Speech Frans van Houten, CEO Philips – Philips Press Conference @ Light and Building - April 16, 2012

April 17, 2012

Hello and Welcome. Good to see so many people from the media here at Light + Building, 2012.

Today, we want to ‘inspire you with light’. We want to share with you new ways to enhance people’s lives with light. 
We want to share our excitement with innovation.

At Philips, innovation is at the core of our DNA. We have a unique ability to innovate. We do this across the lighting value chain, including lighting components, products and customized solutions.

For us, what we achieve for our customers is what really matters.


In fact, our mission and vision at Philips is to:  “improve people’s lives through meaningful innovation”.


We have a global track record of turning innovation into real human benefit with our lighting solutions. And we do this in ways that are environmentally responsible and cost-effective, as well as inspirational.


Lighting consumes approximately 20% of electricity globally. This poses a major challenge, in a world facing resource scarcity and climate change. Energy-efficient lighting can help.


For example, a full switch-over to the latest LED lighting would provide very significant energy savings. This equates to approximately 130 billion euros per year in reduced running costs – or reduces the need for 640 medium sized power plants!


Sustainable lighting solutions really are possible. We have reached a tipping point in the development of high quality light emitting diodes (LEDs) that offer high energy efficiency and light quality.

We are now past the ‘first LED revolution’.  In fact, we are well into an age of full LED applications. This means the future of lighting is being delivered today, right now, in millions of real life situations.

So, I would like to use the next 30 minutes to illuminate some key points:


  • The relevance of our lighting solutions - how they help improve people’s lives.
  • The benefits of our lighting solutions – how they help our customers to reduce energy costs and support their businesses.
  • The ways in which they help to create a more sustainable world – in many different situations.


Let me start with some recent examples -


One of the tallest landmarks in Paris, the Montparnasse Tower, came to life three weeks ago with our LED lighting solutions. The stunning new lighting design evolves through the days, weeks and seasons. Note that the Tower’s lighting energy consumption has actually reduced, by more than 90%. The total energy used for lighting all 56 floors of this 210-meter tower is equivalent to the power used by just 10 domestic irons!


For sports fans, our integrated solutions for stadiums enhance their experience of the game from the moment they enter the stadium. In Poland, our advanced stadium lighting solution for the City Stadium in Poznan spans all areas, from the pitch itself, through architectural and effect lighting, to hospitality and retail. It reduced energy and installation costs by 10% more than any other comparable solution available!


We delivered a total LED lighting solution on 60+ kilometers of highway in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, including financing and maintenance.  For Kuala Lumpur’s citizens, visibility and safety on the roads improved. So did energy savings. These increased by over 50%, compared with previous conventional lighting. The Malaysian government saved money and hassle, and moved closer to achieving its target carbon emissions reduction. 


Market Developments


Demand for lighting is growing. Between now and 2015, we expect the value of the global lighting market to keep on growing.


In fact, we predict growth between 5-7% on a compound annual basis. Urbanization will be a key driver.

Value in the industry is migrating from light sources to complete applications. Currently, applications constitute about 70% of the global lighting market. Increasing demand for integrated and intelligent delivery of lighting continues to drive this trend.

Much of our growth at Philips will come from the increased demand for LED-based solutions and products, as the importance of environmentally-friendly lighting continues to grow. They are heading towards a 45% share of the market by 2015.

See What Light Can Do

At Light & Building 2012, we are proud to present lighting products and solutions that enhance people’s lives and create value for our customers.

Most of us here today probably live in, or near, a city. Light has a key role to play here. In fact, the beauty of lighting solutions today is that we can create urban inspiration and deliver benefits to the environment.

Larger and more crowded cities utilize more energy. Good lighting can help reduce their energy consumption. Urban lighting solutions must be environmentally sound. They must also contribute to citizens’ safety. And it would be great if they became part of the appeal and the identity of the city.

We are re-thinking outdoor lighting design in radical new ways.  Winner of three international Design Awards, our FreeStreet outdoor lighting solution even eliminates traditional streetlight poles! Instead, it connects a string of LEDs along narrow cables. These are virtually invisible in daylight. At night, the lighting seems to float in mid-air.


FreeStreet de-clutters streets and frees up public spaces. It can also deliver up to 40% energy saving, compared to traditional sodium street lighting. We just announced the installation of FreeStreet by the city of Eindhoven in The Netherlands. FreeStreet is also being made available to other cities this year.

Today, cities require an integrated and cleverly connected network, enabled through ICT. This enables lighting systems to be managed remotely, saving energy and reducing maintenance costs.

