighthouse Tattoos
Sketch tattoos have a vivid, artistic feeling to them.
If you want your lighthouse tattoo to feel like an abstract work of art, consider this sketchbook style.
- Watercolor Lighthouse Tattoos
Though the tattoo community was dubious at first, watercolor tattoos are here to stay.
What could be better for a lighthouse than a spirited, watery design?
These tattoos are truly innovative with their bold use of washes, drips, and splashes of color.
- Stick & Poke Lighthouse Tattoos
Lighthouse Tattoo Ideas
There are plenty of tattoo designs to choose from to truly make your tattoo your own.
You can incorporate other common tattoo themes, and choose a smaller or larger tattoo design depending on your specific placement.
Want a lighthouse tattoo, but looking for something easy to hide from prying eyes?
Small, mini, and micro tattoos can be a beautiful, simplistic way to pay homage to something you love.
And if you plan on collecting tattoos, this is the perfect way to leave some skin real estate for your next adventure.
- Simple Lighthouse Tattoos
- Lighthouse Tattoo Sleeves
- Lighthouse Tattoo Half Sleeves
- BioSchock Lighthouse Tattoos
- Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Tattoos
- Lighthouse Tattoos For Women
Lighthouse Tattoo Placement
- Lighthouse Forearm Tattoos
- Lighthouse Tattoos on Inner Bicep
Lighthouse tattoos are interesting pieces that are not particularly common.
These tattoos hold many different meanings, making them uniquely symbolic to anyone who chooses to get one.
They are a great representation of guiding light in your own life, reminding you to trust yourself when making significant decisions.
If you are looking for a tattoo piece that symbolizes protection and guidance, a lighthouse may be a perfect choice.
Lighthouses have been guiding ships to safety for thousands of years, the first known one built was the Pharos of Alexandria, Egypt in BC and before lighthouses were even around there was still a form of lighthouse in a very primitive way, fires were lit on hilltops by the sea to guide ships, these fires were built on platforms to raise the fire and become more visible from the ships out at sea, over time these platforms got higher and eventually becoming something we, even now would recognize as a lighthouse.
Lighthouse tattoos are a classic and even iconic traditional tattoo design, a popular design amongst sailors that started out as a simple depiction of a lighthouse and has since evolved into countless ways to be tattooed including the classic design made popular years ago.
Lighthouse Tattoo Meaning
As a lighthouse guides ships towards safety and away from harm a lighthouse tattoo can be symbolic of guidance, whether in life or important decisions the wearer may have to make or have already made
A lighthouse tattoo can represent a way forward.
When a sailor would return to a location knowing it had a lighthouse to guide it, the sailor would feel safe and know the cargo and passengers on that ship would be secure, making a lighthouse tattoo symbolism of and security.
Lighthouses keep ships protected from harm and disaster so are used as symbols to represent protection, its for oneself on another.
Some get a lighthouse tattoo simply to represent their love of sailing, maritime life or to symbolise the ocean.
Lighthouse Tattoo Designs & Their Meaning
For hundreds of years, lighthouses were in place with the sole reason of protecting sailors from a shipwreck and lighting their way. It’s no wonder that lighthouse tattoos have become a popular choice for those who wish to carry a symbol of inner faith and a reminder of one’s own road.
We’ll discuss the best styles, colors and most popular body placements for customizing your lighthouse tattoo. We’ll also look at other meanings behind the lighthouse tower and the variety of connotations you can carry if you get one inked.
The Lighthouse as a Symbol
From protection to navigating life, inner faith, stability and love for solitude, the lighthouse can represent an array of meanings.
We discuss their origin below:
Writers such as Virginia Woolf and Edgar Allan Poe built on their personal relationship to lighthouses through their work and have been bringing it to the public for decades now.
They were not only fascinated with lighthouses themselves and dedicated time and attention to study them but also used them as powerful emblems. With Woolf, the lighthouse was a symbol of power and longing, and with Poe, it was a representation of the love of being alone.
If you’re looking to get an ink as a reminder of hope through a difficult time, you can infuse your lighthouse tattoo with the persistence of Woolf’s characters on the way to the lighthouse and fulfill the time before with Poe’s interpretation of its purpose.
An Ode to Stability
If you observe the structure of a lighthouse, you can see its base seems to be both in the land and depths of the sea. Much like an old tree, rising high above its surroundings, the lighthouse has the demeanor of an unshakable and ancient construction.
