Beacons & Industrial Evolution



Evolution is referred to as the steady development of a particular thing or item, specifically from a simple to a more multifaceted form. Furthermore, it isn’t just available or restricted to living organisms, but to the non-living things too. As a matter of fact, all of the technologies, electronic devices, and gadgets we have today come from the evolution of technological discoveries and foregoing inventions. One of which is these foregoing inventions is audible and visual warning signals, also known as sounders / sirens and beacons.

What are Beacons?

In actual fact, a beacon is a deliberately visible device, which is designed in attracting attention to a certain location. One common example of which is the lighthouse that provides a stable location, which may be used in navigating into port or around obstacles. More modern examples of this include a range of aviation warning beacons for safety in the sky, along with evacuation warning in cases of fire or emergency.

Furthermore, beacons might also be combined with some other indicators like semaphoric indicators, in order to provide necessary information, just like the status of an airport, by the rotational pattern and colour of the airport beacon, or of a pending weather being indicated on a weather beacon that’s attached on top of a tall building or the likes. When it is used in such sense, the beacons may be reflected as a form of an optical telegraphy.

Beacons & Industrial Evolution

Initially, beacons were used in various ways. In actual fact, beacons were just fires being lit on renowned locations of high places or hills – especially to signal if there were enemies approaching. Furthermore, it is also used as a message channel to some extent of dispatch leagues, occasionally represented in the form of a hut, sporadically as lighthouse for the navigation at sea, beacons are at some points the ancestor of telegraph that is itself the predecessor of the modern smartphones.

There are lots of usages of beacons going back in history. For instance, in Spain, the border of Granada got a multifaceted beacon network, in order to warn in contradiction of military operations. Moreover, the ancient Romans utilized beacons of different occasions on the Trajan column. Furthermore, in Scandinavia, numerous hills forts were portion of beacon networks, in order to warn contrary to conquering pillagers, as well as in Finland these particular beacons were known as the Vartiotulet that factually means guard fires. Their significance was as in England, with a lot of hills being known as ‘Beacon Hill’.

With the evolution of technology, beacons have now evolved and are being used in different fields, for example:

  • For Navigation – Beacons assist in guiding navigators through their destinations. The kinds of navigational beacons include visual and sonic signals, radio beacons, and radar reflectors.
  • For Aviation – Obstruction warning beacons play an essential part in aviation safety, fitted to tall buildings and infrastructures for a clear flight.
  • On vehicles – The vehicular beacons are flashing or rotating lights that are affixed on top of a vehicle, in order to attract attention of surrounding vehicles and pedestrians, such as forklift trucks, construction vehicles, fire trucks, ambulances, police cars, and many other vehicles.


As technology advances, beacons will keep on improving over time. We can’t tell nor predict how far beacons can evolve or improve. But one thing is for sure, they are evolving so fast and helping us all to a much greater extent than ever before.