The dangers of the Swilkie whirlpool in the Pentland Firth lead to the building of the Stroma Lighthouse at the northern tip of the island at the end of the nineteenth century. The light was designed by David and Charles Stevenson, and has 80 steps to the top of the tower. The original Trotter-Lindberg petroleum spirit light was found to be insufficient for the location and was replaced with a stronger paraffin lamp.
The lighthouse buildings were machine-gunned by an enemy plane during World War II. No-one was injured during the attack, which took place on 22 February 1941, and the damage was easily repaired by the lightkeepers.
In 1972, the lighthouse was converted to electric operation, and a helicopter landing pad was built near the station to facilitate maintenance and the changeover of Keepers. In April 1994 conversion to automation began and this was completed in March 1997.