• Les Deux Plateaux at the Palais-Royal in Paris, a work embellished with LEDs
  • A major first in LED lighting

Les Deux Plateaux at the Palais-Royal in Paris, a work embellished with LEDs

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As it celebrates its 40th birthday, LEC looks back at its 40 years devoted to lighting with Daniel Buren, the mind behind Les Deux Plateaux at the Palais-Royal in Paris.

« Everyone who visits the inner courtyard, either from rue de Valois or the Comédie Française theatre, is welcomed with a courtyard entirely punctuated by green spots or completely scattered with red spots. »

Daniel Buren - Artist-Painter, Sculptor

Les Deux Plateaux of the Palais-Royal, an artistic installation illuminated with LEDs 

Daniel Buren is a French painter and sculptor famous for inventing the term “site-specific work”.

His pieces play with space, colour, movement and light. Daniel Buren does not simply aim to decorate, but transform locations and make passers-by stop and think.

In 1985-1986, he created the government-commissioned “Les Deux Plateaux” for the Cour d’Honneur (inner courtyard) of the Palais-Royal in Paris.

The work consisted of black and white striped marble columns. The smallest barely rise out above the ground, while the tallest are up to 3 metres high.

To finish off his work, Daniel Buren needed lighting. His assistant, the architect Patrick Bouchain, had already heard of LEC as the first manufacturer to use LEDs and build objects to hold them, especially for the ground in public spaces


Une mise en lumière à LED : une grande première.


On its 40th anniversary, LEC looks back at this incredible contribution to the lighting industry. We asked Daniel Buren to tell us how he came up with the artistic lighting of his columns.

Daniel Buren recalls his collaboration with LEC

I didn’t want to simply illuminate the piece, but display a different work to the one seen during the day. The Palais-Royal’s “Les Deux Plateaux” thus has two distinct facets, one daytime and the other night-time. The latter is the union of the location and its transformation through two primary light sources.

To make this night-time conception a success, I focused more on what is heard by day than what is seen — in this case the fountain’s water that runs beneath the grating and visitors’ feet.

That is where I used LEDs, a new invention at the time whose use was still limited to marking. I asked LEC for a custom order and what they delivered was perfect.

A custom-built LED luminaire and the birth of the 1843 Palais-Royal marker

It was a three-dimensional product that allows for different colours to be used on its two sides. I chose to use the two contrasting colours of green and red.

I am extremely happy with LEC’s product, which became a standard product in its catalogue called the “Palais-Royal”. It can be seen on the platforms of high-speed trains and other public spaces. 

An installation that continues to enthral…

As for the result, I think that Palais-Royal’s “Les Deux Plateaux” has aged rather well. We celebrated its 30th birthday in July 2016. I am happy to see thousands of children and adults visiting the work each day, using it as they wish. Their renewed presence and the actual design of the work allows everyone to appropriate it as they like, which constantly transforms and revives the work. 


⇒ Did you know?
In 1977, LEC decided to focus all its attention on LED technology. These decades of dedicated expertise have allowed the company to meet strict requirements in terms of reliability, efficiency, maintenance and aesthetic appeal. Relive with us 40 historic years devoted to LED technology and the lighting industry.