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Where to find the best Lumiere London light displays this week

The Lumiere London festival is back this Thursday with more than 50 light installations across the city. Want to find the biggest and brightest? Try these flashy designs for starters.


1. ‘Impulse’ by Lateral Office and CS Design, South Molton Street, Mayfair

‘Look but don’t touch’ does not apply to ‘Impulse’. These seesaws of the future are made for play, and they offer a different kinetic response to everyone that hops on. Basically, the faster you go, the more flashy lights you get. It’s all about reclaiming public space, yada yada, but mostly it’s a chance to have a go on a seesaw without someone calling the playground supervisor. You’ll still have to wait your turn, though.
Nearest tube: Bond St. 

2. ‘Northern Lights’ by Aleksandra Stratimirovic, Grosvenor Square

Bored of never seeing the aurora borealis? Sick of watching your friend Tom from school post hashtag-crowded pics of the green Norwegian sky (why are you always on holiday TOM?)? Well, forget him and his Scandi mini breaks, because designer Aleksandra Stratimirovic is going to recreate the verdant phenomenon of the Northern Lights over Grosvenor Square, just for you. Hope your flight gets delayed, Tom.
Nearest tube: Bond St. 

3. ‘Illumaphonium’ by Michael Davis, Mount Street, Mayfair

This beaming sculpture is activated by touch. Just grab a rod and make it sing. Resist the temptation to stand on the sidelines watching it through your iPhonium and learn to play out the full ‘Happy Days’ theme tune instead. 
Nearest tube: Bond St. 

4. ‘Entre les Rangs’ by Rami Bebawi, Lewis Cubitt Park, Kings Cross

Cut through a garden on a path filled with thousands of ‘flowers’ made from light reflectors. The electric stems will take over Lewis Cubitt Park, a handy four-minute walk from Dishoom, Caravan and various other decent restaurants, if you’re feeling hungry. It might look like a sweet terrain of Willy Wonka lollipops, but it’s meant to be ‘a tribute to fields of wheat that shimmer in the wind’. We’re keeping an eye on you, Theresa.
Nearest tube: King’s Cross.


5. ‘Lampounette’ by TILT, Kings Boulevard, King's Cross

These giant lamps poke fun at the increasingly office-focused culture of King’s Cross. It’s like a surreal work dream that lasts four whole days. The sculptures play around with the relationships between light, architecture and public space with an inflated version of desk lamps nobody uses anymore. We all just work to the light of our monitor screens now.
Nearest tube: King’s Cross.


6. ‘Cosmoscope’ by Simeon Nelson, Store Street, Fitzrovia

It looks a bit like a cast-off from the set of ‘The Crystal Maze’, but this tangled sphere is actually a sophisticated soundscape that’s designed to make us think about the insignificant, as well as the infinite (whatever that means). It represents both microscopic cells and the beating of the human heart. It’s a ball of order and disorder, a bit like that galaxy necklace worn by the cat from ‘Men in Black’, only huge. Built by a group of academics and artists, this twisted cosmic ball of stress is fitted with around 12,000 LED lights. I don’t know about you, but we’re pumped.
Nearest tube: Goodge St.  

7. ‘Origin of the World Bubble’ by Miguel Chevalier, software by Cyrille Henry, above Oxford Street

One of Lumiere’s creations went rogue earlier this month when a giant white inflatable came unstuck and went floating down Oxford Street like it was in an episode of ‘The Prisoner’. Now the unruly orb has been firmly strapped into place, it’s ready to fulfil its bubbly destiny. Psychedelic op art will appear on its surface, responding to the movements of pedestrians below. Keep moving, people, you never know when it might achieve sentience again.
Nearest tube: Oxford Circus. 


8. ‘The Wave’ by Vertigo, Riverside Walkway, South Bank

Walk through this glowing row of 40 triangles. The pointy gates will have a sonic and visual response as you stroll, creating a beacon of light. It’s in a straight line, too, so you can’t go off on a tangent. Sure, there’s a tempting Nando’s and the excellent Dandelyan bar nearby, but this really is a cute place for a date. We’d join you, but we’re exhausted after all the triangle wordplay. See it before it’s polygon.
Nearest tube: Waterloo.


9. ‘The Rose’ by Mick Stephenson, Westminster Cathedral Piazza

You have to work for your lumiere here. If you want to see the petals of this rose light up, you’ll have to get on a bike and ride. The illuminated art, composed of hundreds of recycled plastic bottles, is powered by the pedalling of the visitors on stationary bicycles. If you hadn’t guessed, it’s a comment on sustainable energy. And you thought flower power was all about lounging around listening to the Jefferson Airplane. 
Nearest tube: Victoria. 

Disclaimer: We know these installations aren’t photographed in London, this is to give you an idea of what they’ll look like when they’re switched on this Thursday.

Lumiere London takes place across the city from Thu Jan 18-Sun Jan 21, 5.30pm-10.30pm each night. Free. To download a map of the installations, visit the Lumiere London site

Want to see the lights with a drink in hand? Try our Lumiere Cocktail Trail offer

Still need more beams? You may have a problem, but you’re in luck, the Winter Lights launch at Canary Wharf tonight

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