Lovely, lucrative lights

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Lovely, lucrative lights

Winter is the most beautiful season, with its wonderful views of city lights at night. Low humidity makes distant lights much clearer. Astronomical observers say winter is the best time to observe stars.
Accordingly, the streets of the Christmas and New Year holiday season are shining splendidly due to the brilliant lights. The festival of lights gleaming from city skyscrapers is in full swing. The dazzling lights make us joyful. The night landscape of Seoul has seen astonishing advancement in recent years. It is comparable to the Champs Elysees and Rockefeller Center, which are famed tourist attractions for night views.
The festival of lights at the Cheonggye Stream, the creek flowing through downtown Seoul, is named “Lucevista.” It means “view of lights” in Italian. The festival was once called “Luminarie,” meaning “festival of lights.” However, as Japan registered that as a trademark, the name of the festival was changed to Lucevista last year.
Japan held Asia’s first festival of lights, “Kobe Luminarie,” in 1995, in a national attempt to console the victims of the great earthquake.
Luminarie is a traditional Italian festival originally designed to build or decorate a building with lights. It began in Naples in the 16th century and became a religious ritual for saints.
In the contemporary world, it evolved into a festival of night views that serves as a city landmark. It also yields a considerable amount of tourism revenue. Italian light companies were at the forefront in driving the development of this new business.
Luminarie is tied to the light-emitting diode (LED) lighting technology, which is referred to as the next-generation luminous source. Most of the lights in Luminarie are LEDs.
LEDs are in the limelight because of their environmentally friendly features. They use less electricity than fluorescent lamps and incandescent lights, with no hydrargyrum, and they last longer. In addition, they have diverse colors. They are expected to replace the environmentally destructive incandescent electric lamp in the near future. The April issue of “Foreign Policy,” a political magazine in the United States, says that incandescent electric lamps are one of 10 items that will disappear in the next decade, along with DVDs and plastic bags.
The Korean government is deeply interested in the LED lighting industry. Amid hopes that the market for LEDs will exceed $100 billion globally, the government is positioning itself to be a player in this field.

The writer is a deputy culture and sports editor of the JoongAng Ilbo.

By Yang Sung-hee []
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