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Philips lights up Lyon festival

Philips and leading French artist Severine Fontaine launch 80m-long centrepiece of Lyon’s Festival of Lights.

Philips has teamed up with a celebrated French artist, Severine Fontaine, to create a lightshow the size of a football pitch as the centrepiece of the world famous Lyon Festival of Lights in Lyon, France. The installation transformed the banks of the River Rhône with an 80m-long art installation powered by Philips Colour Kinetics LED connected lighting technology.

Designed to celebrate the importance of light in human development, “Incandescence” has been six years in the making and features nine illuminated domes in the shape of incandescent light bulbs, each the size of a family car. The dramatic lightshow, lasting six minutes, explores the human race’s symbiotic relationship with light. It uses the iconic incandescent light bulb to represent the relationship that humans have had historically with artificial light and demonstrates its impact on human development – something which is often taken for granted.

“I chose to work with Philips, which is a prestigious partner, providing high quality and high-tech products that enable spectacular light effects,” said artist Severine Fontaine. “The Philips technology allowed me to explore and create emotion, working light with great delicacy as if it was a musical score. Philips provided more than just products, the team also brought passion that allowed me to realize my concept and light scenario in optimal condition for the artistic quality of the art work.”

The artwork comes at a time when lighting continues to move beyond functional illumination, made possible by connected LED lighting technology. Modern digital lighting that is also energy efficient helps to tackle global issues, such as resource scarcity and climate change, while also having a personal impact affecting our health and emotions. Philips is pioneering research on the vast biological and psychological impact that light has on our health and wellbeing.

“We were delighted to support Severine Fontaine’s ambitious project this year because it illustrates the importance of light in our lives and celebrates the paradigm shift from incandescent to connected LED lighting technology,” said Benjamin Azoulay, CEO of Philips Lighting France. “By telling the story of the evolution of lighting from the creation of the traditional filament bulb to digital lighting that responds and interacts with people and the environment, this is set to be a dramatic and emotional lightshow at this year’s festival.”

Philips is an historic partner of the Lyon Festival of Lights, one of the world’s principal events for creative light displays, that showcases the work of top international artists and light engineers and offers an open-air laboratory for up-and-coming talent. Philips has also illuminated a variety of landmarks across the city, from La Tour Crayon and a 13th Century church, to modern buildings built in the last few years.