Tuesday 9 Sep, 2008

Eiffel Tower cuts light show

First, it turned blue; now, it’s going green. Well, kinda.

The Eiffel Tower—which just finished two months of being blue to commemorate the EU presidency—is going to cut its popular light show in half as part of a new “green” movement in Paris.

Since the city’s millennium celebration January 1, 2000, the Eiffel Tower has been illuminated by 20,000 twinkling bulbs for 10 minutes at the top of every hour of every night. Starting in October, the light show will last just five minutes.

According to London’s Daily Telegraph,
the decision is part of a plan to make Paris’ monuments more
environmentally friendly. The light-show reduction will cut
illumination from 400 to 200 hours a year.

The Telegraph also reports:

“This latest green initiative comes just after the ‘city of light’ completed a massive five-year energy saving plan to replace the standard incandescent light bulbs with metal iodide light bulbs on 125 of its monuments.

“The new bulbs have five times more energy efficiency and last much longer.

“Now, just 218 kilowatts are necessary to power the floodlights on the 280 Paris monuments, down 927 kilowatts from what was needed before to make the city glow. The city’s power bill has been divided by four as a result.”

Jean-Bertrand Bros—the tourism deputy of Paris mayor Bertrand
Delanoë—told the Journal du Dimanche that the move to reduce the Eiffel Tower’s light show is more for show
than savings.

“It’s above all a symbolic decision, as the cost savings
are not enormous,” he said. “But in terms of image, it shows that we are putting
sustainable development into practice.”

Photo: gripso_banana_prune via Flickr (license)