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Kicking goals: How Philips lights are transforming cities



When the stadium lights dim on this year’s summer football tournament in Brazil, the fans and players that have lived out their lives under these enormous spotlights for the last month will most likely associate the darkness with finality; the end of four years of hard work and anticipation. But the technology behind these brightly lit stadiums is actually giving many people the world over the chance to see their own cities in a whole new light. For them, these lights signal the beginning of something new.

Philips has been integral to this year’s competition because we’ve lit nine of the 12 stadiums with the world’s most technically advanced and environmentally friendly LED systems – an innovation we call ArenaVision.


Beyond this, we believe this kind of innovation can also make cities better places to live and work in. For example, in Sao Paulo’s Ibirapuera Park, our lighting system has seen a 30 per cent increase in visitors, not just because it’s safer to visit but because the colours match the mood of the venue – warm, bright, relaxing and enthralling. Plus, our LED innovations have cut power consumption there by a fifth.


The same is true in Argentina where, over the next three years, we’re replacing 125,000 lights in Buenos Aires, saving 50 per cent in energy costs and also significant CO2 emissions. The lights that allowed billions to watch the world’s greatest football competition in crystal-clear focus are the same lights that will enrich people’s lives as they walk to and from work, or between tourist destinations.


These projects are also testament to our ability to forge the right partnerships. We always start by asking how we can make people’s lives better, to impact meaningfully on their everyday lives. Then we try to find the right partner who shares the same societal vision.


For example, the Brazilian government was adamant that our innovations provide a lasting legacy for local communities. So we introduced lighting systems around the stadiums that would make it safer for families and cheaper for burdened local governments to maintain. You can see this all around Maracana, an area of Rio considered dangerous. Philips innovations have helped lower those levels significantly.

We’ve also created the Light Up Your Game project throughout Latin America, for which Philips is installing 30 new lighting systems in previously deprived areas so that they can become family-friendly focal points for the community, where children can play and, at night, there can be social events that bring the neighbourhood together.

The other part of our football legacy is the bulb itself. We’ve ensured that LED is the future of lighting – the bulbs are ‘greener’, longer-lasting and more energy-efficient. Few countries understand better than Brazil how crucial it is to nurture and protect our environment, which is why old-fashioned bulbs will be phased out there in three years.


Sustainability is one of our most important goals and it’s one that we achieve with the same passion as goal-scorers on the pitch.

Henk de Jong

CEO Philips Latin America

Henk started his career at Philips in 1990 as a Product Manager. He worked in Brazil as a Marketing & Sales Manager for Kitchen Appliances from 1994 to 1998, and was instrumental in introducing Kitchen Appliances in China and India.


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