Spain’s national art gallery lit up by LEDs

Holidaymakers go to Madrid for sun, paella and to see the sights – not the lights. But if you’re a keen energy manager you might want to pop into Spain’s […]

Register now!

By Vicky Ellis

Holidaymakers go to Madrid for sun, paella and to see the sights – not the lights. But if you’re a keen energy manager you might want to pop into Spain’s national art gallery soon for that very reason.

The Prado Museum in central Madrid is overhauling its lighting system by installing LED lights in every room. ScottishPower’s parent company Iberdrola is working on the ‘Lighting the Prado’ project which will take four years to finish.

Prado Museum hopes to slash its electricity use by up to 75% and spend less on maintenance work as LED devices have a service life of over 15 years. The new installation is expected to cut the gallery’s emissions by around 500 tonnes of CO2 a year.

The news coincides with the unveiling of a clutch of the gallery’s newly restored paintings, three works by Ribera (pictured, Saint Jerome Writing), Goya and Herrera the Younger and the upcoming rehabilitation of a painting by El Greco.

Works of art need to be lit carefully to stop any fading of the colours and the energy supplier believes the new lighting system fits the bill perfectly.

Iberdrola said in a statement: “The absence of UV radiation and spikes in emissions will improve the conditions for conserving the works. The new system will also enhance the exhibition conditions, as it will improve the clarity of vision, intensify the colours and create an effect of depth without distorting the compositions.”