This certainly makes the lighthouse tower a perfect symbol of stability and is a great option if you are looking to find more of it in your life.
In the times of social distancing, solitude is receiving a lot of bad rep. For some, however, this experience of letting their souls breathe and their thoughts wander freely is a blessing.
Apart from their original purpose, lighthouses on the rocks of a sea served the brilliant purpose of providing a place for anyone to go and spend a few hours by themselves, undisturbed by noise and distraction.
If you consider yourself at your best when you’re on your own, or simply love having alone time, this ink is a lovely option for you.
To Navigate Life
The illumination coming from the lighthouse can be spotted from miles away and serves to notify sailors that they’re nearing the coast. This makes the lighthouse a warning, a navigator, a guiding light—one of the most common meanings people aim for when getting a lighthouse tattoo.
If you’re reaching for body art to remind you of the best path suited to you, a lighthouse tattoo might be just what you are looking for. Opt for a light shining on top of it, if you want to emphasize the idea of guidance behind it.
Within this connotation, this is also a perfect tattoo for anyone with strong ties to the sea and travel.
Common Lighthouse Tattoo Designs
From the celebrated lighthouse of Alexandria to the ultramodern Yehliu lighthouse in Taiwan, lighthouse towers across the world are seen as a welcoming beacon of familiarity.
Whether you choose to base your lighthouse on a real tower or come up with your very own look, below are some of the most popular designs to consider:
By opting to draw inspiration from a real or fictional traditional lighthouse, you get to represent each of its meanings in one single tattoo.
A standalone lighthouse can symbolize the love for solitude and longing we know from literature.
By adding a piece of the earth below, you can evoke a different meaning—stability.
You can also choose to add a compass next to it or on the parallel forearm to emphasize that guidance for your own true path always exists.
Color options here range from a simple jet black to monochrome black and white or fully-dense red, grey and/or blue.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with color! A bold choice will likely turn this traditionally-styled construction into an attractive sight.
Lighthouse and Waves
A lighthouse with a splash of waves under can be a symbol of stability, protection or a strong appreciation for the purpose and aesthetic beauty of the lighthouse itself.
For a more picturesque look, add some red to the exterior colors, making sure the waves are the same intensity of blue.
Lighthouse and Text
Text along the length of or below the lighthouse can be placed in the form of quotes, names and dates. Choose an appropriate word such as “home” or “persist” to underline the motivation of your path.
You can also opt to add the initials or date of birth of a loved one. A memorial tattoo is a wonderful option to preserve your relationship with someone after their death.
Lighthouse and the Moon
A lighthouse and the moon is a common choice for solitude lovers. The moon has been described as a companion to sole travelers in many poems and stories and is often the only thing people saw when they stayed in lighthouses.
This is the perfect design for a small tattoo, as its two powerful elements can be easily detailed without being overstimulating.
Watercolor Lighthouse Tattoo
The watercolor method blends the colors for a romantic result, hinting at the wilderness and calming effect of the sea.
It’s ideal for artistic people or those with a special relationship to the sea.
Common Color Combinations
Black, blue, dark red and grey are all popular as a base. You can always ask for a richer hue to some of it to contrast well with the pigment of your skin.
Tattoo artists usually have a catalog of the colors they work with and will likely be ecstatic to discuss the best options for you.
Common Placement Areas for Lighthouse Tattoos
Can you picture a marine with a lighthouse tattoo? Ask your artist for a lighthouse tattoo on your shoulder or biceps to recreate this staple look.
Choose to go with a traditionally styled lighthouse to add on to this effect and you’ll be ready to take on the seas.
The back’s vastness allows for comfortably fitting a bigger tattoo, knowing that it will naturally align with the body’s proportions.
Backs usually host multi-colored tattoos, yet you can convey the meaning of a love for solitude just as well by opting for decently-sized minimal designs.
Forearms are a popular placement, especially when combined with a parallel tattoo of a compass on the other arm.
Both big and small inks work well here and the lighthouse with the moon is another popular design for the arm.
Getting a lighthouse tattoo under the collarbone is another popular choice. It’s a perfect option for anyone who wants to both showcase their tattoo and personally refer to it as it can be easily looked at in a mirror.
