Old lighthouse on top of 25-storey Marine Parade condo flashes every 5 seconds, beam visible 42km away

76m above sea level.

Ashley Tan | December 16, 2020, 04:50 PM

The idea of lighthouses often conjure up images of a tall, lone building on a rocky outcrop in the sea far away from the mainland.

You might be surprised to know, though, that there actually exists a lighthouse in the midst of a residential estate in Singapore — Marine Parade.

Since 1978

Known as the Bedok Lighthouse, it sits not atop a hill or higher ground, but on the highest floor of a 25-storey condominium, Lagoon View, along Marine Parade Rd.

It stands 76m above sea level.

The lighthouse first started operating on National Day in 1978. From afar, its red facade can be seen stark against the blue sky.

Photo by Bryan Cambo

Photo by Bryan Cambo

According to government website Roots, Bedok Lighthouse is the first fully-automated and unmanned lighthouse in Singapore, for those wondering if a shaggy old lighthouse keeper is living on the top floor of the condo.

It is also the first ever lighthouse to be situated on top of a residential building.

When Mothership went down to take a look, the entrance to the top floor was merely a nondescript grey door.

There was no signage or label to indicate that the lighthouse was located above.

Photo by Bryan Cambo

A quick rattle of the door found it locked.

Photo by Bryan Cambo

Beam isn't disruptive to residents

The lighthouse's 600,000-candle beam flashes every five seconds, and is said to be visible up to 42km away.

Photo from Ah Teo / Google Maps

The condo offers a spectacular view of the sea and the passing ships.

Roots stated that the flashing light has not been disruptive for residents living in other high-rise buildings nearby.

Residents on the highest 25th storey of the condo previously told The Straits Times they have had no problems with the lighthouse on their roof as well.

Photo by Bryan Cambo

Photo by Bryan Cambo

The Bedok Lighthouse was preceded by the now-defunct Fullerton Lighthouse.

The latter was replaced when the construction of taller buildings around it obscured its view of the sea.

In 2014, there were plans to replace the Bedok Lighthouse at Lagoon View with another on top of the HDB Blk 3 Marine Terrace, another block with a clear line of sight to the sea.

The new lighthouse would have upgrades such as closed-circuit television, electro-optic camera and radio communications equipment.

AsiaOne reported that the new lighthouse was expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2015.

It seems however, that plan never materialised, and the Bedok Lighthouse remains a landmark on top of Lagoon View to this day.

Photo by Bryan Cambo

Aside from the lighthouse at Bedok, five more remain active and are located at offshore islands — Horsburgh Lighthouse, Pulau Pisang Lighthouse, Sultan Shoal Lighthouse and Raffles Lighthouse.

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Top photo by Ah Teo / Google Maps and Bryan Cambo