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Monday, July 18, 2005
Philips Proposes LED StreetLamps


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, Philips said.

"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 tunnels.

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.


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