Lights in Alingsås is an international lighting design festival, taking place annually from October to November, in the town of Alingsås, Sweden. The first festival started in 1998 when a group of students took to the town to experiment with architectural lighting in public spaces. Since then, it has significantly grown in size, evolving into a well-known event for the community and lighting designers across the globe.
It is an event that the Professional Lighting Designers Association (PLDA) are involved with annually, as well as Alingsås Energi who own the project and collaborate with International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD).
The theme of this year’s festival is ‘together’. Due to the pandemic causing the festival to look very different last year, it is celebratory that the world is reconvening, and being able to have a much more normal festival – albeit at a safe distance.
Pharos Controls feature in three of the six sites across the festival. The first site to feature Pharos Controls is located in Brunnsparken, created by Jessica Krometis. It is a dynamic scene that uses architectural elements to engage the audience. The installation mimics fireflies, bioluminescence, and the light that living creatures emit. It starts with the location’s jetty being fully illuminated. Then light can be seen darting into the trees, imitating fireflies flitting to and fro, dancing together in flight. Finally, the light moves upwards, accentuating the canopy of the trees and journeys across the skies creating northern lights above Alingsås. At this stage of the show, Jessica Krometis encourages the audience to lie down on the jetty to experience the artwork from a completely unique perspective.
The second site is Christinae Church and is created by Luciana Alanis. The church is in a busy area of Alingsås, with the installation being designed to draw people into the parish hall, to take a pause from the hustle and bustle on the busy streets. The church is only subtly lit, to give the illusion of the rounded shape of the parish glittering. Alanis has said of her interpretation of this year’s theme, ‘Together’: “Come together, gather round, to rediscover the beauty of this place and heed society’s true values. Two different eras and stories, two architects and their buildings, past and present, united in this public place.”
The final installation to feature Pharos Controls is at Plantaget Park, designed by Sara Ortega. The scene is in the central part of the park which consists of a grassy space in between two areas that are in a state of imbalance. On one side there is a fountain and a chessboard, on the other, only a gravel surface. The installation aims to link these two parts and show how attempts at contact is finally made. The scene is symbolic of communication, and hints at how technology has kept the world connected in the past year, when physically being around other people was not allowed. The effect that the lighting creates is enhanced in the rain or misty conditions.
All three installations feature Pharos Controls LPC (Lighting Playback Controller). The LPC family uses a frame array system for generating lighting data. This means that during the programming stage, a mixture of presets, media and colours will be created and added to a Timeline or Scene. The designer will then process this information and upload instructions, also known as Frame Arrays, in the form of RGB and Intensity values per channel, per frame to the Controllers. The LPC family is a control system which gives full control of every fixture in your project. These features made it the perfect control system for Lights in Alingsås.
Photography – Patrik Gunnar Helin