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Harry Verhaar of Philips: We simply cannot ignore the economic and societal case for LED lighting

06 September 2013
Harry Verhaar of Philips: We simply cannot ignore the economic and societal case for LED lighting

LONDON: Ahead of his 60-minute Twitter Q&A this month, Harry Verhaar, Senior Director Energy & Climate Change, Philips Lighting, sets out the compelling economic and societal case for the wide-scale adoption of LED lighting.

You can chat live with Harry Verhaar on adopting LED lighting for a better future, from 10am EST, September 25, during Climate Week NYC using hashtag #CWNYC.

Harry writes:

The light bulb has long been a symbol for progress in the 20th century. Electric light was the first mass electric appliance, playing a pivotal role in the industrial revolution that brought unprecedented socio-economic development around the world.

And today, lighting represents 19% of global electricity consumption. But both the global economic crisis and climate science show us that economic growth must not continue in such energy intensive ways. If we do not switch to more energy-efficient innovative solutions, we will quickly see the day that we really do have to switch off the lights, and can no longer enjoy the variety of appliances and services that a century of economic progress has provided.

Smarter solutions--such as LEDs (light-emitting diodes)--exist, and if we make the switch now we can attain a prosperous economy, in a more equitable and sustainable way.

Independent and verifiable results from The Climate Group’s LightSavers trials and accompanying public surveys provide evidence that many commercially-available, outdoor LED products offer high quality light, durability, and significant electricity savings in the range of 50-70%. Such savings can amount to hugely reduced electricity bills and energy generation, equal to as much as 670 million tons of carbon dioxide a year. For example, efficient lighting solutions will save €128 billion per year, with a return on investment period of four to five years. (A switch from incandescent bulbs results in a return on investment within a few months.)

LEDs are infinitely scalable, extremely reliable, and have a much longer lifetime than almost all other types of lighting. In short, they are revolutionizing the energy efficiency of lighting.

With low carbon innovation such as LEDs, we can reduce our carbon footprints as well as our energy bills. But most of all, we have the potential to improve people’s lives. We can achieve a ‘win-win-win’ by making the buildings and cities where we work, live and play more comfortable, productive and safe.

But wasting less does not just mean switching a bulb. It is a combination of ‘doing things smarter’, varying from preventing light pollution to using smart controls.

In our Twitter Q&A we can discuss such actions, as well as talk specifics such as urban infrastructure, smart buildings, intelligent networks, or the huge potential of public-private partnering. National governments may be struggling to agree on emissions targets and clean energy investment, but sub-national governments and businesses have the potential to lead the LED lighting revolution. There is great momentum already underway in the private sector, where best practices are becoming common practices.

At Philips Lighting, we are creating the solutions, models and market approaches that will benefit a large part of the global population as well as our public and corporate economic future.

We simply cannot ignore the economic and societal case for energy efficiency and LED lighting.

To join the live Twitter Q&A with Harry Verhaar on adopting LED lighting for a better future, at 10am EST, September 25, 2013, just visit @ClimateGroup to follow the conversation and ask your questions to @Harry_Verhaar using the hashtag #CWNYC.

Harry will also be speaking at panel events at Climate Week NYC 2013. See the full agenda here


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