Strasbourg Cathedral, one of Europe’s most visited cathedrals, has been transformed with a stunning new LED lighting design using luminaires. The new lighting design illustrates how the creative use of LED lights can enhance any space, no matter how small or big.
And the effect created at Strasbourg with the aid of 400 luminaires is all the more visually stunning, given that the cathedral is widely considered as one of the great global masterpieces of gothic architecture. Now, with its imposing height and its intricate sandstone masonry and layers, the cathedral can fine-tune the colour temperature of each luminaire to precisely match the colours of the stonework.
Once twilight arrives, the luminaires turn on gradually, with each receding layer growing progressively warmer towards the centre. After 10pm the lighting changes to give a more unified view of the whole cathedral edifice across its full height. After 1am, only the top part of the cathedral is lit, minimising light pollution to nearby buildings.
Strasbourg’s Unified LED Project
The project to light up the cathedral with LED lights is part of a unified lighting plan for the city of Strasbourg, which over the past few years has upgraded lighting across the city to highlight its architectural heritage. Sites which have already upgraded to LED lighting include the banks of the River Ill, the Palais des Rohan and other important tourist sites.
It certainly seems as if Strasbourg is taking the lead in utilising LED, with researchers from the University of Strasbourg claiming to have discovered a new phosphor that could make next-generation LED lighting even cheaper and more efficient.
The research team used highly luminescent clusters of silver atoms and the porous framework of minerals known as zeolites. By heating up the silver atoms in the zeolite framework, these atom clusters can assemble into different shapes, such as lines or pyramids. The researchers found that pyramid cluster shapes emit the largest amount of fluorescent light with an efficiency close to 100%.
These findings have massive potential for the development of next-generation LED lighting, as the new phosphors not only emit a large amount of light, they are also cheap to produce.