From Paris under attack: Shootout and explosion in Paris

Already the country is mourning the horrific night with the Eiffel Tower going dark as the nation will wake Saturday in a state of shock.


The Eiffel Tower goes dark in the wake of the #Paris attacks which have killed 140 people #PorteOuverte #fusillade

In contrast, some people are claiming that the Tower regularly turns off its lights:

To all media claiming Eiffel Tower has gone dark because of #attacks: They shut off the lights every night at 1am. Check the damn website.

Has the Eiffel Tower gone dark in the wake of the Paris attacks, which it would not normally do?

Edit Sunday 15/11/15: There's since been announcement of the Tower going dark, so I'm only asking about the night of Friday 13 November. From The Eiffel Tower's official web site: The Eiffel Tower in the dark in sign of mourning

At the request of the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, the Eiffel Tower will remain in the dark throughout the coming night in sign of mourning.

  • It is a state of emergency here. All activities are canceled, so Tour Eiffel is not open because of these Islamic attacks.
    – user29814
    Nov 14, 2015 at 8:39

2 Answers 2


This article of "Le Monde" dated November 14th updated 14:29 reports on some rumors that followed the terrorist attacks. (Le Monde is a French daily newspaper and one of the most important and widely respected newspapers in Europe)

Même chose avec la tour Eiffel, supposément « éteinte pour les victimes ». En réalité, l’édifice, illuminé tous les soirs et qui scintille normalement une fois par heure, s’éteint chaque nuit à partir d’une heure du matin. Il ne s’agissait donc pas d’un hommage, mais de son fonctionnement normal.

Translation: The building is illuminated every night once an hour and lighting shuts off after 1am. It was not an homage, but the usual operating mode.


The following publications/organizations have reported that the Eiffel Tower has dimmed its lights in response to the terror attack (and this is not an all-inclusive list):

  • Hollywood Life
  • National Post
  • Las Vegas Review-Journal
  • Independent
  • People
  • Arizona Channel 12 News
  • Her
  • Time
  • Daily Mail
  • Daily Wire
  • CNN

According to La Tour Eiffel "Every evening, the Eiffel Tower is adorned with its golden covering and sparkles for 5 minutes every hour on the hour, while its beacon shines over Paris."

The beacon, sending out two light beams with a reach of 80 kilometres, is composed of 4 "marine" motorised projectors. They are operated by automatically piloted computer programs. Since their rotation sweep is 90°, they are synchronized to form a double beam in a cross that pivots around 360°.

The xenon 6000 watt lamps were chosen for their longevity, around 1,200 hours. The lamps are cooled to prevent overheating and a heating system is activated when the temperatures drop below zero Centigrade whilst the lights are off.

The 20,000 light bulbs each have a low power of 6 watts and light up randomly, as each bulb is separate from the others. Furthermore, the transition of the duration of the sparkling from 10 to 5 minutes an hour in 2008 has made it possible to reduce the energy consumption and above all to extend the life of the installation by several years.

In other words, only the sparkling lights will turn off, at random, and the beacon lights turn off at a certain temperature, or when the sun is up. All the lights were dimmed, as a sign of mourning, for the victims of the terror attack

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