Global supplier of lighting solutions Philips plans to implement 100 light centres across Africa that will provide security through the correct lighting technology and ensure community safety and, therefore, upliftment.
To date, six centres have been rolled out in South Africa, says Philips Lighting South Africa’s marketing manager Jenny Heyes.
The company’s investment in community development projects in the form of the light centres, provides area lighting for rural areas where electricity is not readily avail- able and the safety of community members is consequently threatened.
One of these light centres, in Cambridge, in the Western Cape, provides children with lighting to ensure a safe sports field at night and forms part of a community development initiative that was supported by football league organiser the Dutch Football Association.
Current Security Projects
As part of its corporate social responsibility, Philips Lighting has over the past four years, invested in building sustainable solar-powered and light-emitting diode (LED) lighting solutions for communities in Africa.
One such project has resulted in a South African school, near the Lion Park, in Gauteng, receiving lighting so that sports, reading, teaching and community development can take place at night. The lighting also provides a safe and visible place for surrounding communities to gather.
Trends in Industry
Philips Lighting Solutions technical sales manager Grant Combrink says consumers should be aware of and consider key drivers when choosing lighting solutions. Visual performance, security, ease of maintenance, total cost of ownership and light pollution are the key drivers that should form the basis for decision-making.
Another trend in the industry is the use of LED lighting. “People, in general, are opting for LED lighting – it has a longer life, requires less maintenance, is more energy efficient and delivers lower power consumption,” says Combrink.
Further, Philips notes that using white light as opposed to yellow conventional lighting, provides higher visibility, clarity and, therefore, improved differentiation of colours and objects, making roads safer to travel on.
White light is better for security purposes, as it enables better facial recognition on closed-circuit television recordings. This helps to deter crime, as white light offers a higher perceived brightness, which makes people and objects easier to see.
Using the correct lighting not only ensures energy savings but also results in less wasted light being released into the atmosphere, reducing light pollution.
Light pollution refers to the adverse effect of artificial light, including sky glow, glare, light clutter and decreased visibility at night. Most importantly, light pollution is an indication of energy waste, says Philips Lighting South Africa.
“Asymmetrical light is more effective in saving energy and lighting the correct space than symmetrical lighting in certain applications, as it is easier to control the lighting when using this design,” says Combrink, adding that an asymmetrical design distributes light evenly in a specific space or in an area with a good cut-off to eliminate upward light.
Philips says lighting that is mounted correctly and is custom-made for its particular application will contribute to improved security, while reducing light pollution.
The dark-sky movement sees various people worldwide promoting the protection of the dark night sky environment through encouraging the use of the correct lighting solutions.
One of the latest products offered by Philips include the LED Clear Flood floodlight, which is suitable for outdoor lighting applications. “This luminaire is specifically suitable for large public areas, such as industrial areas and storage areas, as well as parking lots and business parks,” says Combrink.
However, he highlights that there is a lack of legislation and policing on the use of correct lighting. “There is no real effort being made to prevent the use of incorrect lighting in public settings such as roads,” notes Combrink, adding that some suppliers do not take responsibility for ensuring that their lighting solutions and luminaires are being manufactured to the correct standards.
Another challenge faced by the industry is the lack of knowledge that consumers possess about using the correct lighting. “Therefore, many consumers buy lighting based on price, rather than quality, reli- ability and total cost of ownership,” says Combrink.