Signify LED lighting gets spotlight at Davos world forum

Jan. 21, 2020
Both the streets of Davos and the Davos Congress Centre received SSL upgrades prior to global political leaders arriving for the World Economic Forum where the environment will be a central theme.

Signify has announced a solid-state lighting (SSL) project in the Alpine village of Davos, Switzerland that will play host to the World Economic Forum Jan. 21–24. The project included an upgrade of street lights to LED sources including installation of the Philips Interact City connected lighting and Internet of Things (IoT) platform. Moreover, the Davos Congress Centre that will host the forum was retrofitted with a variety of Philips-branded SSL products.

World political leaders gather in Davos annually, and this year a central theme of the forum will be the environment. That makes the recent SSL project especially important for the municipality. Indeed, young environmental activist Greta Thunberg spoke today, questioning the actions of world leaders on the environment, whereas US President Trump also expressed his views that question environmental concerns and champion the continued use of fossil fuels.

“We’re very happy that the city that hosts the world’s leaders every year is taking such a major step forward,” said Eric Rondolat, CEO of Signify. “It’s encouraging to see this next move, but the world leaders that are gathered here this week should take note and realize that much more needs to be done if we want to achieve a carbon-neutral world by 2050 at the very latest. This really needs to be the tipping point as we enter the decade of climate action and start our race to the future.”

Back to the municipality, Davos is a relatively small resort town in the Alps. But the city will ultimately retrofit 1000 street lights working with contracting partner ELEKTRON. Already 500 of the luminaires have been replaced with LED-based luminaires.

Furthermore, 250 of the retrofitted lamps also have Philips Interact City support. Interact is the overarching Signify smart-lighting brand that was first introduce at Light + Building (L + B) almost two years back. There are different versions of Interact for applications such as lighting historic landmarks, sports stadiums, and more. The City version focuses on street light control and using street light networks to host other smart-city applications. For now, however, Davos appears to simply be focused on controlling and monitoring the new lights.

Signify said that between the new street lights and the Interact City controls, Davos will realize savings of 72,300 kWH annually. The system can control the street light portfolio on an individual luminaire basis or in groups or zones.

Congress Centre

Meanwhile, the Congress Centre where the world leaders are meeting also got a significant energy efficiency boost through SSL. Signify indeed donated Philips GreenSpace Accent Projectors, Philips LuxSpace Accent Downlights, Philips GreenSpace Compact Downlights, and Philips Master LED Spots to the project that involved upgrading 900 luminaires. That project will deliver another 50,000 kWH of energy savings or the equivalent of an 82% reduction in carbon emissions.

Rondolat is also participating in the forum on a panel entitled “Stimulating Circular Innovation” and presenting on “Helping Cities Transition to the Digital Age.”

“Our current economic model of take-make-waste is not sustainable. A switch to a circular economy is a key weapon in the fight against climate change,” Rondolat said. “It will allow us to extend the use of materials and avoid destroying resources — unlocking economic value.”

Rondolat also touted Signify’s work in 3-D printing or additive manufacturing as a key environmental initiative. Our upcoming Strategies in Light event is not environmentally focused per se. But a session on 3-D printing is one of many sessions where environmental or energy-efficiency benefits play a critical role.

And getting back to Davos, sustainability was a driving force behind the village’s SSL project. “Signify is a regular participant in the World Economic Forum at the Congress Centre here in Davos for many years. That is why they came to us and helped us realize how much of an improvement the switch to LEDs would be,” said Tarzisius Caviezel, Mayor of Davos. “Both upgrades are a major step in our ambitions to answer the global call for sustainable measures.”