Hotel du Palais Biarritz

    Biarritz, France

    Photo Credits: Signify France

    Napoleonic home updated with LED lighting

    Hotel du Palais is a historical residence and hotel located in Biarritz, France. Situated on the Atlantic coast of France, the shore-side town was handpicked by French Emperor Napoleon III in 1855 to build a vacation villa for his wife, Empress Eugenie. Largely due to the monarchs' summer visits, the residence became synonymous with luxury living, drawing privileged patrons from across the world to the town of Biarritz. After the collapse of the Second French Empire, the villa was sold to French investment bank Banque de l'Union Parisienne, before it was converted into its modern-day form.

    Though Hotel du Palais lived up to its reputation in the last century as a favorite vacation spot of the rich and famous, with time the legendary hotel aged, losing the pristine glow that once attracted the likes of British and Austrian nobility. When the town of Biarritz launched an initiative to restore its tourist attractions, Hotel du Palais was a prime candidate for renovation.

    The lighting was one element that the renovation sought to greatly improve. Renowned French lighting designer Franck Franjou was chosen to draft a new lighting scheme for the prestigious hotel. Franjou faced two distinct challenges in the process. Hotel du Palais' new lighting installation would have to be completed within six months and not interfere with any preservation requirements placed on the historical building.

    With these requirements in mind, Franjou created the project's lighting scheme with emphasis on using light to restore the villa's outer appearance to its past brilliance without altering the iconic architecture that has immortalized the hotel as a valued landmark of Biarritz. Franjou aimed to create a subtle effect on Hotel du Palais' façade with luminaires that were capable of adjusting light settings or complement changing seasons or community events.

    Seeking expertise with lighting controls, Franjou collaborated with Signify Certified System Integrator Axente to complete the project, confident that the French lighting specialist could meet the installation's strict deadline and requirements. Partnering with Axente, he decided on professional tunable white light LED lighting systems.

    Due to the luminaires' flexibility, which delivers superior illumination through various degrees of warm and cool white light, Graze Powercore linear LED luminaires from Color Kinetics replaced the conventional xenon "festoon" lights previously lining the hotel's exterior.

    A total of 185 luminaires were installed across Hotel du Palais' entire façade. Optibin technology enabled complete uniformity in the appearance of light emitted from the LED luminaires across the hotel's façade, a first for a hotel of its kind in France. Equipped with superior lighting solutions and effective technology from Color Kinetics, Hotel du Palais' original 19th century charm is now rejuvenated for future generations to admire.
    Project credits

    Lighting Design:

    Franck Fanjou

    Certified System Integrator:


    Share this page:

    Want to learn more?

    Browse our growing library of educational materials to keep you informed about critical and often confusing issues related to LED lighting technology.