City of Lights
Strolling along the Champs Elysées as the snow gently drifts down, must be one of the most magical winter experiences on Earth! The scene is picture perfect: enticing present ideas lit up in the shop windows, the Christmas market stalls bulging with all sorts of goodies, people scurrying around all wrapped up in coats and scarves against the biting cold and above it all, the famous Paris illuminations shining benevolently down.
The lights only get turned on from the 1st December surely making it one of the least commercial cities going. Having lived in London for many years I am more used to lights appearing as early as October so by mid December the whole episode begins to feel like a marathon event.
Even better is that in recent years the city of light has renovated practically all of the light decorations decorating the city’s avenues and boulevards, replacing traditional bulbs with the much greener, less electricity hungry LEDs. Obviously this is good for the city’s wallet too…a double bonus!
The Eiffel tower led the way back in 2005 with light bulb changes that reduced energy consumption by 30% for its hourly evening sparkle sessions. Even the duration of the sparkling was reduced from 10 minutes down to 5; and to provide the power they also signed up to a green electricity contract.