The Eiffel Tower, perhaps the most famous landmark in Paris, is well known for being illuminated at night. Indeed, its lighting system gives the tower a golden glow. It also seems to “twinkle” every hour at night in a display using 20,000 flashing lights.
Now, however, the Eiffel Tower’s lights will turn off earlier each evening.
Normally, the Eiffel Tower is illuminated until 1 a.m. every night. Instead, beginning September 23, the lights will be turned off after the last visitor leaves at 11:45 p.m., Mayor Anne Hidalgo, explains.
This measure is part of the City of Paris’s plan to save electricity while the energy crisis continues in Europe as a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Most of France’s energy typically comes from its own nuclear reactors, but half of those reactors are currently offline, forcing France to seek electricity from Germany — which itself is facing a gas shortage due to reduced supplies from Russia, according to Euronews.
In response, France’s President Emmanuel Macron has asked industry, households, and municipal authorities to reduce energy consumption by 10 percent in a move calculated to prevent the need for rationing electricity this winter.
Turning the Eiffel Tower’s lights off earlier each evening “is a highly symbolic gesture — part of the growing awareness around energy sobriety,” said Jean-François Martins, head of the tower’s management, according to Euronews.
The Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower, named after engineer and entrepreneur Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower, is located on the Champ de Mars in Paris — a large public greenspace on the left bank of the Seine River.
Construction of the Eiffel Tower began on January 26, 1887, and was finished on March 31, 1889. It finished just in time for the 1889 World’s Fair, which also marked the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution.
The tower, which is 300 meters (984 feet) tall, has three levels. Its upper platform, 906 feet above the ground, is the highest observation deck open to visitors in the European Union.
Now, about those 20,000 light bulbs responsible for the nightly displays. They were installed in 1985 by 25 mountain climbers, according to Eiffel Tower management. The installation process took 5 months.
Other Energy-Saving Measures
It isn’t just the Eiffel Tower that is being affected by Paris’s energy-saving measures.
Parisian officials also plan to save energy by postponing when they begin to heat public buildings by a month, moving that date back from mid-October to mid-November.
What’s more, when the heat is turned on in all city buildings, thermostats will be set at a temperature 1 degree lower than normal during the day, changing from 19 to 18 degrees Celsius — 66 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit — during the workday. After hours and on weekends when the buildings are unoccupied, the temperature will be set at 12 degrees Celsius (53 degrees Fahrenheit), the City of Paris explains.
Also, the lighting on certain exterior facades and municipal monuments will be switched off at 10 p.m. beginning on September 23, including Hôtel de Ville and Paris’s city hall. However, public lighting such as street lights will be left on “to ensure the safety of Parisians,” the City of Paris explains.
Finally, Mayor Hidalgo also plans to ask France’s government to adjust the lighting schedule on national monuments in Paris, such as the domed Pantheon and the Arc de Triomphe, according to the Associated Press.
You can learn more about Paris’s plans to conserve energy here.
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