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Night of Heritage Light (NOHL)

On 1 October 2015, in an event designed to showcase the talents of Society of Light and Lighting (SLL) members and the lighting community and to celebrate the International Year of Light 2015, teams of dedicated lighting designers shone a ‘new light’ on UNESCO World Heritage Sites across the UK and Ireland.

The Night of Heritage Light (NoHL) aimed to promote lighting as both an art form and a science by illuminating 9 World Heritage Sites in the UK and Ireland. Starting at William the Conqueror’s Tower of London, the NoHL worked its way up the country as the natural light faded.

Experts in the field of lighting put their designs on display to demonstrate the power of good lighting. Other heritage sites included the Giant’s Causeway, Stonehenge, Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City and Edinburgh Old and New Towns.

Click here to view the SLL's Year of Light Supplement

Liz Peck, President of the Society of Light and Lighting, said “The Night of Heritage Light was a great example of the whole industry coming together to bring the magic of light and lighting to the world. By combining light with some of the UK and Ireland’s most beautiful sights, we can capture the public’s attention in a way that showcases the best that the lighting industry has to offer.

“Lighting is an art as well as a science, and we’re hoping that this event has inspired people to look more closely at the part light plays in their everyday lives, from the street to their place of work. It’s about inspiring the next generation of minds to make the great breakthroughs in lighting by thinking big and realising the industry’s potential.”

Click here to see Liz Peck discussing the International Year of Light in an interview with Inside Science

Combining their love of light and art, design teams showcased the practical applications of lighting and how it can improve and enhance architecture.  An additional benefit will be the highlighting of UNESCO World Heritage Sites bringing added recognition to these internationally acclaimed locations.

In order to continue the legacy of NoHL and the International Year of Light 2015, the Society held a second Night of Heritage Light in York on 24 October 2016. NoHL 2 focused on two historical sites within the city centre, St. Leonard's Hospital and the Multi-Angular Tower, both situated in the Museum Gardens. NoHL 2 was held in the run up to the annual light festival, Illuminating York, during which the Society ran an event with local schools called Pockets of Light.

NOHL 2 - St. Leonard's Hospital Site, York. Photography by Lee Wright

NOHL 2 - Multi-Angular Tower site, York. Photography by Lee Wright

See further coverage of the Night of Heritage Light below.

On 15 September 2016, Night of Heritage Light was awarded first place for the Event category at the darc awards 2016. Click here to find out more.

On 5 May 2016, the Night of Heritage Light was named Heritage Project of the Year at the Lighting Design Awards

Click here to find out more

See photos from the NOHL gallery below:

NOHL - Giant's Causeway site. Photography by Don Kinghan

NOHL - Old and New Towns of Edinburgh site. Photography by Robert Galloway

NOHL - Fountains Abbey site. Photography by George Hodlin

NOHL Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City site. Photography by Ian Robinson

NOHL - Ironridge site. Photography by Jaxx Shepherd

NOHL - Blaenavon Industrial Landscape site. Photography by Kenton Simons

NOHL - Blenheim Palace site. Photography by Sotirios Stamatopoulos

NOHL - Tower of London site. Photography by Rachel Ferriman

NOHL - Jurassic Coast site. Photoraphy by Mike Massaro

To find out more about the Night of Heritage Light, visit