International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend - ILLW

Normally held on the 3rd full weekend in August

This year: 00.01 UTC 22nd August to 2400 UTC 23rd August 2020 (48 hours)

(Note change of weekend out of respect for those commemorating the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Pacific (VP) day on 15th August 2020)

Next year: 00.01 UTC 21st August to 2400 UTC 22nd August 2021 (48 hours)



Please note that the ILLW for 2020 will NOT be cancelled due to the impact of the Corona virus. Participation will be the decision of each entrant depending on their own circumstances and Government rulings regarding border and national parks closures and social contact etc.

Bitte beachten Sie, dass die ILLW für 2020 aufgrund der Auswirkungen des Corona-Virus NICHT annulliert wird. Die Teilnahme ist die Entscheidung jedes Teilnehmers in Abhängigkeit von seinen eigenen Umständen und Regierungsentscheidungen in Bezug auf Grenzen und sozialen Kontakt usw.

Tenga en cuenta que el ILLW para 2020 NO se cancelará debido al impacto del virus Corona. La participación será la decisión de cada participante según sus propias circunstancias y las decisiones del gobierno con respecto a las fronteras y el contacto social, etc.



For some reason or other August seems to have become the international weekend for lighthouses. Countries all over the world have become involved in one for or another of lighthouse activity. Some years ago the United States Congress declared August 7th as their National Lighthouse Day and during that first week in August amateur radio operators in America set up portable stations at lighthouses and endeavour to make contact with each other. This event is known as the US National Lighthouse Week.

In Britain the Association of Lighthouse Keepers, ALK, conducts International Lighthouse Heritage Weekend on the same weekend as the ILLW in August. Their objective is to encourage Lighthouse managers, keepers and owners to open their lighthouse or lightstation and related visitors centres to the public with a view to raising the profile of lighthouses, lightvessels and other navigational aids, and preserving our maritime heritage.

akmanrags latvia

Akmenrags Lighthouse, Latvia.

However, the major event which takes place in August is the International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend, ILLW, which came into being in 1998 as the Scottish Northern Lights Award run by the Ayr Amateur Radio Group. The history of this event can be found elsewhere on this site. The ILLW usually takes place on the 3rd full weekend in August each year and attracts over 500 lighthouse entries located in over 40 countries. It is one of the most popular international amateur radio events in existence probably because there are very few rules and it is not the usual contest type event. It is also free and there are no prizes for contacting large numbers of other stations. There is little doubt that the month of August has become "Lighthouse Month" due largely to the popularity and growth of the ILLW.

Please note, an ILLW Flyer is available for download and printing if you want to hand out to visitors. See links in sub menu on the left.