Trinity House typically deploys two classes of buoy design; the larger Type 1 buoys are over 15 metres high including the tail tube and weigh over 10 tons. They are fitted with a tail tube to help stabilise the buoy in the water and are held on the seabed by cast iron sinkers weighing 3-5 tons.

Buoys can be either lighted or unlighted and many are installed with a fog signal in the form of either bells or automatic whistles.