Illuminating the History of Lewes


Earlier this fall, the world was introduced to the first Lewes Light Festival, a celebration of the first Festival of Light in the strong, creative community of Lewes, East Sussex, England. The small town and it’s beautiful, historical architecture were brilliantly transformed into a vibrant, bright beacon extending across the town’s landscape. This event welcomed and inspired visitors from around the world through the use of art, design, technology, and the environment.

Graham Festenstein, Lewes based lighting designer and Festival Director, had a vision of a lighting event as he walked around the small town. “Walking through Lewes every day, I kept on thinking how good it would be to light this building here, or that tree there, or how wonderful it would be if this space was to be lit at night, until one day a friend suggested, ‘Why don’t you do it?’,” said Festenstein. Festenstein, having worked on similar events in the past, has seen these lighting festivals benefit communities. “They are a great way of encouraging community engagement,” said Festenstein.

The International Year of Light 2015 played a factor in the production of the event. “We wanted to deliver a festival that created beautiful scenes and spaces but also one with community engagement and an educational component,” said Festenstein. He collaborated with the Sussex Downs College, who shared their expertise, putting in many hours of hard work helping the professional team deliver a successful event.

Lewes_Light_Festival-img01 Photo (c) James McCauley

Lighting Designers Karen van Creveld and Nulty+ partnered with Architainment Lighting to supply a lighting solution and deliver lighting scenes for Lewes Castle and Pells Pool. Architainment’s Paul Vallis was responsible for illuminating the castle, where two Philips Color Kinetics ColorBlast Powercore fixtures with linear spread lenses were positioned in front of the castle’s Barbican entrance, illuminating the gorgeous front arch, while grazing the flint façade and rampart section. ColorGraze MX4 fixtures grazed the inner walls with gold lighting, and ColorBlast Compact Powercore fixtures illuminated the secondary arch.

Lewes_Light_Festival-img03 Photo (c) Nulty+

Hector Machado from Architainment illuminated Pells Pool with ColorBlast Powercore and iColor Accent fixtures, creating the perfect place for festival-goers to sit, and let their eyes wander at the marvelous, stimulating lights around them.

Lewes_Light_Festival-img02Photo (c) Nulty+

The Lewes Light Festival was a major success. The event created a sense of community and awe throughout the small, historic town providing a significant date that will forever be a part of the town’s history. The vibrant lighting show highlighted the history and pride of Lewes, accentuating dated landmarks and the captivating beauty of the location. Due to the positive feedback from visitors, tourists, residents, local businesses, and politicians, the festival has a potentially long future ahead, and preparations for 2016 are already in order.

For more information, please visit the Architainment Lighting website.

Lewes Casle, title banner photo (c) James McCauley

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