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Royal Albert Hall Lantern Upgrade

Description of Works

As part of FM Conway’s Term Maintenance contract with Westminster City Council (WCC), our Lighting division has carried out an LED upgrade of the lighting columns surrounding the steps of the Royal Albert Hall.

Services used on this project
Delivering Innovation

The aim of the project was to significantly upgrade the stability of the columns for the next 50 years, as well as upgrading to an LED lighting source, yet ensuring the area still features Westminster’s heritage look and feel.

The project required removing 18 of the original old cast columns, centre posts and lanterns around the steps’ parapets and installing new steel supporting posts. The team then reinstalled the old columns, before rewiring and installing new LED “gas style lanterns”.

The removal and subsequent installation of the centre posts is a first for the contract and has been implemented as part of the wider LED rollout around Westminster, which has included the upgrade of heritage gas lanterns to the more sustainable LED lighting sources.

As the team were dealing with heritage assets, a meticulous approach was required when drilling into aged materials on the old staircase. Therefore, the team were methodical, drilling the steels posts on a lower speed setting in order to minimise vibrations. Following this the team then used resin anchors in order to hold the posts in place.

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Challenges and Solutions

As the project location featured one of London’s high-profile assets, the scheme featured some tight deadlines that needed to be carefully and efficiently worked to, with each centre post taking four hours to remove and re-install.

The project also coincided with promotional shots for the opening of the venue as part of its 150th anniversary, therefore the team had to work quickly and make the installations at the top of the steps a priority.

Careful and direct liaison with the Royal Albert Hall was also required to ensure the smooth running of the project, which included a requirement for photography and drone footage of the new lanterns.

By ensuring that the works coincided with the dates set by the iconic London concert hall, the team were able to plan their programme around this to maximise the project’s efficiency.



The project was successfully delivered on time and to budget and has provided the Royal Albert Hall with upgraded sustainable LED lanterns, whilst still preserving the area’s traditional look and feel.

Furthermore, thanks to close liaison with the client and our project teams, the scheme has proved to be an excellent showcase of the collaborative ability across our different Westminster contracts.