Spine-Tingling Photos Of London As It Remembers World War I

All around Britain, to mark the centenary of the first World War, people have been switching all their lights off except one. The idea is to leave a single light burning as a symbol of hope amid darkness.

A single beam of light pierces the sky above the houses of parliament.

Artangel / Via artangel.org.uk

It’s a sound and light installation called Spectra by Ryoji Ikeda. It is installed at Victoria Tower Gardens and will be visible every night until 11 August.

It can be seen for miles around.

Oli Scarff / Getty

Oli Scarff / Getty


REX USA/Ray Tang / Rex

Lights going out across Westminster.

— Harry Cole (@MrHarryCole)

Aliens are invading #london.

— Caylee Webber (@cayleewebber)

Oli Scarff / Via Getty Images

Here’s what the installation looks like from ground level.

Oli Scarff

Oli Scarff



Oli Scarff / Via Getty

A candle is placed on the doorstep of 10 Downing St.

Getty Images / Via Rob Stothard

Just one light can be seen in the window of Buckingham Palace.

Matthew Lloyd / Via Getty Images

Nelson’s Column.


Parliament and the London Eye in almost total darkness.

10pm - Parliament and the London Eye in black out. #LightsOut

— Tom Newton Dunn (@tnewtondunn)

PA Wire / Via David Barry

The houses of parliament before and after the lights being switched off.

Oli Scarff / Via Getty Images

Ian West/PA Wire


Westminster Abbey illuminated by the centenary light during a candle-lit prayer vigil.

Ian West / Via PA Wire


One thing spoiled the effect somewhat. Owing to an apparent technical glitch, this Coke ad briefly shone out over Piccadilly Circus.

#westminster remembers. Brought to you by Coke. extraordinarily distasteful #lightsout

— Jonathan Pritchard (@jr_pritchard)

The mistake was swiftly corrected.

Matthew Lloyd / Via Getty Images

But overall the effect was simply majestic.

Oli Scarff / Via Getty Images

Oli Scarff / Via Getty Images

David Parry / Via PA Wire

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Luke Lewis is BuzzFeed's Head of European Growth and is based in London.
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