The dark streets of London are being lit up for the first ever Lumiere London, a festival of lights running across the capital from 14-17 January.

A dazzling array of light installations will illuminate locations across the city including Mayfair, Piccadilly and Regent Street, Trafalgar Square, Westminster and King's Cross. In all, 30 London locations that will be transformed including Westminster Abbey and the Bafta building in Piccadilly. The outdoor light festival, produced by creative company Artichoke, is free of charge to watch.

French digital artist Patrice Warrener will use his chromalithe technique to "paint" Westminster Abbey's West Gate in an electric riot of colour. The Light of the Spirit will highlight the series of stone statues above the Great West Door including Dr Martin Luther King and El Salvadoran Bishop Oscar Romero, as well as parts of the two Western Towers built by Christopher Wren and Nicholas Hawksmoor.

On Piccadilly's Bafta building, a host of British screen and TV icons including Michael Caine, Idris Elba and Julie Walters will appear as part of 195 Piccadilly, a dynamic, Technicolor artwork by Newcastle-based studio Novak, with a striking soundtrack by Ed Clark. Exploring the different genres of cinema and television and using images from Bafta's archive, the piece will draw out the architectural features of the building and refer to its origins as the home of the Royal Society of Painters in Watercolour.

Additional programme highlights will include LED stickmen running riot at the top of Liberty House on Regent's Street, an animated projection featuring a strikingly lifelike elephant, a red telephone box filled with water and exotic fish, and a series of glowing sculptures in the Trafalgar Square fountains, made from thousands of recycled plastic bottles.

Organisers are hoping the event will confirm London Lumiere as the world's foremost outdoor light festival, outshining already established light festivals in Lyon, Berlin and Sydney.