The lighthouse station is the major landmark on the northern shore of the Shannon River. Its cliff top position affords 90-metre-high views of the sea down to Kerry Head and Dingle across the Shannon and up the Clare coast and to the Cliffs of Moher in the north.
The first lighthouse on Loop Head was one of four known Irish stone vaulted cottage type lights built about 1670. These cottages accommodated the light keeper and his family in two or three rooms and had an internal stone stairway between two of the rooms leading up to a platform on the roof where a coal burning brazier or chauffer was positioned. Part of the old cottage with its battered outside wall can still be seen near the light keeper's dwelling.