It looks like a small lighthouse but it is actually a range light. Two range lights together aid vessels with navigation. This one is a front range light. It works with a rear range light at higher elevation a few hundred meters behind it.
Front range light in the setting sun
Prince Edward Island has shifting sandbars along its shoreline. The channel through Summerside harbour requires careful navigation due to the red sand which fills the bay. The range lights help vessels navigate the harbour.
At night, the lights align one on top of the other if the vessel is on the right bearing. During the day, the lights are less visible, so the red stripes align one on top of the other.
Rear range light
Do we need the range lights and their bigger sister, the lighthouses today with the Global Positioning Systems readily available to every mariner? Many would argue against their maintenance. However, if technology should fail, we would need these traditional structures, the old reliables which stand their ground in all weather and under all new forms of attack.
Shoreside view of the front range light
Besides who would want to lose these beauties from the coastline around the world?