Sky Beam secrets: Inside the Luxor light in Las Vegas

Mystery Wire

The Luxor Sky Beam uses intense light from $1,200 xenon lamps, focused into a column that is visible from hundreds of miles away. Since this report aired, the beam has been dimmed. In 2008, the Luxor began using about half of the 39 lamps each night. Originally aired July 11, 2001, on KLAS TV in Las Vegas. First of 2 Parts.

MYSTERY WIREThe most powerful beam of light in the world isn’t a weapon. It’s a tourist attraction.

The Luxor Sky Beam atop the Luxor Hotel pyramid in Las Vegas is so powerful it has its own ecosystem. It’s a beacon that can be seen by pilots nearly 300 miles away, and is an unofficial guidepost for motorists on the ground.

But how does it work? Is it one gigantic bulb inside the world’s largest flashlight? We climbed to the top of the pyramid to find out.

The Sky Beam has inspired its own mythology, and is considered a welcoming beacon for creatures and other humans.

Luxor engineer and technical manager John Lichtsteiner says, “We estimate we’re at 40 billion candlepower. Yeah, so for the whole thing, okay, and each lamp is a 7,000 watt lamp, so you’re gonna get about a billion candlepower per lamp.”

Secrets of the Luxor light. An exclusive 2-Part report, only on

Luxor Sky Beam


  1. Luxor Sky Beam: A look inside the Las Vegas icon
  2. Swarming bugs transform Luxor Sky Beam into ‘sparkly lights going up into heaven’

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