‘Light at the Museum’: Philips survey reveals 7 out of 10 people want to receive information about exhibits on smartphone

Landmark pilot for connected lighting mobile apps in Dutch museum could provide template for museums, hospitals and supermarkets of the future

July 30, 2014

Amsterdam, The Netherlands - Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), the global leader in lighting, today announced new findings from a visitor survey conducted in partnership with the national museum for science and medicine in The Netherlands, the Boerhaave Museum in Leiden. The survey reveals that seven out of ten people prefer to receive information on their mobile devices tailored to their location when visiting a museum or exhibition.


The survey was undertaken at an exhibition at the museum that is a pilot project for Philips’ LED-based connected lighting system for indoor positioning. Museum visitors are given a tablet with a pre-installed app containing rich multimedia content about the exhibits. Acting as positioning beacons, the individual lighting fixtures transmit their location to the tablet’s camera which triggers the app at specific locations. The survey revealed that:

  • 67% of visitors liked the fact that the tablet automatically provided additional relevant information at the various information points
  • 63% of visitors said that the tablet made the visit to the exhibition more enjoyable and interesting
  • 50% of visitors aged under 50 said they would visit museums and exhibitions more often if there were tablets available to provide additional information or to guide them around a special route.


"We now know that offering a location aware and interactive experience encourages people to visit our museum more often.’’ said Dirk van Delft, Director of the Boerhaave Museum. ‘’What is also really exciting and innovative is that we were able to achieve this by using energy efficient lighting, giving us a double advantage.’’


Visitors under 50 or the ‘’smartphone generation’’ also said they were open to trying connected lighting mobile applications in a variety of settings, with almost 50% of all respondents saying that they would like to receive location-based information and use way finding services offered via an app in hospitals, shopping centers and supermarkets.


‘’The survey findings show that we need to think of lighting differently. Lighting has gone beyond mere illumination. We can now deliver great quality and highly energy-efficient  LED lighting that acts as a positioning grid to deliver targeted information, enriching people’s experiences of the places they visit, whether it’s a museum, supermarket, airport terminal or any large public indoor space,’’ said Jella Segers from Philips Lighting.


Notes to Editors:
Philips’ connected lighting system for indoor positioning
The system works by using lighting fixtures that form a dense network that not only provide high quality light but also acts as a positioning grid. Each fixture is identifiable and able to communicate its position to an app. Data transmission is one-way only and no personal data is accessed. Communication with the smartphone or tablet is by Visual Light Communications. Philips is also trialing the technology in supermarkets in Europe.


Information on the survey in the Boerhaave Museum, Leiden, The Netherlands
The survey was conducted by a questionnaire which was completed by people visiting the “100 Years of Philips Research” exhibition at the Boerhaave Museum during June 2014. Questions were either partially categorized or closed, and the respondents were not encouraged in any way as to how they should reply to questions. The survey was representative of all age groups and based on a sample size of 150 visitors.

Indoor positioning

Indoor positioning

Indoor positioning

For further information, please contact:

Philips Lighting
Shai Dewan
Tel: +31 6 20695822


Boerhaave Museum
Annelore Scholten
Head of Public Engagements, Education and Exhibitions
Tel: + 31 715662715


About Royal Philips:

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips posted 2013 sales of EUR 23.3 billion and employs approximately 115,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at 


About the Boerhaave Museum, Leiden

The Boerhaave Museum is the Dutch National Museum for the History of Science and Medicine. The museum aims at strengthening the support and value of science in the Netherlands by interacting with a broad audience on actual issues and by connecting these with the historical collection (it covers five centuries of innovations in the Netherlands).