In this black year, many European cities, including Dublin, Lisbon, Stockholm, but also Paris, London and Madrid, have decided to combat the energy crisis also through the Christmas decorations of cities, squares and streets. The threat of blackouts and electricity rationing has led to a review of the switching on of decorative lights in main squares and streets, limiting the hours of illumination.

In Strasbourg, for example, Europe’s most famous Christmas market has significantly reduced the lights that will illuminate it, in an attempt to cut public energy expenditure by 10% compared to last year.

On the famous Champs-Élysées, in Paris, the lights will be switched off earlier, at 11.45pm instead of 2am, and will even be taken down a week earlier, on 2 January instead of after Epiphany, saving 44% energy compared to previous holiday periods. Also with a view to saving energy, the Eiffel Tower will also be switched off at 11.45pm instead of 1am.

In London, Oxfor Street is filled with illuminations from three in the afternoon to eleven in the evening, but with a big change: the lights are LED, much cheaper than halogen ones.

Also in Spain, as in London, the decision has been made to cover the city streets with lights, but these must be LED, always aiming at energy saving.

In Budapest, on the other hand, no lights will shine at all: the local government has decided to do so, turning off the almost 2 km of illuminations on the famous Andrassy Avenue.

Italy is also moving in this direction. Some municipalities, in fact, have decided to give up Christmas illuminations, others will switch them off during the night hours, and still others are focusing on LED technology. There are municipalities that have instead thought of alternative solutions, such as Borno, in Lombardy, where everyone can help charge the batteries that power the town’s Christmas tree by riding bicycles connected to the system: the more you pedal, the brighter it will shine!

The best solution is certainly not not to use Christmas lights, but as always, it is to not waste energy and to use it responsibly.