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The Eiffel Tower is one of the most iconic structures in the world, and certainly a highlight of any visit to Paris. Since the millenium, the tower has been lit with thousands of sparkling lights. But have you ever wondered what it takes to install lights on something as large as the Eiffel Tower?
Photo: Tom Eversley
The tower is fitted with 20,000 flashing bulbs that illuminate the tower for 5 minutes every hour. They were installed in preparation for the Year 2000 celebrations in Paris, and were updated in 2003 with a system that was planned to last for at least 10 years.
To undertake such a massive task, 25 mountain climbers were employed over over a 5 month period, working with 800 strings of lights. The total installation includes over 40 kilometers of cabling and weighs
A combined weight of over 20 tons.
To join the system together, a connector was needed that was lightweight and easy to use (after all, they needed to be plugged in hundreds of meters in the air!). What's more, the connector had to withstand the Paris weather for the whole 10 year lifespan of the lighting system.
Enter the eco-mate connector from Amphenol. This compact plastic circular connector had already established itself as a successful industrial connector, ideal for a wide range of applications. It is waterproof and UV resistant, and can be fitted with a wide range of inserts offering different contact arrangements, making it hugely versatile.
The only change made for the Eiffel Tower installation was the colour - Amphenol moulded the connector in the same brown colour as the paint on the tower, to help the system blend into its surroundings.
So, any time you see the Eiffel Tower sparkling away, think about the work it took to get the lights installed. And think about the connectors needed to plug the system together!
The ecomate connector series is available from RS Components. Take a look here: