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 1 million bulbs to be used in Blackpool Switch-on

1 million bulbs to be used in Blackpool Switch-on

Sunday 25 August 2019

This week sees the town of Blackpool illuminate its famous nightlights for a continual 66-night period.

The Blackpool switch-on is one of the biggest in the country, including over a million bulbs. The annual event has been running since 1879 and has been described as one of the best free light shows around.

1879 saw Blackpool streetlights transition from gas lighting to the then-new concept of electrical lights. Back then it cost the council £5,000 which is roughly equivalent to £590,222 nowadays.

This caused nationwide excitement at the time and generated between 70,000 and 100,000 witnesses that travelled to see this event. The light was given the nickname, ‘artificial sunshine’, and is widely believed to be the first electric light in the World.

The earliest modern-day display was given as part of a royal parade in 1912.

Due to the outbreak of WW1 and WW2, the lights were prohibited from being turned on. These are believed to be the only instances that the display hasn’t taken place in its 126-year history.

The display will include a contemporary look at the concept of light and combine that with the illustration that the lights provide. The town’s aim is to provide entertainment using LEDs.

The lights will be dazzling residents and tourists each night from the 30th August – 2nd November.


  1. Visit Blackpool.

  2. Blackpool Illuminations.


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