French Tramway Line Brightens Up with New LED Technology

 Tours, France

“Our intention as regards the lighting was to restore, by day and by night, that white, powdery light of the Tuffeau stone that is so highly praised in literature and is so characteristic of the province of Touraine,” said Régine Charvet-Pello, general manager of RCP Design Global.

France Tramway
French Tramway seen at night. (Photo Courtesy of Xavier Boymond)

The Project

Fifteen kilometers in length, the tram route in the Tours agglomeration was designed as an urban renewal tool. The lighting at the stops and surrounding areas falls into this reclassification of several districts and public spaces, providing light that differentiates them from the rest of the city. 

“In addition to our work as designers, we aimed to be the guides of a multidisciplinary team and provide a project created by men for men,” said Régine Charvet-Pello, general manager of RCP Design Global.

(Photo Courtesy of Xavier Boymond)

The architects took part in setting up the construction of the route, in designing the urban-development and landscaping aspects of the halts and furniture, in building control centers, in lighting the route in conjunction with Pierre Bideau. “I wanted a light that contrasts sharply with the orange color of the sodium-vapor lamp used in the public lighting,” explained Bideau, “and the white light of the CosmoWhite offered energy performances which at the time of the study, in 2009, LEDs were not yet capable of providing”. The 29 stops on the tram route and the surrounding areas have been lit by street-lights fitted with CosmoWhite discharge lamps.

The 60-meter-high belfry, a building with a white pyramid-shaped roof, has been fitted with LED lighting created using ColorGraze controlled by Color Kinetics’ iPlayer 3 system, which allows dynamic effects to be obtained involving subtle color variations. Similarly, the façade of the Sports Palace is lit by ColorBlast RGB projectors. The new bridge over the ring road, which is open to cyclists and pedestrians, benefits from the light from the LEDlines fitted directly in the handrail. In the southern services car-park at Joué-Lès-Tours, UrbanScene assemblies have been fitted at 11 and 12 m. 

(Photo Courtesy of Xavier Boymond)

In this way this line of light traverses the “4th Landscape” like a white necklace embellished with colored pearls.

The Solution

The 29 stops on the tram route and the surrounding areas (forecourt of Tours SNCF railway station, northern services car-park, etc.) have been lit by CitySoul street-lights fitted with CosmoWhite discharge lamps. Several symbolic locations have benefited from special lighting with solutions involving LEDs, ColorGraze linear lights, ColorBlast and LEDline2 projectors.

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