Looking to the future, Mons adorns its belfry with an LED lighting system
The belfry of Mons is one of the masterpieces of Belgium’s architectural heritage, a UNESCO-inscribed site. To show it off even better and simultaneously enable the city to save 80% on its energy bill, a new LED lighting has been installed, drawing on ENGIE Fabricom’s know-how in lighting heritage sites.
The belfry of Mons is Belgium’s only Baroque bell tower. A symbol of the city, it was erected in 1661 and fully restored in 2015. Being 85 metres high, it is the city’s main landmark. To show it off even more effectively, the building has now been given a brand new lighting system within the framework of Wallonia’s Light Plan 2020.
Saving 80% on lighting costs
The belfry of Mons’s new lighting system, which can be admired at the end of this summer, is made up almost entirely of LED lights. What’s the advantage of LEDs? They’re economical. Compared to a conventional system, the 185 lamps on the belfry of Mons are expected to lower the cost of lighting by up to 80% and also slash the system’s maintenance costs by three-quarters.
To install this new lighting system, the City of Mons called upon experts from ENGIE Fabricom, who worked alongside the company ETEC. For many years now, the ENGIE subsidiary has been accumulating special competence in replacing old lighting systems, especially to illuminate architectural and historical heritage sites. Indeed, it has already lit the Grand Place in Brussels, several buildings in Bouillon (and soon the town’s castle, too), Liège City Hall and the Church of Ensival, to cite but a few examples.
High-precision work and monument conservation requirements
Lighting listed heritage sites necessitates the use of specific techniques, because care needs to be taken to ensure that the installation does not undermine building conservation efforts. Any work must be reversible and the system must be fully removable without damaging the monument.
The lighting system in Mons was installed by a team of intrepid electricians and experts. It comprises more than 2,5 km of cables. The members of the lighting team were also given special training on how to work in the vicinity of the falcons that built a nest in the left-hand ball structure on the belfry.
Another technical detail: the belfry of Mons’s new lighting system can be controlled remotely, via a web interface. So it can be managed and controlled from anywhere with Internet access. The system clearly indicates whether the installation is working properly, enabling anomalies to be detected and diagnosed at any time and targeted action to be scheduled as required. In addition, the system makes it possible to programme and manage light shows remotely.
Energy-efficient lighting plans
The numerous public lighting projects designed by ENGIE help to make local features even more attractive and improve local residents’ well-being and safety, all while saving energy as well. The Group advises local authorities on their projects and swings into action as required to renovate, operate, maintain and finance energy-efficient lighting plans.
Whilst ENGIE Fabricom shows off historical heritage sites to their best advantage, it also uses its technical lighting expertise in the traffic sector, for example in Brussels’ Montgomery, Porte de Hal or Trône road tunnels and on motorways and provincial roads in Antwerp, always with a view to improving citizens’ quality of life, making neighbourhoods safer and playing an active role in developing the sustainable cities of tomorrow.