Winter Lights in Canary Wharf – Top 5 Light Installations

Sad that Lumiere London is done and dusted for another year? Fear not, there’s a lesser-known light festival taking place a little further east of London – the Winter Lights in Canary Wharf.

Just as dazzling, the Winter Lights in Canary Wharf is an annual light festival showcasing sculptures, structures and installations from innovative artists and designers from around the world. it’s quite a spectacle – the bright installations presenting light in different forms using different light technology. Some installations are interactive and some can simply be admired from afar.

With more than 30 installations to see all around Canary Wharf so, there’s plenty to see. So, here are my top 5 favourite installations:

Dazzling Dodecahedron at Wren Landing

Step inside this beautiful, jewel-like structure and bathe in the glow of amazing purples, golds, pinks, blues, green and bronze from the 12 pentagon panels made of iridescent acrylic. During the day the installation twinkles with a kaleidoscope of colour created by natural sunlight. At night, the lights go on and the Dazzling Dodecahedron comes to life as a giant disco ball.

Sonic Light Bubble at Jubilee Plaza

This amazing six-metre wide living, breathing installation pulsates with light and sound when you approach or touch it, emitting a warm glow through 236 programmed LEDs as it constantly generates new visual patterns to a unique soundtrack. It’s super fun.

Abstract Collectif in Montgomery Square

Apparently inspired by the concept of time and relativity. Abstract is a pixel matrix in which every pixel can move over its vertical axis between the ground and a height of five metres. Movement, sound and light all interweave to create a stunning performance piece repeating on a loop. Time can be perceived as a vertical dimension in which the pixels travel. This movement represents the freezing of time while the audience keeps their feet firmly on the ground.

On Your Wavelength at level -3 Crossrail Place

Probably my favourite and most impressive in my eyes. This interactive light sculpture and music composition is controlled by your mind, via a headset. As your thought patterns change, the electrical data from your brain is used to control the music and create intricate light patterns. These illuminate a large-scale light installation fitted with over 30,000 LEDs. Kinda cool. Thank God it doesn’t display what’s in your head!

Halo at Cabot Square

See Cabot Square in a new light as a giant Halo seems to levitate above the fountain creating a powerful light experience. Halos are an optical phenomenon produced by light interacting with crystals in the atmosphere recreated here to delight and uplift. In this piece the Halo refers to the sun as our greatest source of light and warmth, shaping the conditions for life on our planet.

Lumiere London may be bigger, but the Winter Lights is just as exciting to see. I would go as far to say that I actually prefer the Winter Lights.  The installations are just as mesmerising, there will be fewer people (much, much less!), and the installations are all within walking distance to each other. In fact, you can see all 30+ installations in one night like I did.

Some installations are indoors which mean you won’t be freezing all night too.

What I also noticed at this year’s Lumiere London festival is thatsome of the installations there were first showcased in Canary Wharf in previous years! You never know, some of the installations you see in Canary Wharf this January may actually appear in the next edition of Lumiere London.

You can plan your visit by downloading and reading about the Winter Lights on the Canary Wharf website. And unlike Lumiere London, the Winter Lights is lighting up Canary Wharf around for 2 weeks (until 27 January in fact), so take your time and enjoy the lights whenever time suits you.

Have you seen the Winter Lights in Canary Wharf? Which was your favourite installation?

Or are you planning on going to see the Winter Lights (you should!)? Which installation are you most excited to see?

To see more of my images from the Winter Lights, check out Winter Lights in Canary Wharf – In Pictures.Winter Lights 2018 in Canary Wharf – in pictures.


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