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Meet David Howe and Daniel Rizik-Baer of LightRiders in East Hollywood and El Sereno

Today we’d like to introduce you to David Howe and Daniel Rizik-Baer.

David and Daniel met in Kindergarten in Reseda, CA in 1989. Throughout the years, they have each remained close friends and each explored their creative and artistic practice through music. David grew up playing bass and Daniel, saxophone. As they got older, they began separately producing electronic music and hip hop. Daniel minored in Electronic Music at UC Santa Cruz while David went on to CalArts to get a BA and a Masters in Music Technology.

During his time at CalArts, David became fascinated with the visual component of live musical performance, especially electronic/DJ music. At the same time, Daniel was producing music and shows in LA. David began applying his experience studying music technology to LED technology. Specifically, he wanted to integrate similar concepts of music production and live electronic music performance with live visual control, including using audio reactivity to affect the lighting patterns. The first light art installation based on these ideas was a piece that embedded LEDs into helium-filled balloons, Ces Balons de Lumiére @ CalArts in 2013. This provided the inspiration to pursue this artistic practice using new materials and designs to combine technology, art, and performance.

David invited Daniel to a follow-up installation of the LED embedded balloons in early 2014 at the infamous Los Globos club in Silverlake. Daniel was immediately inspired by the piece and the potential for infinite possibilities, as well as the connection to live performance and technology. Soon after, David and Daniel decided to form LightRiders to continue exploring and making LED light art installations with a focus on live performance and audioreatctivity. They quickly began doing events with party promoters throughout LA.

Since then, LightRiders has gone on to create numerous different light art installations utilizing unique materials and custom designs, paving the way to do installations for everything from shows with Little Dragon at Sonos Studios, New Years Eve LA celebrations at Grand Park, and events with KCRW, to contributing to numerous Artwalks in and outside of LA, music videos, and lighting up historical LA landmarks, like the long-dormant Triforium Los Angeles.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
LightRiders has always strived to use unique materials and build custom systems that work for the designs they create. This means that LightRiders has avoided many off-the-shelf systems and materials and built a lot of their components by hand. Every new design brings with it a new set of technological and fabrication challenges, whether it is figuring out the appropriate components needed, how to fabricate the piece, or how to install it on-site. Due to the nature of their work, LightRiders are always using new technology, new materials, and new techniques. LightRiders is always striving to keep their systems affordable, portable, and flexible. These men there is always a new problem to overcome or a new wrinkle to address.

Please tell us about your work. What do you guys do? What do you specialize in? What sets you apart from competition?
LightRiders specializes in creating unique, LED-based light installations and visual experiences for concerts, live shows, parties, events, site-based locations and businesses, film/music videos, and any other creative situation fit to stimulate the visual senses.

We are not your typical lighting crew. Each project is based on a creative strategy to fit the experience. Our approach combines technology, art, and science to engage people and communities in interesting ways that spark emotion and action around a concept. Much of what we do invokes a new approach to a nostalgic theme, cultural identity, scientific exploration, or simply creating a memorable moment.

Started by musicians, we specialize in custom live presentations where we often “perform the lights” live as if they were another musical instrument. This is in addition to programming audio-reactive elements that allow us to improvise to make each project a unique experience. With or without accompanying music, our installations embrace a musical quality based on rhythm, tone, and feeling.

We use unique tools and rarely utilize out-of-the-box lighting systems and materials. Instead, we handcraft custom installations and utilize specialized software coding. The result: dynamic, one-of-a-kind art installations with eye-catching visual brilliance that you simply cannot find anywhere else!

Our installations impart cutting edge technology and are only limited by imagination. They are equally impactful whether inside or outside, be it standalone or embedded within a larger visual experience. Each installation can involve audience participation, interactivity, audio, and/or environmental reactivity, and, of course, captivating designs and structural elements.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
For us, we strive to be multi-dimensional to unite art and creativity, science and technology, and people. The unification of creativity and technology to create memorable human experiences is at the root of all of our work. We are always excited to think about the creative and artistic elements of our presentation while balancing the technological and structural requirements of our vision so that people can experience a space that was intentionally created to produce something unique, beautiful, and impactful.


  • All of our installations are scaleable – pricing fluctuates depending on the size and scope of each project. Installations can range from $500- $100,000+

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Adam Howe
Daniel Rizik-Baer

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