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Bringing the world’s cultural heritage into the light

Appreciating art and architecture is tough after sunset with the lights off. This is when Enel X comes to the rescue

Having a massive cultural patrimony is not of great value if it can't be seen for parts of every day. When the daylight fades to darkness, many of Italy's most majestic and romantic buildings, fountains and statues disappear into the night and their impressive beauty can no longer be appreciated. 

That's where architectural lighting and Enel X Global Retail come into play. Enel X promotes a new concept of light that enhances the beauty of each city's artistic and cultural heritage. Indeed, sometimes a well-lit statue, building or work of art can appear even more splendid in the nighttime than during the daytime.

Enel X's highly-sustainable energy-efficient architectural lighting solutions generate numerous benefits for urban communities. They reduce public expenses while fostering the economic and cultural development of the territory, attracting new visitors, increasing citizens’ pride and endowing urban areas with a new energy.

architectural lighting

Architectural Lighting

Solutions that enhance a city's artistic heritage, sustaining economic development and generating savings

Casting cultural heritage in a new light

Enel X has developed over 2,000 architectural lighting projects throughout the world - most of them in Italy - enhancing the local cultural heritage and at the same time guaranteeing significant energy savings (up to 70%) for its public and private clients. Some examples are Rome's Villa Giulia with its fascinating Etruscan museum, Florence’s David di Michelangelo at the Galleria dell’Accademia and the lakeside promenade of the town of Stresa, on lake Maggiore, illuminated with state-of-the-art LED lights that fit into the fixtures of the historic cast-iron poles. 

Enel X provides an end-to-end service, covering every phase of the project’s implementation: from design to financing options, including construction, supply of materials, planning, installation and maintenance of infrastructures. Installations can be permanent (as part of a wider urban refurbishment effort) or temporary (in case of events like Christmas, exhibitions, live concerts). In the latter case, Enel X offers the possibility to create colored lighting - for example, illuminating public buildings in national colors, to strengthen sense of community - as well as mapped lighting and video mapping solutions.

what is video mapping

Illumination endows Castello Odescalchi’s defenses with a new power

castello odescalchi bracciano
Castello Odescalchi hasn’t seen a battle in many, many years, but it certainly is a sight to see. Situated along the scenic shores of Lago di Bracciano - a lake of volcanic origin in Italy's Lazio region, some 32 km northwest of Rome - this 15th century castle is a real jewel that has preserved its beauty over the centuries. Enel X created a lighting project that illuminated all the castle's exteriors - the high, crenellated towers and the majestic elevations - as well as the building's interior green spaces, including its 'secret garden'. The purpose of the highly sustainable project was to enhance the castle while respecting the nature that surrounds it.
To achieve this goal, Enel X installed 59 fittings with LED technology that bathe the building's perimeter in a warm colored light. The project also called for the installation of spotlights that were positioned on brackets designed specifically for the project, which absorbs a total of 3.5 kW of power.

Bringing out the ‘art’ in an Italian hydropower plant’s ‘art deco’ style

One of the most important Italian hydropower generating facilities from a historical and architectural perspective, the Centrale di Crego, in Crodo - some 140 km northwest of Milano, near the Italian-French border - boasts an 'art deco' style that sets it apart. To enhance the plant's aesthetic power, Enel X installed 123 latest-generation LED lights, connected under a single digital system that consumes only 2.5 kW of power. The highly energy-efficient solution is an excellent example of the breadth of Enel X's architectural lighting offering, as it also includes dynamic settings enabling timer-controlled changes in the shades of the light projected onto the building's facade.
centrale idroelettrica crego
The product of lengthy study and preparation work by Enel X lighting experts, the solution is designed to ensure that the radiance cast onto the building's geometrically complex surfaces doesn't create any shadows - a complex feat. Color plays a key role in the project: a strong red light illuminates the plant's two large turbines from within; the building's higher-most windows are cast in a blue light, highlighting how the generated power is distributed. The project has been a draw to tourists while at the same time helping lower the facility's illumination costs: a win-win situation if ever there was any.

Architectural lighting helps Matera’s “Water Cathedral” cast its ethereal mystique

palombaro lungo matera
Since the 16th century, Matera’s Palombaro Lungo - a water tank carved out of stone and known as the "Cattedrale d'Acqua", or "Water Cathedral" - has been collecting rainwater underneath the town, in Italy's southern Puglia Region. The giant tank - 16 meters deep and of Olympic swimming pool length - is a magical place, thanks also to the lighting solutions provided by Enel X, which installed 30 new color-changing RGB LED light fittings as well 50 meters of LED strips, for a total of 1 kW of absorbed power. In order to protect the system against potential increases in water levels in the tank, the lights supplied are waterproof.
The system, which thanks to its energy efficiency is highly sustainable, was gifted by Enel X to the city of Matera, a Unesco heritage site - a recognition in part bestowed thanks to the Palombaro Lungo itself, the symbolic keystone of Matera's ancient rainwater collection system. In addition to lighting the giant cave, the Enel X-provided solution also allows for creating shifting color patterns that enhance the Palombaro Lungo's already significant mystique.

Lighting the way to a greater sense of civic pride and belonging

The seat of the Italian government, Palazzo Chigi is located in Piazza Colonna, at the heart of Italy's capital city. Standing just opposite the famous column of Marcus Aurelius, the building is an exemplary work of 1600s architecture. To help bring out the building's beauty and remind citizens and passersby of its central, uniting role in Italy's political life, Enel X created a special lighting solution that captures the eyes and promotes energy efficiency. Comprising 216 new fittings with LED technology and 97 new LED lamps, the solution consumes in total only 13 kW and replaces the previous and very inefficient projectors.
palazzo chigi rome
Energy efficiency aside, the colors of the lighting on the main facade of the building can be changed - for example, projecting the Italian tricolor - whereas a color temperature of 3,000K was chosen for the interior areas. The solution can be managed by a flexible, wireless DMX/DALI control system.