Watercolor lighthouses work especially well here, as their design is not visually overwhelming and they look like an accessory. Minimal tattoos below the neck area are a great idea too, as this choice tends to look like a piece of dainty jewelry.
The chest area and ribcage are ideal body placements for this ink choice. The closer to the heart you get your tat, the more it will read as a symbol of your inner faith and hope for guidance.
Thin skin and little muscle make this area potentially painful for an elaborate lighthouse tattoo. A minimal lighthouse with text or a small moon, however, might be a good solution.
The good news is that the skin around this area doesn’t tend to stretch, so the quality of the tattoo should stay over time.
Getting a lighthouse tattoo on top of your foot or the area around the ankles emphasizes the strength and might in the lighthouse construction.
The outline of a lighthouse on the small bones of the foot is a delicate image and it draws on the foot’s natural grace. This ink placement is a wonderful choice for you if you want your tattoo to be seen as a piece of art.
Best Lighthouse Tattoos
40 Traditional Lighthouse Tattoo Designs For Men Old School Ideas
A highly underappreciated tattoo, the lighthouse has been a long time favorite among fishermen, sailors, and people that reside near the ocean; though not very popular amongst other members of the tattoo community. This classic design deserves much more credit than it receives.
The lighthouse can be manipulated into a multitude of different sizes, shapes, and colors; giving the design ability to take on additional meanings.
Its nature is deeply symbolic of home, direction, the correct path, and destiny; appealing to men who frequently find themselves away from home.
Any man, taking up the role of protector of his home and family, will appreciate the deep and provoking nature of a lighthouse tattoo. Guidance, protection, safety, hope, and faith are all meanings that give this tattoo a special place in the hearts of those who are always watching over their loved ones.
Whether a family man, traveler or a seaside dweller, this old school design will surely inspire those who seek a beacon of light in their lives. It carries with it a certain romance, acknowledged by those who gaze its beauty; a romance that cant be matched by any other design.
These old school designs hold considerable significance for those seeking meaningfulness.
Tattoo traditional lighthouse
One fascinating design that you may want to contemplate getting for your next tattoo is the lighthouse. While its not that popular in mainstream tattoo, in is still a very popular subject in American traditional tattooing and men and women do still seek them out. The lighthouse is great because it can symbolize a host of different meanings depending on how you use it. Although they can be designed in several sizes, due to the details and shading, the lighthouse tattoo looks even better at large scale.
However, you know how good the lighthouse tattoo looks because you are at the point where you want to find out what it symbolizes for those that are wearing it. In most cases, you will have to ask the owner of the tattoo to find out what it means but the lighthouse tattoo is an old symbol and for the time when it was worn by sailors and men of war, it had a more significant meaning than you might think.
In this post we are going to be going over the lighthouse tattoo meaning and talk about what it symbolizes for those that have the tattoo. We will also talk about some of the different variations we have seen of the lighthouse tattoo and talk about whether the symbolism changes when tattoo enthusiasts add different images to the picture. We hope that you are ready for your own lighthouse tattoo by the time you are done reading this post.
Lighthouse Tattoo Meaning
For centuries, the lighthouse has served as a beacon of warning, to deter ships from crashing into the rock face and other dangerous crags. While you don’t hear too much about lighthouses anymore, that doesn’t mean that they don’t make tattoo designs. There are plenty of lighthouse tattoo meanings and even more designs to choose from, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many people want to get one of these tats.
Because their function is to light up the darkness in order to direct the stray towards a safe passage, lighthouses are seen as a good omen. People who have had to overcome a lot of obstacles in their lives might find that the lighthouse tattoo is perfect for them. It reminds them that there is a way out of the darkness if they keep trudging forward.
Lighthouses have long been a symbol of hope and charity, a figurative beacon of light for those in need. Someone who is an active supporter of charities might find that a lighthouse tattoo is the perfect design for them to represent who they are. With this lighthouse tattoo meaning, it is not uncommon for people to surround the lighthouse with smaller tattoos to make the meaning clearer.
Stretching high into the sky, lighthouses are built tall and strong, fortified to withstand the tumultuous waters of the sea. Their construction is essential to sailing and the safety of the ships and sailors aboard. A lighthouse is not the first thing that someone thinks of when they want a tattoo to represent strength, but it actually works quite well, especially for anyone who is out on the water a lot.
