LED Lights Create a Halloween Harvest Moon in Hong Kong

With Halloween approaching, I was drawn towards this stunning lighting installation more than ever: doesn’t it look like a giant pumpkin? Actually, it’s called Golden Moon and it was designed by Kristof Crolla and Adam Fingrut to be the centerpiece for the Lee Kum Kee Lantern Wonderland Festival in Hong Kong. Put together by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) and sponsored by Lee Kum Kee, the Wonderland festival ran from Sept 27th-Oct 2nd, and also featured a “Lantern Corridor” and a “Mid-Autumn Market,” which offered more beautiful lighting installations, traditional foods, arts and crafts.

LED strip lights

Golden Moon was the most spectacular sight, however, standing 18 meters high and built from bamboo, steel and fabric. It represents a giant version of the lanterns that are so important and symbolic in Chinese culture; its interior is also filled with smaller, circular lanterns. (Does that remind anybody of jack-o-lanterns or what?!)

LED strip lights

The outer structure is comprised of triangular pieces of fabric stretched over bamboo frames that jut outward, much like scales on a giant dragon or snake. The bamboo framing and fabric scales are lined with effervescent LED strip lights, which make the whole thing sparkle. A DMX LED lighting system also allows the entire orb to change color and display patterns in time to the music or performances happening nearby.

LED strip lights

An added bonus is that all of the materials used to make Golden Moon will be reused, recycled or donated back to charity once the installation is dismantled, making it a true Harvest Moon.


LED-Adorned Freerunners Take on Bangkok in Captivating New Video

If you thought flying and leaping over tall buildings in a single bound were capabilities reserved only for Superman, think again. A new video by German director and artist Frank Sauer proves that, when outfitted in cool RGB LED light suits and set loose in the streets of Bangkok, a team of freerunners can come pretty darn close to superhuman.  “Light Emitting Dudes,” as the production is called, follows three athletic, acrobatic young men as they seamlessly navigate one of the world’s most vibrant cities like nimble gymnasts infused with Bruce Lee’s fury. The video features Team Farang freerunners Jason Paul, Shaun Wood and Anan Anwar and is as inspiring to watch as Cirque de Solei or some other majorly awesome feat of extreme sports, cutting edge artistic visuals, music and performance. The light suits appear to be outfitted with LED strip lights, which flash, fade and dance along with the runners’ movements. You can watch the video on Sauer’s website, as well as view some of his other work, which I highly recommend. If freerunners are real life super heroes, then Sauer’s work is the real life visual poetry that documents them.

LED Lights Illuminate Flux Cocoon in Switzerland

Navigating European cities’ intricate systems of bridges, trains, subways and pedestrian walkways can make some of us feel as if we’re tied in knots. Allegory, a Switzerland-based design and architecture firm, took that concept and ran with it in a new art installation located in the heart of Lausanne, Switzerland. Made from wood, metal cables and flexible LED strip, “Flux Cocoon”  ’is an architectural masterpiece and an eye catching piece of public art that makes being a pedestrian a bit more fun. The piece is installed in the city’s major transportation hub, called the Flon, and symbplizing the confluence of vertical and horizontal movement. The bright orange LED outdoor lights (1100 meters of them, to be exact!) crisscross one another in an astonishingly dynamic way, hopefully reminding those walking through the knot of LED lights that while traveling can be chaotic, the frenzy can be soothed by looking up and enjoying the scenery around you.k


Imagination Sets Sail in LED Installation “Voyage”

Growing up in Los Angeles, it was always a bit of an “event” when the typically sunny sky chose to fill up with clouds and pour down rain. On those days, my sister and I would build little boats out of wine corks, toothpicks and paper, which we set sail down the gushing streams that formed in the gutters on our street. Childhood memories like this are exactly what “Voyage,” a spectacular, interactive RGB LED light installation in London’s Canary Wharf, intends to evoke.


