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Long ago, lighthouses were created with the sole purpose of guiding ships out at sea. While they were created with practicality in mind, lighthouses have become a symbolic image in our culture and are viewed as a thing of beauty. While not always a popular tattoo choice, a lighthouse tattoo can be a meaningful design for anyone, not just seamen or fishermen.
If you have ever felt lost or have just found yourself on the right path in life, the lighthouse may be an important image that holds a lot of significance for you. Maybe you are looking for hope and inspiration, or lighthouses hold some other important emotion and meaning for you. Whatever the reason, lighthouse tattoos can be perfect symbols in body art.
Below we have created a list of the most unique and beautiful lighthouse tattoo ideas. From simple and small to intricate and sizable, there are numerous lighthouse tattoo designs available to you. So, without further ado, full steam ahead!
Best Lighthouse Tattoo Ideas & Inspiration
Lighthouse with Rope and Rose Tattoo
Both symbolic of hope, images of a lighthouse and rose come together to emote a sense of promise in this simple lighthouse tattoo. The addition of the rope builds on its nautical theme and mirrors the shape of clouds, creating a sense of imagery. The bold lines of this design also give it clear structure and shape.
Colorful Rose and Lighthouse Tattoo
This lighthouse sleeve tattoo does not shy away from color. The rays of the lighthouse pop against a dark purple background, emphasizing the sense of light. The mix of light and deep colors also exudes a sense of light among the darkness both literally and symbolically.
Stormy Lighthouse Sleeve Tattoo
The intensity of the scene in this lighthouse sleeve tattoo is palpable. The dark black and white colors further emphasize the mood of this design. Truly a sense of light amongst the storm, this tattoo evokes a feeling of hope, reminding us that there is always a light to be found even in the darkest of times.
Nautical Lighthouse Thigh Tattoo
Land ho! This lighthouse tattoo design have a definite nautical feel. With classic images of ships, anchors, and rope, this tattoo idea is perfect for those that live their life on the sea. Bright colors make this an eye-catching design that has traditional elements.
Pops of Orange Lighthouse Tattoo
Bright pops of orange make this lighthouse tattoo truly shine! The gray of the clouds places an emphasis on the vivid orange of the lighthouse. A sea creature rises out of the water to further symbolize the concept of the lighthouse as a guiding light amongst danger.
Burning Lighthouse Calf Tattoo
The lighthouse tattoo meaning of this design is deeply symbolic. The choice to put an eye in place of the light suggests that there is an all-seeing presence that guides us through challenges. The flames add a sense of intensity to the overall design.
In Memoriam Lighthouse Traditional Tattoo
Traditionally, we often imagine loved ones who have passed as looking down on us and guiding us through life. With this heartfelt meaning in mind, a lighthouse tattoo design is a beautiful way to put tribute to someone you have lost. The clouds beneath the lighthouse create the sense of air and give the design a heavenly and ethereal feel.
Textured Wave Tattoo
While seemingly simple in design, this simple lighthouse tattoo is more than meets the eye. The light touch from the tattoo artist when inking the waves add a delicate sense of movement and texture to this lighthouse tattoo idea. The artistry of the lighthouse is truly masterful and requires great skill to create.
Black and White Lighthouse Tattoo
The two rays of light stream out from either side of the lighthouse, fending off the impending storm in this intriguing lighthouse tattoo design. Symbolic of safety and protection, this tattoo holds a lot of meaning. Raging waves at the bottom deepen the sense of struggle between good and evil.
Sea Monster Lighthouse Tattoo
A unique sense of symmetry is present in this lighthouse tattoo, evoking a sense of struggle between the lighthouse and the sea monster. Suggestive of the evils that can lie just out of the light, this lighthouse tattoo accentuates the lighthouse as a beacon of hope.
Compasses and Lighthouse Sleeve Tattoo
Unsure of your due north? This lighthouse sleeve tattoo highlights the feeling of being led astray or lacking a sense of purpose. The two compasses point in different directions, highlighting the feeling of being lost. The lighthouse stands out as a piece of promise and guidance amidst the chaos. Large in size this design is best placed on the arm or leg.
