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  • [ February 15, 2013 ]
  • LED lights showing up in the art world

From Tokyo to right here in Ames: LED light installations are making their way into the art world.

If you’ve driven down Highway 30 anytime since December, you’ve probably noticed 12 light towers lining the road near the Interstate 35 ramp. The light towers line each side of Highway 30 and have LED lights to light the way for motorists. Coming just under one million dollars to complete, light shows can be programmed with a single computer, which includes thousands of light combinations. Grants from the Iowa DOT and south Ames businesses donations helped push the project into action.

Photo courtesy of WHOtv.com

“[Property owners] were at the point where they were seeing the property around those two interchanges developing and knew it was important to have an attractive entryway, and wanted the city to plan for an attractive entryway before all the development happened,” explained Jeff Benson, Ames city planner.

While the lights in Ames are a permanent installation meant to serve as a welcoming symbol, Tokyo has implemented a LED light installation to take a more political stance. 100,000 LED lights powered by solar energy were released into the Sumida River to celebrate the commencement of the Tokyo Hotaru festival. With Hortaru meaning “firefly,” the lights are meant to symbolize the millions of fireflies that used to gather around the shore to create an exquisite aesthetic show before pollution infected the river. The installation is a protest against the human abuse that has affected the river so greatly. Panasonic designed each light to emit light as soon as they were dropped into the Sumida River to create the firefly effect. To view more photos of the light installation, check out Lost at E Minor’s post.

Photo courtesy of Lost A E Minor

AMES ART: New Gateway Light Sculptures, WHOtv.com
New Sculptures Light the Way to Ames, Radio Iowa
A Breathtaking Light Installation in Tokyo’s Sumida River, Lost At E Minor

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