The seas outside Lista look inviting when the weather is fine, but in fact, the lighthouse sends its warning signals out over one of the most dangerous coastal stretches of Norway. During the days of the sailing ships, ships often ran aground along Lista’s coast. In 1781, as many as eight ships ran aground just during the autumn months.
The first demands for a light beacon came from the townspeople of Flekkefjord in 1789. When plans for and development of a system of lighthouses began in the early 1800’s, Lista stood high on the priority list. In 1836 the first light beacon on top of a 34 meter high granite tower could be lit.
As time passed, a problem developed in differentiating the light beacons from one another. Two more lighthouses were built at Lista in 1853 to avoid the confusion. This arrangement lasted until 1872. By that time, new blinking apparatures had been invented, allowing the lights of each tower to be recognizably different. Therefore, two of the lighthouses was dismantled and removed.
The lighthouse station at Lista has also had a foghorn and a visual signal station (semaphore) where the lighthouse-keeper could send messages to passing ships by raising different flag combinations on the nearby embankment. In addition, the fog signals were syncronized with the radiosignals from the lighthouse so that the ship captains could calculate the distance to land by timing the difference between the radio signals and the sound signals.
The Fog Horn
In 1880 the lighthouse got the strongest foghorn of that time.
The lighthouse also had a visual signal-station (semaphore), where the lighthouse-keeper could send messages to passing ships by raising different flag-combinations on the flagpole located on the nearby embankment.
In addition, the radiosignals were synchronized with the beacon lights of the lighthouse, so that the ship-captains could calculate the distance to land by timing the difference between the radiosignals and the sound-signals.
In 1932, the same year as the lighthouse got electricity, a modern signal-horn was installed.
In 1988 the foghorn was closed down.