Philips Lighting celebrated their one year anniversary of becoming a standalone company today at a media event at their offices in Johannesburg, South Africa. At the event, Reggie Nxumalo, GM of Philips Lighting Southern Africa, spoke of the evolving sector which is lighting and broke down just how Philips Lighting plans to make an impact.
Since becoming a stand-alone company and being listing on the Amsterdam stock exchange, the company has delivered many innovations that look to unlock the extraordinary potential of light to bring about brighter lives and a better world.
Reggie, at the event, highlighted that lighting has evolved past its original function. He said that “Lighting is technology and since iv started working here I have been shocked as to how exciting this space is. You might say I have had a few lightbulb moments myself.”
Lighting the way to change by helping to eliminate Light poverty
Philips note that for more than a billion people around the world, electric light can seem like an unobtainable luxury. Without reliable access to it, entire communities across Africa, as well as places like India, are plunged into darkness at sunset. Unable to work or study after dark, their inhabitants are deprived of opportunities to build a better future.
To try and combat these light poverty issues, Philips has designed a range of products which includes solar lanterns as well as home lighting systems that enable off-grid communities to access safe, renewable lighting after dark. With this technology, social and business life no longer has to stop when the sun goes down, while light becomes a catalyst for recreation, productivity and economic growth. These solutions are vital within Africa, where there are more than 500 million people that live without electricity, according to the World Bank, and are a lot more affordable than costly kerosene refills.
Enabling a Smart way of using fewer City resources
Reggie drew attention to the fact that as cities grow, the challenges they pose—environmental, economic, and social—grow with them. The growth of these cities combined with the introduction of Smart Cities which use new communications and digital technologies, data sharing and analysis, and intelligent design to make cities more liveable, resilient, economically sound, and sustainable, has opened up new opportunities for lighting companies to make an impact.
The Philips lighting MD pointed how conventional street lighting can account for as much as 40% of a city’s total energy budget. By switching to LED street lights alone cities can reduce the energy consumed by street lights by 30% or more.
Switching on to new thinking around lighting
Another key point that was set out to the media in attendance is the need to use an integrated system, including lighting, to improve sustainability, efficiency, and user experience goals.
For this to happen, each luminaire is uniquely identified and seamlessly integrated into the IT network in a building or city, and is able to share information about their status and operations. This allows each sensor-boasting luminaire to become a point of intelligence that can share information on occupancy, activity patterns, and changes in temperature or humidity, as well as daylight levels.
By integrating wireless communications into the lighting system, organisations can deliver location-based services and in-context information via mobile apps to people in illuminated spaces. In addition, connected lighting provides businesses with greater customer insight, a superior customer experience, creates personalised workspaces by adding a layer of intelligence to the environment, which responds and adapts to people’s preferences and needs.
Furthermore, companies can employ a lighting management software, such as the one Philips provides, to enable operators of spaces to monitor and manage the lighting system in real time by for instance, visualising and analysing historical information about luminaire performance. Moreover, connected lighting systems can integrate with other systems in a building or city, creating new synergies and efficiencies, and making lighting an integral part of the new digital ecology.
The just of the event was to help educate consumers that by integrating luminaires with sophisticated controls and comprehensive management systems, companies can streamline business activities while saving energy and ensuring satisfaction. Ultimately, while the challenges and complexity of countries, regions and cities can seem daunting, organisations such as Philips are creating the innovations that can make substantive, transformative changes to the cultural and economic paradigms.