Light bulbs ‘illuminate’ Lincoln for charity

Lincoln light bulbs
Light bulb at Lincoln’s Lied Center

Nebraska’s capital city is “lit” up for a good cause. More than 50 light bulb sculptures are scattered throughout Lincoln to help celebrate the 25th anniversary of Lighthouse, an after-school program for middle and high school students.

The 51 light bulbs – made from fiberglass with a polyurethane resin and six feet tall – are providing Lincolnites and visitors a beautiful pubic art project. The bulbs are on display through the end of September. They’ll be auctioned Oct. 9, as a fund-raiser for Lighthouse, which provides academic assistance, mentoring, meals and a safe place to hang out. About a third of the money raised will shared by the artists for their work.

Lincoln light bulbs
“Words Can Light” bulb on the campus of Lighthouse

The light bulbs were created by Nebraska artists. In checking out more than a dozen during our visit, we appreciated the creativity used by the Nebraskans. In example, a light bulb representing a bumblebee is on display at a local elementary school. The bee bulb was Lisa’s favorite.

Lincoln light bulbs
“Little Wonders” at Randolph Elementary School

People will hunt down every light bulb for photo opportunities. We met a woman in Omaha, whose family has spent summer weekends locating each of the light bulbs.

It took some effort to track down the ones we found. Not being very much acclimated to Lincoln streets, we found ourselves driving in circles, driving back and forth to find the bulbs. We even drove way, way, way out of town, because my version of “Christopher Columbo” put the wrong information in the GPS. Then, she tried to blame “Gerty” for the wrong directions. Oh, Lisa…

Once we regained our bearings, we found the light bulb we were searching for – “Plug In” – at a Wells Fargo Bank branch office in southern Lincoln.

Lincoln light bulbs
“Plug In” located at 40th and Old Cheney Road

The local television station – Channel 10/11 KOLN – has a cute light bulb on its green space. “Night Light” offers visitors an owl in the shape of a giant light bulb.

Lincoln light bulbs
“Night Light”

“The Many Images of Self” provides visitors a reflection light bulb at Cotner and Vine Street. The shiny light bulb offers a great view.

Lincoln light bulbs
Nice reflections off of this light bulb

There are a few in the downtown area. The Haymarket entertainment and restaurant district is home to “The Great Big Blue.” It stands near Licorice International.

Haymarket’s light bulb


The Lincoln Journal Star is home to “Fusion.” The bulb stands prominently on the street corner in front of the paper’s sign.

Lincoln light bulbs
Bulb near Journal Star

My favorite was “The Sky’s the Limit.” The hot air balloon-design stands on the Innovation campus at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I love hot air balloons, so this seemed like a natural for me.

Lincoln light bulbs
“The Sky’s the Limit” at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

We had a great time finding the light bulbs. We could have spent the entire weekend devoted to this, if we could have. I think this would be a fun family outing for people with younger children.

We recommend checking out the “Illuminating Lincoln” project before the end of September. We also suggest getting a copy of the Journal Star that has a map of the light bulbs. This will help you immensely.

For more information on the Lincoln light bulbs, please visit