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Philips enters new decade of sustainably lighting Times Square Ball


New York, USA - In 2010-2011, Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) enters a new decade of energy efficiency, celebrating its 11th anniversary as the official Lighting Partner to the world-famous Times Square Ball, a beacon of LED innovation. Both the Times Square Alliance and Philips share a commitment to sustainability, reflected in the Ball’s ongoing upgrades with Philips energy-efficient lighting products, culminating in the recent upgrade to LED lighting, which have reduced its energy usage by 88 percent over the halogen technology it replaced.

Originally lighting the Ball with specially designed halogen “Millennium” bulbs to mark the century passage from 1999 to 2000, Philips converted the Times Square Ball to all Philips LUXEON® LEDs (light emitting diodes) in 2007-2008 to mark the Ball’s milestone 100th anniversary. The Ball was upgraded to higher-power, more energy-efficient LUXEON LEDs yet again in 2008-2009 when the ball was doubled in size. Today’s Ball is lit all year round and uses just 12 percent of the energy that would have been required to light it with the original technology.

The Ball benefits from Philips’ unmatched investment in LED technology, with its modules lasting about 30,000 hours and using just 22 watts of electricity. If the Ball were still lit with Halogen lamps, it would use 1.1 million KWh, whereas the new LED Ball uses just 140,000. In addition, these LED modules will last years, compared with months for the halogens which they replace, drastically reducing the amount of maintenance and re-lamping required by the Ball. This same LED technology is available to consumers through Philips’ AmbientLED line, which includes such innovations as the world’s first 60 watt LED equivalent lamp, the Philips AmbientLED 12 watt.

At a Glance: Times Square Ball Lighting Facts

* As a result of being lit by Philips LEDs,
- The Ball will consume only the same amount of energy per hour as it takes to operate just two traditional home ovens. (Source: U.S. Department of Energy – Consumer Appliance Energy Use)
- The numerals will consume the same amount of energy per hour as it takes to operate just one 40 gallon home water heater. (Source: U.S. Department of Energy – Consumer Appliance Energy Use)
* The Ball is lit by 32,256 Philips LUXEON® LEDs, each of which can be digitally controlled to create extraordinary effects.
* Red, green, blue and white LEDs in the Ball create a palette of more than 16 million vivid, vibrant, and highly-saturated colors as well as billions of possible lighting effects.
* The LED lighting in the Ball has a rated average life of 30,000 hours, compared to the roughly 1,000 hour life span of previous incandescent and halogen solutions. This is especially important as the Ball is now lit year-round.
* The light source in the Ball is 88% more energy efficient than in previous years, requiring only 22 watts of power for Philips’ red, green, blue, and white LUXEON LEDs to produce the same amount of light output as it took 180 watts of incandescent light bulbs to produce in previous years. This represents a 158-watt (or 88%) reduction in electricity consumption per four-color series.
* The Ball features waterproof modules and connections as well as the ability to passively dissipate heat. Each LED in the ball has its own specific address, enabling a level of two-way communication and digital controllability never before possible.
* LEDs demand far less electricity than incandescent or halogen technology by delivering an equivalent level of light output with significantly fewer watts of power. This reduces the amount of electricity that utilities will have to generate, which helps avoid the airborne emission of such hazardous pollutants as CO2, mercury and sulfur dioxide – all by-products of the electricity generation process.
* Whereas incandescent and halogen bulbs may be subject to failure if dropped or bounced, LEDs can withstand vibration and shock, delivering superior durability.
* Philips LEDs are lead and mercury-free as well as RoHS-compliant (a European standard known as “reduction of hazardous substances”).

+ Backgrounder “Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball”

About Royal Philips Electronics

Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through timely innovations. As a world leader in healthcare, lifestyle and lighting, Philips integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions, based on fundamental customer insights and the brand promise of “sense and simplicity”. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips employs more than 118,000 employees in more than 60 countries worldwide. With sales of EUR 23 billion in 2009, the company is a market leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as lifestyle products for personal well-being and pleasure with strong leadership positions in flat TV, male shaving and grooming, portable entertainment and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at


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