The law calls for external lights in non-residential buildings to be extinguished between 1.00 and 7.00 and takes effect from 1 July 2012.
All EU member states must comply with obligations to reduce energy consumption and boost their green credentials and by turning off external lighting it is estimated that the power saved would fuel 260,000 households.
Talks are also underway to discuss the turning off of internal lighting in a further bid to enforce a sustainable energy policy.
There are concerns that the policy of turning off shop front lighting could affect businesses such as hotels, clubs, bars and public transport sites but it remains to be seen whether the rules will be enforced to a degree that cause safety issues. The grand shops of Paris are already gearing up to oppose a ruling that may impact their bright light shop window advertising but for now – be prepared for a little less light from shops and buildings and a little more light from the sky as astronomers say that less pollution from buildings when the lights go out in France will mean better star quality above.