Artful Lighthouse Tattoo
A true work of art, this lighthouse sleeve tattoo is absolutely breathtaking. Reminiscent of brushstrokes, this lighthouse tattoo design is truly masterful. Words can simply not do this piece justice and will require significant experience from the tattoo artist.
Guiding Light Lighthouse Tattoo
Appearing like a vintage illustration of a lighthouse scene, the detail and sense of realism in this lighthouse tattoo design is simply inspiring. The dark shading evokes a feeling of brightness, and the rays seem to beam out of the lighthouse. Large in scale, this lighthouse tattoo design is best placed on the arm.
Sketched Lighthouse Sleeve Tattoo
A popular technique utilized to create the lighthouse rays is to leave the skin blank and shade around it. This technique works beautifully in this sketched lighthouse sleeve tattoo. The attention to detail is flawless and the seagulls seem ready to fly right off your arm into the air!
Classic Red and White Lighthouse Tattoo
This lighthouse traditional tattoo pays tribute to the classic red and white coloration. A detailed illustration, this lighthouse is everything you would expect it to be. A perfect size tattoo for the arm or leg.
Lighthouse Side Tattoo
Tall and slender, a lighthouse is an ideal image for a side or chest tattoo. This lighthouse tattoo design features swirling waves and an expertly executed circle of light, emphasizing the lighthouse rays. This lighthouse tattoo is a reminder of our inner strength.
Sunset Lighthouse Calf Tattoo
This gorgeous lighthouse tattoo design has us swooning. The brilliant reds and oranges contrast magnificently with the blues and purples, creating a scene that exudes peace and and tranquility. A jaw-dropping design, this lighthouse tattoo is a work of genius.
Lighthouse Ankle Tattoo
Dainty and delicate, this lighthouse tattoo is both feminine and romantic. Sketch-like lines pair with pretty floral work to create a visually appealing design. This tattoo could also be easily placed on the arm or wrist.
Memorial Lighthouse Sleeve Tattoo
This lighthouse tattoo meaning offers an expressive and sincere way to pay tribute to someone you have lost. Framed by clouds, this tattoo symbolizes a spirit looking down from the heavens and acting as a guiding light and beacon of hope. Tattoos are a beautiful way to suggest that those we have lost are always with us.
Small Lighthouse Sleeve Tattoo
This is a wonderful example of how a small lighthouse tattoo can be a picture perfect addition to any tattoo sleeve. In the above example, the small lighthouse tattoo provides a nice pop of color, symbolic of the brightness lighthouses give off. With diamond stars and a rising sun, this design has a whimsical feel.
Sailor Lighthouse Tattoo
Yo ho, yo ho, a sailor’s life for me! An ideal tattoo for someone whose life is dedicated to the sea, this exquisitely detailed portrait of a sailor paired with a small lighthouse makes for an inspired lighthouse tattoo design. The skill of the tattoo artist is truly exceptional.
Out to Sea Lighthouse Tattoo
Many of us desire to travel and explore the great big world around us. This lighthouse tattoo idea reminds us that while we journey, it is always possible to return home. This design also offers a chance for personalization by choosing a date that is significant to you for the boat.
Picturesque Lighthouse Side Tattoo
This simple lighthouse tattoo design almost seems like an illustration pulled from a whimsical fantasy story. With its storybook feel, this is a perfect tattoo idea for all the dreamers out there.
Forearm Lighthouse Tattoo
The spacing between the rays and around the lighthouse create the effect that this lighthouse sleeve tattoo is really shining. With each individual brick in this place, this design will require a lot of time and patience. However, it is definitely worth it in the end for this enchanting design.
Upper Arm Lighthouse Tattoo
Giving off Rapunzel tower vibes, this lighthouse tattoo has an almost magical storybook feel. The detail in the tower and surrounding scenery make it an eye-catching design. Large in scale this design is best placed on the arm or leg.
Seashell Lighthouse Tattoo
Framed by a seashell, this small lighthouse tattoo is perfectly suited to those who hold the ocean close to their hearts. The lighthouse shines as a beacon of hope and positivity, appearing to rise out of the sea. The size of this design could easily be played with to make it a tattoo that could fit almost anywhere.
