Main Article Theories about
The Lighthouse
Main Discussion
 Theories may be removed if ... 
  1. Stated as questions or possibilities (avoid question marks, "Maybe", "I think", etc).
  2. More appropriate for another article.
  3. Illogical or previously disproven.
  4. Proven by canon source, and moved to main article.
  5. Speculative and lacking any evidence to support arguments.
  6. Responding to another theory (use discussion page instead).
  • This does not include responses that can stand alone as its own theory.
  • Usage of an indented bullet does not imply the statement is a response.

See the Lostpedia theory policy for more details.

The Lighthouse - The Eye Of The Island

John Locke looked into the eye of the Island and what he saw was beautiful. Jack Shephard looked into the eye of the Island and what he saw was places of the characters' past. (Maybe John Locke saw the alternative reality through the Lighthouse's mirrors and saw that he was married to Helen Norwood. At least he had seen something beautiful.)

Lighthouse shows location of candidates in an unchanged timeline

The reflections show the locations of the candidates in a timeline unaffected by Jacob. We already know Jack was visiting his mom very often. Perhaps James for whatever reason was visiting his parents grave and Jin or Sun where revisiting the Pagoda's.

Name and Number Association

The lighthouse is what Jacob used to associate numbers to names.


  • The degree system is well established, and the numbers were linked with it when we saw the lighthouse protractor.
  • The names are written by hand next to the degrees, as if filled in after the fact.
  • When turned to a certain degree, a place that is important to the person named appears to be shown. It is possible that Jacob observed each degree long enough to determine who the mirror was showing him, and then wrote the name down.


  • The numbers might have meaning outside of the degree system, and this could just be a tool with which Jacob located people he was already looking for. In this case, it's possible that the lighthouse is no more telling than a hammer.
  • This may not be Jacob's lighthouse, and it might not be his handwriting.

The Lighthouse and the Cave

  • The Lighthouse is Jacob's space and the cave is the space of his brother. The lighthouse is high in the air and a source of light and Jacob wears light colored clothing. The cave is literally underground and Jacob's brotherwears dark clothing.
  • They have the same candidate's names, however in the lighthouse they are systematically arrayed by compass heading, whereas in the cave they are haphazardly written on the walls and ceilings. This suggests that Jacob's list is the original list of candidates, and that his brother copied them, perhaps with some difficulty.
  • The outside world locations are only reflected in the mirrors if the candidate's name hasn't been crossed out.
  • Jacob's brother led Sawyer to the cave in an effort to recruit him. With Hurley's help, Jacob led Jack to the lighthouse which could mean Jack is Jacob's recruit.
  • Perhaps the lighthouse is actually the MIB's domain and that is why Jacob did not seem to care/mind when Jack smashed the mirrors.
  • The Cave contains a scale with the Senet pieces on it that Jacob gave to the MiB when the MiB killed the woman who claimed to be their mother. When Fake Locke brought Sawyer to the Cave, the scale was tipped toward the side with the black peice, which would indicate the Cave belongs to the MiB.

Narnia Reference

  • The lamp in the wood that marks the entry to Narnia resembles the new Dharma Logo
    (Pic from the books below). This Dharma station is outside the Island and it marks the portal to the other world.
    • This seems highly likely as the church, where Ms. Hawking was found has just the very resembling light tower.


The Lighthouse is actually the 'Jughead' bomb seen in 'Jughead', but it has built around it with lead like Daniel said to. This is why Ms. Hawking has the symbol on her computer - she was in charge of The Lighthouse when she was Ellie on the island.

  • No, no, no. The Jughead was shown to be in the catacombs below Otherville. Jack and Sayid took the warhead part of it to the Swan to blow it up, remember? Unless you think somehow there is the Jughead from another timeline in this timeline...

The Beacon

"The Beacon" station is a device used to lure aircraft onto the Island, hence the references on the Ajira Airways website. The Beacon was used to lure the Drug Smugglers plane as well as the Ajira Airways flight. The building of the runway would support this theory. Once an aircraft is lured off course it would be forced to crash or land on the island.

