Denver Botanic Gardens Blossoms of Light

DENVER — If you haven’t seen it, there’s still time. This year’s holiday lights display at the gardens features over 1 million lights and an interactive LED light show. The LA Times recently listed Blossoms of Light as one of the “ displays of Christmas lights in the West“. This annual holiday lights extravaganza features some new elements, and includes the grand illuminated O’Fallon Perennial Walk and the Romantic Gardens.

Don’t miss:

  • Gazing at the twinkling lights through our popular HoloSpex glasses
  • Interacting with a large field of sound-reactive, animated LED lights
  • Warm drinks and tasty treats
  • Enjoy your stroll through Blossoms of Light while sipping a warm beverage in your souvenir mug

At the end of the twinkling Blossoms of Light pathway, visitors arrive at the Lumenscape: a massive lighting display that reacts to interactive instruments and recorded music. Nearly 15,000 individually-programmed LEDs dance in an array of lights that fills the entire UMB Amphitheater, offering an experience that is as mesmerizing as it is unique.

For a behind-the-scenes look at how the Lumenscape came to be, we talked to the founders of AudioPixel, the Boulder-based company that collaborated with the Gardens to develop the installation.

Tell us a little bit about AudioPixel.
AudioPixel primarily builds installations utilizing audio-reactive and interactive LEDs. We’ve built projects on our own, but we’ve also helped artists and groups build large-scale art installations, developed custom software used at nightclubs, and designed lighting for dozens of multi-day music festivals. We have also ventured into controlling pyrotechnics, fountains and robotics.

How did you decide on the design for the Lumenscape?
We had a lot of ideas going into the project, but we always knew we wanted an array of LEDs large enough that we could run elaborate, 3D visuals. In the end, we found that the vertical strips of LEDs spaced about six feet apart capture just enough area for your mind’s eye to fill in a complex image without being too bright or overbearing.

What was the biggest challenge in this process?
The amphitheater itself posed many unique challenges: we had to avoid sprinkler systems, create stands for areas where we could not stake into the ground, and design a grid that factored in grassy slopes and other obstacles. Nearly three miles of wires are used in the installation, which pushed our known expectations of how far electric current and data could travel to the LEDs. Plus, it was no small feat to design a reliable, watertight, outdoor installation in the dead of winter that would be ready for hundreds or thousands of visitors to view each night.

What was your favorite part of developing the Lumenscape?
The ability to expose this kind of art to a wider audience is a huge privilege. Most often, work of this nature is seen at exotic festivals or underground events that cater to a niche audience. The 38-day duration of this exhibit and its location at Denver Botanic Gardens make it accessible to the community and the general public. We’ve also loved watching the whole exhibit come together, and we can see the success of the project on visitors’ faces when they play with the instruments at the kiosk.

How did you get into the kind of work?
In the early 2000s, there weren’t many options for artists to program with light using existing software, so we just decided to do it ourselves. We studied “new media” at CU Boulder (ATLAS), RMCAD, and Emerson College in programs that encourage creativity and attempt to close the gap between engineering and the arts. More recently, demand has grown and the price of LEDs has dropped, which gives us more opportunities for large-scale projects.

What are some of the other major projects you’ve worked on?
We transformed a large, flatbed truck into an audio-reactive LED display that we’ve taken to various music festivals, including Burning Man, Arise, and Apogaea. We’ve worked with some of the biggest names in electronic music and, for the past eight years, we’ve collaborated on sound stages and art projects at Burning Man and local Maker-Faire DIY events.

Blossoms of Light is open every night 5:30-9 p.m. through Sunday, Jan. 1. Purchase tickets online or at the Bonfils-Stanton Visitor Center. Groups of 15 people or more can purchase discounted tickets by calling 720-865-3584.

1007 York Street | Denver, CO 80206 | 720-865-3501 | Map


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North Denver Tribune

Tribune shines light on Standing Rock’s historic movement

Paulette Shalhoub

I am old enough to have witnessed the small beginnings of both the feminist and civil-rights movements. Though my physical appearance reflects my Scotch-Irish ancestry, I am also Native American (Cherokee and Seminole, as nearly as I can figure out from research and family stories).  Both the land and the culture of my ancestors on my mother’s side were stolen.  We will not allow the theft of our water and the desecration of our sacred sites. 

I predict that the protest at Standing Rock will burgeon into a movement every bit as historic and large as those that were fought for the civil rights of women and minorities.  Thanks to reporters like Basha Cohen and the North Denver Tribune who are presenting information that the mainstream media ignores.

The post Tribune shines light on Standing Rock’s historic movement appeared first on North Denver Tribune.

North Denver Tribune

Amazing Rube Goldberg Machine Powered By Light And Magnifying Glasses.

To advertise their new fiber optics Internet connection called hikari (which means light in Japanese), Japanese Internet provider au made this really cool ad featuring a Rube Goldberg machine that is powered by nothing but light and magnifying glasses…well and gravity too, of course.

A Rube Goldberg machine is an over-engineered contraption that is designed to perform a very simple task in a complicated way (usually using some kind of chain reaction). You could say that this epic creation works at the speed of light! Very impressive.


(Source: au on YouTube)

The sound design alone in that video was simply amazing. Put on some good headphones and listen to how wide the soundscape is. As an audiophile I was more impressed by that than the video, and that’s saying something because the video was insanely awesome.

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More Light Rail construction traffic impacts

More Light Rail construction traffic impacts
22, 2014*, the Regional Transportation District's (RTD) contractor for the Gold Line, Denver Transit Partners (DTP),will close Ridge Road between Tabor and Swadley streets for continued construction. Work is scheduled to be completed within 14 days.
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