re: "would beacons be viable during WW2"
Air Defence of Great Britain Vol I Growth of Fighter Command
Referring to the outbreak of war 1939, p67
"In the fifteen fighter sectors a Direction Finding system that
enabled fighters to "home" on to their bases, had been set up, but
a further refinement, which made it possible for a sector commander
to control his squadrons from the ground, had been provided in two
sectors only. Thirty-one D/F stations had still to be provided for
this purpose; meantime the majority of the fighter force relied on
intercepting by means of the less satisfactory method of Dead
and slightly later
Signals Vol VIII Aircraft Radio
See Ch17 Beam Approach Beacon System p452 ff
BABS: introduced from early 1941, the first setup using an IFF-type beacon.
As for light beacons, like airfield lights, turned on or off at will as need (eg "intruders") dictated, as Chisholm, a Beaufighter pilot, described.
See, eg, RAF Historical Society Journal 17A
6, Second World War p56
"Dependence on dead reckoning and astro, when the conditions permitted, was not alwayshttps://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/documen...in-the-RAF.pdf
adequate. Over the UK one useful visual aid was provided by the flashing beacons, or lighthouses..."
Hence the RAF (War) Aviation maps, all editions with all beacon types marked.