Lighting the Way

by Ark Encounter on June 19, 2014

When it comes to designing a large, themed attraction, one fundamental aspect that must not be overlooked is interior lighting, particularly in a huge Ark whose only natural lighting enters from the top.

One of the challenges for our design team is to craft fixtures that seem to give off natural light, and also meet our practical expectations. The lights need to look like ancient oil lamps, replicate the light of ancient lamps, and be able to safely house modern electrical components—light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

Potential Light Housings

Prototypes of potential light housings (foreground)—engineered in part by lead technical designer, Harrison Craig (background).

The process of designing the interior lights for the Ark began with the realization that appropriate pre-fabricated fixtures were unavailable. One of our lead production designers, Travis Wilson, designed and built a potter’s wheel, and spun various lamp prototypes out of clay. Once a couple of designs were selected from among the physical prototypes, lead technical designer, Harrison Craig, developed three-dimensional renderings of the light housings. These renderings will eventually be sent to our 3-D printer for fabrication of the final prototype.


One of our prototype light housings for the Ark’s oil lamp chandeliers. According to our team, all of the designs actually function as oil lamps.

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