Lighting monuments to attract tourists

By: Secom
21 de February, 2023
Reading time: 5 min

Illuminating monuments is a great way to highlight points of interest for tourists. In fact, the most popular tourist destinations in the world use it for precisely that purpose. So, how well does it attract tourists? Below we explain just how effective it is.

In this article we will talk about...

  • Tips for good monument lighting
  • How RGBW lighting can improve the appearance of a monument
  • The impact of lighting on tourism. Examples
  • SECOM success stories
  • SECOM RGBW lighting

Tips for good monument lighting

The illumination of historic and artistic heritage has become increasingly common as a direct response to the growth of global tourism. When used properly, lighting can greatly improve the appearance of places. It revitalises cities, and they become more welcoming and attractive.

Town planners have been taking this into consideration for some years now. Spanish law has incorporated measures to avoid the deterioration of monuments and prevent their visual impact being spoiled. This is detailed in article 19.3 of Law 16/1985, of 25 June, on Spanish Historic Heritage, and prevents the placement of cables, advertising and antennae on façades and roofs.

The Regulation on Energy Efficiency in Exterior Lighting Installations and Technical Instructions EA-01-07 (RD 1890/2008) and Law 34/2007 on air quality and the protection of the atmosphere also tackle these issues. Among other things, they define the concept of light pollution.

How RGBW lighting can improve the appearance of a monument

The specific characteristics of devices that use this technology mean they create light in a wide variety of colours and colour temperatures. Common practice for monuments is to use between 1700 K and 3000 K to highlight certain parts of the monument.

Iluminación RGBW de monumentos
In this sense, it is important to perform a prior study of the building materials used. For example, there is a difference between granite, which works best with cold light, and browner stone, which is best with warm tones.

This information allows us to create different ambiances, while always ensuring the good visibility of the monument. Today, many bridges, churches, palaces, squares, statues and other constructions of historical and cultural interest have been given a new lease of life with a fresh, new look. This is achieved with a well-thought-out lighting project that respects the uniqueness and history of the monument and takes the building’s footprint into account.

The impact of lighting on tourism. Examples

There are many examples of how lighting can be used to attract tourism. However, the best example is probably that of Vigo’s Christmas lights. The fabulous seasonal lights have attracted international attention, and many people around the world can now locate the city on the map thanks to this initiative.

The success became obvious in 2022, when 45,000 people turned up specifically to see the lights turned on. It was quite a feat for a city of no more than 300,000 people, and garnered headlines around the world. This project, which some classify as art with LED luminaires, requires a huge amount of planning, design, production and assembly.

Another very familiar example is the Eiffel Tower, which mixes lighting architecture, art, décor and functionality in a process we can call lighting engineering. The result is so striking that it has turned this metal construction into the definitive symbol of French culture and world tourism.

SECOM success stories

SECOM’s success stories demonstrate its ability to combine aesthetics, functionality and energy efficiency. The following are just a few of them.

Façade of the Aguas de Murcia building in Murcia

Wall washer lights were placed strategically to highlight the large windows. We used RGBW luminaires on a single axis for both floors. Thanks to the technology used, the lighting can be adapted to cover specific needs at different times. For example, it has been bathed in blue for certain events.

The Consuegra windmills

The windmills of Consuegra were given protected status for their cultural interest in 2008. They are now considered one of the main tourist attractions in the area surrounding the Castle of La Muela. This set of windmills is one of the best preserved in Spain, and was historically a key factor in the economic development of the region. The windmills can be seen from up to 60 km away thanks to their hillside location, and their whitewashed structures transport immediately us to the world of Don Quixote and his fantastic adventures.

Hotel Intercontinental Madrid

InterContinental Madrid

Floodlights and linear lighting formed the basis for this hotel lighting project. Among many other factors, ensuring the comfort of guests (no glare) and boosting the aesthetic appearance of the façade were paramount concerns.

Projects of this type follow different criteria than others, such as street lighting. There is a specific focus on avoiding light pollution, and we also need to ensure the installation is easily adaptable and even easy to disassemble. This way, if the building requires any architectural or aesthetic changes modifications, it is easy to dismantle the lights.

5. SECOM RGBW lighting

LED technology is now the most commonly used type of lighting for all kinds of projects. It is the lighting system of choice for anyone who needs tough, adaptable, energy-efficient luminaires. SECOM offers RGBW luminaires of different kinds and characteristics:

  • RGBW LED Esdium floodlight. This floodlight is primarily used for locations that require a large amount of light.
  • Recessed outdoor lighting system RGBW LED FLOPRO. This is recommended for outdoor walls and floors.
  • RGBW Larnik outdoor LED floodlight. Used for lighting façades in different colours.

Monument lighting is just another variant on the lighting projects that towns and cities are implementing every day. It has many benefits, but one of the main ones is its huge capacity for attracting tourism.

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