The Lighthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places as Barnegat Lighthouse in 1971.
In 1988, the tower was closed for construction of the new south jetty, then reopened to visitors in 1991 with a new walkway on top of the jetty. The top of the lighthouse is accessible via its 217 steps and continues to attract in excess of half a million visitors year round.
In 2008, the Friends of Barnegat Lighthouse State Park, a local non-profit organization, raised funds to reactivate the lighthouse. A sum of $35,000 was raised, with $15,000 contributed by the Barnegat Light Borough Fraternal Order of Police Local Lodge No. 5. This supported the acquisition of a new $15,000 VRB-25 light system, as well as the replacement of aging windows. Funding was raised entirely at the local level.
In October 2008, the VRB-25 system was installed. While physically smaller than the original light, the system has become a standard for US Lighthouses, with more than 100 installed.
On January 1, 2009, at 5:00 pm, the 150th anniversary of its opening, Barnegat Lighthouse activated its beacon for the first time since before World War II.
The light now operates daily from dusk until dawn. There is a foghorn on Barnegat South Breakwater Light 7, at the ocean end of the south breakwater, which guards the inlet. The tower is flood-lit at night.