We Ask: What is it like to live in a lighthouse?

Talking About Preference

Have you ever thought about being a lighthouse keeper? This isn’t an easy job, so many people can only dream about doing it. On the other hand, many make their dreams come true because this is just the lifestyle they’re looking for. Just think about being on a remote island, isolated from the world. Does that sound like something you’d enjoy? If so, being a lighthouse keeper may just be the job you were looking for.


Why would anyone prefer this life of loneliness? Well, it’s not as bad as people make it seem. Think of being a lighthouse keeper as being on a constant adventure. There’s always something to do, you have to find creative ways to survive every day, and you have responsibilities on top of that. People choose this calling when they think they’re self-sufficient and want to see if they could survive the conditions of the lighthouse island.

The Lighthouse Lifestyle

The lighthouse life isn’t easy. In fact, it’s a constant battle against the weather, the sea, and yourself. Lighthouses are usually found on remote islands. This means there is no civilization, barely any phone reception, and no store you can go to when you run out of food. However, you aren’t always alone. Sometimes, there can be more than one lighthouse keeper. When that’s the case, the only thing you can do is learn to love your neighbor and companion.


Every couple of weeks, keepers will get a supply delivery. Until then, they have to use what they have. This is why keepers often start growing their own produce, learn how to fish, and go through training that teaches them how to cook and bake.

We mentioned weather. It’s natural to assume that being a lighthouse keeper means you’re constantly on a vacation. That’s just how most people imagine life on a remote island. Unfortunately, the weather can be unforgiving, with winds, rain, and waves so strong they could knock you down. That’s why keepers always have to be ready for any kind of trouble because that’s the only way for them to survive a catastrophe.

Responsibilities of Lighthouse Keepers

Being a keeper comes with a myriad of responsibilities. These responsibilities will keep you busy all day, and you won’t have much time for entertainment or any hobbies. Plus, you have to do your tasks every single day because that’s the only way to keep the lighthouse alive. 


The first set of responsibilities is logging, recording, and reporting about the weather. Keepers usually have to wake up early in the morning and observe the sky in complete darkness. That’s why they don’t switch any lights on when they wake up, ensuring they have their night vision.


Another set of responsibilities is taking care of the lighthouse, other quarters of the station, and the island itself. That means cleaning, mowing grass, and a lot of painting and oiling. Every keeper will tell you that every day, regardless of the weather, is humid. With so much humidity in the air, it’s easy for living quarters to develop mold. That’s why keepers need to clean them regularly. 


Lastly, keepers have to show tourists around. There aren’t many tourists to be found on remote islands, but when they come, keepers have to act as tourist guides. They’re the ones that know the most and will always ensure that tourists don’t do anything they shouldn’t.

Risks and Dangers

As you now know, the weather on these islands is often terrifying. Seeing a storm coming from the comfort of your home isn’t scary unless that storm is coming towards you. Keepers have to be ready to brave all kinds of storms because many of them can be fatal. They have to be ready to bar the windows and even move stuff to upper floors in case of flooding. If the flood affects the generators in the lighthouse, that can be really dangerous.


All lighthouse keepers need to be great organizers. This is especially true if they get supplies delivered and don’t grow their own produce. In these cases, sorting out your groceries and supplies is crucial for their survival. The dangers of running out of food are logical, but it’s even worse when you remember that these islands don’t have great phone reception. 

So, lighthouse keepers can’t really ask for help or more supplies when they need them. Even though the risks of being on a remote island are great, the benefits are just as numerous. Working as a keeper really teaches you how to take good care of yourself and your property and be ready for anything.

Lighthouse Keeper’s Purpose

The main purpose of a lighthouse keeper is to report on the weather. Many people see lighthouses as beacons of hope for sailors or ships lost in a storm in the middle of the night. That is one of the lighthouse’s purposes, but the keeper needs to take good care of the lighthouse so it can continue lighting the way.


Weather reports may not seem significant to you, but they affect everyone in the community nearby. Not only does the community know what the weather will be like thanks to the lighthouse keeper, but they’ll also know if a storm is coming, and they should evacuate on time. Even though not many people know about lighthouse keepers and what their job is, they’re essential for communities around the world. They’re what keeps these lighthouses still standing.

Do They Still Exist?

Being a lighthouse keeper isn’t a thing of the past. So, yes, they do exist today! Finding them isn’t always easy, though. If you have a lighthouse nearby, you can visit it and speak to your local keeper about what their life is actually like.


If you want to become a lighthouse keeper yourself, you can do that too. However, keep in mind that it isn’t a job you can just try and then quit. Your community would rely on you as a keeper, so you’d have a lot of responsibility on your shoulders. Some keepers describe their life as a breeze, though, only working six months a year. So, if you think this is your calling, find your local lighthouse keeper and find out how you can be one too.