“Lighting with Intelligence” is really the future of sustainable city lighting. Imagine outdoor lighting that can flex and respond in an ‘intelligent’ way. Imagine light poles that ‘’talk to the grid’’, delivering light when and where people need and want it.

We have already brought this vision to life! Our innovative CityTouch solution allows dynamic, intelligent and flexible control of lighting. Combined with LED technology, it delivers energy and maintenance savings of up to 70%.

CityTouch is a seamless solution that can connect all the street lighting poles in a city - including those from other manufacturers. Each lighting pole is equipped with remote connectivity. Our fee per-light-point, per-month approach eliminates the need for upfront investment in all connectivity costs.  Savings made in energy and maintenance costs are invested in new energy-efficient lighting.

This is an entirely new way of thinking about lighting and how we provide it to our customers. The service platform uses open standards. It could be integrated into the “smart grids” of the future. This will allow lighting to be adjusted, depending on the weather or in response to traffic alerts or accidents.

With CityTouch, we are redefining how we deliver innovation with lighting. We are offering lighting management as a service for the entire city.

Let’s leave the city streets now and go inside. In buildings and offices, energy-efficient lighting improves the operational efficiency of buildings. Switching from old to new office lighting can save up to 70% in lighting energy costs each year!

Lighting also has a role to play in promoting office ambience and the well-being of workers. For a more pleasant and homely ambience, an office space needs to be less formal. These spaces need new and inspiring luminaires. 

Our new LumiStone LED luminaire is a good example. The design of this luminaire with its soft curves is inspired by the unusual form of skimming stones! This innovative design also increases employee comfort. It forms a glare shield while delivering the right level of light required in an office space.

Today, sustainability is a key element of a positive corporate image. Getting this right is important to manage energy costs and the impact on the environment. For instance, lighting and heating and ventilation systems together account for up to 75% of the energy consumption of a building!

Companies today want modern green buildings with a distinctive external visual profile externally. Inside, comfort, efficiency and environmental considerations are all equally important. As a result, glass facades are increasingly popular in modern architectural design. But these facades do pose a challenge in terms of managing light, heat and glare.

Our intelligent Light Balancing solution has developed with Somfy, a leader in automated blinds, to meet this challenge. It integrates LED lighting with automated blind controls. With intelligent controls, it balances artificial lighting with natural daylight. This ensures employee comfort while improving energy savings.

Beyond work, let’s look at leisure time.  Shopping is now a key part of the leisure experience. However, the popularity of online sales is increasing all the time. Retailers are under great pressure to create an in-store experience that attracts shoppers and encourages them to buy. At the same time, they need to manage their operational costs, whether fashion, food or general retail.

Supermarket retailers for instance can save on energy and maintenance costs with our LED lighting. At the same time, they can show products at their best. As an example, the high light quality and lighting precision of our newly introduced ExactEffect LED solution for food retail really brings products to life, helping to drive purchase intent while delivering energy savings compared to conventional lighting.

Light enhances the perception of quality. In the fruit and vegetable department, for instance, warm white light is ideal to bring out the natural color of the produce.

Our research has shown the positive impact of light on the buying behavior of shoppers. Philips’ dynamic ambient lighting solutions for food retail have been shown to increase sales by 5% in supermarkets.

So, we work in a modern and comfortable office. We go shopping. Then we go home. And home is a very personal expression of each consumer’s personality and tastes. 

Philips has unique advantages in the consumer market. We have our strong heritage both as a lighting and a consumer brand. And we have mastery of LED and leading design expertise.

To make sure our products are relevant to consumers, we research people’s routines and their lifestyles. Anyone here have kids? Getting children into a routine where they wake-up and fall asleep at the right time can be hard work! That’s why our new, myBuddy lamp for children can be pre-set to adjust the light to create sunlight, moonlight or darkness. This helps set the scene for a lively wake-up, a bedtime story or undisturbed sleep, following the rhythm of a child’s schedule.

Our latest design innovation for consumers is the Nick-Knack floor light. It is minimalist in its design, yet its use is versatile. Nick-Knack allows you to cast light upwards, for a relaxing ambience. Or you can position it at different angles for different functions. This light can also be adjusted when you are reading a book on your sofa, having dinner or working from home.

The Building Blocks of Leadership in Lighting

As I said, in lighting we live in exciting times. And the fast evolution of LED technology is a major factor.

Innovation in LED Light Sources and Modules

LED is no longer a specialist technology. It can now be used for general lighting, in almost all applications. This is thanks to the high quality of LED light sources. Here, we lead with our LUXEON LEDs from Philips Lumileds. They combine very high energy efficiency with an excellent quality of light.

