Asia’s first sustainable light festival lights up Marina Bay

Participating artists of i Light Marina Bay Asia’s first sustainable light art festival, together with the building owners around Marina Bay and in the Central Business District, will go green by adopting energy-saving initiatives throughout the Festival period from 15 October to 7 November 2010.

The rise of global urban centres has underscored the importance of urban lighting in creating liveable cities with dynamic communities and thriving economies. However, rapid urbanisation, especially in Asia, has also meant higher energy consumption, giving rise to questions about sustainable urban solutions. With urban lighting forming a part of a city’s energy consumption, energy-efficient lighting alternatives have a role to play in ensuring that urban centres remain as sustainable cities. As a light art festival in an urban setting, i Light Marina Bay aims to raise awareness and effect behavioural changes towards energy consumption and long-term sustainability of the city.

i Light Marina Bay is a free outdoor light art festival that takes place at the Marina Bay waterfront. The creative use of energy-saving lighting technology will be demonstrated through the light art installations featured in the Festival. 12 installations have made use of LED (light-emitting diode) lights which are twice as efficient as compact fluorescent bulbs.

One of these is Singapora-Flora by Australian artist Warren Langley, which uses continuous LED light cables. Each petal in this installation runs on only one watt and the spiral shapes run on 5 watts per meter. LED lights are currently considered as a standard for greener lighting. Another installation, Fire Flies by Swiss artist Francesco Mariotti, is solar powered and only utilises 75 watts.

WattFish?, an installation by Meinhardt Light Design Studio Singapore on The Helix bridge, is illuminated by the kinetic energy generated when one winds the reel. Each of the installations at the Festival is accompanied by a “smart fact” about its intelligent and sustainable use of lighting which can be easily adapted to everyday life.

The largest installation in the Festival will be powered with biofuels from used cooking oil. Working closely with businesses around Marina Bay, 4,500 litres of waste cooking oil will be collected for conversion into biodiesel to run generators to power up the Festival’s largest installation – My Public Garden by TILT. The installation comprises 29 artworks ranging from 3 to 11 metres tall.

Festival organiser Smart Light Singapore (SLS) is also encouraging the public to contribute used cooking oil in exchange for an energy-saving light bulb sponsored by Philips. This will take place on Saturday, 23 October from 7.30pm to 9.30pm at The Promontory@Marina Bay. This initiative aims to create awareness for better waste management, and underscores how communities can positively impact the environment they operate in.

In conjunction with the Festival, building owners in Marina Bay and the Central Business District, are joining hands to support the cause to reduce energy consumption. During the three weeks, these building owners will be switching off the non-essential building lights and/or turning up the air-conditioner temperature in their premises. This “Switch Off, Turn Up” campaign involving more than 10 properties demonstrates how the business community can come together to make an impact on the environment they operate in.

These buildings include 8 Shenton Way, City House, Fuji Xerox Towers, Marina Bay Financial Centre, Marina Bay Sands, Maybank Tower, One Marina Boulevard, One Raffles Quay, Republic Plaza, The Corporate Office, The Fullerton Heritage and The URA Centre, corporate office of Festival presenter Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Apart from these initiatives, in the organisation and marketing of the Festival, organiser SLS has also been mindful of using sustainable options. For example, over 90 percent of the international art installations have been shipped to Singapore by sea freight which will emit 40 tonnes less CO2e than air freight. All Festival marketing materials are printed using soy-based ink and on sustainable FSC certified paper which has a footprint of one-third of the emissions of ordinary paper.

The public can find more useful tips on sustainability and energy-efficiency on the Festival website, i Light Marina Bay will be open nightly from 7.30pm to midnight.

The Festival is presented by the Urban Redevelopment Authority and organised by Smart Light Singapore.

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