Built on the eastern tip of Sanibel Island, the Sanibel Island Light is the first lighthouse on Florida's Gulf Coast north of Key West and the Dry Tortugas. It was built to mark the entrance to San Carlos Bay.
The square, pyramidal skeleton framework tower, is 112 feet tall, with a focal length of 98 feet above sea level. Originally, a Third-Order Fresnel lens was installed. However, in 1963 it was removed. It was replaced with a 300mm glass lens, and the light was converted to electricity. The characteristic is 2 white flashes every 6-seconds.
From a historical marker at the site:
The first permanent English-speaking settlers on Sanibel Island arrived from New York in 1833 as part of a colony planned by land investors. Although that settlement was short-lived, the initial colonists petitioned the U.S. government for the construction of a lighthouse on the island. No action was taken on that proposal at the time. By the late 1870's, sea-going commerce in the area had increased in volume. The U.S. Lighthouse Bureau took the initiative in requesting funds for a lighthouse for Sanibel Island, and in 1884, construction of the tower began. The station was lighted for the first time in August, 1884. The significance of the Sanibel Lighthouse lies in the regular and reliable service it has provided for travelers along Florida's West Coast. Since 1930, the U.S. Coast Guard property at the lighthouse has been a wildlife refuge.
|Available in the Gift Store|
|United States Lighthouse
Map & Guide
available for sale at
Return to the Florida Lights page
Visit the Florida Keys Reef Lights Foundation
Return to the: Alphabetical Listing or the Listing by States