Lighthouse User Survey Results

At 3:18 UTC, November 27, 2023 we published our first Lighthouse User Survey. We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to submit a response.


While we will be using the results of these surveys to inform our future development efforts, we want to acknowledge that there will be a selection bias present in these results that selects for users who visit the Lighthouse Discord server frequently, or who follow SigP closely on X (formally known as Twitter).

Thus, we expect the results to skew towards the serious, hobbyist solo-stakers and away from large institutional stakers and more casual stakers who might only check-in if they are experiencing issues.


How long have you been using Lighthouse?


The majority of users reported being users of Lighthouse for over 2 years. This likely means a large portion of them have been staking since Genesis.

Only 15% of users have been using Lighthouse for less than a year (welcome to our new users!). This likely means the rise of usage that Lighthouse has seen over the past 12 months has come primarily from institutional stakers.

Have you used any other consensus clients?


Over 30% of users have used at least 1 other client, with Prysm being the most popular alternative. It's possible that a large portion of these users were staking with Prysm and then switched to Lighthouse (possibly to support client diverity).

What tasks do you use Lighthouse for?


As expected, Staking is the most popular use-case for Lighthouse, with over 90% of respondents indicating that they use it for staking.

Which continent is your Lighthouse node located?


Also as expected, Europe and North America dominate the geographical diversity with almost 90% of respondents running Lighthouse from those locations. Otherwise, all continents had respondents with the exception of South America.

Which of the following best describes the primary machine you run Lighthouse on?


Interestingly the Mini-PC form factor was the most popular machine to run Lighthouse on, with almost 50% of the respondents using one as their primary Lighthouse machine.

However, Single-Board PCs were significantly less popular, likely due to rising hardware requirements. Notably, only 8.4% of respondents indicated they were using a cloud server.

On a scale of 1 to 5, how frequently do you update Lighthouse?


1: I only update when I'm experiencing major errors, or there is a hard fork.

5: I update as soon as there is a new release.

Most users indicate that they update very frequently, with only 10% of users updating slower than 4/5.

When you update to a new version of Lighthouse, how do you usually acquire the updated binary?


A plurality of users download releases from Github, with only 28% of users building the binary from source. Docker Hub, Eth Docker and other sources such as Rocket Pool, Dappnode and Ethereum on ARM accounted for 26% of respondents.

Do you use Siren?


Only 7.3% of users use Siren with 40% of respondents indicating that they had not heard of Siren at all.

So for those who don't know: Siren is the User Interface for Lighthouse We have previously written about it in a previous blog post for those who are interested.

If you could choose one resource to make Lighthouse use less of, which would you choose?


Almost 70% of respondents indicate that they want Lighthouse to use less disk. While we didn't distinguish between disk read/write operations and disk usage, it is likely that most users want their node to take up less disk space.

However, it is also unclear if users are making the distinction between disk usage used by Lighthouse and the disk used by the Execution Layer. Typically, the Execution Layer takes up significantly more disk space, so it's possible that most users are referring to the entirety of their staking setup.

But for those that want Lighthouse in particular to take up less space, there is good news! In the works for Lighthouse are some improvements to disk usage and state management in a project called Tree States. Tree states will significantly cut down the disk requirements for all Lighthouse nodes, and especially of those running archive nodes.

At the time of writing, Tree States is still experimental but the latest alpha release can be tried here.

If you have used our Discord server to get help with Lighthouse, how would rate the support you received on a scale from 1 to 5?


The feedback for our Discord server has been overwhelmingly positive with only 15% of users rating the support they received less than 4/5.

Staking is not an easy task and the software can get complicated so we are very happy to hear that the vast majority of users feel taken care of.

What Operating System do you run Lighthouse on?


As expected, usage of Linux totally dominates other operating systems with less than 4% of users running Lighthouse on a non-Linux machine.

For those that run Lighthouse on a local machine or local server, do you run Lighthouse through Docker or any other containerization software?


The majority of users don't use any kind of containerization software. For those that do, Docker is the most popular with only a small percentage using LXC or Kubernetes. It should be noted that the Rocket Pool Smart Node software uses Docker.

For those that run Lighthouse in a cloud environment, which cloud provider do you use?


This question was specifically targeted towards users who were running in cloud environments.

Hetzner was the most popular provider, followed by AWS. Notably, Google Cloud Platform, Linode and DigitalOcean were not used by any respondents.

For those that run Lighthouse in a cloud environment, do you run through Docker or any other containerization software?


The majority of users running Lighthouse on a cloud server did not utilize any sort of containerization, although that majority was smaller relative to the users running locally, with a larger percentage using Docker and other containerization software.

How many CPU cores does Lighthouse have access to?


The most popular CPU core count was 8, followed by 4, with over 70% of users having 8 cores or less.

Of course, core count is only one part of the story. CPU frequency and IPC (instructions-per-clock) are other important factors to consider when considering CPU performance. Further compounding this is Intel's Performance/Efficiency core dichotomy.

However, we can use core count as a proxy for how multi-threaded Lighthouse typically runs on a user's system. This can inform our decisions around how aggresively we should pursue additional multi-threading inside of Lighthouse.

How much RAM does Lighthouse have access to?


Almost half of users reported using 32GB of RAM, with 64GB and 16GB making up another 43%. Notably, no users reported using 8GB of RAM, and less than 2% of respondents used less than 16GB indicating that users do not feel as though 8GB is sufficient.

How many validators do you run on a single Lighthouse Validator Client?


Just over half of staking users run less than 6 validators on their node, with less than 10% of users running 100 or more.

This is an important question for us, as there are some optimizations we could do for users running many validators, but would have negative side effects for users running low validator counts. Based on this data, our current balanced approach seems appropriate.

How many extra Beacon Nodes do you run as a fallback?


Interestingly, the majority of staking users do not run a backup node. It would be interesting to know exactly why. Do users feel confident in the stability of Lighthouse such that a fallback is not required? Or is the fear of slashing such that most users don't feel comfortable attempting to set up a fallback solution?

If you run fallback nodes, are any of them a different consensus client?


Even more interestingly, the majority of users who do run a fallback node, only use Lighthouse nodes. This is notable, as if there was a critical bug in Lighthouse which causes a consensus fault, these users would not be protected.

Do you run mev-boost or any other builder software?


Over 75% of users are using builder software such as mev-boost. It is important to note here that this does not necessarily mean that 25% of block proposals are not extracting MEV. Since the majority of the network are part of staking pools who optimize for profit, MEV extraction is likely to be more prevalent across the network.

For up to date statistics around MEV extraction and builders, see

If you run mev-boost or another builder, which relays do you use?


Ultra Sound, Flashbots and bloXroute Max Profit are the most popular relays, with 60% of MEV-enabled stakers choosing to include one of them in their relay list. We note that bloXroute has announced that their relays will reject blocks with OFAC transactions in Dec 2023, which is after the survey was concluded. Therefore, the results of this question could likely change, as stakers may remove bloXroute relays in an effort to support the censorship-resistant nature of the Ethereum network.