Created by London-based artist duo Aether & Hemera and commissioned by the Canary Wharf to launch its 2013 “Sculpture at Work” program, the DMX LED installation will be on display until February 15, 2013. Participants can interact with the piece by logging onto the Voyage WI-FI network on their mobile phones. From there, they can influence the colors and patterns displayed by the boats. Each of the 300 boats, which the artists designed using custom software and built using recyclable and sturdy polypropylene contains an RGB LED, a micro controller and a data receiver, which work together to collect and process viewers requests over the WI-FI network. The results are a beautiful display not only of what innovative technology can contribute to artistic expression, but also a unique, whimsical form of illuminated, aquatic art that allows viewers to, as the artists put it, “make a transition from reality to imagination, reliving childhood memories and embracing our freedom; blurring the lines between the real and hyper-real.”


Learn more about the creation of Voyage in this blog from Aether & Hemera.

LED Lights Create Silver Lining in a Box

Sometimes it’s hard to see the silver lining in a tough situation; we’ve all been there. So why not remind yourself or someone you love to turn that frown upside-down with a stunning and creative LED light fixture? “Silver Lining in a Box” is an LED home lighting concept from London-based design team Aether & Hemera. The artists write, “Inspired by the natural gleam of sunlight along clouds’ edges, [the] lamp mimics the effects of ‘silver lining’ and plays with its meaning, providing a memento for positive thinking in the current politic climate.”

LED home lighting

Patterns cut into the steel cube that houses the bulb and create delicate shadows on the surrounding walls. But even when the light is turned off, this whimsical piece is sculptural enough to look beautiful. And what’s even better is that the design and manufacturing process of “Silver Lining in a Box” is sustainable: Aether & Hemera only use one material to make it, employ the most energy efficient LED lights on the market, and have the lamps manufactured and assembled by hand at a small, local shop. What a great gift idea for someone who needs a little pick me up! Learn more or find out how to purchase Silver Lining in a Box.


River of LED Books Revitalizes the Power of Reading in Melbourne

No digital medium can compare to holding a real book in your hands, turning its pages and inhaling its dusty scent, not to mention the nostalgic sense of finality that comes with closing it once you’ve finished reading. Spanish art group Luzinterruptus wanted to remind viewers of the visceral, irreplaceable power of books, with a huge art installation called “Literature vs. Traffic.” During The Light in Winter festival in Melbourne, Australia, Luzinterruptus artists filled the streets with 10,000 discarded books, each one illuminated with a small, RGB LED light.

puck lights

Appearing like a river of forgotten literature, the installation stopped traffic as well as onlookers, who were encouraged to take the books home with them. Public libraries and The Salvation Army donated most of the works, the pages of which were weighted down and lit up the small, battery powered LED puck lights. The piece provided an interesting commentary on the importance of literature for engaging the imagination and inspiring millions—if you doubt that, just take a look at how the crowds interacted with the river of books. In our increasingly technological culture, it’s easy to think that books have fallen to the wayside. But “Traffic vs. Literature” puts them back out where they belong, unapologetically taking up space in the contemporary urban landscape.

James Peterson Creates Stunning LED Wall Installation Sessilanoid

Last Saturday I went to the opening of a solo exhibition for my friend James Peterson, an LA-based designer, builder and installation artist whose work I’ve blogged about here before. In 2012, The Los Angeles Convention Center unveiled Peterson’s interactive piece Hypoxia, which used motion sensors and LED lights to creatively raise awareness about the damage pollution causes to underwater habitats.

flexible LED strip

This time, James was up to some very inspiring and beautiful tricks with interactive flexible LED strip, which he installed behind large, floral patterns of translucent, molded, wall-mounted plastic. Entitled Sessilanoid: A Sum of All Parts, the piece will be up at Gallery 825 in Beverly Hills through February 15, 2014.

flexible LED strip

Viewers can interact with the piece by using the circular grid of buttons located on the largest flower. Pushing buttons triggers the RGB LED strip lights to display a new color sequence. Like Hypoxia, Sessilanoid explores themes of pollution and human impact on the environment, but in a way that is beautiful, fun and engaging. And, I know it might seem a little crazy but I could even see a version of this art installation as an LED home lighting application—that is if you have a wall big enough to put it on!

And remember, if you want to try your hand at creating your own interactive LED lighting project, you could use Elemental LED’s RGB LED strip light and the Apollo DMX LED controller to bring your creative vision to life!