The East River Light Show

The New York City Economic Development Corporation was at last night’s meeting of the Community Board 1 Executive Committee to present its plans for LoMa Lights, a major light show coming to the East River Waterfront starting Memorial Day. Apologies in advance for the quality of the photos. There are three components:

Buildings on the East River skyline will get “sparkling lights”:

Buildings facing South Street will have video and lights projected onto their façades, and there will be ways for spectators to use their phones to interact with the light show.

LoMa Lights facade projections• At the East River Waterfront Esplanade, images will be projected onto fountains of water spouting out of the river.

LoMa Lights waterfront activationThe EDC has signed a three-year partnership with a company whose name I didn’t catch (and I think the organization is saving that part for a bigger media launch), and the total cost is $5-6 million (not sure if that’s annual), most of which comes from private funding. The lights will be roughly 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. nightly, and the board was told that all the lighting will be energy efficient and it won’t affect bird patterns. Here’s a map showing where each component will be.

LoMa Lights mapUpdate: I neglected to mention that even though there’s the potential for cheesiness—we won’t know till we see it—anything that gets people to that area is a good endeavor, in my opinion.



  1. This sounds goofy, but fun. I always enjoy a good light show.

    This reminds me of something I haven’t thought about in a long time, the laser show that happened one summer on top of the World Trade Center. It was sometime in the early-mid 90’s, I think. There were two giant lasers on top of one of the WTC buildings. You could go up and buy a ticket, and they would play loud music and do a crazy laser show. It was sort of a “Lazer Floyd” type of thing Krystl and I only went up and saw it once, but that whole summer you could look up into the night sky and see the lasers bouncing around. It only lasted that one summer. I would love to find some pictures of it(I think we took some, but they were never digital, and are probably in deep storage), but it is pretty much impossible these days to search “World Trade Center laser show” and come up with any pleasant results.

  2. Looks like a lot of light pollution–more challenges for the birds already disoriented by brightly lit urban areas. More garbage to mesmerize tourists and waste money and energy.

  3. This looks pretty cool. The East River Esplanade could really use some energy at night – it would be great if they could ensure that it wasn’t only a light show and also included some great food trucks or something. Make a place to really hang out on the piers and not just watch a show. A beer garden would be awesome in that area. I wonder how these projections will be interactive – sounds like it could be fun!