A Kiss Lights Up This Christmas Tree


Photo: cntraveller

It's that time of year when Main Streets across the land turn on their Christmas lights, usually with a B-list celebrity on show for a kiss. Only this year at London's Covent Garden, the kiss will set off the lights.

This 50 ft. Christmas tree will light up every time someone kisses under the mistletoe. There are 50,000 red and white LEDs on it which are set off by a big pucker.


Photo: paul cocksedge studio

Called The Kiss, and created by Paul Cocksedge Studio, it's an interactive installation. Kiss is activated when two people hold the mistletoe under the tree and kiss. The electricity of their touch lights up 50,000 red and white LED lights.

It's all about the human touch and connection, if you want to get psychoanalytic about it. It's also about an environmental (and spectacular) way to make a show that isn't wasteful. The pixel sign marks up the number of kisses and raises money for The Prince's Trust charity at the same time.

Cocksedge and partner Joana Pinho did it last year for the Milan LED (Light Exhibition Design 09). Only then it was located in the historic and magnificent Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. It consisted of a huge LED canopy hanging above a stage from the centre dome of the Galleria and a large mistletoe. When couples moved up to the stage and kissed, the touch "activated an LED light sequence that changed the colour in varying intensity, ultimately forming numbers in the sum of kisses given under the mistletoe." Each time that happened the sponsor donated money to a charity.


Photo: paul cocksedge studio

As part of this year's London Design Festival, Cocksedge created "A Gust of Wind" at the Victoria & Albert Museum for just one night. It consisted of 300 sheets of Corian which were suspended to look like light and airy 'pages' of paper blown into the air by a gust of wind. Each was engraved and given away at the end of the evening. They were intended to function as paper trays.

Cocksedge was first mentioned in TreeHugger back in 2006, for his fruit bowls made out of old records. Covent Garden has a record of doing eco Christmas decorations; in 2008 they also had an LED show lighting up the shopping area.


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LED's Light Up Covent Garden
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Tags: Designers | Lighting | Shopping

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