Now that the clocks have gone back (on Sunday, 25 October) and the days are getting shorter, what better time to celebrate some of the world's most spectacular light shows? Here are seven dazzling light displays worth seeing.
Lantern Festival, China
The Chinese have been celebrating the Lantern Festival for more than 1,000 years and have turned lantern-making into a fine art. Across the country, streets are festooned with lanterns of all shapes and designs, from the traditional red style to dramatic dragon shapes. Head to in Zìgòng in Sichuan province and you'll see one of the best displays the country has to offer. The Lantern Festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the first Chinese lunar month, and traditionally ends the Chinese New Year period. In 2016 it falls on 22 February.
Vivid Light, Sydney
Sydney Opera House is already one of the world's most iconic buildings, but each year it becomes the canvas for a fantastic multi-coloured lightshow as the centrepiece of the Vivid Sydney arts festival. Other landmark buildings, including the Harbour Bridge, are featured in the show (running 27 May to Monday 13 June 2016), which combines light with music to create a truly immersive experience.
Imagine the alien world of sci-fi movie Avatar crossed with Las Vegas and you should get an idea of the spectacle offered by Singapore's Gardens by the Bay. Built on reclaimed waterfront land, the 101-hectacre garden is open during the day but is best seen at night. The illuminated 50m-high solar-powered "supertrees" are a sight not to be missed.
Sound & Light Show, Giza Pyramids
James Bond fans will already be familiar with the atmospheric light show on Egypt's iconic Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza from Roger Moore's visit during 1977 movie The Spy Who Loved Me. The show may not have changed much in the intervening 38 years – but then the grandeur of these ancient monuments has endured for 4,500 years.
Tokyo Christmas lights
As you might expect, a slightly higher-tech approach is taken to Christmas illuminations in the Japanese capital of Tokyo. Beautifully elaborate displays are set up at various points in the city's midtown area – using thousands of LED bulbs to create dazzling displays of light.
The skyscraper Caretta Shiodome (an entertainment complex with shops, restaurants and theatre), puts on one of the best displays each year.
According to NASA, Las Vegas is the brightest place on the planet. Forget the gambling, the shows and the debauchery – for many visitors the most amazing thing about Sin City is the fantastic illuminations. Whether it's the famous neon displays of The Strip or the more modern lightshows produced by many of the massive hotels, there's plenty to keep you entertained (and that won't result in a hangover or an empty wallet). One of the most famous, the Fremont Street Experience Viva Vision canopy and light show boasts more than 12 million LED modules and the spans the length of five football fields.
Hong Kong skyline
Because Hong Kong is surrounded by hills and water, the city has been forced to expand upwards instead of outwards – resulting in one of the world's most-dense collections of skyscrapers. While it looks awesome by day, the skyline is absolutely stunning after dark. Each night (weather permitting), the city stages the Symphony of Light. With 33 buildings taking part in the laser show (the best view is from the Kowloon side of the harbour), it holds the record for being the largest permanent light and sound show in the world.
Have you been to a stunning light show? Leave a comment below...