The festival, which runs for four nights starting Thursday, features 50 light-based artworks across the city. Some sit in alleyways or parks, while others illuminate buildings including Westminster Abbey and the National Theatre.
Near King’s Cross Station, the immersive “Waterlicht,” (“Water Light”) by Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde makes visitors feel they are underneath roiling blue waves.
Organizers say more than 1 million people attended the free festival when it was first held in London two years ago.
Helen Marriage, director of organizing group Artichoke, says the festival taps into a hunger for live experience in an age when people spend much of the time staring at screens.