    • Not just aircraft, but ships and boats too. Possibly the Black Rock, French Expedition Team, and Freighter.
    • I do not believe the runway was used as a beacon. It was built on Hydra Island with help of the Losties, as shown in season 3, after the smugglers plane crashed. The runway was built for the Ajira plane to land. The Lighthouse was used to watch the candidates lives. Jacob didn't seem to care about future use of the lighthouse after Jack smashed the mirrors to pieces.

Lighthouse NOT used to BRING people to Island

The Lighthouse isn't to "bring" anyone to the Island. Jacob uses it as HIS way of getting to "candidates". Nobody seems to question how it is exactly that Jacob gets off the Island. He isn't using a sub. He is able to use it to transport himself to whichever Candidate he wishes. He wanted Jack to smash it because he has decided Jack will be his replacement and no longer needs it.

  • Exactly. That is almost canon at how obvious it is, i don't know why there is any confusion..

The lighthouse is not used to "bring" people but instead it is used to prevent people from coming. That is one of the main usage of a lighthouse, warn of closes reefs and dangers. Jacob might have played a little "decide while not decinding" game. On one hand, he ask Hurley to move it to 108. This is to prevent a specific from getting on the Island, like Desmond Hume. On the other hand he knows that Jack might break it up, so in this case everyone will be coming, for a final confrontation.

  • The lighthouse was most likely built on one of the islands hotspots of energy. Jacob and past protectors were most likely able to use the lighthouse as a way to travel to parts of a chosen persons past or present. Maybe it even acts as a temporary loophole that brings the traveller back after a certain amount of time. 108 minutes possably.

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

One was the Lighthouse of Alexandria, (notice the name Alex) which was said to burn so hot it could set ships on fire from miles out at sea. We also see other wonders represented on the Island like the Colossus of Rhodes and even Pyramid like Temples, possibly similar to the Mausoleum or the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

The Original Purpose of the Lighthouse

Someone, clearly possessing advanced technology or (magickery), was able to construct the lighthouse. It is not a sensible proposition that such a complex and useful object was devised merely for the purpose of guiding people to the island; there are any number of other, simpler ways, less demanding of such technology. One of the functions we have seen is its ability 'view' the locations of characters. Whether it has any further function remains to be seen. It is not clear, however, whether the view seen is of:

  1. the person's past
  2. the person's present
  3. a possible future which might occur
  4. a possible different present which might have occured, had events taken a different course in the past.

If (3) or (4) then the lighthouse's main function would be as a 'what would happen if?' machine, to see what might occur if the person were nudged in particular directions at particular points in time.

The gods on Mount Olympus were thought to be able to view the world below, to interact with it and to influence events. They were subject to the fickle hand of fate, just as much as humans, however. This artefact clearly pre-dates Hellenic times, and Greek mythology then becomes just a a 'race memory' of a group of people who actually did have the ability to influence events and change lives. Jacob and MiB are the inheritors of this long forgotten artefact, and Jacob has usurped it for his own ends.

Why the Lighthouse wasn't seen before

  • The Lighthouse is like Jacob's cabin in that it only shows itself when it's needed.
  • You have to approach in a certain way for it to be seen. It is at a position that cannot be viewed from inland, and no ships we can be aware of have yet passed by.

The Man in Black used the Lighthouse to make Ben the "loophole"

This is based on the supposition that the lighthouse allowed the user to view subjectively the senses, thoughts and feelings of the target person. The only images seen in the mirrors were locations and not the faces of people, so it is possible that the user has a subjective view rather than an objective one. These images are potentially different from the flashbacks where we always see an objective point of view.

It is known that Jacob and his brother have rules of conduct towards each other and we know that the Man in Black cannot directly kill Jacob, although he was actively seeking a loophole in those rules to kill Jacob and found it. Either Jacob was not allowed to kill the Man in Black or he was not interested in doing so. Judging by the many references to balances in the series, a third party may be allowed to kill Jacob if he has already killed the Man in Black (or vice versa).

The Man in Black used the lighthouse in the subjective fashion to "see" through John Locke while Ben was killing him, thus also experencing Locke's death. By the rules proposed above, Ben was now allowed to kill Jacob too since he had already "killed" the Man in Black , albeit at a remove and in such a way that did not actually result in the Man in Black ' death. Jacob's brother knew what Locke was thinking when he died because he was "seeing" through Locke at the time.

