Eiffel Tower to Go Dark an Hour Earlier — Here’s Why

The new measures will go into effect on Sept. 23.

The Eiffel tower seen by night in Paris, France.
Photo:

Chesnot/Getty Images

Starting next week, the Eiffel Tower will turn its lights out an hour earlier in an effort to conserve energy. 

The iconic tower will now turn its lights off at 11:45 p.m., Paris’ Mayor Anne Hidalgo tweeted, as part of a citywide energy saving plan. The new lights-out time coincides with the time the tower usually closes to visitors, ceasing admission at 10:45 p.m. and closing an hour later, according to the landmark.

However, the tower typically remains illuminated until 1 a.m., with projectors triggered automatically by night sensors. 

The new measures will go into effect on Sept. 23, The Associated Press reported, noting that the change is in part due to the war in Ukraine.

“The energy crisis is hitting Paris like the rest of France. We did not wait to act, since 2014 we have invested 10 billion euros in the ecological transition,” Hidalgo also posted on social media. “But we must go further with the first measures to make 10% energy savings.”

In addition to shutting off the Eiffel Tower’s lights, Paris will require all municipal buildings (like the Town Hall) to turn their lights off at 10 p.m. Hidalgo said public lighting throughout the city will remain on “to continue to ensure the safety of Parisians.”

Hidalgo told the AP the measures were “a symbolic, but an important step.”

The Eiffel Tower has been welcoming visitors to see it lit up at night with its current system since the 1980s, with the sparkling lights delighting onlookers since 2000, according to the monument. The tower also features a beacon made up of four motorized spotlights with a range of 50 miles. 

In 2019, the four 2000W projectors that illuminated the antenna were replaced by LED versions.

Visitors will still be able to see the light display, which is automatically triggered when it gets dark, albeit for an hour less.

Paris isn’t the only city in Europe to impose energy-saving measures in recent months. In August, Spain set strict limits on air conditioning in shops and other venues, requiring businesses and buildings to keep their thermostats anywhere from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and asking businesses to leave doors and windows closed after 10 p.m.

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