CFLs not royal enough for Mysore Palace

CFLs not royal enough for Mysore Palace

CFLs not royal enough for Mysore Palace

The State government’s decision to make compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) mandatory in all government offices and buildings will not dim the Mysore Palace as the good old incandescent bulbs will continue to light the heritage structure.

The State government’s initiative was aimed at saving energy and reducing electricity bills. In a bid to implement this, the Mysore Palace Board too called for expression of interest from manufacturers of bulbs that would not only cut bills but would also reproduce the same luminosity as incandescent bulbs. A few companies came forward and held demonstrations by lighting one portion of the palace with CFLs.

However, the CFLs failed to match the 15-watt incandescent bulbs in luminescence and the proposal to replace the bulbs were dropped.

Deputy Commissioner Harsh Gupta, member-secretary of the Palace Board, told Deccan Herald  the decision was taken after a committee constituted by the board too ruled in favour of incandescent bulbs. “The committee studied the proposals and witnessed the demonstrations at the Amba Vilas Palace. They also did a feasibility study on replacing the bulbs and decided to retain incandescent bulbs,” he said.

Gupta added that the board had already installed LED bulbs in the palace premises to conserve energy, but did not want to take a decision on replacing incandescent bulbs in a haste as it would compromise the beauty of the illuminated palace. “The golden orange glow emitted by incandescent bulbs cannot be replicated by CFLs. People are very intelligent, they can make out even the slightest change in the colour,” Gupta said.

Deputy Director of the Mysore Palace Board, P V Avaradhi, pointed out that the palace is illuminated for just six to seven hours in a month and the electricity bill comes up to around Rs six to seven lakh a month for all the installations including illumination. The hours of illumination is more only during the ten-day Dasara festival. Given these circumstances, the board felt that it was not feasible to switch to CFLs.

The board even toyed with the idea of installing LED bulbs which consume less power, but the investment is huge. Around 97,000 bulbs are used to illuminate the Amba Vilas Palace and to replace them with LED bulbs the board would have to shell out at least Rs six to seven crore.