Lighted Art - Small Past, Bright Future?

February 09, 2016

Use of lighting in art is a relatively new concept, even more so with the latest LED color changing variety - but artists like myself are dedicated to embracing and exploring the ever-expanding potential of this new technology! 

Lighted wall art sculpture

Back in the late nineties I came across a really cool lighted lighted wall art piece for my home bar area. Tiny led's were strategically placed throughout the composition as shimmering stars in the night sky, glowing headlights of classic cars parked at a drive in, and red flashing bulbs of the diner's sign. It was a nice piece in the daytime, but at night is when it came really alive with action and mesmerized myself and my guests. Although times have changed with innovations in art and lighting that are truly mind blowing, the reasons why I really enjoyed that piece are essentially the same. The lighting feature created a bold dramatic impact that fully delivered on the nostalgia the piece was trying to capture. Today many artists are incorporating lighting for just that purpose, to add a strong visual effect that assists in creating, or facilitates entirely on its own, the concept of the work.

In recent years we've been seeing the incredible potential of modern lighting functionality put to use in artwork. Artists like Leo Villareal, Jim Campbell, and Regine Schumann to name a few, have been creating stunning lighted sculpture and wall art that delights the visual senses and has a subtle entertaining quality. The concept has become so popular that large installations in museums, public landmarks, and even airports have been popping up all over the world. 


I started infusing LED lighting in my metal wall art in 2012 with "Cosmic Energy - LED" a 68" wide seven panel wall art piece. Since then I have continued to experiment and add new work with an emphasis on the viewer's interactive experience. The user has control over all aspects of the LED system including thousands of colors, lighting patterns, and brightness settings. The art instantly adapts to the mood, event, or interior color scheme with the press of a button from a wireless remote. I will soon be fitting lighted wall art pieces with a color changing LED lighting system controlled by your smart phone, so stay tuned!

"Cosmic Energy - LED"

As more artists begin embracing lighting in their work, I look forward to seeing the innovative new uses of the media and whats next to come. I also hope to contribute to this exciting and rapidly evolving art form. Although it's short history in artwork has been limited by technology, the concept of light is a magical and wondrous one, and I believe it holds amazing potential for artists in the future. What do you think?     

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