Cape Lookout Lighthouse Fast Facts

Cape Lookout National Seashore consists of 56 miles of undeveloped beach stretched over 3 to 4 barrier islands from Ocracoke Inlet on the northeast to Beaufort Inlet on the southeast. One of the star attractions to this area is the Cape Lookout Lighthouse.

The Cape Lookout Lighthouse is actually the second lighthouse standing in the same location for almost 150 years.

Cape Lookout Lighthouse

The first Cape Lookout Lighthouse was built in 1812. It was a brick tower but the outside was covered in wood. The wood was painted with red and white stripes. The lighthouse was 107 feet tall. The light from this tower could be seen 12 miles away.

A second Cape Lookout Lighthouse was built in 1859. This tower was much taller standing at 163 feet high. The light can be seen 18 miles out to sea on a clear day. A spiral iron staircase inside the lighthouse winds to the top. There are a total of 207 steps.

The current lighthouse was also the first of this new style to be built in North Carolina. The lighthouse looks solid but it is not. It has two walls with space in between. This means that the lighthouse could be built taller without falling over. At the base of the lighthouse the walls are 9 feet thick and narrow to 1 foot 7 inches at the top.

In 1950 The Cape Lookout Lighthouse became automated making it able to turn the light on and off as needed. Electrical power is still provided by diesel powered generators, requiring someone to maintain and repair the generators.

Presently there are two Lights produced by two airport beacons with each bulb as strong as 800,000 candles. The current light can be seen 20 miles out to sea and even further on good weather days. There is one flash every 15 seconds.

The Cape Lookout lighthouse is painted in black and white diamonds. The white diamonds face an east-west direction and much deeper water while the black diamonds face a north-south direction and the shallow waters around the dangerous Lookout Shoals.

Access to the Cape Lookout Lighthouse is only by boat.

To learn more about the lighthouse or real estate along the Crystal Coast then contact Margaret Hitchcock at Hitchcock Realty. Margaret is a Realtor with over 10 years’ experience of representing buyers and sellers in Morehead City, Beaufort, Atlantic Beach, Emerald Isle, Pine Knoll Shores, Salter Path, Newport, Down East and surrounding areas.

Cape Lookout Lighthouse Fast Facts

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