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credit: MK Illumination
credit: MK Illumination

MK Illumination as trendsetter: The world bathed in Tyrolean Christmas light

Despite a challenging market environment across the board, the Tyrolean lighting artists from MK Illumination were able to achieve some real highlights this year. With revenue estimated at 165 million euros, the globally active company will have had the most successful year in its history once again.

Numerous new projects worldwide – from Melbourne to Manhattan, from Munich’s city center to the new light park in Schönbrunn – add to the striking list of prestigious projects by the world market leader for festive decorative lighting, headquartered in Innsbruck and the undisputed number one for many years.

The key facts:

  • 165 million euros in revenue makes this the most successful year in the history of MK Illumination
  • Visitors to LUMAGICA light parks expected to number more than 1.1 million
  • New highlight: The Dior Carousel of Dreams for iconic department store Saks Fifth Avenue, Manhattan

A truly challenging market environment – caused by inflation and interest rate hikes – which has had a particularly strong impact on the retail industry, has meant that the overall market for festive decorative lighting failed to experience any growth this year. So, MK Illumination is all the more delighted to be one of the few players in the industry to still achieve growth of 3%, making it the most successful year in the company’s history. While sales in Europe remained stable at a high level, MK recorded significant growth in the Middle East in particular, with some outstanding projects like the Galleria Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi and the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai.

Carousel of Dreams in Manhattan

In addition to the beloved Christmas lights for the Rockefeller Centre, Fox News and Radio Music City Hall, the seventy or so MK employees in the USA worked with other partners to make an additional statement for the world-famous department store Saks Fifth Avenue. This year, Saks entered into an exclusive cooperation for their Christmas staging with luxury fashion house Dior for the first time. In collaboration with LCC, Chris Werner Design, Ama Electronic & Sign Company and 4Wall Mc Laren Engineering Group – the project involved a total of 100 artists – the ten-storey façade of the luxury department store was transformed into a ‘Carousel of Dreams’ using a work of art with watercolour effects and three-dimensional metal elements. The carousel represents a wheel of fortune, with the signs of the zodiac carved into its inner circle. The outer spokes are filled with Dior symbols from the Cruise 2024 collection. As darkness falls, around 300,000 LED lights illuminate the 1920s building.

Klaus Mark, founder and CEO of MK Illumination, who has just returned from a visit to the USA, was clearly inspired: “New York is THE global Christmas destination, the place where trends are started. In addition to numerous traditional illuminations, which are an essential part of a festive Christmas for people, there is also a very emotional sound-to-light section. We will continue to invest in this area of interactive lighting technology in the coming years while also implementing it enthusiastically in other regions”.

Visitors to LUMAGICA light parks expected to reach 1.1 million

MK’s own light parks under the LUMAGICA brand have also established themselves as a successful event platform during the season of long dark nights. 15 light parks still have their doors open worldwide until the end of February, including numerous new locations such as Isla San Marcos in Mexico, Hamburg’s “Schwarze Berge”, Munich’s Cavalluna Park, and the Schönbrunn Palace Winter Wonderland by LUMAGICA in Vienna. MK is very happy with the visitor figures for the first few weeks: “Our light parks are so popular because they really draw people into the staging by using interactive entertainment. LUMAGICA is also our own creative playground. Here we can let off steam and experiment with all the latest lighting technology”, says Klaus Mark.

2024 outlook

If the forecasts of economic experts are to be believed, the market environment is set to remain challenging. However, one thing is clear: People need encounters – as the long-term Harvard study on happiness research clearly demonstrated yet again. When we look at demographic changes in our cities as well – consider, for example, the dramatic increase in the number of single households – then you can see how important the design of public spaces is and the opportunities this presents for city centres and municipalities: “We need to pass on a positive mood to people in public spaces. People need places to come together – we’ve all learnt this from past experiences. That’s why, now more than ever, it is important to apply good concepts and design these places as “feel-good spaces”. If we meet these challenges head-on with innovative, sustainable, and truly fearless approaches, not only can we as MK Illumination remain just as successful as before but so can our partners and customers as well”, says Klaus Mark.

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