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Using Light as a Form of Art

Light-art-300x223Most of the time, when people talk about lights, they are talking about the normal lighting that illuminates a home or office. In these cases, the concerns are about creating the right ambience while having adequate light to perform any tasks needed in that area.

However, light has the ability to do so much more than allow you to see. While many homes and places of business have been experimenting with the different ways that color, placement, and lighting design can transform a normal space into something special, none have quite done it like the city of Buffalo NY.

The city of Buffalo NY is famous for the grain elevators that dot the waterfront. While most of these grain elevators are now empty, they continue to be a beloved symbol of the city. In 2013, the city of Buffalo – or more particular, the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp., which controls the Buffalo waterfront – announced a plan to use these abandoned grain elevators as the canvas for a large public art installation featuring lights, 3D animations, and pyrotechnics.

The city has hired Ambiances Design Production to do the lighting work, which will be focused on the stories of the city of Buffalo. In the first stage of the project, the plan is to light a few of the largest grain elevators nears the waterfront as well as the underside of several local bridges. The second phase of the project will include the lighting (and animation and pyrotechnics) of 14 total grain elevators.

The project in Buffalo is based off a similar, extremely successful project that was done in Quebec. These cities, both of which are using the project to help draw in tourists, see the lighting shows as a fun, fascinating, and innovative ways to tell their stories and highlight the unique features within the city limits. In Buffalo particularly, the hope is to draw the crowds that flock to Niagara Falls with a show that is unique and entertaining.

While you many not have large grain elevators in your hometown, the ideas being used in the Buffalo show highlight all the ways that lighting can be used to attract and keep attention on special features. Check out your own home or office to see if there are any unique spaces that you can highlight with special lighting techniques.

Image courtesy of Erie Canal Development Corportation


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Maes Lighting
12208 S. 234th E. Ave.
Broken Arrow, OK 74014
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