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KARACHI, Aug 2: Some 256 old and conventional light bulbs inside the Mazar-i-Quaid, including the one on the chandeliers, were replaced on Thursday with light-emitting diode (LED) lamps for lower load consumption and higher illumination, according to the Karachi Electric Supply Company.

The step is part of the KESC plan to save energy, which has dropped from the previous 8.32kW consumption load of the conventional lighting to 1.78kW, making a 79 per cent saving.

KESC spokesman Aminur Rahman said they changed all the bulbs in the museum and on the chandeliers on the premises, including the ones on the ground floor and in the basement. “The lumination power of LEDs is much higher, while consumption is significantly less,” he told Dawn on Thursday.

“This is the completion of phase one, hence the inside of the Mazar and the museum downstairs. The external lights will be converted in phase two.”

Meanwhile, Director for the Energy Conservation Department of the KESC Asif Hussain Siddiqui told Dawn that they would soon start work on the second phase as well, which they hoped to complete before Dec 25, the birthday of the Father of the Nation.

“We have completed our evaluation for the second phase which will see the replacement of external lights, including the floodlights, and we are now only waiting for approval from the Quaid-i-Azam Mazar Management Board,” he said.

LED lamps, he said, were of 15 watts, 4.5W and 53W, too. “We are using lamps according to the required illumination levels at the mausoleum,” he added.

About the cost of the first phase, the director for the energy conservation department said it was around Rs1 million. “But the costs are being shared by the government, the Quaid-i-Azam Mazar Management Board and the KESC,” he said.

About the LED technology, the official said it was good for the environment as it did not add to global warming. “Based on green energy, the lamps have zero carbon emission which you don’t even get in the other energy-saving bulbs or tube lights. Then they are also ultraviolet-free which will prevent the spoiling of the priceless artifacts in the museum by prolonging their life,” he said.

“The lamps, although more expensive than conventional bulbs, never fuse. They are there for a lifetime. And if the government wants, it can even promote this technology by reducing tax on it,” he suggested.

“And seeing the final outcome, the government can do the same for other heritage sites in the country,” he added.