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Lighthouse Lingo

AEROBEACON
A modern type of light used in many lighthouses today. An aerobeacon is currently lighting the Ponce Inlet tower.

BULLSEYE
A convex lens used to concentrate light by means of refraction. The Fresnel lenses in the Lens Museum at Ponce De Leon Inlet Light Station have bullseye panels.

CANDLEPOWER
A classification of light according to its brightness.

CHARACTERISTIC
The individual pattern of flash or occultation in each lighthouse light.

CISTERN
A water storage tank, often located underground. See one behind the Gladys Meyer Davis House at the Ponce Inlet Light Station

DAYMARK
The unique color scheme and/or pattern that identifies a lighthouse during daylight hours.

FIXED LIGHT
A steady beam that does not flash.

FLASH
A characteristic in which the period of light is shorter than the period of dark. Lights that have a period of light interrupted by a shorter dark period are called OCCULTING.

FOG SIGNAL
A device that produces a warning sound to aid navigation in thick fog. The Ponce Inlet Light Station has a "thousand-pounder" fog bell on display.

FRESNEL LENS
A type of optic consisting of a convex lens and many prisms which focus and intensify light through reflection and refraction. Fresnel is the last name of the French inventor of the lens and is pronounced fra-NEL.

FUEL
Material that is burned to produce light. Lighthouse lanterns burned a variety of fuels including whale oil, tallow, lard, colza oil (from pressed cabbages) and kerosene.

GALLERY
The balcony or walkway located outside the watch room (main gallery) or lantern room (lantern gallery) of a lighthouse.

INLET
A narrow strip of water that ships on the ocean use to enter an inland body of water.

KEEPER
A person who takes care of the lighthouse. The Principal Keeper is in charge of the entire light station.

LAMP
The source of light in the lighthouse.

LANTERN ROOM
The glassed-in housing for the lamp and lens at the top of the light tower.

LENS
A curved piece of glass designed to either bring together or spread apart rays of light.

LIGHTHOUSE
A lighted beacon of major importance in navigation

LIGHT STATION
A complex containing the lighthouse tower, keepers' quarters and other necessary buildings.

LOG
A book for keeping daily records of the light station.

ORDER
Fresnel lenses are categorized by size. First order lenses are the largest and sixth order lenses are the smallest. The size of the lens determines the brightness of the light and the distance it will travel.

PHAROLOGIST
A person who studies or is interested in lighthouses.

PRISM
A transparent piece of glass that refracts or disperses light.

REVOLVING LIGHT
One that produces a characteristic.

TOWER
The structure that supports the lantern room of the lighthouse.

WICKIE
Lighthouse keepers were sometimes called "wickies" since trimming the wicks of their lamps was such an important task.
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(386) 761-1821

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Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association
4931 South Peninsula Drive - Ponce Inlet, FL 32127
(386) 761-1821
Open Daily to the Public at 10:00 a.m.
Last admission one hour before closing

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