PLACE-it makes light flat and flexible

March 15, 2010

Eindhoven, The Netherlands - Leading companies and institutes in lighting and flexible electronics, including Philips, Holst Centre/TNO, imec, Freudenberg, TU Berlin and more have joined forces to co-develop the route to integrate light into people’s surroundings be it ceilings, walls, floors, furniture, soft furnishings, and even garments. The ultimate aim of this PLACE-it (Platform for Large Area Comformable Electronics by InTegration) initiative is to realize an industrial platform for thin, lightweight and flexible optoelectronics systems that will not only open new dimensions in product design, but will also create unique opportunities for on-body applications in healthcare and wellness.

Philips explores opportunities to integrate for light therapy into the baby's blanket.

Philips explores opportunities to integrate for light therapy into the baby's blanket.

Holst Centre develops flexible OLED on transparent substrates

Holst Centre develops flexible OLED on transparent substrates

PLACE-it looks beyond the bulb for lighting applications, optimally exploiting the energy efficient and small form-factor characteristics of new lighting technologies like LEDs and OLEDs (organic LEDs). Imagine a lamp that is not fixed to the ceiling, but can instead be designed in any shape, or even blended into the surroundings, or curtains that emit light to mimic natural daylight conditions. Imagine illuminating jackets for children to safeguard them as they cycle home from school and even bandages that shine light on the body to treat skin diseases. These are just some of the examples of products that could become reality in the near future.

“Until now, large area electronics R&D has been carried out independently for flexible, elastic and fabric based technologies,” says Liesbeth van Pieterson, senior scientist at Philips Research and project leader of PLACE-it. “In the PLACE-it project, foil, elastic and fabric substrate technologies will be systematically co-developed with the common goal of heterogeneous integration.”


Michael Jackson's designer Zaldy created a special costume using Philips Lumalive light emitting textile.

 Michael Jackson's designer Zaldy created a special costume using Philips Lumalive light emitting textile.  


PLACE-it received €10.9 million funding by the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme. The project aims to realize an industrial platform for lightweight, thin and flexible optoelectronics systems within three and a half years and will:


  • Develop an integration platform of foil, elastic and fabric optoelectronic technologies.
  • Create foil, elastic and fabric-based devices for light emission, electronics and sensing.
  • Formulate industry design guidelines for light-emitting flexible surfaces and textiles.
  • Build demonstrators of compelling beyond-the-bulb applications.

PLACE-it will share the outcome of the project with third parties and start the dialogue with designers, architects, governments, industry and other stakeholders to discuss the future of comfortable ambient lighting and the requirements/conditions for an industrial platform.


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Media Contact:

Hans Driessen – Philips Research

Mob: +31 610610417


About PLACE-it

PLACE-it is the”Platform for Large Area Conformable Electronics by InTegration” and aims to integrate lighting into people’s daily surroundings. The point of departure is that technology should be bendable and stretchable – not flat, square and fragile. The aim is to combine technical performance with elasticity, comfort and light in light-emitting flexible surfaces and textiles. PLACE-it works with 12 partners in the project: Centexbel, Freudenberg Forschungsdienste KG, Freudenberg NOK Mechatronics, Freudenberg Mektec Europe, Grupo Antolin, imec's associated laboratory at Ghent University, Philips Research, Philips Lighting, Philips Lumalive, Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (Holst Centre/TNO), Ohmatex , RWTH Aachen, Technische Universität Berlin, TITV Greiz and University of Heidelberg..

About Royal Philips Electronics

Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through timely innovations. As a world leader in healthcare, lifestyle and lighting, Philips integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions, based on fundamental customer insights and the brand promise of “sense and simplicity”. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips employs more than 116,000 employees in more than 60 countries worldwide. With sales of EUR 23 billion in 2009, the company is a market leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as lifestyle products for personal well-being and pleasure with strong leadership positions in flat TV, male shaving and grooming, portable entertainment and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at