Lighthouses are grounded into the earth, a symbol of the steadfastness of land compared to the tempest that the ocean can create. Anyone who either wants to live a more grounded life or already does might find that the lighthouse tattoo is perfect for them. It shows that they love the simple life and don’t want to take unnecessary risks that could alter their lives in negative ways.
The image of the lighthouse is a symbol of stability, strength, and reliability. These are three lighthouse tattoo meanings that many people would want in their tats. Since it is pretty rare to get multiple meanings in one design, anyone who wants to show that they are good family people while also be strong and reliable will probably find this tattoo to be a great choice.
The lighthouse can also be a symbol of solitary strength, a large structure that is relied upon by many for direction and guidance. In this way, it is a depiction of leadership and authority. A father or mother who is very proud to be the leader of their family might find the lighthouse tattoo to be fitting for their place in life. A sports coach could also get a lighthouse tattoo to represent their leadership abilities.
The lighthouse stands alone, commanding, dependable and sound. This is yet another “leadership” meaning that plenty of people would love in their tattoos. It can both represent who the person is now or who they aspire to be. When this type of lighthouse tattoo meaning is used, it is often accompanied by text or another image or two to make the meaning a little bit clearer.
Among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World was the Lighthouse of Alexandria, an ancient structure whose height was nearly mythological. It was three tiers made of light stone and rose four hundred feet into the sky, a true symbol of fortitude as it withstood multiple earthquakes. It is a unique a beautiful lighthouse, which is why many people use its image when they get a lighthouse tattoo. The Lighthouse of Alexandria doesn’t have its own meanings, but you can always just use any of the other meanings found on this page.
Because modern technology has allowed sailors to navigate much easier, the necessity of lighthouses is dying. Therefore, the image of the lighthouse is becoming one of antiquity, especially considering their design dates back to the ancient period. This lends to their dependable quality and their status as a symbol of security. Some people prefer to get aged-looking lighthouse tattoos to make the meaning come through a bit more.
Regardless of how the image is depicted, the lighthouse is a constant representation of dedication to safety and loyalty. When this symbol is seen, the qualities of a reliable, strong, authoritative and courageous character are immediately brought to mind. The owner of a lighthouse tattoo can use one or all of these meanings depending on who they are and who they want to be.
Lighthouse Tattoo Variations
The lighthouse tattoo has some different variations that might change the meaning slightly. Then you’ve got the different styles that we see the lighthouse tattoo inked. Even a change in style might change the different but you’d have to ask the person with the tattoo to be sure. Below are a few of our favorite variations of the lighthouse tattoo.
Lighthouse in a Bottle Tattoo
The lighthouse in a bottle tattoo is a unique version of this tattoo. Because lighthouses were linked to ships and the navigation through the shores, it has a strong connection to ships. In relation to this idea, many hobbyist are into building ships in a bottle. The connection is obvious so some people choose to be a little more creative and put the lighthouse in the bottle. The idea is still the same though. It is a tattoo that is used to help you navigate through your life.
Lighthouse and Compass Tattoo
The lighthouse and compass go hand in hand in terms of navigation. They are both tools that would help guide a ship, or you, safely through your journey. In this way, it makes sense that the two of these images be incorporated into the same tattoo. The sailors of old might have multiple tattoos that represented their safety in returning home from the rough seas.
Lighthouse and Attendant Tattoo
The lighthouse and the attendant tattoo is a symbol of a protector. Because the lighthouse is already a symbol of strength and safety, the attendant being tattooed in the picture is more a testament to the strength and protection that the lighthouse offers. This tattoo can be done in many styles but we have seen this one done in the realism style more often than not.
Lighthouses are known to help ships navigate the rough seas and find their way home. This has been the case since the Pharos of Alexandria. It wasn’t easy for a captain to find their way into shore by way of the dangerous coast lines and reefs but the lighthouse was a literally a beacon of light and hope. They have even helped airplanes see their way to shore when the weather is rough.
The first lighthouses were actually hilltop platforms with giant fires that would help the men at see to detect the ports. As time passed, the construction of these lighthouses improved and soon they were towers that rose far from the ground with giant lights inside instead of the burning coal or wood that had previously been the identifying characteristics of the lighthouse.
Back in , Aime Argand, a scientist from Switzerland, created the Argand lamp. This lamp put thorium dioxide over a flame. The actual flame was fueled by vegetable oil, olive oil, colza oil, whale oil and any other oils people could get their hands on. However, around the year , kerosene took over as the most popular choice of fuel for the Argand lamp.
