IoT/Smart Lighting, News

Philips’ strategy targets solar and connected lighting

Rondolat is set to launch a strategy targeting high-margin niches in which Philips’ large economies of scale can make an impact. Photo by Mark Halper.

PHILIPS Lighting is set to launch a strategy targeting internet-connected and solar-powered lighting and key lamp categories today.

The company – now renamed Signify – is unveiling Li-Fi-enabled luminaires, street lights with integral solar panels, IoT platform fixtures and a suite of unique one-for-one LED lamp replacements.

Philips’ introductions (from top): Li-Fi enabled power balance Gen 2 office luminaire; the SunStay all-in-one solar street light with integral battery and panel; the TrueForce LED Road lamp; and the LifeLight solar lantern for the developing world.

One surprise due to be announced at the global Light + Building exhibition in Frankfurt today is the move into Li-Fi, the transmission of the internet using visible light rather than radio waves, predicted by Lux in 2016.  It follows the acquisition of French start-up Luciom, a specialist in visible light communication

Signify’s office luminaires enabled with LiFi technology provide broadband connection with a speed of 30 Mb per second (Mb/s) without compromising lighting quality. With 30Mb/s a user can stream simultaneously several HD quality videos while having video calls.

Li-Fi will initially be available built into its PowerBalance gen2 and Philips LuxSpace downlight office luminaires.

CEO Eric Rondolat is also set to outline the company’s rationale for a major foray into the booming solar market.

It is unveiling a suite of new products, including an all-in-one solar street light and a low-cost solar lantern with a replaceable battery for the developing world.

The Philips SunStay combines solar panel, battery and light in one housing while the LifeLight is a special solar lantern which comes with a replaceable battery.

With an output of 2,000 lumens and an efficacy of 175 lm/W, it is more efficient compared with existing systems in the solar street lighting market. Initially introduced in India, it will be launched globally in the second quarter of 2018.

In lamps, a key launch is the TrueForce LED Road which Rondolat is billing as the ‘world’s first plug-and-play’ replacement for the SON lamp for street lighting, making it easy to upgrade existing installations to LED without having to replace the luminaire.

It distributes a similar amount of light as conventional street lights and is available in warm white as well as a cooler white, and will fit into a standard E27 fixture with no requirement for a driver. 

Another key lamp introduction is the CorePro universal LED tube which the company says is ‘as easy as it used to be’ with fluorescent tubes.

The range is optimised to work with all driver technologies, fitting directly in luminaires operating on electromagnetic ballasts or HF electronic ballasts, reducing the cost of stocking different types of tubes. 

The company is also showing for the first time large filament bulbs targeting the ‘hipster’ market, internet-enabled Hue lamps for the outdoor market and street lighting poles with integral 5G connectivity.

On Friday, the news broke that Philips Lighting is to change its name to Signify, a requirement of its sale by parent Royal Philips.

The company will, however, continue to use the Philips brand for another 10 years.

‘Our new company name is a clear expression of our strategic vision and a fabulous opportunity to introduce a new corporate look’, Rondolat will tell the audience in Frankfurt today.


  • What are the 20 stand-out innovations from this year’s Light + Building show? Tune into a special Lux webcast on Tuesday 27 March 2018 at 1pm GMT/12pm CET to hear the verdict from a team of Lux and industry experts. Click here to register.