One of the world's most recognizable landmarks, The Eiffel Tower in Paris, shimmered in a new coat of LEDs from October 22 to December 31, 2009, in celebration of its 120th anniversary. CSI in Paris provided 409 Illumipod 48 IP RGBW wash lights manufactured by the Hollywood, FL-based Iluminarc, a subsidiary of Chauvet. This project, coordinated in France by Citélum and Magnum, marked the first time that LEDs illuminated the metal struts of this 1,000'-tall tower.

A series of 12-minute light shows pulsated in time to music against the skeletal framework of the tower every evening on the hour from 8 to 11pm. The holiday illumination culminated on New Year's Eve in a special show to usher in 2010, with 18 extra minutes added for an exceptional spectacle, much to the delight of Parisians who are justifiably proud of their city of lights.

Scenographer Bernard Schmitt and LD Jacques Rouveyrollis designed the shows, with programming via Cast Software wysiwyg on an MA Lighting grandMA console, with the final touches done onsite from a bridge crossing the Seine near the Eiffel Tower. ”The first 90 seconds were in white light to highlight the metal ribs of the tower, and then the color was added,” explains Rouveyrollis, who used 24 Griven Kolorado 4000 wash fixtures to add depth to the tower as the LED display was only on the façade facing the Trocadero. The overall effect made the tower look like it was dancing against a dark sky.

The LEDs, which were removed early in 2010, made the tower temporarily “green” as well, in that they delivered unrivaled brightness at lower energy levels than the lights traditionally used on the tower. SETE, the tower's operating company, has been taking steps to reduce energy consumption of the lighting since 2005 to make sure that this 120-year-old French icon stays up-to-date in terms of technology.