What time does the Eiffel Tower light up and sparkle?
Wednesday 3 February 2021
Modified the 04/03/21
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 one o'clock in the morning.
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 until 1 a.m.
Wrapped in its golden splendor, the Eiffel Tower’s lighting is sublimated by this sparkling. Since 2000, the sparkles have been turned on for 5 minutes on the hour every hour after nightfall until 1:00 a.m. (if night falls at 7:40 p.m., the first sparkles appear at 8:00 p.m.). The last period of sparkles starts at 1 a.m. and is a little bit different: the golden lighting and the beacon are switched off, leaving only the sparkling lights for 5 minutes. 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: