2012 marks Philips Lumec’s 40th anniversary in the lighting industry. For this milestone, we thought it would be a great opportunity to look back over the last four decades to see what the company has accomplished and how the lighting industry has progressed. After all these years, what has made the success of Philips Lumec?
For the first ten years of its existence, the company focused solely on making decorative lighting devices.
Then, in the 80s, Philips Lumec started to integrate the optical system with round refractors and also the louvre optics. Let us precise here that this marks the very beginning of the refractors.
But at that time, the look was much more important than the efficiency of the luminaire. The target zone then: only 20-25 % of the light was directed on the street or the road.
I started working at Philips Lumec in 1992. At that time, the new products’ team consisted of designers trying to optimize the optical system as best they could with inefficient tools because the technology was not yet available.
Know that it is also in the early 90s that Philips Lumec decided to embark in a very different direction, looking for a way to provide better performance in our fixtures. In order to do so, the company hired staff especially for this purpose. Philips Lumec also made sure to have the right tools to measure the optical systems. If we weren’t satisfied with the tools that were out there we would make them ourselves. The company had a trailblazer attitude that I am very proud of. We first developed our own goniometer in order to make our own photometric tests. This allowed us to build a database (IES). As a team, we worked on research for improving the performance of our optical systems. Philips Lumec then developed its own software for photometric calculation.
In early 2000, we integrated the development level of 3D optical systems for both refractors and reflectors, for the combined systems and also optics for LEDs.
After forty years in the lighting industry, it is clear that Philips Lumec made it its mission to surpass its limits. When a goal was achieved, we always went even further. Always pushing forward and encouraging visionaries.
Furthermore, we are part of a company that has always been involved in the industry with IESNA, IDA, and also with lighting designers and municipal committees. The company’s main goal in these endeavors has always been the sharing of knowledge in order to provide its views and help establish the industry standards. This has always given us a head start because we were always informed and on the lookout for what was coming up in the lighting industry.
Here is an example to help you understand the company’s mission and involvement in the lighting industry: when IDA advocated full cut-off devices, Philips Lumec was able to prove that a luminaire having a globe lens was capable of producing less than 2 % uplight. In 1994-95, the Ancestra was our first lighting solution with a globe lens that was able to produce less than 2 % uplight. At that time, the lighting products in the industry produced 25 to 50 % uplight. Without a doubt: the Ancestra lighting solution was one of many milestones for Philips Lumec.
One key to the success for Philips Lumec is that we have found a way to reduce light pollution while providing our customers with attractive and decorative luminaires.
The evolution of LEDs
Eight years ago, everyone said that the LEDs would not be a viable source for road lighting products. But Philips Lumec did not agree with this perception. On the contrary, Philips Lumec believed in LEDs and the company also believed in mastering this new technology. That is why we formed, around the same period (eight years ago) our electronic department that would be fully integrated within the company. And again, that is why we have had a head start in the lighting industry.
Philips Lumec’s strengths are the constant challenges of pushing the limits and the creative aspect of having long term vision. For me, that is what keeps me motivated, challenged and inspired to continue, even after 20 years of experience with the company. These are qualities I look for in a company, and also qualities I look for in individuals.
At Philips Lumec, we don’t just want to sell a product. We want to redefine the industry standards.