A new Anolis LED lighting scheme is illuminating the famous exterior façade of the Rosary Basilica at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes (Sanctuaire de Notre-Dame de Lourdes), an ultimate destination calling pilgrims and worshipers from worldwide to the south of France.
The stunning new lighting was designed and specified by Bruno Le Vacon, founder of audiovisual design office BLEV ORGANISATION, and Sébastien Gaye from ACE Event Group. The physical installation of the luminaires – chosen from Anolis’ Divine, ArcPar, Eminere and ArcSource ranges – was completed by ACE Event who are locally based, with the equipment supplied via Anolis France.
Each luminaire was individually customized at the Anolis factory in the Czech Republic before dispatch to France.
The delicate and meticulous application of light on this special monument was a huge challenge for Bruno whose task was to enhance the magic and spirituality of an already sacred place. In front of the Rosary Basilica is a large public area, where visitors gather to celebrate, and they can now have their experience enhanced with the intensity and beauty of the lighting.
Bruno Le Vacon has a long history of working on events in and around ‘the Domain’ as it is known in Lourdes, which comprises 51 hectares, and includes 22 separate places of worship. Various elements of lighting have been introduced and upgraded across the site over several years.
Bruno encouraged the church hierarchy, including the bishop, to look at his tasteful lighting proposals for lighting the Rosary Basilica which had previously been poorly lit with tired old sodium units.
The general feeling was that the time was right for something that not only highlighted the façade’s splendor and grace, but that was contemporary and sustainable. LED was the obvious way forward offering a better lifespan, lower power consumption, less maintenance, and it was at this stage that Sebastian and ACE Event introduced him to the Anolis brand.
ACE Event, a Robe customer for many years, trusted the fact that Anolis products are also designed and built to the same quality standards.
Extensive onsite tests over two evenings were conducted by Eric Tabuteaufrom Anolis France with ACE Event which established exactly the fixtures needed and where they should be positioned to realize the design, after which the specification was confirmed, and the special requests for customizations submitted to Anolis.
In early 2021, Bruno received the final green light to proceed with the installation plan and it then became a race to get it installed and running before the prime summer pilgrimage period commenced.
Bruno Le Vacon was impressed with the diversity of the Anolis ranges, the quality of their light output and colour mixing facilities – perfect for a design of this complexity and detail – plus the willingness of the factory to produce custom solutions to give the exact tools needed to optimize lighting this incredibly special and historic treasure.
ACE Event had also helped convince the end-user that Anolis was the correct route, so the next task was to meet the deadlines, for which the Anolis factory fully stepped up.
Here, Robe France’s CEO Bruno Garros also really pushed the Rosary Basilica project forward and ensured that the timescales were viable. As a proud born and bred Lourdes citizen, the city is close to his heart!
Around 80 x Anolis fixtures – a mix of Divine 160s, Divine 72s, ArcPar 150 Outdoors, Eminere 2s, 3s and 4s plus ArcSource Outdoor 16MCs and ArcSource Outdoor 4MC Pixels – are lighting the intricate stone tapestry of arches, crown, crosses, statues, belfries, stairs, the square and the lectern of the Rosary.
The statues are lit with ArcSource Outdoor 4MCs rigged at their bases and on the arches and the crown featured by ArcSource Outdoor 16MCs. All fixed in place with special brackets to protect the façade.
The two main towers come alive with lumens from Divine 72s, while the larger arch is lit with Eminere 4s and the smaller one with neat Eminere 2s.
For general lighting, more Emineres are positioned inside the structure itself attached to a hidden rail, with further Emineres highlighting the wall paintings. The small and powerful Eminere units were ideal for this project and provided exact solutions.
Slightly in front of the Rosary Basilica two trussing towers built off to the sides, left and right, are rigged with Divines shooting across for general light, with more Divines inserted between the sculptures and statues for fine detail lighting.
Each light source is fitted with specific lenses and filters for individual optimization.
Anolis’ architectural ranges are all developed for this type of environment, to deal with the harsh weather extremities and to be in constant use without deterioration.
The entire system is controlled via a wireless DMX system. With concerts and events frequently staged in the square, it was important to offer control of the Rosary Basilica lighting installation to incoming productions, so these can be integrated with their own show lighting if desired.
This Rosary Basilica is a notable example of a significant historical building exquisitely amalgamated with the very latest lighting technology.