At Philips, IT and Lighting Worlds Collide
Images via Philips
TVs are the only technology making a big switch. As we head towards more advanced lighting - such as solid state lighting and energy harvesting for powering LED and OLED lights - the industries of lighting and IT collide, in a good way.
"Over time, as the shift from analog to digital technology continues, we will indeed see companies in the ICT (information and communications technology) world probably get involved in digital lighting," said Philips Lighting CEO Rudy Provoost.
So what does that mean, and when can we expect it to be part of our daily lives?Philips is moving more and more into energy efficiency, working to make that a priority in all the products it sells. A special interest, of course, is LED lighting. Retrofitting existing buildings and homes with energy efficient lighting will be a big market, and that means going digital and meshing up IT with lighting design.
Too often, building designers and policymakers focus on energy-efficient lighting in new construction. Provoost, who is also chairman of Royal Philips' sustainability board, says retrofitting existing buildings would have a greater impact from an environmental point of view.
Standing in the way of seeing it happen in our daily lives is, of course, the issue of cost. LEDs are expensive. OLEDs are even more expensive and not even part of the mainstream vocabulary yet. Many people haven't even switched to CFLs yet.
Making the technology align with our budgets is the biggest factor in getting more efficient lighting into more homes and buildings. But if the recent $3 LED bulb breakthrough turns out to have legs, that could happen sooner than later.
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