What time does the Eiffel Tower light up and sparkle?
Wednesday 3 February 2021
Modified the 23/09/22
Every day as dusk settles over the city, the Eiffel Tower invites spectators to admire her golden aura, but when do the lights come on? And what about the sparkles? Here is the answer to all your questions.
The Tower lights and beacon are lit up every evening from dusk until 11.45pm.
As soon as it gets dark, the Eiffel Tower’s golden lighting switches on automatically within less than 10 minutes, thanks to light-sensitive twilight sensors. Simply check an almanac to find out what time the monument will light up. This system, which dates back to 1985, has no less than 336 1kW high-pressure sodium lamps that are changed every 4 years (the last replacement took place in the spring of 2019).
These lights are both for aesthetic and safety purposes since they light the route for visitors and ensure the proper operation of the monument at night.
In addition to the structural lighting, a beacon located at the top of the Tower also comes on at dusk. On a clear evening, its rays can reach up to 80 km! It is reminiscent of the beacon that was installed on the monument in 1889. But in fact, the current beacon (which dates back to 1999) consists of 4 marine-type projectors, one on each side of the monument, that are operated by micro-computers with specific software and a programmable logic controller. These 4 projectors take turns performing a 90° rotation and turning on and off in sync, creating the illusion of a 360° rotating beam.
The sparkles: every evening after dusk for 5 minutes at the beginning of each hour. As the lights are switched off at 11.45pm, they will sparkle for the last time at 11pm.
Wrapped in its golden splendor, the Eiffel Tower’s lighting is sublimated by this sparkling. Since the year 2000, the lights have sparkled on the hour for five minutes from nightfall until 1am (if night falls at 7.40pm, the lights sparkle first at 8pm). The last sparkle at 1am had a special feature: the golden lighting and the beacons were switched off, leaving only the sparkling lights for five minutes. Since 23 September 2022, as part of the City of Paris energy saving plan, the Eiffel Tower lights are switched off at 11.45pm (lighting and beacons), so the last sparkle is at 11pm along with the golden lighting.
This spectacle is a must-see! It’s interesting to note that this sparkling effect is created by no less than 20,000 6W bulbs flashing successively at a very fast rate. The effect was inspired by camera flashes!
The monument’s illumination (lighting and sparkles), as we know it today, was designed by lighting engineer Pierre Bideau.
Visit our homepage to see the Tower lighting up at night!
Consult the following pages to learn even more: