Canary Wharf’s Beautiful Winter Lights Festival Is Returning To Light Up The Night

Winter needn’t be dark and dull, thanks to London’s proliferation of Christmas lights displays and light trails that illuminate the night. But with the Christmas decorations set to come down (if not already gone from London’s skies), and many of the winter light trails closing too, the nights loom dark in the near future. And we’re desperate for any relief from the long winter nights. Enter: the Canary Wharf Winter Lights Festival.

a neon sign reading 'winter lights' in dazzling white
Credit: Canary Wharf Winter Lights

The festival was sadly cancelled last year, due to travel restrictions, but is confirmed to return for 2023. With installations coming courtesy of artists from all around the world, it makes sense that it couldn’t go ahead last year. But this year’s return will find it hitting Canary Wharf from January 18-28. It will be an absolutely stunning showcase of neon, LED, and all things illuminated, showing what an unbridled imagination and state of the art light technology can do.

Completely free to visit, the light festival will run between 5-10PM each day. You know, when it’s dark and you can appreciate the lights at their best.

a room illuminated pink from the pink glow of the light installation within. The installation is composed of circular, bent, strips of framed lighting
Toroid by This is Loop

2023 will mark the seventh year of the Canary Wharf Winter Lights Festival, with popular favourites from previous years making a return. There will also be a number of all-new dazzling sights making their debut. Over 20 installations will play with light and colour, often also playing with the viewer’s perspective and senses. Some of the works allow visitors to get right up close to the experience, while others make use of the distance from the viewer for their impact.

a light display that lights up falling droplets of water, displaying the word 'power'
bit.fall by Julius Popp

Among the returning favourites are Julius Popp’s illuminated droplets ‘bit.fall’, and Martin Richman’s colour-changing installation ‘We Could Meet’. Also making a return will be ‘The Clew’ by Portuguese artists Ottotto, which sees 100 circles of red light framing the Cubitt Steps bridge. It gives the bridge a sort of tunnel for pedestrians, and the reflection in the water evokes that of a sunset.

But we’re particularly excited for the all-new additions. Among them will be the brightly-coloured giant mammoths that make up ‘Permafrost – Sleeping Giants’ by Fisheye, and Tom Lambert’s ‘Out of the Dark’, a kaleidoscopic installation of mesmerising moving colour. We genuinely cannot wait to see these in person!

lit up giant mammoth installations surrounded by smoke, which will feature as part of the Canary Wharf Winter Lights festival
Permafrost – Sleeping Giants by Fisheye

You can find information about the event on the Canary Wharf website. Be sure to head down and brighten up your night.

The Canary Wharf Winter Lights Festival will run from January 18-28, from 5-10PM each day. You can find it scattered across the estate.


Also published on Medium.

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