Light shows: after-dark displays in the UK this winter

Illuminations events to enjoy in January and February 2024

Light shows and illuminations aren't just for Christmas. A host of bright and beautiful displays are brightening up the dark winter days this January and February. 

Winter Lights festival, Canary Wharf, London

Illuminated artwork featuring clusters of poles, with people looking on

(Image credit: Neuron by Juan Fuentes, Winter Lights festival, Canary Wharf)

The London business district is glowing "brighter than usual", said Time Out, as the eighth edition of Winter Lights showcases works by an international line-up of light artists. Exploring the intersection of nature and technology, this year's festival features 13 temporary installations, plus six works permanently on show in Canary Wharf, that visitors can discover using a downloadable map.

17-27 Jan, free. Find out more

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Battersea Power Station Light Festival, London

Battersea Power Station Light Festival: illuminated blue butterfly artwork on water, with power station in background

(Image credit: Battersea Power Station)

This month-long festival features seven light art installations dotted around inside and outside the former power station, including "a giant diamond, illuminated butterflies, a playable light piano and a cycling light battle", said Londonist. Specialist LED artistes are also performing live "glow shows", and silent discos are being held in Turbine Hall B. 

25 Jan–25 Feb, 8am–11pm, free. Find out more

Spectacle of Light, Compton Verney, Warwickshire

At night, trees illuminated by coloured lights, with lines of pink lights along the ground

(Image credit: Compton Verney)

Enjoy a "night-time feast of wonders" in the historic Compton Verney estate, said Great British Life. The classical parkland, designed by landscape architect Lancelot "Capability" Brown, is transformed by "amazing new light-art installations and immersive pieces", and street food and hot and cold drinks are available.

26 Jan–18 Feb, from £17.60 for adults/£8.80 for kids. Book here.

Life, St Martin-in-the-Fields church, London

People watching a lightshow inside St Martin-in-the-Fields church

(Image credit: Paul Marc Mitchell)

Arts collective Luxmuralis is illuminating both the outside and inside of the central London church for this immersive light and sound experience, including the famous "warped window", which is "shown off in its best light, literally", said Londonist. The show celebrates life on our planet, taking visitors on a "dazzling" journey spanning earth, sea and sky over 24 hours.

30 Jan–3 Feb, 5.30pm-9.45pm, from £8. Book here.  

Bristol Light Festival

Two people swinging on an illuminated swing-shaped artwork

(Image credit: Bristol Light Festival)

The fourth instalment of the award-winning festival features "show-stopping" displays of light, colour and sound "right in the heart" of the city, said Bristol Live. The many highlights include "Pulse", by This is Loop, which features "enormous rings of light made up of more than 14,000 individual LEDs". And "Swing Song" (pictured) comprises six interactive swings that light up and play music that evolves into "more complex melodies" as "users swing higher and higher".

2–11 Feb, free. Find out more

Spectra Festival of Light, Aberdeen

Illuminated artworks at night in Aberdeen's Spectra light show

(Image credit: Ian Georgeson)

Aberdeen's annual festival of light is celebrating its 10th anniversary with "eye-catching projections, interactive displays and breathtaking installations" at venues across the city, said The Scotsman. A massive 3D projection is charting Aberdeen's maritime history at Aberdeen Art Gallery, which is also hosting "Butterfly Dream", a "flight of hand-cast and neon-flecked butterflies".

8–11 Feb, free. Find out more

Glow 2024, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset

A multicoloured sign saying 'Glow' with pink lights in the background

(Image credit: Paul Blakemore Photography)

Returning for a third consecutive year to fill Weston-super-Mare with light, colour and play over half-term, Glow features a ticketed light trail, plus illuminated artworks, new commissions and community collaborations around town. This year's theme is "Play In Nature", to "encourage festival-goers to engage with the natural environment", said Somerset Live

13–17 Feb, pay what you decide, suggested £6. Book here

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