Skip to main content

Get caught up in Lexus LIT IS's mesmerizing light display

41,999 RGB LED lights create a 3,000-watt video spectacle

Share this story

The Lexus LIT IS is mesmerizing. “Flashy” is an understatement as your eyes stay glued to the spectacle of up to 3,000 watts. Lexus partnered with various designers and displayed the LIT IS on its own catwalk for two days during a New York Fashion Week event at Grand Central Station.

The Lexus’ lights can be programmed to show any image on a pixelated, curved canvas.

I later spoke to Kristen Little, a producer at Team One, who is also part of the team that developed the openframeworks app that controls both the lights and the images that they collectively display.

Little explained to me that there are three modes built into the app: the first, Attract, simply plays videos in a continuous loop, turning the car into a screen on which any image or .mov file can be displayed.

This mode also offers the user the option to single out certain panels of lights to show specific images or patterns.

In the Audio Reactive (or Data Viz) mode, the lights on the car activate in time to music or sounds. The app analyzes the audio track and interprets the rhythm visually.

Finally, Gesture mode creates an interactive experience that responds to various movements by playing specific images or patterns.

The final effect of all these different modes is a striking show of fast-moving light, colors, and images.

The closer to the car you get, the more mesmerizing it becomes. You can get caught up watching the car’s 41,999 RGB LED lights on 2,460 strips in any mode.

For the particular installation I photographed, Lexus partnered with fashion designers Jeremy Scott and Nicole Miller whose runway shows were playing on a screen behind the car.

The designers provided imagery and motifs for Little and her creative team (which included an animator) to play with.

The 41,999 tiny lights on the car working in sync with the screens mounted behind it created an impressive visual display.

Having said that, I’m not sure why this makes sense on a car specifically? And there’s no way this car will ever be street legal.

But regardless, it still all looked amazing and I couldn’t take my eyes off it.

Photography by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge