Pressure to update our energy-consuming fixtures to their more efficient, less wasteful counterparts is increasing on both an individual and a municipal level. While minimizing our personal carbon footprints is still greatly important, it’s cities that consume 70% of all energy used today. And, as previously discussed in our recent article The World Needs More Light, that amount is sure to increase with population size.
More efficient use of light, however, can address some of our most pressing environmental challenges at a global level. Not only can we help resolve the energy crisis, resource scarcity, and climate change, but we can accomplish these things while lowering costs — if only we can unlock the right opportunities.
Governments are already mandating the migration to smarter energy-efficient technologies such as LED, with the knowledge that most lighting today is inefficient. Old technologies must be phased out — yet about 75% of all active lighting is still based on those inefficient models. There’s a lot of work to do in order to future-proof our cities and towns, and keep sustainability top-of-mind.
Dubai is a shining example of a government’s commitment to enacting positive environmental change. Recently, Philips signed a memorandum of understanding with the municipality to help reduce its energy consumption from lighting by more than 50%. Dubai’s 262 buildings will soon transform from conventional lighting infrastructure to energy-efficient LED-based solutions, leading to lower costs and a reduced carbon footprint. The goal of the partnership is to complete the move over a three-year period, during which Philips will also provide on-site education and training on implementing energy efficiency projects.
“Lighting accounts for 19% of the world’s electricity consumption, with some 60% of this used by commercial and public buildings in cities,” Philips’ CEO Eric Rondolat said, elaborating that an average of 40% in energy savings is possible when any city simply switches to energy-efficient lighting technologies. But these lighting solutions aren’t just smart from an environmental perspective. They can have a positive effect on our physical, mental, and emotional well-being, as well.”
HealWell by Philips, for example, uses light to enhance the care environment of patients and improve their overall satisfaction in healthcare facilities. The innovative system produces lighting levels that change gradually throughout the day, much as lighting alters on a sunny day outdoors. Research shows that this has a positive effect on patients’ sleep patterns — vastly important for their health and wellness.
Recognizing that light conditions are equally important at home and work as in healthcare, Philips recently introduced a line of desk lamps called EyeCare. These everyday lamps replicate the effect of cool daylight for the user, increasing focus and concentration when reading or working. Using the highest-quality LED lights, EyeCare reduces glare, eyestrain, and fatigue — without compromising quality of light.
Susanne Seitinger, City Innovations Manager at Philips, suggests why people have reacted so positively to these systems of natural light replication.
“Light is something that puts you at ease, that you feel comfortable in, that you want to be in, that reminds you of home,” she explains. For these reasons, lighting systems are evolving toward becoming a more eco- and human-friendly element in our daily lives.
The Future of Light series explores light’s potential to improve lives, build communities, and connect people in new and meaningful ways. Brought to you in partnership with Philips Lighting, a full report is available as an iOS and Android app or as a downloadable PDF.