Kerosene would eventually be replaced by acetylene gas and electric, which is what we all use today. And now that we are talking about current times, you might be interested to know that almost all the lighthouses that existed are gone. Much of that has to do with ships and planes not needing this beacon for home anymore because we have the Global Position System (GPS). But in the great country of Canada, they are keeping the traditional lighthouse alive with staffing around 50 of them.
Even though Canada has the most active lighthouses, the United States is home to the most lighthouses in the world. In fact, there are more than of them just along the Great Lakes. Michigan has the title of most lighthouses of any state in America.
Their might be some old lighthouses in Michigan but the oldest lighthouse in the world is called the Tower of Hercules that resides in Spain. It is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is still operational and was built during the first century.
Even though you might think of a lighthouse attendant position as a very demanding job in times where jobs were very tough and strong men participated, the lighthouse attendant was one of the first government jobs that the U.S. government allowed women to work in.
As you can see, the lighthouse tattoo is for more than just sea-lovers. It’s a design that has plenty of meanings and can come in just about any size. It’s also a pretty uncommon tattoo design these days, so someone who wants a unique tattoo that has strong meanings might just find the lighthouse tattoo to be the perfect choice.
Lighthouse Tattoo Designs, Ideas, and Meanings
Richard Hale is a tattoo enthusiast who studies and researches tattoo symbolism, meanings, and history.
The Lighthouse Tattoo
One interesting design that you may want to consider for your next tattoo is the lighthouse. While it's not that popular, both men and women do still seek them out. It can also represent a variety of different meaningsthey are usually also very colorful and very meaningful to those who have them. Although they can be designed in various sizes, due to the detail and shades, it looks much better large.
In this article, we will discuss lighthouse tattoo designs. We will also review their meanings and you will have the opportunity to view many different variations. In the end, we hope that you are able to find ideas and inspiration for your next tattoo!
Lighthouse tattoos come in a variety of different creative designs and are often portrayed with other maritime symbols. They're worn by both men and women, and are a popular design especially in coastal areas.
They are symbolic and represent a variety of different things. The lighthouse was created years ago and it served one general purpose: to warn passing ships that the coast was near. The light in the lighthouse can be seen from miles away, and it would let the sailors know that the coast was near. This same interpretation can be said for the tattoos in that they represent "a guiding light" in our life. It can symbolize the correct path to take in life. For some, the symbolic value in this tattoo can run deep in meaning.
- You rarely ever see a lighthouse portrayed alone in the tattoos. They'll often portray maritime symbols or appropriate characters within the designs. There are a host of symbols that can be incorporated with it. These can include anchors, stars, ocean water and waves, the moon, swallows, doves, and much more. This gives you an advantage to create a unique one of your own, one that has never been seen before. Flowers, fish, and lightning are also portrayed in lighthouse tattoo designs.
- Lighthouse tattoos often portray the coastal landscape, which can include sand and jagged rocky edges. This is one of the most colorful tattoo designs out there.
- They are usually done in medium to large sizes. Due to their size, they are most popularly found on the arms, legs, and backs. This is not to say that they don't come in smaller sizes and that they can be tattooed anywhere else on the body, because they can be. Make sure you take your time and view a variety of different designs so you can find a suitable size.
- A popular version of this tattoo design portrays the lighthouse as if it was in a photo. These designs include an exterior boundary around the outer edge of the design. This gives the image that the tattoo is within a picture.
- Some designs may also use rope or ribbon on the border of it. Ribbons are a popular choice, since a scripted phrase can be added onto it.
- Lighthouses are also a popular way to symbolize sailors, fishermen, and loved ones that lived the maritime life or those who have passed at sea. This may include their name, important dates, or ribbons that read "faith" or "hope." For example, if a child has lost their dad, they may get one with "Dad" at the bottom on a ribbon.
- For obvious reasons, this design is popular among sailors and fishermen. It can be used to symbolize those who brave the open waters every day to make a living for their family. When you consider all of this, this is just as meaningful as any other tattoo symbol in the world.
There are a variety of different meanings that are associated with this design. As you read earlier, they are popular among sailors and fishermen. These are the people that can carry deep symbolic meaning with the tattoo. This includes:
- The correct path
Although it is symbolic, many people also choose this design for its beauty. It is very colorful and there are many things that can be associated with them. This gives you many options. For example, you can design it to make it look very realistic or give it a more cartoon look. It can have a landscape behind it while others may appear as if they are within the clouds.
