These annual celebrations traditionally kick off with a formal military ceremony, followed by a huge military parade down the Avenue des Champs Élysées and flyover by military aircraft. This is followed by a spectacular fireworks and laser / light and video show at the Eiffel Tower on the Champ de Mars, which starts at 11pm and lights up the sky for the next 30 minutes … to the amazement of crowds reaching some 700,000 people.
Laser System Europe were working at the event for the first time, projecting the same show onto two faces — one the Champ de Mars and the other facing out to the Trocadero.
According to LSE general manager Patrick Awouters the challenges were considerable. “We had to achieve a perfect sync and colour design between light, laser, video and pyro,” he said. “Not only that but we also had a small time frame to install and programme the entire show on site.”
LSE hold a large stock of PR Lighting LED and discharge fixtures in their inventory. “And recently we bought a lot of their AQUA 480 Beam and AQUA LED 600 Spot,” he reports. Both fixtures are IP65-rated, making them suitable in all weathers and conditions. For this show they installed 110 x AQUA 480 Beam, 45 x AQUA LED 600 Spot and 12 of the new Hydra 440 Beam, an IP44 waterproof version of the XR 440 Beam.
“We chose these for the high power of the Beam, and its ability to light up the whole Eiffel Tower — right up to the top level at 300m high — and also the quality of the colour. Compared with the previous year we saw a huge improvement in both power and the quality of the colour.”
The entire show (music, pyro, lighting, laser and video) was directed by Christophe Berthoneau from Groupe F. The lighting designer was Francois Van der Meeren and laser designer Bruno Sellier — both from LSE.
In summary, Patrick Awouters said the PR Lighting fixtures have been quick to make an impact. “We already used the AQUA LED 600 Spot for another big show in Kuwait — Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Centre launch ceremony. Here we were able to take advantage of the fixture’s IP rating and protection against the sand, and we also used this fixture to help launch the Nausicaá Aquarium which is the biggest aquarium in Europe.”
As for the multi-effect AQUA 480 Beam, with its large aperture beam, this was making its debut for LSE at the Eiffel Tower — and it certainly won’t be the last time it is used to such dramatic effect.