Niagara Falls is a natural wonder that travelers from all over the world come to view. It is comprised of three waterfalls: the Canadian Falls (also known as Horseshoe Falls), the American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls. It’s located on the border between New York State and the province of Ontario, Canada.
Niagara Falls, by day, is a magnificent marvel of nature, but what about at night? Can you still see the falls?
Yes, you can see Niagara Falls at night! The falls are illuminated nightly with an ever-changing rainbow of colored lights, including red, green, blue, orange, and yellow. Each evening at dusk, Niagara Falls is transformed into a remarkable, multi-colored work of art.
In this post, we will explore nighttime viewings of Niagara Falls, the type of lights used, and share some tips to help you get the most out of this exciting experience. In addition, we will cover other points of interest worth visiting. So please keep reading to learn more.
Niagara Falls – Spectacular and Beautiful
Niagara Falls is one of the top tourist destinations in the US and even the world, and for a good reason. It’s a stunning and awe-inspiring natural wonder, so it’s no surprise that people flock to the area to witness its beauty.
The largest, Horseshoe Falls, is located entirely in Canada, and the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls are within the United States. Goat Island separates Horseshoe Falls from Bridal Veil Falls, and Luna Island separates Bridal Veil Falls from the American Falls. Both islands are located in New York State.
Try the Journey Behind the Falls attraction for an up-close view of Horseshoe Falls. Visitors take elevators down 125 feet to the tunnels carved in the bedrock. Once there, you’ll feel the rumble of the falls. The tunnels lead to viewing portals behind the waterfall, and from there, to the observation deck at the base of the falls. You’ll be mesmerized as you watch over 2,800 tons of water every second plummet over the Niagara Escarpment’s edge and hear the roar as it slams into the plunge pool.
While the falls are sensational during the day, they are also stunning to view at night. Visiting Niagara Falls at night is an unforgettable experience. Every year millions of visitors come to the falls to witness their majestic beauty.
An Illuminating Experience – Niagara Falls
The lighting of Niagara Falls at night is an incredible light display and something you must see in person to appreciate the beauty fully. The combination of lights creates a stunning show that is simply breathtaking. Whether you’re a tourist or a local, you’ll be amazed by the beauty of the falls after dark.
The Niagara Falls Illumination Board, formed in 1925, has taken on the responsibility of providing the nightly light show. And is an excellent example of collaboration between Canada and the United States. Its representatives include:
- Ontario Power Generation, Ontario
- Niagara Parks, Ontario
- The City of Niagara Falls, Ontario
- New York State Parks, New York
- The New York Power Authority, New York
- Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, New York
- The City of Niagara Falls, New York
Road Trip Answers Fun Fact: The Whirlpool Aero Car will provide you with a nail-biting adventure as you view the Niagara Whirlpool from above while riding in an antique cable car that travels 3,500 feet across the Niagara Gorge.
How Many LED Lights Illuminate Niagara Falls?
Over the years, the lights used to illuminate the falls have been periodically changed and updated. The latest upgrade began in late 2016 with the installation of modern energy-efficient LED lights.
The LEDs replaced the Xenon spotlights that had lit the falls for the past 20 years. The new lighting system comprises 1,400 cubes with 9 LEDs per cube, for a total of 12,600 LEDs.
The new LED upgrade provides over twice the lighting level as the previous system, delivers a more uniform lighting effect, has a broader range of colors, and is more energy efficient.
In addition, a state-of-the-art programmable control system connects the three separate locations together, providing fully customizable lighting effects.
- Illumination Tower in Queen Victoria Park: 792 LED cubes illuminate the Horseshoe Falls facade.
- Table Rock Welcome Centre: 128 LED cubes illuminate the Horseshoe Falls center rim behind the mist.
- Niagara Gorge: 480 LED cubes near the river’s edge illuminate the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls.
Where Is the Best Place to See Niagara Falls at Night?
On the New York side, from Prospect Point in Niagara Falls State Park, you can view the American Falls and, in the distance, the Canadian Falls. The park is open 365 days a year, and admission is free.
The Observation Tower at Prospect Point provides visitors a great spot to view the nightly illumination. The peak season is from May 30 through June 16; the hours are 8:30 am to 11:00 pm (Sun-Fri) and 8:30 am to 9:00 pm (Sat); starting June 17 through September 3, the hours are 8:30 am to 11:00 pm.
On the Ontario side, Queen Victoria Park provides spectacular views of the American and Canadian Falls. The park is open 365 days a year, with free admission. Table Rock Centre is the main welcome center located yards away from the thundering Canadian Falls.
Fallsview Boulevard has high-rise hotels with spectacular views of the falls, or head to Skylon Tower’s observation deck to get an overall birdseye view.
For the nightly illumination schedule, refer to the Niagara Falls State Park, NY website or the Niagara Parks, ON website. Also, check this out; here are a couple of live cams overlooking Niagara Falls at EarthCam.com and MaidoftheMist.com.
Other Attractions at Niagara Falls
The number of attractions available on both sides of Niagara Falls is way too numerous to list, but here are a few that you will definitely want to consider adding to your itinerary.
- Cave of the Winds: Outfitted with a hooded raincoat, you ride an elevator down 175 feet into the Niagara Gorge. Then traverse over wooden walkways to the Hurricane Deck several yards from the cascading waters of Bridal Veil Falls.
- Niagara Falls Observation Tower: The tower is 282 feet tall and extends out over the Niagara Gorge, giving an unobstructed view of all three falls. From here, tourists can take an elevator to the base to board the Maid of the Mist.
- Maid of the Mist on the New York side or Hornblower’s Niagara Cruises on the Ontario side: Board either of these tour boats and feel the excitement as you cruise past the base of the American Falls and onward through the whitewater and rock formations to the Canadian Falls.
- Journey Behind the Falls: As mentioned earlier, get an up-close view of Horseshoe Falls. Visitors take elevators down 125 feet to the tunnels carved in the bedrock, which lead to viewing portals behind the waterfall, and onward to the observation deck at the base of the falls.
The beauty of Niagara Falls is spectacular no matter the time of day you choose to visit, but there is something extraordinary about seeing it at night. The movement of the cascading water illuminated in a rainbow of colors is truly spectacular. Whether from the Canadian or US side, the night view of the falls is awesome.
Niagara Falls is a sight that should be experienced by everyone at least once. Whether you are visiting during the day or at night, the roar of the falls, the mist in the air, and the stunning sight of the water cascading over the edge of the escarpment will be etched in your memory forever.