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EU to phase out old light bulbs by 2012

17 December 2008

The EU will ban incandescent light bulbs from sale in Europe by 2012 in a move welcolmed by Philips Lighting which has urged a faster changeover than had been planned.

Philips has welcomed the momentum created to accelerate the the switch to energy efficient lighting solutions following the EU announcement last week.This decision is in line with Philips’ call for action to accelerate the switch over to energy efficient lighting solutions in view of climate change, as announced in Brussels on 7 December 2006. A Philips energy efficient light bulb is illustrated.

"This decision is a milestone in our efforts to accelerate the switch to energy efficient lighting solutions,” says Rudy Provoost, CEO of Philips Lighting. “Lighting offers a great opportunity to not only significantly reduce energy consumption and carbon emission and as such contribute to a better environment; it also provides economic benefits. In short, energy efficient lighting solutions turn an economic and ecological challenge into an opportunity for innovation and growth, with a better quality of light that improves people’s well-being. Our global leadership position in lighting, coupled with our strategic focus and drive, positions us very well to further lead in innovative sustainable solutions and new business models.”

Philips moves to LEDs
Philips announced that it intends to re-focus its professional indoor luminaire activities to LED based solutions in the UK (See FM Report 20 November). Philips is extremely well positioned to compete in this new landscape of LED lighting and the business will streamline its UK organisation so that LED growth will be further accelerated.

This development is part of Philips’ ongoing drive to accelerate the move in the market to more sustainable lighting solutions. It has been the company’s view for some time that LEDs are the future of illumination. Philips has supported this view with unwavering focus on the research and development of new technologies, sales channels, acquisitions, partnerships and industry initiatives to achieve this vision. Philips is the leading player in the fast-growing LED lighting market, and has expertise and intellectual property in all parts of the value chain

Philips Lighting UK will still retain full focus on all outdoor luminaires, consumer luminaires and lighting controls. Philips’ existing lamps and control gear businesses are unaffected by this strategy.

Philips is convinced that this repositioning of its business towards LED solutions will allow it to meet the current and future needs of its customers, bringing them the full economic, environmental and design benefits of this new technology.

In Europe, 1.8 billion incandescent light bulbs were sold in 2007, and the switch to energy efficient lighting solutions will have a significant impact. With this phase-out, consumers will significantly reduce energy consumption and fight climate change by preventing 23 million tons of CO2 emissions per year. What’s more, consumers can save up to EUR 8-10 in energy costs per bulb per year. On average there are about 20-30 light points per house and with the many alternative energy savers and halogen bulbs available from Philips, including LED-based solutions, consumers can create the perfect ambiance at home.

“In today’s economic and ecological climate, lighting is an industry that can help save money as well as energy and carbon emissions,” says Garrett Forde, CEO of Philips Lighting’s Lamps business in Europe. “This is unique and a very important opportunity, which offers a win-win situation for all involved. By switching lighting solutions in buildings and streets, companies and cities can save significant amounts of money and reduce their carbon footprint to reach their environmental targets, helping to combat climate change.”

“Everybody can act now; there are no hurdles left, only benefits,” he adds. “Businesswise, this opportunity will fuel growth and strengthen competitive position for businesses involved, while it immediately contributes to a better environment, and enhances people’s well-being. In short, energy efficient lighting solutions turn an economic and ecological challenge into an opportunity for innovation and growth, with a better quality of light that improves people’s well-being.”

Lighting accounts for 19% of all electricity used, and buildings and street lighting consume a major – 75% - part of it. A potential energy saving of up to 70% can be achieved by applying the latest solutions, while also improving the well-being of employees and citizens through a better light quality. Research shows that up to 80% of lighting systems in buildings is based on outdated technology. Upgrading to advanced systems can be done in various ways. The most impactful way is to renovate the entire lighting system, to include sensors, while the simplest, yet less efficient way, is to replace the lamp in the system.

If all the lighting in the world were switched to energy efficient solutions, we would save €120 billion on electricity and 630 million tonnes of CO₂. That is the equivalent output of 500 power plants or 1,800 million oil barrels in a year.

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