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Philips Lumec and the industry

Outdoor Lighting - Dark Sky

Light is a vast subject matter and the field of outdoor lighting is no exception. It has worldwide repercussions. Philips Lumec works in concert with many world-renowned organizations in order to contribute or lead the way when it comes to environmentally responsible practices related to the manufacture, sale, and distribution of outdoor luminaires. These are some of the organizations and associations we work with:


The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America


The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) is the recognized technical authority on illumination. For over 100 years its objective has been to communicate information on all aspects of good lighting practices to its members, to the lighting community, and to consumers, through a variety of programs, publications, and services.


IES is almost 10,000 members strong. Philips Lumec’s vice-president of sales and marketing currently holds the title of Treasurer at the IES. Its members work with lighting in a variety of capacities - lighting designers, architects, interior designers, government & utility personnel, engineers, contractors, manufacturers, distributors, researchers and educators - throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico - and around the world. They share a common interest in lighting, and a common desire to promote the use of the latest, most innovative lighting technologies, with a focus on judicious use of energy in all lighting applications.


International Dark-Sky Association


The dark sky movement is a campaign designed to reduce light pollution and the effects of unnatural lighting on the environment while cutting down on energy usage. It started with professional and amateur astronomers alarmed that the nocturnal glow from urban areas was blotting out the sight of stars. The movement has since spread with groups like the International Dark-Sky Association as other concerns have been raised. The dark sky movement's main activity is to encourage the use of full cut-off fixtures that cast little or no light upward and generally to encourage communities to adopt lighting regulations.


In the early ‘90s, activists began putting pressure on the lighting industry with regards to nocturnal light pollution. Philips Lumec was the first to take these allegations seriously and began working with various organizations towards environmentally friendly yet high-performance solutions. Philips Lumec worked hard to reinvent all their luminaires and was among the first in the industry to provide full cutoff Dark-Sky friendly luminaires. Philips Lumec’s contribution to the dark sky cause helped elevate the standards of the industry and in so doing, contributed to raising environmental awareness and keeping the night sky visible for all to enjoy.


Model Lighting Ordinance (MLO)


Light pollution is about more than simply being able to look up and see the stars at night. Many articles, like National Geographic’s ‘The End Of Night: Why We Need Darkness’, have been written on the negative effects of poorly controlled nocturnal artificial light and how it can disrupt entire ecosystems, including our own food chain. The IDA is the world’s foremost champion of the dark sky cause. It made complete sense to join the Illuminating Engineering Society, the world’s foremost authority on the engineering of light, to draft the MLO and once and for all define parameters, in a technically savvy way, that any municipality can easily adopt and apply to ensure that the nocturnal lighting being used in their respective locations contributes as little as possible to the negative effects of light pollution.


The MLO is a way to define, through internationally recognized standards, a level of contribution to the elimination of issues that cause light pollution.


To quote Denis Lavoie, VP of sales and marketing at Philips Lumec and Task Force Co-Chairman, “Like many communities who have written their own ordinances, we thought it would be easy but in fact, the MLO has taken much longer than we thought it would. We worked through some challenging issues related to sky glow and glare in order to have a process that has technical credibility. The result is an ordinance that provides the flexibility for an installation to be judged based on the lighting equipment used or the characteristics of light emitted from a site.”


Among the breakthroughs we find:

  • A single ordinance that can be used in every community with little or no community-specific language through the use of five (5) Lighting Zones of differing stringencies that tailor the MLO to address local needs and preferences
  • A prescriptive system for regulating most common lighting installations using a new rating system called BUG (Backlight-Uplight-Glare) that prevents excessive lighting and permits easy plan review and field inspection.
  • A computer analysis option for complex lighting installations applies the latest research findings with respect to glare, skyglow, and light trespass and restricts designs to appropriate limits of off-site impact.

Institute of Product Development

The IDP-IPD (L’Institut de Développment de Produits – Insitute of Product Development) is a non-profit association whose purpose is to develop better practices in product development, making manufacturers more competitive.


Philips Lumec participates by contributing expert advice in the field of ecodesign and sustainable development. Experts from Philips Lumec give conferences about ecodesign at the Institute and to other businesses that want to raise a flag for the cause of environmentally responsible product development.

Quebec Industrial Research Center: CRIQ ‘Centre de Recherche Industrielle du Québec’


Another aspect in the environmental responsibility chain is the End Of Life phase. Philips Lumec worked together with the CRIQ to incorporate proactive environmental solutions for the eventual and inevitable end of life reality of all luminaires. Planning the recycling mechanics of the end of the life phase of a product during its design stages created the award winning Leonis, one of the most effective and environmentally responsible lighting systems available; 97% recyclable.