Rudy Provoost, the CEO of Philips Lighting, was here Friday. There’d been a big, goofy photo of him, lightbulb in hand, in Friday’s NYT business section (the photo does not appear to be online, although the story it accompanied is) so I figured the Curious Capitalist ought to have its own version.
Provoost is holding an LED lightbulb of the sort that Philips submitted last week in the Department of Energy’s L Prize competition, which is meant to spur the development of a low-energy LED replacement for the incandescent bulb. It’s the only entry the DOE has received so far. Here, in case you’re thinking of entering, are the criteria:
- Efficacy of more than 90 lumens per watt, which exceeds the efficiency of all incandescent and most compact fluorescent sources today, which range from 10 to 60 lumens per watt
- Energy consumption of less than 10 watts as compared to a 60 Watt incandescent.
- Output of more than 900 lumens, equivalent to a 60 Watt incandescent light bulb
- Lifetime of more than 25,000 hours, which is 25X greater than a typical incandescent bulb
- Color Rendering Index (CRI) greater than 90, which is a high measure of lighting quality
- Color Temperature between 2700 – 3000 Kelvin, which is “warm” white light comparable to that of incandescent sources
The global lightbulb market has long been dominated by Philips, GE and Osram Sylvania (a division of Siemens). Provoost figures the rise of LEDs will threaten this oligopoly and change lots of other things about the lighting business. With LEDs, for example, there really is no need for bulbs anymore—which is why Philips has been buying light-fixture companies lately. Says Provoost:
The past 100 years have been peaceful and quite predictable. This is really a revolution where everything comes together.
So there you have it: Lighting is where the action will be.