Lights Around the World

Las Vegas: The City Of Lights

Las Vegas Feature Photo

The City of Light or in French, la Ville Lumiere, is the nickname most commonly associated with Paris. The main reasons it was given this name were that the city was the birthplace of what is known as the Age of Enlightenment and Paris has always been associated with being a center of ideas and education. It also relates to the fact Paris being the first European city to adopt gas street lights.

However, Las Vegas is probably the city that most people would readily associate with lights, thanks mainly to the various Casinos and all those neon signs and lights that fill up Las Vegas Strip.

With this in mind then, we are going to take a look at some truly illuminating facts about the gambling capital of America.


Las Vegas, Brightest Spot On Earth

Sin City, The Entertainment Capital of the World and the aforementioned City of Lights are all nicknames used to describe Vegas. However, NASA added another when they awarded the city the title of ‘the Brightest Spot on Earth‘ when seen from space. There are a number of intriguing images showing just how bright the city looks at night from the ISS.

Nasa photo of Las Vegas
Source: NASA Visible Earth

Las Vegas Lights

Las Vegas Lights is not the name of an LED lighting company (well not that we know of anyway), but actually the name of the current USL (United Soccer League) team representing the city.

The team was founded in 2017 after the city spent a number of decades unrepresented in any of the soccer leagues in the US. They freshly joined the league earlier this year (2018) though and play at Cashman Field, a 9,334 capacity stadium.

The Lights currently have to share Cashman Field with the MLB team, Las Vegas 51s. But there are plans in place for the 51s to move to a new stadium situated in Summerlin next year (2019). If the move goes ahead as planned, the Lights will be the only team using Cashman Field.

Guinness World Record Of Most LED Lights Lit Simultaneously

As we have established, besides the gambling, entertainment and other interesting things found in Las Vegas, part of the reason it is so widely known is for all the lights that are on constantly.

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas helped to put the city on the map for another illuminating reason. In 2016, on the 31st of August, the university set a world record for Most LED Lights Lit Simultaneously.

How many LED light bulbs does it take to make a world record? 1,590. Interestingly though, the university had held the same event they won the record for in 2016, for the 20 years previous to it. The students participating stood in a special formation that spelled out the initials of the university’s name UNLV with red LEDs, followed by a green dot.

The green dot was there to represent the fact that the university was participating in Live the Green Dot campaign, an initiative that was established to help put a stop to power-based personal violence that happens in communities and schools throughout the world.

The Bellagio Hotel in Lights
Source: The Bellagio Las Vegas

Fremont Street Experience – 12.5 Million LEDs

In Downtown Las Vegas, FSE or Fremont Street Experience is an attraction and pedestrian mall. It stretches across the five westernmost blocks of Fremont Street and famously includes the section known as Glitter Gulch because of a large number of Neon lights.

The Fremont Experience Vegas
Source: Fremont Street Experience

You’ve probably heard that most casinos in Las Vegas never turn their outside lights off, ever. At Fremont Street Experience whenever there is a show, they begin by turning all of the lights off in all of the buildings and anything under the barrel vault canopy. That includes the casinos and other buildings.

About that canopy. Named Viva Vision, this runs along the promenade covering the space between Main street and Fourth Street. There are 16 columns that each weigh around 26,000 pounds that holds the canopy up. One section that accounts for 1 50th of the total canopy is equal to the world’s largest electric sign.

Initially, it was 2.1 million traditional incandescent bulbs in the canopy. However, further down the line, a $17m upgrade was completed and the canopy is now illuminated by 12 million LED lights. LG Electronics masterminded the new LED lighting rig, who also incidentally sponsor the canopy.

The Neon Museum

Given the fact that Las Vegas is synonymous with big, vibrant lit up signs; it really makes a lot of sense that at least one attraction in the city would pay homage to and celebrate old and retired neon signs from the city’s past.

That is exactly what The Neon Museum is – an outdoor collection of rescued and restored neon signs that stretches across 6 acres. The visitor center is the restored lobby shell from the now-closed La Concha Motel. Before they turned it into an attraction, the Young Electric Sign Company had been storing lots of these signs in what they affectionately refer to as their ‘boneyard’.

The Neon Museum
Source: Loyal Blog

However, to prevent all the signs from suffering the same fate as a number of them that were damaged and destroyed by the natural elements, they were restored to their original glory.

As well as the many signs in the collection spread out around Downtown Las Vegas, the previously mentioned Boneyard is also worth a look too. If you ever get a chance to go, don’t miss out!

We are sure you will agree, based on the facts above, that Las Vegas is the rightful owner of the title ‘City of Lights’. Not only is it the brightest city on earth, it is home to one of the largest collection of lights in a concentrated area. Even if you are not a gambler, it is hard to not be seduced by the loud and proud audacious personality that the neon lights project to anyone who enters Las Vegas! They are like loud beacons, beckoning you into the establishments they advertise. Even if you survive and don’t lose a dime, the effects may still be with you for some time – we’ve been told!

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David Willis

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