• The Royal Gate of the Palace of Versailles, the festive tradition of night-time illumination
  • Shedding light on history with nocturnal lighting

The Royal Gate of the Palace of Versailles, the festive tradition of night-time illumination

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On its 40th birthday, LEC looks back on its contribution to lighting with Frédéric Didier: the Royal Gate of the Palace of Versailles, where LED technology helped revive the festive tradition of nocturnal lighting.

« What is interesting is that LED has revived the festive and creative lighting of the Palace of Versailles. It allows for a multitude of small, evenly spread out luminaires with a soft output. »

Frédéric Didier - Head Architect of France’s Historic Monuments


We knew that the Palace of Versailles had always played host to night-time celebrations. What we didn’t know, was its creative heritage of outdoor lighting, whereby it was custom to use small tea-lights as weak light sources along the coves.

In 2007, LED technology rekindled this magnificent tradition of festive lighting which showcases the majestic architecture. Frédéric Didier, Head Architect of France’s Historic Monuments, speaks to us about this creative use of LED technology to light up the Royal Gate of the Palace of Versailles.

Frédéric Didier recalls his collaboration with LEC

To illuminate the Palace of Versailles' Royal Gate, we studied old etchings of night-time scenes to continue its festive feel and the historicity of nocturnal lighting.

Next, because the lighting had to be creative and highlight the architecture, we asked LEC for a bespoke integration of its luminaires into the Royal Gate. We wanted, for example, custom-sized strips to not break the continuity. 

The Royal Gate of the Palace of Versailles with LED lighting, the preservation of a creative heritage of nocturnal lighting.

Hiding the mechanics to put architecture centre stage

In my opinion, LEC are one of the best manufacturers you could ask for, because they are so receptive and give you the best results possible.

What is for certain is that, given the 7 million visitors that visit the Palace of Versailles every year, I couldn’t allow the architecture to be spoiled in day-time. In the end, we were able to hide the apparatus as much as possible to preserve the site’s beauty and the building’s visuals.

For the moment, the LED products are proving durable and we have every reason to be happy!

The need to create different lighting at night

Reproducing daylight at night time makes no sense. The nocturnal lighting must showcase the architecture in a different manner than during the day, especially at the Palace of Versailles where there is always this aspect of outdoor ‘festival decor’!

I am delighted to have recreated this ancient festive lighting with modern LED resources

⇒ 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.