Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sparkling galeries

Like every year the famous department store Les Galeries Lafayette (after the name of the street where the main store is located) is now wearing its Christmas outfit! No less than 150 000 electric bulbs, 7 km (4.35 miles) and 150 people are necessary to install it. I'm interested to know if they will change the whole system before Christmas 2012 as, by this date, the European Community required that all incandescent light bulbs be replaced with energy-efficient lighting... It started already; it's now impossible to buy 100 watt "regular" bulbs in Europe.


  1. If this is so beautiful as a picture, thank you, Eric, imagine what it looks like in real life!

    Love the detail!


  2. Ooooh, gorgeous! (Even if I'm not ready for all this yet.) I'm impressed that the EC is mandating the use of energy-efficient lighting. We should follow suit.

  3. I should go to Paris one day in Xmas time. Despite the cold, I think to see its Xmas lights is a must, just like New York during this time of the year.


  4. um, well, not exactly Monica. If you want in your face over the top decorations for Christmas, that fits my culture perfectly. Especially some of those houses groaning under all those lights and decorations, but, we love it.
    Paris and London don't even rate,with their under the radar lights and windows (this picture and a few others exempt).
    I bought the BEST lightbulbs(nothing to do with Christmas) that were decorated by artists. I found them at a shop under that viaduct over near the Bastille. I think they used silicone to decorate the bulb, and some have feathers sticking out of them!!! Ladies, you would LOVE my bathroom where I installed them.

  5. Amazing illumination! Beautiful capture.

  6. What a lovely photo! Captured from an awesome angle. And it brings back such fond memories of shopping in my favorite store! I love Christmas at Galeries Lafayette, entirely!

  7. Wow - this is taking me back, too. I wish I could feel the nip in the air as the shoppers rush and the lights go off and on. Last year this time I stood and took about 15 photos of these lights because the whole facade ebbs and flows into different patterns. It was beautiful!!

    Thanks, Eric!

    (And tonight I realized you put in little expander button on the photos after you click to enlarge them -- you've been tinkering! Cool!)

  8. It's dazzling. I'd love to be there for some heavy-duty shopping right now!

    Thanks for mentioning the expander button, Carrie, I never would have noticed.

    I'm not sold on CFL bulbs because they have mercury in them. LEDs are great, though, I'm all for them and they make beautiful Christmas lights.

  9. Great photo. I wouldn't mind another showing more of the lights.

  10. The nice thing about photos is that you can actually stop to look more closely at things you walk by. I laughed when I read your bit about the new European regulation. I thought, "Only Eric". LOL

  11. By the way, it's not very cold here for the time being. In fact, today will reach 15C (62F) which is 5 degrees higher than normal. Lots of rain though, but only down to 6C by the end of the week.

    Yes PHX, we want to see your bathroom!

  12. Sorry, one more comment. I saw your buttons on the left for the calendars and when I went to Zazzle, I noticed they also have a sale on postage stamps. Not sure if it's USA only but it's $5 off. You have to use a promotional code: ZAZZLESTAMPS

  13. Well, then, Michael, the weather is similar across the Northern Hemisphere. We have had that same weather here for a couple weeks. Amazing.

    Les Galeries Lafayette looks lovely.

    I didn't read yesterday's comments, so maybe this is redundant, but maybe we should rent that house for the next PDP picnic.

  14. Pretty, pretty! :) I love it. I wonder what people will say, though, about using so many bulbs! I'm sure most cities will be doing similar lighting shows for Christmas though. Haven't seen Harrods yet this year, but I expect it will be well lit. I think this one though is in a class of its own.

  15. Excellent picture, which gives you a very nice Xmas feeling. Cheers, Peter

  16. Wow, almost as shiny as the house up the street from us, but much more refined. :) I'll echo Lynn: Pretty, pretty!!

    Phx, in the absence of the likelihood that I'll be visiting your bathroom in the near future, I'd love to see a photo. :)

    Petrea, I'm with you on the CFC bulbs. I know they say it's just a teensy amount of mercury, but isn't that like being a teensy bit pregnant?! LEDs seem promising so far.

  17. Beautiful post!
    Many caring thoughts.
    And I smile at the last sentence of your post.
    I trust energy-efficient lighting to be very qualitative.
    Thank you for sharing.

  18. Gorgeous illuminations!!I love illuminations.

  19. Jeff, Tomate had the same idea about the picnic yesterday. So now the two of you can go fifty/fifty on the rent!
    Not reading yesterday's post could prove expensive!

    Whilst on the subject of yesterday's stuff - Lynn, I'm afraid I'm sworn to secrecy about the party. Only large quantities of cash or 100 watt bulbs can open my lips.

  20. When your CFL bulb is no longer useful, you can't put it in the recycle bin. You have to take it to a hazardous waste place so it can be specially handled.

    I didn't know this at first and was putting them in the recycle bin. One of them broke and we inhaled the mercury dust that spilled. It was a little freaky.

    They do save a lot of energy, though! I'm torn about it.

  21. Oh this is the most magical place in Paris at Christmas. I couldn't stop snapping photos there last November. That reminds me, I'll have to dig up the dome p hotos for my Paris header soon! Gorgeous shot Eric. I"m with Petrea on the bulb thing. I was all about buying them till I heard about the hazards. Yikes.

  22. I love Galeries Lafayette.
    I love the luxurious Boulevard Haussman G.L. of course but I don't mind the smaller Montparnasse G.L. as well. Love shopping in these always lit up and live departments. I often go there or at Printemps or Le Bon Marché. All beautiful ones. All very exhausting too! Sometimes so much that I can not walk anymore and then a little tea/coffee/chocolate break is much than enjoyed (especially if your purchases are already done and make you feel happy)! That does not mean I buy a lot because I am very hard in my choices :)

    With Christmas coming soon, these stores will open even on Sundays which I find great (I know this is very discussed but still from my window, that is a saving of time).
    Xmas illuminations, yes, I still remember the ones from last year, among other special souvenirs.
    So you to know, Drummond, you made me laugh with your bulbs story. Only 100 watts are intersting for you? You are not interested in softened ones? ;) lol

  23. They were setting up the inside of Le Printemps when we were there and it was sad we wouldn't be there to see it all done.....this looks like it's classy, but still in the spirit. They get a bit out of control here in NY....neighbors borrow power from one another as their electric service cannot flow enough juice to power all their lights!

    I for one am not thrilled about the EU law.....to me the CFL bulbs do not give off the same quality if light as a normal bulb. The quality of the light (softness) is more important to me then the overall brightness. Plus, many people in the EU run the small MR-16 halogen mini spots,which I thought were only about 25 watts, so I don't know what the CFL would save over that....


  24. Love this inimitable sparkling lights : both the brightness and the softness are coming from this photo, Eric.
    Thank you.

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