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Shining a light on the Eternal City

Rome has many spectacular monuments. Enel X is helping to illuminate them with its innovative smart lighting solutions

Published on MARCH 24, 2021

Lighting up the past

Since its early 2nd century creation, the Pantheon has been a magnet to visitors for its incredible spherical design, and those who fall in love with its oculus return the same day each year to bask in an intense showering of sunlight. At midday on June 20, the summer solstice, the light shines through the center of the oculus, illuminating the floor and creating  a metaphoric sundial and giant solar meridian.  This luminary innovation is inspiration and the very same inspiration that fuels  Enel X’s commitment to supporting the circular economy through innovative heritage projects.

Enel X's architectural illumination system

Enel X utilizes innovative technology and modern brainpower, and at times, it is inspired by the past. Since antiquity, many of the structures including bath houses, temples and basilicas were built to harness the incredible energetic power of the sun, to provide heat and lighting.

 

Enel X has engaged in lighting up the Eternal City with an architectural illumination system for the Pantheon, as well as interior lighting at other celebrated monuments and locations like Piazza di Spagna and the Quirinale Gardens.

 

These new architectural smart lighting innovations illuminate the beautiful aspects of historical places and the surrounding environments, and the city, along with its businesses and residents, benefit and become brighter as well.

Architectural Lighting

Architectural Lighting

A sustainable way to preserve city heritage

Spotlight on a historic and unique monument

Over the last 30 years, Enel X has worked on over 1500 architectural illumination projects worldwide. One of the foundational aspects of a project such as the Pantheon was taking into account the incredible importance of how to highlight this historic monument by understanding how it would be received and perceived by its visitors, along with how to emphasize the monument’s most beautiful aspects.

 

Enel X understood that there was a need to provide lighting which rendered a high color and yet also provided a warmth in color temperature. Given that the Pantheon is lit for extended periods of time, it was crucial that the light sources offered an incredibly high energy efficiency, allowing the light to gently reveal the giant dome’s intricate ceiling detail along with the breathtaking marble statues located in the adjacent chapels.

A tailor-made lighting system

Finding ways to illuminate the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome was not an easy task, especially since light sources need to be adaptable for specific needs. Enel X understood that by varying the lighting system, once could create different moods and alter perceptions. There was also a need to minimize the visual impact of the lighting system. Projector size and positioning needed to be downplayed as much as possible, in order to ensure the illumination felt natural and magical at the same time. 

Enel X developed an automated system which enables the forward movement of the projectors solely at the time of use, thereby preventing unpleasant optical disturbances and providing ease in the overall visual appreciation of the historic ancient monument.

The numbers game and energy efficient solutions

In employing over 277 discharge headlamps for a total power of 33.5 KW and over 294 LED projectors for a total power of 12.3 KW, Enel X was able to offer Rome and its residents tremendous energy savings. The main focus was to utilize innovative technology and energy efficient solutions which could provide up to 80% in energy savings.
Not only that, the innovative architectural lighting systems have enriched the city’s heritage sites and ensured that these historical monuments are being highlighted to the fullest, thus enabling visitors to enjoy the cultural gifts of this great city and provide a further boost via economic growth.

Architectural illumination and future opportunities

Enel X is using the development of new energy sources for architectural illumination as a catalyst for change in urban environments. By enhancing historical sites and highlighting urban spaces, individuals are invited to rediscover their cities through a new lens. Enel X is dedicated to supporting businesses, cities and local governments in their work to forge a new path towards sustainable living. 

 

Whether it’s through the development of renewable energy resources or innovative projects such as architectural lighting or creating advanced systems and devices, Enel X remains committed to being a pioneer in cutting edge technology to maximize energy efficiency.