What better time for a trip to Blackpool than to see the legendary Blackpool lights switch on?

Blackpool Illuminations are on untill November 4th this year (2018). All times listed here.

The 2018 Blackpool Illuminations will be switched on , at approx 8.45pm. The Tower Festival Headland is the venue for the switch on with concerts on Friday night and Saturday nights.

Image of Blackpool illuminations
Stunning illuminated Tram on Blackpool Promenade.

To ensure this year’s event is the most spectacular yet, there are a host of new and revamped light displays including Theatre D’Amour, Venus Reborn, Talbot Square and Brilliance, which are all designed to dazzle and delight visitors.

The Lights shine every year for 66 nights, and continue to attract huge crowds. 2018 will see The Lights lit until Sunday November 4th so get your break booked now and prepare to be dazzled. A preview night of Blackpool illuminations is on Tuesday 29th August when the Promenade is closed to traffic for cycles to Ride The Lights and get a full preview of the coming 2018 Blackpool Illuminations displays.

Official switch on times for Blackpool Illuminations 2018

Blackpool lights switch on times vary over the nine weeks due to the nights drawing in and the clocks going back one hour at the end of October.

What times are Blackpool illuminations on? Here is a full list of the programmed switched on times for September, October and November 2018. (note times may vary from the schedule due to circumstances on the day).

Blackpool Illuminations switch on times for September 2018

  • Friday 31st August 8.45pm to 2.00am.
  • Saturday 1st September 8.00pm to Midnight.
  • Sunday 2nd September 8.00pm to 11.00pm.
  • Monday 3rd to Thursday 6th September 8.00pm to 10.30pm.
  • Friday 7th and Saturday 8th September 7.45pm to Midnight.
  • Sunday 9th September 8.00pm to 11.00pm.
  • Monday 10th to Thursday 13th September 8.00pm to 10.30pm.
  • Friday 14th and Saturday 15th September 7.45pm to Midnight.
  • Sunday 16th September 7.45pm to 11.00pm.
  • Monday 17th to Thursday 20th September 7.45pm to 10.30pm.
  • Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd September 7.30pm to Midnight.
  • Sunday 23rd September 7.30pm to 11.00pm.
  • Monday 24th to Thursday 27th September 7.30pm to 10.30pm.
  • Friday 28th and Saturday 29th September 7.15pm to Midnight.
  • Sunday 30th September 7.15pm to 11.00pm.

Blackpool Illuminations switch on times for October 2018

  • Monday 1st to Thursday 4th October 7.15pm to 10.30pm.
  • Friday 5th and Saturday 6th October 7.00pm to Midnight.
  • Sunday 7th October 7.00pm to 11.00pm.
  • Monday 8th to Thursday 11th October 7.00pm to 10.30pm.
  • Friday 12th and Saturday 13th October 6.45pm to Midnight.
  • Sunday 14th October 6.45pm to 11.00pm.
  • Monday 15th to Thursday 18th October 6.45pm to 11.00pm.
  • Friday 19th and Saturday 20th October 6.30pm to Midnight.
  • Sunday 21st October 6.30pm to 11.00pm.
  • Monday 22nd to Thursday 25th October 6.30pm to 11.00pm.
  • Friday 26th and Saturday 27th October 6.15pm to Midnight.
  • Sunday 28th October 5.00pm to 11.00pm.
  • Monday 29th to Thursday 1st November 5.00pm to 11.00pm.

Blackpool Illuminations switch on times for November 2018

  • Friday 2nd November and Saturday 3rd November 5.00pm to Midnight.
  • Sunday 5th November 5.00pm to 11.00pm.

Another question that always surfaces at this time of year is, who switched on the Illuminations in 1973? Or some other year, it was Gordon Banks by the way. Or what year did Status Quo do the switch on, that was 24 years ago in 1993. You can find the answer to these and any other questions on our new Who switched on Blackpool Illuminations page.

You may also be interested in other Blackpool festivals and events.

Blackpool Illuminations is a truly magnificent large scale event which the visitor can enjoy free of charge but such events do not come cheap and require a lot of planning, preparation and organisation.

Here are some interesting facts about Blackpool Illuminations:
  • Blackpool Illuminations started in 1879 with a magnificent display of eight arc lamps.
  • Blackpool Light show was so ahead of its time that it preceded Thomas Edison’s patenting of the electric light bulb the following year.
  • In 1879 Blackpool Illuminations are described as artificial sunshine, 100,000 people came to see this first Blackpool light show.
  • The equipment for Blackpool Illuminations weighs in at more than 711,000 kilograms, equivalent to 350 Blackpool trams.
  • Blackpool have supplied Illuminations to Jeddah Saudi Arabia.
  • Blackpool Illuminations has over one million lamps in the displays.
  • With the outbreak of war in 1939 the lights were prepared but never switched on.
  • Electronic controllers were pioneered in Blackpool Illuminations during the early 1960’s. Rope lights were also pioneered at Blackpool.
  • Most of Blackpool Light Show now operate on low voltage 24 volt.
  • Over two hundred miles of cable are deployed for Blackpool Illuminations.
  • The cost of putting on Blackpool Illuminations is over £2.2 million ($3.3 million).
  • Lighting equipment deployed for Blackpool Illuminations costs around £10 million ($15 million).
  • In 2004 Wind turbines at the Solarium on New South Promenade contributed to powering Blackpool Illuminations for the first time.
  • Blackpool Illuminations deployed the world’s first exterior LED technology in the light show in 2002.
  • An army of over three million visitors will spend more than £300 million ($450 million) in Blackpool during the lights display.
  • Full time staff of thirty people including Electricians, Joiners, Mechanics, Painters, Artists and Engineers, work all year round to ensure that Blackpool Illuminations are ready for switch on.
  • Over 65,000 work hours are used for maintenance, preparation, erection, operating and dismantling Blackpool Illuminations each year.
  • The Light-works Facility, opened in 2010, is a modern purpose built home for the Blackpool Illuminations team and their equipment.

Now that was interesting but to really experience the scale of Blackpool Illuminations a visit to Blackpool is a must and with the resort in full swing a weekend in Blackpool between 31st August and 4th November 2018 will be a weekend to remember.

We recommend long weekends in September where every Friday evening spectacular fireworks displays take place at the Blackpool World Fireworks Championships, a magnificent start to a fabulous weekend in Blackpool, Lancashire’s seaside town.

You may also like to see Blackpool festivals and events.