Submissions called for Smart Light Sydney

Posted on Friday, January 16th, 2009

Smart Light Sydney is a new biennial festival of Smart Light thinking towards low-energy urban lighting installations, highlighting alternative ‘cool light technologies’ which are emerging from lighting suppliers.

We seek expressions of interest from artists, lighting designers, architects, engineers, curators, multi media artists and inventors to create installations for the first festival around the Rocks and Circular Quay from 26 May to 14 June 2009.

The Smart Light Sydney creative theme is City and Memories — to be expressed through energyefficient lighting installations which:

• Promote significant reductions in electricity consumed by urban lighting.

• Promote new technologies and best practices in lighting design at the urban scale.

• Reduce pollution and photon wastage; encouraging darker, starrier night skies. In 2009 the festival coincides with the UN International Year of Astronomy.

• Consider the City of Sydney’s 2030 vision for a Green. Connected. Global city.

• Help share diverse understandings of how digital technologies can enable creative eco-solutions in urban design and management.

• Are conceptually stimulating and entertaining for the public.

• Promote City Atmosphere.

Submission proposals must meet the above themes and include details of proposed electricity consumption – to allow development of world’s best practice case studies.

The festival is a practical, long-term approach to low-energy urban lighting. Owners of office towers around Circular Quay will be encouraged to turn off their lights in an effort to reduce background illumination and allow maximum visual impact from the festival installations.

Various public education programs and events are planned in conjunction with the Commonwealth Government’s phase-out of incandescent lamps, the United Nations Year of Astronomy 2009, the growing desire to reduce light pollution of night skies, and the emerging low-energy technologies now being marketed by leading lighting manufacturers.

Smart Light Sydney’s ‘Light Walk’ from Observatory Hill to the Opera House includes major public venues such as the Sydney Observatory, Museum of Contemporary Art and Customs House. The route is highlighted below.

Key aspects of the Smart Light Sydney festival will include:

• Natural light (daylight, moonlight) and existing artificial lighting and their impacts on the built and natural environments of central Sydney.

• Developing new urban lighting ideas for the northern CBD to respond to the city’s layout, desired evening activities and vision. It will be important to balance the aesthetics of lighting equipment, energy consumption, historic elements, environmental considerations, social and cultural activities, and flexibility to celebrate festive occasions in different ways.

• Temporary and permanent light art installations, raising awareness about new lighting technologies that support low energy consumption and are less damaging to the natural environment. Understanding and developing interactive art works in public space. Attracting international visitors

to the city to experience the transformative quality of light.


Download a PDF with further information and application form here

Artist Grants of up to $5,000 are available for the project. All proposals are confidential and intellectual property belongs to the artist, apart from uses to publicize the festival. Round 2 will be announced 13 February 2009.

The successful applicants will be notified by email and listed on the Smart Light Sydney website If you have any enquiries regarding your application please send an email to Proposals are be submitted electronically by 26 January 2009 to