General Rules

Applications for all awards are subject to the following uniform general qualifications and procedures. All ARLHS awards except the Activator Award are available to SWL’s on a heard basis. The rules of the awards can be altered and brought up-to-date by the Awards Committee at any time and all disputed questions and problems will be decided by that committee.

Rules and Application Forms:

All ARLHS awards/certificates require an application form. An application form, listing the rules for each award, is part of this booklet. See the section Application Forms at the end of this booklet. These forms may be reproduced in any quantity you wish. Requests for applications from the Awards Manager should be accompanied by a #10 (business size) stamped, self-addressed envelope (SASE). In the case of DX requests, send enough funds to cover return postage. Most application forms have a column for the ARLHS number (ARLHS #). For the ARLHS official list of lights and their numbers, see the “ARLHS World Light List,” available on the web site. All applications must be accompanied by the appropriate award fees in USA currency.

Lighthouse Activation and Contacts:

To be recognized as a valid lighthouse activation, physical presence on the property or within the light structure itself is preferred. However, there are extenuating circumstances where this may not be possible. Consequently, the ARLHS additionally recognizes stations operating under the “1000-Meter Rule.” Briefly stated, this rule says that any operation within a 1000 meter distance (1100 yards or 3300 feet) of the light is valid, subject to the following Exception: If, in the opinion of the operator, operation within the “1000-Meter Rule”
would be (a) illegal, (b) ill-advised, (c) impossible, or (d) impractical, then the distance rule is suspended and the “Visual Sight Rule” can be invoked and shall apply.

Under the terms of the “Visual Sight Rule,” an operation is valid if the station is within visual sight of the physical structure of the light during the day or the “reach” of its light beacon at night. We find this to be consistent with our stated purpose of recognizing a light according to the geographic area served by it for mariner safety. Mobile operation and maritime mobile operation from vehicles or vessels parked or anchored SAFELY within the area of a lighthouse are also permitted. Aeronautical mobile operations are NOT recognized to activate lighthouses. In all instances, for amateur radio operation to be legal, permission from the proper authorities in charge of the property must be secured; and, for your own protection, permission should be in writing. The ARLHS assumes no liability for activities by or on the part of its members or participants.

A legal ARLHS awards contact must be a two-way radio contact on any legal amateur band. Any legal mode of operation, including digital modes and RTTY, is permissible. Although repeater and satellite operations are permitted, cross-band and cross-mode contacts will not count.


The suggested ARLHS operating frequencies are +/- 20KHz of the following center frequencies:

  • 80m – CW: 3530 kHz, Phone: 3970 kHz;
  • 40m – CW: 7030 kHz, Phone: 7270 kHz;
  • 20m – CW: 14030 kHz, Phone: 14270 kHz;
  • 15m – CW: 21030 kHz, Phone: 21370 kHz;
  • 10m – CW: 28030 kHz, Phone: 28370 kHz;


These frequencies should be used for ARLHS DXpeditions and to pass ARLHS info. They should be used primarily as calling frequencies. During operating events, try to spread out +/- 20 KHz to lessen QRM.

Please check the frequency range of 14250 to 14260 kHz inasmuch as it has become known as the “Island Corridor”; some lighthouse stations can be found there. Check the IOTA stations to see if they are in view of a lighthouse; and, if so, get them to list the light’s name on the QSL cards for the ARLHS awards program (see “QSL Confirmation” following).

Special Conditions

Lighthouses That Have Been Moved:

(See below for lightships or lightfloats).

From time to time we run across lighthouses that have been moved. Two things happen to these lights:

  1. They are moved and are not placed back in service, or
  2. They are moved and placed back in service.


  1. If a lighthouse is moved and not placed back in service, it will not be listed from its new location. If its old location is not listed, then that will be added as a historical location.  In certain special circumstances we will document the history of light station where the old and new light locations may share the same ARLHS number with suffix designations indicating the original historical location and where to find its current museum location.
  2. If a lighthouse is moved and is placed back in service (i.e., listed in Notes to Mariners, etc.), and if it meets the other requirements of the Society, it will be listed with its new name, location, and number.

Lightships Underway or That Have Moved Berth:

If a lightship moves to a different country or residence, a new ARLHS designator number will be assigned to indicate the country of its current berth (and operation), in addition to the original number of its mother country, which will be cited in parenthesis following the new number.

FOR EXAMPLE: Lightship Falsterbo Rev is originally from Sweden and is assigned ARLHS designator SWE-009. It then moves to Belgium and so is given a Belgian number in addition to its Swedish number; thus it is now designated BEL-017 (SWE-009). The lightship therefore has more than one country/number designator, but it is allowed only one number at a time for “active” purposes. That number will be the one that indicates the country of its current residence. When it is active in Belgium, it will use BEL-017. It will be listed on the numbered list of both countries in the “ARLHS World List of Lights.”

If by rare chance a lightship is maritime mobile in international waters at the time of operation, it will retain its mother country’s designation.