There are some very important things that you need to remember before you choose a final tattoo.
- Do your own research and take the time to look at a variety of different designs. You want to make sure you are completely sure about your final choice.
- Take your time and don't rush to get inked.You don't want to get one based just on impulse. Take your time and make sure you fully understand what your tattoo means and represents. Those that rush to get one without research and knowing what their tattoo represents are more likely to regret it later on down the road.
So, remember: Take your time and research your tattoo! If the lighthouse is not for you, there are an endless number of other options out there.
Thanks for reading!
© Richard Ricky Hale
Wayne Etheredge on September 09,
I have the Biloxi, Mississippi lighthouse on my upper bicep. I have seen storms, especially Hurricane Katrina, try it. But it survived. Damaged but still there. Once it was repaired, it was stronger than ever. Just like the storms of life. Every one makes you stronger
Kerstin on November 27,
Thanks for this great article! I've got quite an unusual lighthouse on my back: It's built on the back of a baby turtle which brings some dynamic into the often stable and steady position of a lighthouse. I wanted to have it that way because I personally don't feel rooted at a specific geographical location, but rather at my human lighthouses, i.e. friends. The baby turtle has several meanings in mythology. In the Hindu belief, the world rests on the back of a turtle (The World Turtle). In the Hawaiian culture, it is also said that the ancient Hawai'ians were guided to the islands by turtles. Fun fact (and coincidence): About years after I had this tattoo done, I met my boyfriend and future husband in Hawai'i. He is a passionate hobby sailor and crazy about the sea.
Richie on November 02,
Great article, I'm booked in for a lighthouse tattoo next month and reading this has confirmed what It's about for me. As a traveler it will be a light to guide me home safe and to me, the lighthouse image makes me dream of adventures. Great hub!
Richard Ricky Hale (author) from West Virginia on July 03,
Max, glad you liked it. You make a good case Max. That is an interesting perspective to have about the lighthouse. I also believe that they can be inspirational in this form. I never looked at it like that, but it could. Your a genius Max!
BeyondMax from Sydney, Australia on June 25,
So awesome, how did I miss this! =) I have a special attachment to the lighthouses, especially after consuming in 4 seasons of aussie TV-series 'Round the Twist' (hilarious magical adventures of the family that lived in the lighthouse) LOL I never looked at lighthouses the same way again. It always represented a door to unknown, to supernatural adventure to me (but then again, what can be expected from me? LOL) I think that the most - it falls into inspirational category for me.
Richard Ricky Hale (author) from West Virginia on April 25,
Thank all of you for taking the time to drop by and comment. Much appreciated. Best wishes to you all and thanks:)
Faith Reaper from southern USA on April 19,
What amazingly beautiful artwork. I love the lighthouse. That is the name of the church to which I belong. I love the symbolism. My son is one for tattoos, but his are nowhere beautiful as these. And I wish he had taken his time (as you suggest here) in not rushing to get one and researching the meaning behind the ones he did. In His Love, Faith Reaper
Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on April 19,
Wow, these are quite elaborate -- some are full scenes. Voting this Up and Beautiful.
Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on April 18,
I've never seen a lighthouse incorporated into a tattoo and was glad to see that this hub, like the others you've done about tattoos, has many photos and lots of information about the meanings behind the images.
I was amazed at the intricacy and colorfulness of these designs.
Voted up across the board except for funny.
Rosemary Sadler from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand on April 16,
These are amazing. I have never seen nor heard of lighthouse tattoos before.
I love the one with the seahors below.
Again you have put a lot of work into this and made it very interesting to read.
Thank you Ricky
Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on April 16,
These are beautiful. I adore lighthouses. I have a set of lighthouse tapestry that i love. Thank you again
prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on April 16,
Wow this was beautiful hub, my friend. I had never know that lighthouse would become beautiful as a tattoos object. You have done a great job by sharing this hub with us. Rated up and awesome.
Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on April 16,
Great hub as always my friend but why would anyone want a lighthouse on them.They are colorful though.
Brenda Barnes from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on April 16,
These are beautiful. I have never seen a lighthouse tattoo in life. Thanks for the tutorial lyricwriter. I really enjoy these Hubs.
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