The first light to mark Hanapepe Bay was a beacon fire kept by early Hawaiians on a hill above the bay to guide their canoes at night. After sugar plantations were established on Kaua'i, a private company used a reflector-equipped steamer lamp raised to the top of a thirty-six-foot frame tower to provide a red light to mark the bay.
The Hawaiian government established an official beacon at Hanapepe in 1902 in the form of an automated beacon mounted on a pyramidal tower that rested on a small enclosure. The present beacon is a flashing light mounted on a tower along with two diamond-shaped daymarks.
- The Lighthouses of Hawai`i, Love Dean, 1986.