Philips has put up the first streetlamps that use light-emitting diodes (LEDs), which last four times longer than normal street lighting, the Dutch electronics group said on Friday.
With 50,000 light hours, LED lamps do not have to be changed for 12 years when
lit for an average 11 to 12 hours a day.
Because LEDs are made of solid organic materials, they are smaller, more
versatile and less vulnerable than today's glass lamps filled with gases,
"The lifespan of a streetlamp is no longer limited by the lamp, but by the
pole," a Philips spokeswoman said.
The LED streetlamps were installed in the central Dutch town of Ede, in what
Philips, the world's biggest lighting maker, believes is a world's first.
The lamps contain yellow and white LEDs, which allow for brighter or softer
tones according to differences in seasons and the time of night. Until now,
LEDs were used as indicators on electronic goods, bicycles and cars, but
technical developments have made them so bright they can now be used for any
normal lighting situation.
Gas-filled streetlamps last an average 12,000 hours, and replacing them is
costly and also hampers traffic, especially in hard-to-reach places such as
LED streetlamps are twice as expensive as current street lighting with a
similar design, but this is compensated for by the longer lifespan, Philips
product manager Bram Lansink said.
Philips is also a top three hospital equipment maker, Europe's biggest consumer
electronics producer and the region's number three in semiconductors.