The lighting industry is currently undergoing a revolution, very similar to what the electronics industry underwent in the last two decades. Today, lighting has become commoditized and the industry is becoming increasingly competitive with new innovations and players emerging across the globe. At the same time, there is an increased demand for lighting due to population growth and urbanization. The United Nations (UN) predicts the world’s population will be 9.7 billion by 2050 and that 70% of the global population will live in cities and urban areas. This increased demand is resulting in resource challenges, thereby making energy-efficient lighting more attractive for both public and personal use. Increasing digitization is also driving the need for digital, connected lighting and applications beyond illumination.

Lighting can now deliver much more beyond just illumination, thanks to the digital nature of LEDs. You can now connect to the internet, enhance the freshness of your lettuce, grow the best salmon, design and 3D print your own customized luminaire and disinfect your rooms, all thanks to lighting.

Across the globe, train travel is having something of a moment. A new awareness of the environmental effects of air transport has forced travelers to confront their own impact on the planet and seek out sustainable alternatives. Rail operators are getting in on the trend, stepping up overnight services on long-distance routes, laying high speed track, and offering luxury experiences that tap into a nostalgic vision of a bygone age. But today’s operators have a challenge that didn’t exist in the golden age of steam: keeping all those passengers and their devices online. As the leader in lighting innovation, Signify is addressing the challenge of connectivity on board, and amazingly, we’re doing it all through the power of light. Not only can lighting provide connectivity on the go, but it does it all at blistering speeds that far surpass the WiFi connections we’re used to. And naturally, it includes great quality light. Signify’s Trulifi is a connectivity technology that uses light waves to enable an internet connection that’s fast, stable and reliable. It’s great for super speed internet in the workplace, and for transportation, the benefits are multiplied. What’s more, unlike the radio spectrum, the light spectrum is license-free. This means no upfront investment for network operations in government-issued spectrum licenses.

The world’s population is also growing at a staggering speed. It’s estimated that we’ll need to produce 70% more food in the next 15 years just to keep up. It’s clear that food production as we know it is not going to cut it. To feed everyone adequately, our global food supply needs nothing short of a revolution. Consumers are demanding food that’s better in quality, fresher and healthier. And that’s not the only consideration. It’s likely that many of our foods have racked up air miles on the way to our plate, contributing to a less-than-healthy carbon footprint. Farmers, already stretched to produce more with a shrinking proportion of arable land, are bringing crops indoors, where their surroundings can be automatically controlled.

With light recipes from Signify’s Horticulture Lighting solutions, farmers can replicate the optimal light patterns for each crop, creating higher yields of the best quality. And with the right technology, water resources can be reduced by up to 90% and without the need for chemical pesticides. That’s a win for both food productivity and the environment.

Wild fish stocks are under constant strain due to unsustainably high customer demands. According to the UN, a staggering 90% of the world’s marine fish stocks are being exploited, overexploited or depleted. In such times, fish farming companies are looking for solutions that can help them conduct their business sustainably. Signify’s aquaculture lighting system with underwater lights of up to 100,000 lumen, can mimic the summer sun. In the summer, in fact, fish convert feed better, which also translates into faster growth rates. This also means less food waste, cleaner water and lower costs to feed the fish. LED lighting has proven to be an effective tool to upgrade fish farming sites and improve the animals’ living environment. This results in optimized feed conversion rates and a lowered risk of parasite infections.

More and more consumers are becoming conscious of their consumption habits, hence it makes sense that even your lights are designed to be sustainable for the long term. Thanks to 3D printed luminaires, now you can design your own ceiling lamp and get it delivered directly to your home. These 3D printed Philips luminaires made from recyclable or recycled polycarbonate materials have a 47% lower carbon footprint compared with a metal luminaire. The finished product has the high quality you expect from a Philips luminaire but 2/3rd the weight, which translates to a 35% reduction in the carbon footprint when shipping. In 2019, Signify launched a service that enables consumers to tailor luminaires online and have them printed and delivered to their door.

Given the current pandemic we are in, the lighting industry has shifted its focus towards developing strong UV-C application expertise to fight COVID-19.  It is a well-known fact that UV-C light at a wavelength of 253.7nm has a very powerful germicidal effect. It deactivates the DNA of bacteria, viruses and other pathogens, destroying their ability to multiply and cause infections. In healthcare lighting, many companies have developed a broad range of effective UV-C lamps, luminaires, devices, control systems and services recently. These can be used in a variety of air, surface, object and water disinfection applications, which is quite essential in the current scenario. According to some studies, wiping gadgets and accessories with an alcohol-based sanitizer might not be very effective in killing germs and bacteria, and can also cause damage to their outer layer. However, disinfecting these objects with UV-C light can help in destroying 99.9% of all viruses that accumulate on the surface without causing any damage.

Lighting beyond illumination is only getting stronger and deeper as a concept that’s dominating the lighting industry. Our intimate relationship with light continues to evolve and designers continue to develop products and services that mesh with human behaviour, aid in solving our problems, and drive meaningful innovations.

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