are most well known for alerting sailors to hazards and coastlines
during the night, or through conditions which impeed visibilty,
such as rain and fog. However, lighthouses also help to mark
the coast by day.
system developed by the Lighthouse Board (est. 1852 by U.S.
Congress) designated individual lighthouses as "daymarks"
by the use of painted patterns. Unique patterns painted on
lighthouses enable sailors to recognize them as markers for
particular locations during the day. Although many lighthouses
are painted with similiar patterns, they are far enough apart
to prevent them from being confused with one another.
lighthouses have simple bands of color, others are painted
with spiraling lines and still others are painted one solid
color. The most common colors used to paint lighthouses are
white, black and red.
few lighthouses notable for their markings include:
Island Light (Nags Head,
white and two black horizontal bands
Bonavista Light (Bonavista,
with vertical red stripes from top to bottom
Hatteras Light (Outer Banks,
black spiral against a white background
Henry Light (Chesapeake Bay,
vertical black and white checkerboard pattern
Lookout Light (Cape Lookout
National Seashore, NC)
black and white diamond pattern
Quoddy Head Light (Lubec,
thin, horizontal red stripes against a white background