Ben is now the "loophole" and can kill Jacob. Jacob's brother knew Ben would have the motive to return to the island. He has lived there most of his live, knows the island is special and would want to return; also he would want to find on the island some peace of mind over the death of his daughter. Ben is very resourceful and the Man in Black can be confident he will find the means to return.

Once back on the island, Jacob's brother tricked Ben into killing Jacob. He used images of Ben's daughter to foster loyalty to himself in the shape of Locke,and also exploited Ben's guilt at killing John by acting forgivingly towards him, when in Lockes' shape. When Jacob sees the Man in Black with Ben, he says "I see you've found your loophole", referring to Ben, who then kills Jacob. Jacob does not fight back since he knows Ben is allowed to kill him, by the rules.

The many scene-opening eye close-up shots are when Jacob or his brother are using the Lighthouse. Every time, we see an eye shot, it's Jacob or the Man in Black using the Lighthouse to "see" through a person. One eye is the Man in Black using the Lighthouse and the other is Jacob.

The Lighthouse and Leaders of the Others

Theory: All the leaders of the others were aware of the lighthouse and its "seeing function".


It would be pretty remarkable if the Leader of the Others did not know about the existence of the Lighthouse.

In the case of Ben; we know that he could summon the smoke monster, and knew how to get to the frozen donkey wheel to turn it (even though it was behind a 30 year old wall). He also knew that Richard could "get" stuff via a 'black box' (whatever that means), like Locke's father. He was taken to the temple as a kid & therefore knew about the spring. It is a fair assumption therefore that he also knew about the Lighthouse and its function, too. We know that the island has a 'special relationship' with time. Even though there is no direct evidence of this, given all the time-related events which have occured, it is not unrealistic to assume that the Lighthouse is able to display images from a person's life, and not just what is happening in the present. In fact the 3 images we have seen, appear to be images from the person's past, rather than their present. Jack's house for example is where he grew up, rather than his house in 2007.

In that case, all other leaders of the Others (two at least we know: Widmore and Hawking, would have had that knowledge too. This could account for both Widmore's and Hawking's apparent prescience.

  1. Matthew Abaddon's role is to "get Locke where he is supposed to be". He is working for Widmore; this must mean that Widmore has seen or knows of at least one version of the future.
  2. Hawking clearly has seen, or been through it before. She even says to Desmond, that this is the first time in a long time when she doesn't know what happens next.
  3. Ben knows exactly who to tell Sayid to hunt down and kill. There is some evidence that Ben 'knew' 815 was going to crash, and he is able to collect dossiers on people. (OK, could be good information-gathering...)

In the case of Ben, this could mean that he has important cards he has yet to play.

Jeremy Bentham and the Lighthouse

  • The lighthouse was used by one individual to observe all of the potential "candidates", who were unaware of being watched, from a single, elevated location. The lighthouse served as a panopticon--the central component of a (prison) design which the philosopher Jeremy Bentham invented. This raises two additional questions:

1) Since the lighthouse is linked to Jeremy Benthan through the panopticon, is it consequently linked to the Man in Black (who now inhabits Locke's body)?

2) Does the lighthouse's panopticon nature add something to our knowledge of the nature of the island and/or the lives of those on it--ie., what does this say about human free will?


The Lighthouse was built by one of the ancient civilisations, possibly the Egyptians, at Jacob's request due to being his followers for some time. It was built for him, rather than being commandeered by him.


Jacob uses the lighthouse to track and observe his candidates when they are not on the Island. Each bearing is set to an individual (or a married couple if they're under the same surname like Jin and Sun) so presumably he can only track 360 names at a time. If the candidate is on the Island, setting the lighthouse to their name will show the place of significance in that person's life. Jack was shown his home, signifying his strained relationship with his father, Sawyer's showed the church of his parent's funeral, where his quest of revenge would begin, and Jin and Sun's showed their wedding reception, because they are a strong couple. We do not see the view of a bearing of someone currently off-Island, so we could assume it will show their current location and actions, allowing Jacob to observe, track or influence their lives.

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.