As the world moves into a new decade, one that will lean more heavily than ever on technology, the way stores, centres, brand and entertainment spots attracts customers will become ever more reliant on light and sound. Here, RLI takes a look some the best examples of festive lighting from all corners of the world.

While Christmas has not long passed, I can promise you people are already thinking about the next one. In just under 11 months, the crazy season will once again be upon us and retailers, shopping centres and entertainment districts need to be thinking about it now, planning ahead and making the most of the opportunities it will present.

According to festive lighting experts MK Illumination, getting visitors out of their sofas, away from their screens and into retail stores and shopping centres over the festive season is therefore critical, and retail spaces need to deliver more than fantastic shopping and eating opportunities. Companies need to go all-out and create an atmosphere and experience that is out-of-the-norm, something that people don’t see every day. On top of that, the experience needs to meet the expectations that people hold about Christmas and the holidays and be innovative enough to stand out from the crowd.

One such experience could be found at the first Hello Panda Festival in New York’s Citi Field. Held between 6 December and 26 January, the event featured over 120 Instagrammable displays utilising more than ten million individual lights. Handcrafted by 60 world-renowned lantern artisans, the displays were designed in a myriad of shapes and sizes – including the tallest North American lantern Christmas tree at 60ft tall, a 98ft long panda psychedelic light tunnel, life-sized dinosaurs, giant pandas and dream-like scenes of underwater life.

Closer to home, Kew Gardens was once again a place not to miss as, framed by glittering spiral trees and dynamic laser projections that illuminated the iconic Temperate House, visitors could walk amongst the immersive vines as they surprise with changing ribbons of light.

Up in Scotland meanwhile, one of Edinburgh’s most popular festive season events, Christmas at the Botanics, returned for its third year from 22 November to 29 December. The highly-anticipated return of this after-dark festive extravaganza saw the Garden transformed with several new awe-inspiring attractions for visitors to enjoy. MK Illumination themselves created a new leisure concept designed to act as a temporary winter attraction and draw visitors to give retail and leisure businesses in the town a boost. Located in Hückelhoven, a town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany it was a light park called “Haldenzauber” which featured 300,000 light points and 300 light objects.

Outside of the UK, if you like a Christmas lights display with a difference, then Luci d’Artista in Salerno needs to be on your radar this year. Here you’ll find heaps of light installations and sculptures – we’re talking everything from Christmas trees to foxes, lions and sharks – for a quirky walking trail. Our final example is a classic, the Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center is iconic, and has been attracting thousands of visitors and locals alike for decades. The huge tree is a feast for the eyes, adorned with heaps of colours and eye-catching decorations. The lighting of the tree is even filmed live so that millions can watch from around the world.