October 20, 2016 - a balmy autumn evening in Rome. The sun has already set, and around 100 people have gathered outside St. Peter’s Basilica. Dr. Olaf Berlien, CEO of OSRAM, is there, as are Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello and Antonio Paolucci, Director of the Vatican Museums.
The men of the church make their speeches, then the OSRAM CEO steps up to the lectern. The bells begin to chime. Berlien presses a button and 132 LED floodlights instantly illuminate the square. The light is so bright that you could read a book here at 3 a.m. without any problems at all.
St. Peter’s Square in Rome is probably the most famous plaza in the world. It was commissioned by Pope Alexander VII around 350 years ago and designed by architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Every year it attracts more than ten million people. And in 2016, the year declared by Pope Francis to be the Holy Year of Mercy, as many as 30 million pilgrims are said to have visited the Vatican. Tourists marvel at the Sistine Chapel and the Raphael Rooms as well as St. Peter’s Basilica and its world-famous square.