CORONA and Lighting Caudill’s Sculpture, Effervescence


CORONA Permanent Lighting Installation

A welcoming circle of fluid light and color

Site: Courtyard entrance to University of Louisville School of Music, with tiers of arced steps.

A goal of the project was to have a nighttime visual expression of the art that is created and taught within the University of Louisville School of Music. The lighting is fluid, reflecting the fluidity of music. The steps and curves of the space are amplified with flows of light. The installation provides many options, including static color palettes of light and fluidly changing patterns of light, which can be selected by the school. When the Cardinals win, the courtyard can be awash with red, the team color, to amplify school pride. A typical night displays an array of pastel tones, bringing a smile to passers-by, adding excitement and curiosity to what was previously a dreary plaza at night.

The site-specific priority was step safety. There are at least twenty steps to get from the sidewalk to the concert hall entrance. Each flight of stairs was carefully lit to ensure that even those with low vision would have safe passage to and from the concert hall and the school at any hour of the day.

The name: CORONA

The central part of the piazza is not lit. It is surrounded by a flow of colors of light, like the corona around an eclipse.

Lighting David Caudill’s Effervescence Sculpture

David Caudill’s Scuplture, Effervescence, is a powerful, exciting, stainless steel sculpture which flows up the wall of the school’s main entrance. At night time it disappeared. The approach to nighttime lighting was to give it energy that a viewer experiences during the day, as the changing daylight dances across the sculpture as the sun and clouds move across the sky. Lighting the sculpture from within, giving it the appearance of floating in front of the wall. At night, it floats above the courtyard in a gently shimmering sparkle. Light ripples through it, with a gentle pulsing of energy.

Making Stainless Steel Glow

Used custom luminaires, with custom range of colors, selected to enhance stainless steel, using a close blend of blue and high-color temperature white.

Low-energy, green lighting project

All light sources (LED) used on this product have an estimated life of 120,000 hours with minimal use of energy, providing a safe and inviting space. The whole courtyard is lit with an average of 500 watts, and an average of 172 watts light Effervescence. The whole light installation and sculpture lighting in the courtyard uses about as much power as a microwave.


Project details
  • Client: Commissioned by Dr. Chris Doan, Dean of School of Music, University of Louisville
  • Date: Opening night September 14, 2018

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