A new gem in Rome

St. Peter's Basilica

Copyright Reverenda Fabbrica di San Pietro

Installation of new illumination in St Peter's Basilica almost completed

It is one of the most fascinating sacred buildings, the center of the Roman Catholic Church, and a destination for millions of people from all over the world – St Peter's Basilica in Rome. Its beauty is astounding and is now set to thrill visitors more than ever before. State-of-the-art LED technology from OSRAM will penetrate the highest domes and bring to light the full beauty of masterpieces which so far have not been visible.

The installation work for the new lighting in St. Peter's Basilica is almost completed. During the installation phase, almost 20 kilometres of cable will be laid and 700 special LED luminaires will be installed at heights of up to 136 metres.

On 25 January 2019, the official inauguration will be celebrated in one of the world's largest churches, which is also the center of the Catholic Christianity. More than 100,000 LEDs will then illuminate the basilica in a new light.

Completion date January 25, 2019

The OSRAM lighting systems have proved their value already with the illuminations in the Sistine Chapel, Raphael's rooms and also in St. Peter's Square. In the case of St. Peter’s Basilica, this lighting project will combine the professional skills of the Technical Services Departments of the Governorate of the Vatican City State and OSRAM's advanced digital lighting technology. “We won worldwide recognition for the cutting-edge LED lighting system we installed in the Sistine Chapel,” said Olaf Berlien, CEO of OSRAM Licht AG. “We are very excited about this new opportunity to demonstrate our skills as a provider of complex, large-scale lighting solutions by conducting the lighting project in St. Peter's Basilica.”

OSRAM and the Technical Services Department of the office of the Vatican City State Governor are combining to undertake the new lighting program for St Peter's Basilica.

Saint Peter's is the largest church in the world and the center of Catholicism. The Governorate of the Vatican City State and the office of the Fabric of Saint Peter have chosen OSRAM LED technology to renew the interior lighting of the Basilica. The new lighting will illuminate the interior in all its magnificence, power and architectural complexity. These innovative LED fittings will create a unique experience, similar to that provided by the illuminations installed in the Sistine Chapel in 2014, while giving energy savings of around 85%.

St. Peter’s Basilica can hold a congregation of 20,000 people, and is around 190 meters long, the three naves each 58 meters wide, the central nave 45.50 meters at its highest point, and the cupola about 136 meters high up to the cross at its peak; the interior, with its vast mosaic decorations, is a treasure trove of some of the most famous works of art in the world, such as Bernini’s Baldacchino, and Michelangelo's Pietà.

The lighting can be adjusted according to the occasion when the building is in use. The new lighting system will accentuate the properties of the materials used and the building itself, highlighting the plasticity of the structure, its marbles and its architecture. The choices have been made in consultation with the Technical Services of the Governorate of the Vatican City State, the office of the Fabric of St. Peter’s and the art experts from the Vatican Museums.

Work in progress

More than 100,000 powerful LEDs integrated in around 700 tailor-made luminaires

More than 100,000 powerful LEDs produced at the Regensburg site combined with electronic control gear were integrated in around 700 tailor-made luminaires. They have a particularly low profile in order to remain unobtrusive. And they emit no UV radiation to protect the works of art.

Because then the digital lighting in St Peter's Basilica will be up to ten times brighter than before, and consume 80 percent less energy. The number of luminaires themselves has also been reduced by 80 percent compared to the previous solution.

Indirect illumination of the vaulted ceilings with very warm white light will bring out the golden shades in the ceiling particularly well. And the details of the largest mosaic in the world covering around 10,000 square meters will also be highlighted in unprecedented glory. Up to 45,000 daily visitors will experience a very special atmosphere in the basilica thanks to direct, warm white lighting for the floors and walls.

After the lighting projects for the Sistine Chapel, Raphael’s Rooms, and St Peter’s Square, the masterpiece is now close to official completion.

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