California lighthouses were erected as safety beacons along the rugged coast in response to an increase in population and shipwrecks. Lighthouse keepers would live at the lighthouse with their families to ensure that the light stay lit at all times. Each lighthouse had a Fresnel lens that intensified the kerosine flame into a beam. Fresnel lenses were state-of-the-art at the time and made primarily in France. After the proliferation of electricity, most Fresnel lenses were replaced by modern electronic beacons. It's rare to find a lighthouse with its original Fresnel lens since many were lost or destroyed. These lighthouses can be explored either by self-guided tour or docent-led tours. Most remaining lighthouses are now tourist attractions with some being hostels or vacation rentals. Four California lighthouses offer overnight accommodations including Point Montara, Pigeon Point, Point Cabrillo and Point Arena. Pigeon Point and Point Arena are the tallest lighthouses in California at 115-feet.