New Point Loma Lighthouse

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This article is about the currently operating Point Loma light. For the historic lighthouse, see Old Point Loma Lighthouse.
Point Loma Light
Point Loma Lighthouse.jpg
Point Loma Lighthouse
New Point Loma Lighthouse is located in California
New Point Loma Lighthouse
Location San Diego, California
Coordinates 32°39′54″N 117°14′33″W / 32.6651°N 117.24249°W / 32.6651; -117.24249Coordinates: 32°39′54″N 117°14′33″W / 32.6651°N 117.24249°W / 32.6651; -117.24249
Year first lit 1891
Automated 1973
Foundation Concrete
Construction Skeletal tower with central cylinder
Tower shape Square Pyramidal
Markings / pattern White tower with black lantern and watch room
Height 70 feet (21 m)
Focal height 88 feet (27 m)
Original lens Third order Fresnel lens
Current lens VLB-44
Range 22 nm
Characteristic white flash every 15 sec.
Fog signal Horn 1 every 30 sec.
Admiralty number G3676
ARLHS number USA-626
USCG number

6-0005 [1] [2]


The New Point Loma Lighthouse (officially Point Loma Light) is a lighthouse at the southern tip of the Point Loma peninsula in San Diego, California.


It was first lighted on March 23, 1891, replacing the Old Point Loma Lighthouse which is atop the 400 feet (120 m) cliffs of Point Loma; the old lighthouse was often obscured by fog. The new light is only 88 feet (27 m) above the water. The first lighthouse keeper was Robert Decatur Israel, who had been keeper at the old lighthouse for 18 years.[4]

The original light was 600,000 candlepower and could be seen at a distance of approximately 15 nautical miles. There was also a two-tone diaphone fog horn and living quarters for several families.[1]

The structure is the only one of its kind remaining on the West Coast. It is very similar to Coney Island Light, Plum Island Range Rear Light, La Pointe Light, and Duluth South Breakwater Inner Light, all of which were built at about the same time.[3] The latter three of these are all on the National Register of Historic Places.

The light was automated in 1973.[1] In February 2013, the light that had been in use since 1999 was replaced with a VLB-44. The LED apparatus reduces the maintenance cost of the lighthouse and is brighter than the previous light.[5]


  1. ^ a b c "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: California". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office. 
  2. ^ Light List, Volume VI, Pacific Coast and Pacific Islands (PDF). Light List. United States Coast Guard. 2012. p. 1. 
  3. ^ a b Rowlett, Russ. "Lighthouses of the United States: Central and Southern California". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 
  4. ^ "Life at the Lighthouse - Family Memories". Cabrillo National Monument. National Park Service. Retrieved 29 March 2013. 
  5. ^ Jeanette Steele (6 February 2013). "Changing of the bulb: Point Loma lighthouse goes green". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 31 March 2013.