The sheer speed of improvements in LED technology means that luminaire manufacturers must balance investment in existing luminaire design with the need to constantly upgrade.

Philips’ range of Fortimo LED modules and drivers helps to strike the balance. They are compatible with upgrades. And manufacturers can still enjoy the lower operational costs brought by technology upgrades.

Delivering Great Quality Light

Our LED lamps offer great quality light, similar to traditional lamps, with the benefit of up to 80% less energy consumption. They also have a much longer lifespan.

At Light & Building, we are very proud to announce the introduction of the LED equivalent for the 75-watt incandescent bulb now in Europe. We were the first to introduce this innovation a year ago, with its launch in North America.

Light tone plays an important role in creating ambience. We know from research that some like it cool white, while some prefer warm white light. The DimTone feature is a world’s first from Philips that allows people to select the perfect light tone of their choice.

We are also helping people to choose the LED lamp most suited to their needs. A number of studies have shown that navigating the light bulb section can be a challenge for consumers due to the sheer volume of bulbs and poor signage on packaging. We have streamlined our range of LED bulbs for the home. It is now much easier for consumers to choose and convert from incandescent bulbs to energy-saving LEDs, with clear packaging to help them make the right choice.

Designing with Light

The industry has recognized our outstanding performance in design-led innovation. The iF product design awards have honored nine Philips consumer lighting products, including an iF Gold award. It is important to note that these awards are not only for great luminaire design. They also recognize the excellent quality of glare-free light. 

And with new lighting technologies, designing with light today can literally take any shape or form. Consider OLEDs. Their gentle diffused light, thin form and larger surfaces open up new possibilities for lighting design.

OLEDs are truly the next frontier of solid state lighting. We continue to push the boundaries of OLED performance. And we partner with designers to create new lighting installations that can transform a space with a gentle play of light.

As a great example of the technology in action, the kinetic OLED installation that forms the center piece of our booth has been created with our Lumiblade OLED modules. This LivingSculpture spans a full and impressive 6 metres!

So, you see that we have highly innovative lighting products, services and solutions. We also have strong lighting design capabilities. We can use these to create an experience of light that comes from our specific knowledge of controls and systems. 

This combination gives us a unique capability to innovate in the lighting market of the future. And this market will center on lighting solutions.

To Lighting And Beyond!

Lighting design and control expertise means that we can manipulate light in novel and surprising situations.

And at Philips, we believe that innovation must be meaningful to all sorts of people in all kinds of situations.

Are you a world-class rock star who wants to make an impression? Philips partnered with the Black Eyed Peas for costume design that integrates our Philips Lumiblade OLEDs into a dynamic outfit. This was, literally, ‘light to wear’. 

Perhaps you have a few aches and pains?  Inside our BlueTouch Pain Relief Patch, LEDs are mounted on textile inside a comfortable pad. Blue LED light helps to trigger processes that aid natural healing. 

We also know that light affects the rhythm of human well-being. Philips HealWell is a unique lighting solution. It combines the effects of natural daylight with a pleasant ambience in a patient’s room. This has a positive effect on sleep patterns and biorhythm. A more patient-centric environment is important to hospitals today, as patients are increasingly involved in choosing the hospitals where they are treated.

And perhaps you enjoy art appreciation ‘in a new light’?  We presented Rembrandt’s “Night Watch” in some innovative LED light. This brought out the best of the painting’s color palette in addition to being energy-efficient.  It also literally revealed one of the great myths of art history! This masterpiece was never named the “Night Watch” at all. Rembrandt actually created a daytime scene with some special trademark lighting effects.  But the varnish over the paint got darker and darker. Until it looked like night time and got its famous – and incorrect – name. Our lighting solution finally reveals aspects of Rembrandt’s original vision for the picture. This is very exciting and a real honor for us at Philips!

From Rembrandt to rock stars, light leadership for Philips means going outside traditional limits.  The diversity of how we use lighting will only increase, as we continue to unlock the power of lighting solutions.


I hope by now we have ‘shed light’ on our passion, our innovation and our expertise.

We can deliver sustainable, cost-effective and inspiring lighting, because we occupy a unique place in our industry, across all stages of the lighting value chain.

And we are a trusted brand to work with.

We believe lighting is pure emotion for those who experience it.

So, whenever Philips is involved, we will be there “to simply enhance life with light”.

Thank you.

Speech Frans van Houten, CEO Philips

Speech Frans van Houten, CEO Philips