February 15, 2006 Royal Philips Electronics is a name involved in many technological endeavours, not the least of which is lighting. The company is responsible for some of the most prestigious and demanding lighting projects on the planet, including the Eiffel Tower, the Acropolis, London's Big Ben and the project to give Louis XIV’s magnificent Chateau of Versailles its first-ever permanent night-time illumination. Now the company has constructed a new facility at its Outdoor Lighting Application Center (OLAC), near Lyon, France - a unique full-scale city environment, created so designers, architects and city officials can experience how light can be used to improve the quality of urban life. In line with Philips’ innovation in solid-state lighting, it particularly showcases new technologies such as Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) and how they can transform city identities.
The new facility, which is built on the existing OLAC site, represents an investment of half a million Euros on top of the 1.7 million Euros already invested. Set up in 1997, OLAC is located close to Philips’ International Competence Centre for Outdoor Lighting. It offers access to Philips’ world-class expertise and application know-how in the field of outdoor lighting and city beautification. By creating this life-size city environment at OLAC, Philips enables visitors to see directly how innovative LED lighting can add extra dimensions to architecture and create varied, appealing ambiences.
Solid-state lighting based on LEDs is a revolution in the lighting industry, which offers unique possibilities for city beautification and secure, attractive lighting of public spaces. LEDs can adapt automatically to light levels and the time of day. They offer a vast array of colors and effects far beyond the capabilities of conventional lighting. In addition, they are extremely low- maintenance and long-life, and are becoming increasingly energy-efficient. LEDs used in street lighting can last up to 10-15 years in continuous normal use.
Lyon is seen as an ideal location for this new facility. Philips is a key partner for the city’s beautification, which is world-renowned, and a life-size showcase for Philips' art of lighting. Lyon is also home to the LUCI association (Lighting Urban Community International), a network of more than 40 cities from all over the world that desire to share and improve their lighting strategies.
With this full-scale test-bed at OLAC now open, Philips provides further evidence of its commitment to the fast-emerging solid-state lighting as a key element in its growth strategy. The world number one in lighting, Philips has recently acquired a 96% controlling interest in Lumileds, the global leader in high-brightness LEDs. Now, by strengthening its unique capabilities in city beautification, Philips further increases its opportunities in a market expected to grow in the region of up to 25% per year.