California’s Stunning “Field of Light” Is Back

Bruce Munro’s popular light installation is once again on view in Paso Robles—this time, until September 5, 2022

California’s Stunning “Field of Light” Is Back

“Field of Light at Sensorio” is artist Bruce Munro’s largest work to date.

Photo by Serena Munro/©2019 Bruce Munro

In May 2019, British light installation artist Bruce Munro unveiled a field of more than 58,000 solar-powered, fiber-optic “flowers” illuminating the landscape across 15 acres near Paso Robles, located about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Originally known as Field of Light at Sensorio, the light installation is Munro’s largest field and first solar-powered exhibit in the United States.

The first run of the exhibit drew more than 145,000 visitors from 41 countries and was supposed to be open until June 2020, but it was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Good news for those who didn’t get to ’gram it the first time around: Due to “overwhelming demand,” according to the official website, the open-air installation has since reopened and plans to run through September 5, 2022. Because it now includes a second light installation, called Light Towers, the whole project has been rechristened Light at Sensorio.

"Light Towers" at "Light at Sensorio"

“Light Towers” at “Light at Sensorio”

Photo by Bailey Berg

The newer installation includes 69 six-foot-tall towers made up of more than 17,000 wine bottles (a nod to Paso Robles’ major industry). Their colors change in time with classical music scores.

Munro has also installed similar light-based projects in Australia, London, and South Korea and has said that his project in Paso Robles was a long time coming. “[Light at Sensorio] for me is a passion,” said Munro in a video about the project last year. “It’s something that I’ve dreamt of taking across the world to simply bring a bit of joy and connection to people.”

The “Field of Light Uluru” by Munro is one of the most popular light installations in the world. It has been extended indefinitely.

The “Field of Light Uluru” by Munro is one of the most popular light installations in the world. It has been extended indefinitely.

Photo by Mark Pickthall/©2019 Bruce Munro

How to See the Field of Lights at Sensorio

Light at Sensorio comes alive every evening after sunset from Friday to Sundays (starting June 2, 2022, Sensorio will be open on Thursday nights as well), when the lights glow in waves of changing colors, and visitors can stroll around the landscape.

Tickets cost $41 for adults and $20 for children (not including a $5.69 and $5.17 fee for booking online, respectively). There are also a limited number of tickets that can be purchased at the door each night starting at 6 p.m.—those tickets run $47 for adults, $25 for children.

Interested in splurging? Buy VIP tickets, which include access to a private terrace with elevated views of the exhibition, fireside tables and heaters, and a drink ticket that can be used at the Airstream bar—all for a cool $85 (plus a $6.79 online fee).

This article was originally published in May 2019. It has been updated with new information.

>> Next: An “Electric Bloom” of Light Installations Just Opened at This Botanical Garden

Katherine LaGrave is a deputy editor at Afar focused on features and essays.
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