Product Idea

The Functional Lighthouse

Welcome to the fully functional Lego Lighthouse!

Standing approximately 56cm tall, this lighthouse includes an illuminated rotating light and is modelled from traditional hyperboloid (curved) lighthouses from the last 2 centuries.

I grew up loving Lego and rekindled it again over the last couple of years. This idea is based from real-life structures, a model that is big (minifig big), includes moving elements, and something that would inspire people to build it. I stumbled on the idea of a traditional lighthouse and the functional lighthouse idea was born.

I wanted this idea to include 3 things which appeal to build it:

  • Lego’s statement “big models are awesome” (yes, they are)
  • A hyperboloid lighthouse
  • Operates just like a real lighthouse

This idea has gone through a few design iterations trying to recreate a hyperboloid structure without using hundreds of small bricks or look like a spaceship (until my wife and I agreed). It’s not easy but makes the process fun!

There are two methods to power a light that rotates:

  • A light brick (not in this design). Top or side access may be achieved with slight redesign.
  • The Power Functions Light (8870) (this design). The lights are built into the rotating light housing and the cable is threaded through a slot to ensure the cable is kept away from other parts and thread down the centre. At the bottom sits a battery box freely on a platform that rotates in unison with the light (pictured). The box can be lifted out to replace batteries when required and is held in place by a bracket.

I placed the model on a small island with cliffs allowing space for power function components and moving parts. This also provides opportunity for extra details and scenery rather than a solitary building. For an automated lighthouse, the model requires 2 batteries: one to rotate the light and one to power the light – unless a light brick is used.

I decided to include an additional small island, walking bridge, wharf, boat house (tool shed) and boat. The thought behind this was that remote lighthouses required access, and this also allows minifigs to be used freely and played with. Other options I considered in lieu of the second island were a fishing trawler or making the lighthouse island slightly bigger with a stone house next to it.

Mini figures could include:

  • Lighthouse keeper
  • Boat master
  • Handyman
  • Fisherman
  • Lighthouse keeper’s partner.

I hope you like this idea and thanks for supporting.

Some items worth noting:

  • It’s an idea. I’m not an engineer, so there may be a better way to build it, and totally understand if it the final design changed.
  • The rotating light could be operated manually by hand requiring a rotating crank at the base (not shown). Light rotation is approximately 12 RPM per this design (or once every 5 seconds).
  • The light is boxed (one side open) to provide directional lighting. It is also attached to the lighthouse roof with transparent pieces to ensure stability and support.
  • The attachment between wharf and boat is meant to be rope (if available)
  • Cog/motor layout shown for informational purpose.
  • Some photos include a horizon (in case anyone is curious about the grey line).
  • Bridge could be crank operated (not shown).
  • Approximately 1,600 pieces.