The first light of the Cabo Mayor lighthouse was an oil lamp lit by three burners forming a small cone of light. Its optical apparatus comprised eight lenses, 100 upper mirrors and 60 lower ones, which reflected the light.

In 1913 a pressurised oil lamp was installed, considerably improving its range. In 1920 the optical apparatus, which is still in use to the present day, was installed: a bivalve apparatus with cathode dioptic panels made by the French company, Barbier, Bernard and Turenne. This optical apparatus has been used so far in conjunction with three different beams, three rotation systems and two support systems.

The lighthouse, which after a time was converted to electricity, emits a white light with two flashes every 10 seconds and has a range of 21 miles. Its foghorn sounds the letter “M” in Morse code, with two long beeps every 40 seconds.