The Illuminated River is a project to create a major public artwork to illuminate up to 15 of central London’s bridges.

Once complete, it will be the longest public art commission in the world at 2.5 miles in length, along 4.5 nautical miles of the River Thames, from Albert Bridge to Tower Bridge. Once complete, Illuminated River will be viewed more than 200 million times per year. The first phase of the project has been launched.

By creating a single lighting scheme for central London’s bridges, Illuminated River plans to connect, celebrate and capture the spirit of the Thames and its communities. The artwork will be free and publicly accessible to all – Londoners and visitors alike – and will create many more opportunities for people to enjoy and explore the river, Thames Path, bridges and local amenities.

As well as celebrating London’s bridges and their architecture, Illuminated River will use state of the art LED technology which is more energy efficient than the existing lighting on the bridges – contributing to a more ecologically sustainable environment for the river.

Illuminated River will be a catalyst for wider conversations about improvements to public space and lighting. The project is working with bridge owners and local authorities to improve access to and around the bridges, exploring opportunities to make these areas more communal, inclusive and safe, as well as to improve lighting and add better public seating.

More information about the project can be found at the website

The ILP has created a group of volunteers to experience first-hand the final development of this major art project in London.

Our placement volunteer role includes: 

  • providing practical support to the artist Leo Villareal on site during his late night-time digital sequencing work on and around the bridges (e.g. interacting with members of the public who may have queries about the artist and project). This should be a really interesting opportunity to see at first-hand how the artist programmes the sequencing of the light artwork on the bridges.
  • creating content for the ILP to share with ILP members and the public (e.g. articles for the Lighting Journal, websites and social media). 

Although this opportunity is limited to a small number of ILP members, we will also be providing education for all via our website. If you are involved with a project that ILP members could benefit from in a similar way, please contact the ILP – we would love to provide other opportunities in other areas too.

The ILP seeks to be as inclusive as possible, so if you have any concerns about applying for membership / attending our Exterior Lighting Diploma courses, LDC local events or our one-day courses for whatever reason please let us know and we will try to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that you can fully engage with the ILP.