Though you may not have truly noticed them, beacons are in more aspects of life. They are used for warnings, drawing attention to something, or just generally making people aware in order to provide assistance in a variety of situations, locations, and scenarios.

Beacon lights and towers are meant for safety purposes but can be used for so much more. If you are unfamiliar with them, a quick guide can tell you everything about these simple but effective safety tools.

Beacon Light Colors

The cool thing about beacon towers is that they come in a variety of colors. Depending on the industry, the color of the lighting can serve a specific purpose. As it stands, there are five different colors you find with most beacon tower lights:

Red: Red is the most common color out there, generally associated with hazards, risks, and emergencies. Most of the time, these red lights rotate or flash, particularly in public buildings, but can be found on fire and police vehicles as well, plus they are typically used in evacuations.

Blue: What many don’t realize is that blue is generally the same thing. The one thing to remember is that they aren’t allowed to be used on highways or streets, however.

Green: Green is generally associated with security and safety. Mobile command centers and safety vehicles use these lights to signify that an emergency is being handled.

Yellow: Caution, “slow down,” etc. These lights are about maintaining safety and awareness, generally used around construction sites, in buildings, and in airports.

White: You will find white lights around public transportation settings. Most of the time, it is simply to improve visibility when vehicles are on the road.

What are Beacon Lights Used For?

The best thing about beacon towers is that they can be used in any number of ways. Most of the time, they are used in settings where safety or awareness is paramount. Warning of impending danger is another common use.

Warning Devices

They are common in factories as warning devices. Installed on equipment and machinery, they help to promote caution and increased attention around potentially dangerous devices. Loud sirens are often used in tandem to emphasize the “warning.” Industrial equipment can be dangerous if mishandled, so these lights/sounds aid in safer overall use.


Another area in which beacon lights are commonly used is navigation. Out on the open water, there aren’t many landmarks to signal location. Navigation lights are great for directing ships, particularly at night, and alerting them that the shore is nearby.

For modern vessels, beacons are also installed right on board. This helps to prevent collisions between those boats, especially at night when visibility is typically lower. When inclement weather arises, those lights can mean the difference between safety and disaster.

Even some land-based vehicles make use of beacon lights. The goal becomes to not only improve visibility but also increase awareness on the road. Larger vehicles create more difficult circumstances, so having the additional visibility is always beneficial.

What Was the First Beacon Light?

Beacon lights have been around for a long time now. Going back, one of the earliest was used to light up wooded areas, a warning that enemies were thought to be nearby. Naturally, these weren’t the kind of lights we are familiar with today, typically a strategically placed fire of some sort.

This was a common defense that would give troops time to get ready and avoid being taken by surprise. They have since come a long way. Some lights can include additional features as well for more comprehensive use.


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