Red Fort to switch soon to LED lights

Move aims to slash electricity expenses

The Archaeological Survey of India is planning to install LED lights in Red Fort to slash the electricity charges it incurs annually for its illumination.

Currently, ASI spends Rs 2 crore to Rs 2.5 crore annually for illumination of the monument, which includes streetlights, security lights, lighting of the front garden and three museums inside the fort.

If the LED lights are installed, the electricity bill is expected to be approximately one-third of what the ASI spends annually. The ASI has to invest heftily if it plans to install LED lights in and around the entire Red Fort. 

“Even if we replace the entire lighting system with LED bulbs, it would be a one-time investment. In the long run, we will able to conserve electricity,” said Vasant Kumar Swarankar, superintending archaeologist of ASI.

“As of now, the ASI is not spending anything. We have roped in an agency who have agreed to sponsor the LED lights in the pilot phase. If successful, we will go ahead with the project.”

Pilot phase

The pilot phase is likely to be launched by May-end. In the first phase, the lights in the front portion of Red Fort will be replaced with LED bulbs. Later, it might be extended to the parks, gardens and peripheral side of the fort, which are illuminated mainly for security reasons.  

“The trial process is to check that the LED lights do not tamper with the aesthetics of the Red Fort,” added Swarankar.

The ASI is also making an effort to conserve electricity consumed by the sound-and-light shows, which are organised by the India Tourism Development Corporation Limited (ITDC) in the Red Fort complex. 

These evening shows draw a large number of tourists to the site. “We have spoken to ITDC regarding this. We are awaiting its response,” said superintending archaeologist.

The ASI is planning to extend the project to other heritage sites under its ambit. “If the charm of Red Fort is intact using LED lights, we will use this lighting system for Qutb Minar, Humayun’s tomb, Jantar Mantar and Purana Quila, among other sites,” added Swarankar. 

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