Lighting Design

Natural Inspiration: Aurora Borealis

aurora

Nature provides boundless inspiration to designers in all categories, but when one happens across a breathtaking show of Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights, it’s hard not to think that lighting designers have it particularly good. The glowing light show that occurs in the northern reaches of our hemisphere is known for its colorful and otherworldly visuals, and many trek north to Iceland and Alaska to try and catch a glimpse.

Aurora Borealis and its southern counterpart Aurora Australis are the result of gaseous particles in our atmosphere colliding with charged particles from the sun’s atmosphere. Colors vary from pink to green to blues and purples, and those indicate the type of gas particles that are colliding. Oxygen makes yellowish green auroras (the most common) and high altitude oxygen create the most rare all-red auroras.

To view these beautiful light shows, ones best chance is between the north and south latitudes of 60-75 degrees. Here, the aurora can be seen more than half of the nights of the year.