Activating More Than One Light at the Same Time:

A situation may arise where you are within visual sight of more than one light. The question arises: Can you activate all of them? Here you have your choice. You may give out the number for one of them only; or, if you wish to “activate” both lights, you may do so provided that you are within the distance and property limit as defined under “Lighthouse Contacts” (see above) and provided that each light is confirmed separately in the QSO and identified by both name and ARLHS number.

FOR EXAMPLE, you are operating KC2HOU and are within 1000 meters of both USA-536 (Liston Range Front) and USA-537 (Liston Range Rear). In a contact with K2JXW, you cite the following:

”K2JXW this is KC2HOU. We confirm ARLHS lighthouse number USA536, Liston Range Front light. And K2JXW from KC2HOU. We also confirm ]ARLHS number USA-537, Liston Range Rear Light, Delaware.”

Award Costs:

The cost for all ARLHS awards/certificates is $2.00 for members of the ARLHS and $5.00 for nonmembers (includes shipping and handling). The cost for all endorsement seals (and award upgrades) is $2.00 for U.S. stations and $3.00 for DX stations, both member and nonmember. SASE’s are required for all informational requests. All applications require US currency, U.S. checks, International Money Orders, or U.S. Money Orders made payable to: Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society, LLC. IRCs are acceptable for return postage funds only.

QSL Confirmation:

QSL confirmation is required for ARLHS awards, but the cards themselves do not have to be submitted with the application. (At an annual convention in October 2002, the ARLHS members in attendance, believing their fellow
members, and hams in general, to be basically honest, voted to abandon the requirement that QSL cards be submitted with award applications.) Nevertheless, it is assumed that cards or suitable confirmations are available for inspection should they be requested by the Awards Manager or the Awards Committee.

If actual QSL cards are submitted for an award, please send enough postage for their return. QSL photocopies will not be returned unless requested and unless an SASE with sufficient postage is supplied. The ARLHS assumes
no responsibility for the safety of any submitted materials other than to exercise normal care while such materials are in its possession.

When requested for verification, QSL’s must obviously certify a lighthouse operation and specify the recognized ARLHS name or the ARLHS number of the lighthouse. QSL’s with only another organization’s LH number can not be accepted. QSL’s with a lighthouse name that differs from the official ARLHS name are subject to individual approval by the Awards Committee on a case-by-case basis. QSL’s with just an island name or IOTA number do not qualify unless proximity to the lighthouse is established by appropriate documentation.

Any questions as to whether a particular operation will count for ARLHS Awards should be directed to the Awards Manager, who, along with members of the Awards Committee, will make a final decision.

Any altering of QSL cards or fraudulent applications submitted will result in permanent expulsion from the ARLHS Awards program. Country status shall be determined by the DXCC guidelines. All contacts must be made from
the same DXCC entity to qualify for a particular award.

Submission of Electronic QSL Cards:

E-QSLs are acceptable as proof of contact for ARLHS awards only if both stations indicated on the QSL are members of the ARLHS and then only if the e-QSL has both of their ARLHS member numbers and all other information (LH number etc) actually printed on the card and not handwritten.

In other words, all data on the e-QSL, including QSO information, lighthouse name, and lighthouse number, must be part of the original printed version. No data, handwritten after the fact on an e-QSL card is acceptable. Copies of the card must be printed on paper and must then be submitted with the award application. E-copies of QSLs and applications forwarded by E-mail in electronic format are not acceptable.

Eligibility of a Light Beacon

In general, eligibility of specific lights can be documented by a country’s “official” light list, if one is available. In the USA, listings such as the US Coast Guard “Light Stations Remaining in the United States,” and the “Lightships and Lightship Stations” will be used as references by the Awards Committee. In all decisions regarding the eligibility of specific lights, however, or the interpretation and implementation of the rules, the ARLHS Awards Committee will be the final authority.

For the ARLHS official list of lights and their numbers, please see the “ARLHS World List of Lights.”

Effective Dates and Other Provisions:

The effective date for all provisions of the Award Program contained herein is January 1, 2003, and there is no “starting date”; that is, for the purpose of the Awards Program, the ARLHS will recognize any QSO and QSL
from a lighthouse, regardless of when that contact took place. In effect, this constitutes an infinite “Grandfather Clause.”

These provisions and all awards, certificates, and prizes offered by the ARLHS may be changed and modified or withdrawn by the Society at any time without prior notice to or approval of the membership.

Awards Committee

Awards Manager: ARLHS Committee Member:

John Burnette, KF4ZLO, #161 John Huggins, KX4O, #635

2816 Timber Hills Rd P.O. Box 2178

Louisville, KY 40214 Riverton, NJ 08077

e-mail: e-mail:

Awards Committee Member: ARLHS Committee Member:

Lee Graves, WA7OBH, #155 Tom Jednacz, W7QF, #002

4341 SE Satinleaf Place P.O. Box 2066

Stuart, FL 34997 Dunnellon, FL 34430

e-mail: e-mail: