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Energy saving: cities turn off the lights of monuments

Updated: Apr 9

Publication date: 04.04.2024

The strong energy crisis that affects our country for some years is growing more and more, so that the various governments are constantly looking for solutions to help reduce consumption and waste of gas and electricity, to help citizens reduce the cost of bills and safeguard the planet.

In this regard, a few years ago an initiative was born that aims to be an example and to launch a message promoting and encouraging energy saving when possible.

The initiative consists in turning off the lights of monuments and public offices in a time slot. Especially at night in winter, where visits to monuments at night are rare. So the consumption they cause in those moments is a waste that can be avoided.

The initiative in the various countries

There are many countries that have taken part in this initiative. Let’s see some of them:

  • France: The Land of Lights participates in this initiative from Paris, with its most symbolic monument. The Eiffel Tower and the twenty thousand bulbs go out at 23:45 with the closing of the tower and not at one as before. Lille decided to shut down all lights of public buildings except the Grand Place overnight. Even Marseille, that turns off its monuments at 22.30 excluding Notre Dame de la Grande. And again Lyon that for four days a week turns off the non-essential lights of bridges, museums, churches etc.

  • Germany: Berlin turns off the night lights of numerous monuments such as the Cathedral, the Marienkirche, the Staatsoper, the Deutsche Oper. But also the Rotes Rathaus, the town hall. In Germany, all advertising lights must be switched off from 22 to 16, except in the case of shop windows. Variations also for street lighting. Street lamps turn on half an hour later and turn off half an hour earlier.

  • Austria: a curfew has been imposed in Austria. From 22 onwards, all the lights go out, from the presidential residence to the billboards, excluding street lighting. In addition, rules have been added such as the speed limit in the streets, a limit for the temperature of heating and the invitation to take advantage of the car sharing service, that is, the shared car.

  • China: It is not only European countries that are participating, the big Shanghai is also looking for savings. Two days a week it stays in the dark at night turning off the lights of signs, buildings and much of the street lighting.


The lighting of monuments is not one of the main problems of energy consumption. In fact, the energy consumption caused by commercial buildings and offices that often consume but half of the energy produced is much more serious. However, adhering to proposals like these is very important to elicit a strong communicative impact.

Seeing the Eiffel Tower not illuminated causes a media echo and a visual impact stronger than that caused by a simple office. But it is good to use the media power of monuments for these causes to set an example and encourage others to reduce consumption.


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