Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Christmas Glitter on the Champs

The Christmas lights on the Champs-Élysées were turned on this evening. There appeared to be some sort of lighting ceremony at the Renault restaurant/showroom, but I didn't examine that in detail.

As I've mentioned before, the lights now are tiny daylight-colored LEDs instead of incandescent lamps, so they are much smaller and more twinkly than their predecessors. In addition, tubes containing LED light chasers (lights that go on and off in synchronization to create an illusion of movement) hang vertically from the trees, creating the impression of falling snow. It's a very pleasing effect and the lights overall look very nice.

I note also that GE Lighting has been permitted some small banners along the avenue to promote their products. Whether this justifies the huge cost of lighting the avenue (which GE is expected to foot entirely, from what I understand) remains to be seen. But it does look nice.

There are two rows of trees on the Champs on each side of the avenue. The row closest to the street has a vast number of steady lights with the light chasers. The row furthest from the street has twinkling lights but no chasers. I've uploaded a very brief video of what it looks like to YouTube, which you can watch here. The video is noisy because it's noisy in real life (Paris is a noisy city in general). The rattling noise is a small car or motorcycle next to me as I made the video (I didn't look to see what it actually was—in real life one tends to ignore the noise).

The lighting runs all the way up and down the Champs, so when you stand in the middle of the avenue, it's a nice view (although it's somewhat noisy and nerve-wracking to stand in the middle of a busy avenue).

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