When you travel in France, you soon notice the country has a mix of creative and practical LED lighting projects. They range from a water light graffiti wall to an office building lit exclusively by LEDs.

The LED water wall

Poitiers in west central France is host to an innovative artwork: an interactive water light graffiti wall. The technology behind the wall is an LED lighting system.

When you apply a water pistol, wet brush, damp sponge or wet finger to the wall, LED lights behind the water come on. You can therefore use water to create graffiti.

But unlike conventional graffiti, pictures and designs on the water light wall can be temporary. You simply switch the graffiti off. This fun LED installation regularly attracts interest from children and professional artists alike.

Municipal LED lighting projects

Practical instances of LED lighting on historic buildings can be seen throughout France. For example, the city of Brest in the north-west of the country dates back almost 1,000 years, but the authorities have embraced the latest LED technology.

The city’s Pont de Recouvrance was Europe’s biggest vertical-lift bridge. As part of a recent renovation project, Brest’s street lighting department decided to replace the costly neon bulbs. The chosen alternative was an LED lighting system.

LED lamps now provide focused light on the walkways of the bridge, while coloured LEDs illuminate the bridge’s structure. The LED lighting is low energy and saves money. It also prevents light pollution in the surrounding areas.

Paris and LED lighting

The French capital is eager to keep up with the country’s provincial cities. Paris therefore has a number of LED lighting schemes, including the Montparnasse Tower, bridges across the River Seine, and a long-term project at the Louvre Museum.

The work at the Louvre began in 2012 and extends until 2023. During these 11 years, Toshiba is installing LED lighting on exterior features such as the pyramids in front of the building. The company is also using LEDs to illuminate works of art such as Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

The aim is to reduce energy bills by up to 73%. At the same time, the Louvre gains a well-designed LED lighting system to complement its status as one of the world’s most famous museums.

LEDs replace traditional street lamps

Other municipal LED lighting schemes in France include the replacement of traditional street lamps. Cities and towns are turning to LEDs because the bulbs cut energy bills, last for years, and reduce light pollution.

French inventors have even gone one step further. They have come up with an idea for an LED street lamp powered by a wind turbine and a solar panel.  The LED bulb can produce light for four days without the need for a battery recharge.

The private sector in France also appreciates the energy-saving benefits of LED lighting. Generali is a major insurance company with an office on the Champs Elysées. When Generali decided to renovate the property, it replaced all the standard lighting with LEDs.

The Generali Building became the first office in the world to use nothing but LED lighting. The result is low maintenance costs, reduced electricity bills, and highly effective illumination.

C’est magnifique, n’est-ce pas?

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