We love art installations that use lighting technology to illuminate the space or buildings and brighten up the night sky. Often set in spectacular locations, there is nothing better than spending an evening outdoors marveling at the creative displays so we have put together a list of the top light festivals around the world for you to enjoy.
Festival of Lights Berlin, Germany
Every year, Berlin lights up its most famous sights and monuments within the city center through the use of light projections and video art. Wonder the city and see monuments such as Brandenburg Gate, Berlin Cathedral and the radio tower come to life. Various art and music events are also held where local and international artists can showcase their creative talent to a massive audience. Held each year in October spectators can enjoy the event by foot, bus, and boat. The unique Festival of Lights events attracts over two million visitors from around the world annually.
Fête des Lumières Lyon, France
Over four nights in December Lyon is awash with light as talented artists install lamps on building, along streets, in the city squares, and within parks. Every year the event includes new features, updated technology, and more creative designers to uplight the city and draw both a local and international crowd.
Vivid Sydney Festival, Australia
It may be a long way from Washington DC, but the Vivid Sydney Festival attracts worldwide attention every year. The 18-day festival showcases over 56 light installations created by 140 artists from 15 countries. Iconic structures, buildings, and sculptures are lit up through high tech lighting and image projections. Vivid Sydney is held around various locations of the city from May through to June.
Loi Krathong Festival, Thailand
The Loi Krathong Festival in Chiang Mai is a world-recognized event involving the launch of thousands of paper lanterns into the air. Symbolizing good luck, locals and visitors release their lanterns from a bridge along the river and waterways creating a visually mesmerizing effect. This festival illustrates that even a simple light source can produce a beautiful result. Contributing to the magical setting is the constant display of fireworks in the area, both legal and illegal! The event usually lasts for 3 days and falls annual in November but dates can change as it is based on the Thai lunar calendar.
Winter Illumination, Nabana no Sato, Japan
The botanical garden of the Nabana no Sato resort plays host to one of the longest-running winter illuminations events. 85 million LED diode lamps to light up the resort and one of the main features of past events has been the light display on the UNESCO World Heritage site, Mount Fuji. Gardens feature floral displays created by lights, river lights spread across the water sources, autumn foliage is enhanced and over a million tiny lights create a stunning effect in the 200-meter-long tunnel.
Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival, China
Something a little different is the Harbin International Ice Festival which has become one of the world’s biggest ice and snow festivals. This annual event draws a massive crowd during the winter and each year the size of the ice architecture also increases including sculptures longer than two football fields and statues over 50 meters tall. The displays are enhanced by a sophisticated installation of LED and regular lighting which adds color and movement. The festival is officially held from January 5 to February 5 each year and is displayed in three venues including Sun Island Scenic Area, The Ice and Snow World, and Zhaolin Park.
New York Festival of Lights, USA
Closer to home, the New York Festival of Lights has gained great attention after its first annual event held earlier in November this year. Inspired by other light festivals around the world, the city came to life through the use of LED lights, music, and video projection. A splash of moving color lit up the city of Brooklyn, under the Manhattan Bridge and in the surrounding plaza spaces with the event organizers hoping the NYFOL will join the ranks of the major festivals in Berlin, Lyon and Sydney. It’s one of the newest lighting events to hit the world stage but is sure to make an impact and entertain the local New Yorkers.
Hong Kong International Lighting Fair
To stay on the cutting edge of technology, our owners have attended the Hong Kong International Lighting Fair, one of the world’s premier lighting events. The fair features thousands of exhibitors from countries around the world, giving event-goers the chance to experience the latest innovations in the industry. In addition to the unmatched selection of exhibitors, this event includes in-depth discussions designed specifically for industry professionals on a variety of topics from the newest LED technology to lighting design trends.
These are just a few of the major lighting festivals of the world that we think is pretty impressive. If you like what you see here, why not check out our more unique lights around the world to get you inspired and gain an appreciation for how lights can create a dramatic impact on a space.