Implications from Philips and Cisco Partnership

How will the strategic partnership between leading lighting manufacture Royal Philips and IT giant Cisco influence the lighting industry?

Review: Cisco and Royal Philips jointly launch smart lighting platform

On Dec. 9, Philips, the global leader in lighting and Cisco, the worldwide leader in IT, announced a global strategic alliance that will create new energy savings, building efficiency and employee productivity, made possible by the Internet of Things (IoT) in modern offices. This alliance brings together Philips’ LED based connected lighting system with Cisco’s IT network to address a global office market estimated to be worth EUR 1 billion¹.

“The connective lighting system presents infinite possibilities. There are many unexplored lighting system functions,” said the advanced project manager of CBRE Limited.

The actual action plan of the partnership remains unclear now. However, considering the fact that the two leading companies both have huge market shares in the market segmentation, the partnership points out several indicative meanings. The trend of lighting industry may change in the following aspects.


1. Lighting is a crucial entrance of Internet of Things (IoT), which means Internet of Lighting will become one of the important component of IoT.

Currently the development of the popular smart lighting is only beginning, the real smart lighting is to combine IoT technologies, mobile data, visual psychology and visual physiology, aesthetic lighting environment, creating integrated a smart and adaptive lighting application. Currently, smart lighting technology is only used in smart home application, which is considered as entry level.

The real smart lighting should be large scale application in public areas.

It’s convinced that establishing Internet of Lighting is one of the important vision that alliance between Philips and Cisco have.

2. Office lighting application market has great potential and is worth continuous investment

Even in conventional lighting market, office lighting is also one of the most important vertical market segments of indoor lighting applications. With huge market share, the office LED lighting that the strategic alliance between Philips and Cisco potentially has Euro 1 billion worth. On the other hand, office lighting application has higher quality standards, reflected in the function, design, service and highly added value of office lighting, while clients price sensitivity is also more rational.

Compared to conventional lighting, LED lighting has more competitive specifications, while its control upon light quality and connectivity outweighs conventional lightings. Internal office lighting evolvement has great potential. This may be one of the main considerations the two companies have taken into account.


3. Lighting applications transformed by LED’s potential network system and electricity distribution features

Due to its semiconductor- based nature, LEDs are low-voltage DC devices that potentially can be powered over Ethernet (PoE) and can significantly transform conventional lighting power deployment. Compared to conventional lighting, LED lighting plays a role in direct-control and communication nodes of IoT system. This change will pose unprecedented influence to future smart building system in terms of design, implementation, and applications. Currently, the basic technical aspects of PoE technology has matured has started to become commercialized. Booming growth can be predicated when price-performance ratio reach market acceptance level. The strategic alliance between Cisco and Philips surely will help accelerate the market presence of this application.


4. Individual- centered lighting to become realized through the implementation of IoT technology

All technical application will eventually develop into individual- centered ones, lighting is no exception. When combining with IT technology, LED lighting makes “human- centered” possible. On the one hand, it’s both theoretically and practical that LED lighting technology has the capacity to meet the lighting environment output in terms of visual actions, visual psychology and visual physiology. On the other hand, features like feedback enabled, analysis and adaptive capability will surely bring IoT technology to a user- centered development. The integration of the two aspects are exactly what lighting application requires to realize human- centered lighting technology, and there is no doubt that Philips and Cisco both saw its potential.


(Translator: Emma Chang, Editor, LEDinside)

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