[CIIE Now · Dialogue with Executives] Signify helps China’s urban lighting enter IoT era Release date:2018-06-13

Editor's note:

The first China International Import Expo will kick off in Shanghai on Nov. 5. It is not just another expo in an ordinary sense, but a major policy initiative and commitment taken of our own accord to open up the Chinese market.

Reform and opening-up policies have pushed China to become a “world factory”, and “Made in China” has greatly benefited consumers around the world. The Chinese market has created a huge space for global economic development and provided a strong impetus for world economic growth.

This unusual expo has also attracted unusual exhibitors. As of now, the exhibitor invitation task has been basically completed with the results far beyond expectation. More than 160 Fortune 500 companies and frontrunners from various industries have signed their participation contracts. 

These companies will present the world’s cutting-edge innovative technologies and quality brand products to Chinese consumers. The program, CIIE Now · Dialogue with Executives, hopes to glimpse expo highlights through the conversations with executives from these exhibitors.

Today’s guest:

Wang Yun, President of Signify Greater China

Signify helps China’s urban lighting enter IoT era

Located in the Netherlands, Signify’s global sales in 2017 hit EUR 7 billion. As a lighting industry leader, Signify’s business covers the entire lighting industry chain, from the light source to lighting products, lighting controls to integrated lighting solutions. By leading the development of energy-saving LED products, smart Internet lighting systems and services, and applying IoT (Internet of Things) technologies to lighting systems at home, in buildings, and around urban landscapes, Signify hopes to bring customers a new experience, that is, Light Beyond Illumination.

Q: In the age of smart, lighting can also be “smart”. At the first China International Import Expo, what kind of products and technologies will Signify display?

A: At the expo, we will launch an intelligent interconnection control platform, which can be used not only for government and commercial scenarios, but household ones as well. We have this beautiful vision that, starting from 2020, all products Signify releases could be connected, making lighting solutions truly smart.

Q: IoT technology is one of Signify’s key R&D programs. How does IoT change the lighting industry and bring people a brand-new experience?

A: The entire lighting industry is developing rapidly. It is energy efficient and environmentally friendly, and, now, it is intelligent and interconnected. For example, quality LED products could help a traditional lighting system for an office building or city save half on its energy consumption. With an intelligent and interconnected system, there could be up to 85% in savings. This is a revolutionary change to a city’s energy allocation and development.

There are a lot of things that people can expect from a smart and interconnected system in addition to energy conservation, e.g. a positioning system on a lamp.

We worked with Carrefour to locate lighting in supermarkets, which brought customers a more interesting and smart shopping experience. Through the expo, we hope to bring innovative solutions in the era of IoT to China’s urban lighting to help each city’s lighting system become healthier.

Q: It is reported that Signify recently launched a new type of Visible Light Communication (VLC) technology, which will be seen at this expo. Could you tell us more about it?

A: About a month ago, we displayed this VLC technology at the Frankfurt Light+Building show. Simply put, we cover a building with Wi-Fi signals. Now with LED technology, each lamp could become an IP node, and the light from every single lamp could send out wireless signals. And this is VLC.

The first advantage is that the network speed is very fast. Users could easily watch two movies or make a video call at the same time. The second advantage is that VLC cannot pass through obstacles. Therefore, it’s quite safe.

VLC has already been applied to some scenarios in foreign countries. For instance, in the medical field, there are some places that WiFi cannot reach because of the interference of medical equipment, but lights can. These are all a huge boon thanks to VLC, revolutionary technology.

Q: Agriculture has long been the backbone of China’s national economy. Will Signify’s VLC technology bring any breakthroughs to Chinese agriculture?

A: In some European countries, we’ve already offered our applications of VLC technology in agriculture. It is known that crops depend on photosynthesis to grow. As technology advances, visible light illumination could simulate light of any form and color. So, there can be plenty of applicable scenarios for the natural growth of crops.

Currently in China, we just introduced an agricultural lighting solution in a limited scope. Hopefully, through this expo, more people involved in agriculture could learn about the latest technologies of Signify geared towards agriculture.