Small and Simple Lighthouse Tattoo
Uniquely placed, this small and simple lighthouse tattoo is quite cute! The small area above the heel is not a common place for a tattoo, but this adorable design has us wondering why. The inspirational message of “bring light” reminds us to be a brightness in others’ lives.
Sunny Lighthouse Tattoo
Bright and colorful, this lighthouse tattoo will put a smile on your face. The intricacy and detail of the tropical flower at the bottom of this tattoo adds beautiful artistry of the blossoms at the top. The sun shines over this pleasant scene, making us wish we could be sitting on that dock!
Dual Lighthouse Anchor Tattoos
This lighthouse tattoo idea brings double the trouble with its mirrored design. Symbolic of security and stability, an anchor is a perfect match for the hopeful meaning of the lighthouse. This design will take true expertise to recreate if you want the tattoos to match perfectly.
Small Lighthouse Hand Tattoo
While many of the tattoos on this list have a sizable presence, this small lighthouse tattoo is slightly more understated. Combined with the image of the compass, this lighthouse tattoo is symbolic of having a sense of direction in life. With its more versatile size, this tattoo could be placed on the hand, foot, or shoulder.
Abstract Lighthouse Side Tattoo
Dark and intense, this lighthouse tattoo design carries a lot of deep meaning. The tattoo evokes deep emotions, and plays with shadowing to an intriguing effect. There is an interesting juxtaposition between the darkness of ink that symbolize the rays of light.
Watercolor Lighthouse Tattoo
Those who argue that tattooing isn’t a form of art have clearly never seen this exquisite lighthouse tattoo. The blending of rich and vivid colors create a watercolor of body art that is absolutely gorgeous. The contrast of pale skin amidst the deep background colors creates the illusion that the lighthouse is really beaming out.
Black and White Lighthouse Leg Tattoo
This quirky lighthouse leg tattoo almost appears to be drawn on in Sharpie ink, but that is what makes it so charming. It feels authentic and personal with bold lines that are intentionally imperfect. This would be a fun design for any tattoo artist to complete.
Dreamy Lighthouse Tattoo
“A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.” This intense and formidable lighthouse tattoo design reminds us that challenges and hardships are a part of life. Hopeful imagery of the lighthouse, dove, and flowers that could come from any Polynesian island symbolize the beauty that can still be found.
Simple Lighthouse Hand Tattoo
If you prefer a more understated and simple piece of body art, this simple lighthouse tattoo idea certainly fits the bill. Beautifully executed, this design is classic and timeless. Its small size makes it a versatile tattoo that could be placed anywhere on the body.
Lighthouse Scene Arm Tattoo
This small lighthouse tattoo proves that size really doesn’t matter! With storm clouds and gargantuan waves ready to bear down on the miniature structure, the lighthouse boldly stands out as a symbol of strength. This colorful tattoo is enclosed within the shape of South Carolina, suggesting that there is always strength in returning home. This could easily be altered to fit your own personal home state!
Lighthouse Stencil Tattoo
This stenciled lighthouse and sun traditional tattoo presents a timeless and enduring look. Clean lines and plain black ink form a design that will never go out of style. A detailed scene, this tattoo is best placed on the arm or leg.
Tropical Lighthouse Tattoo
While lighthouses usually bring the coast of Nantucket to mind with standard red and white stripes, this lighthouse tattoo design puts a tropical twist on a classic. Beautiful floral accents surround a unique example of South American architecture. This tattoo has a much lighter and peaceful feel compared to some of the more intense designs on this list.
Brushed Lighthouse Tattoo
As Francis Bacon once said, “In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must also be present,” and the darkness of the lighthouse causes the light to shine brightly in this design. A tasteful and thought-provoking design, this small lighthouse tattoo has a large presence. A true example of beauty in simplicity.
Lighthouse Heart Tattoo
Let your heart’s desire shine through with this small lighthouse tattoo. While small in size, this design still incorporates a lot of detail. The bright red of the heart shines out of the lighthouse, symbolizing the glow of your heart. A perfect tattoo for the arm, hand, or foot!
Symbolic of numerous positive emotions and messages, lighthouses make for a meaningful and significant tattoo design. Hopefully, you have found the design on this list that calls (or shines!) out to you. Whether looking for something intense and dark or small and simple, there is a lighthouse tattoo design for you!