Using light and technology to thrive in the “new normal”


    June 1, 2020


    Signify’s UK&I CEO Joao Pola, shares his thoughts on how businesses can use light and technology to adapt and thrive in the new normal, as restrictions start to be lifted

    As the UK starts to tentatively ease restrictions on the lockdown, we can begin to look forward. But as we emerge into what’s being described as the ‘new normal,’ we still find ourselves surrounded by uncertainty, left with more questions than answers. Not least: what does the future hold, and how can we tackle the new challenges we face?

    We all have our parts to play and at Signify we’re committed to supporting our customers and partners in making this transition over the months and years ahead. 

    At Signify we’re committed to supporting our customers and partners in making this transition over the months and years ahead"

    In fact, we see that light has a role to play in helping us not just manage this tricky period, but to thrive in it, and emerge ever stronger on the other side.

    To that end, here are a few thoughts on how light and technology can help us in the drive for sustainability, efficiency and safety.


    Light and disinfection on the frontline

    Now, more than ever, we must be able to keep the lights on. In hospitals as well as essential services and businesses across the country. There are dedicated people working around the clock in factories, supermarkets, transport networks, emergency services, army barracks, distribution centres and warehouses. Light is instrumental in helping maintain key supply lines and ensuring that vital goods and services reach the people who need them.

    Light is also being used in innovative ways in the fight against the virus itself. UV-C (a type of ultraviolet light) for example, is highly effective in breaking down the DNA and RNA of bacteria and viruses – disinfecting water, surfaces or air. 

    UV-C light is highly effective in breaking down the DNA and RNA of bacteria and viruses – disinfecting water, surfaces or air”

    UV-C disinfection systems are now being used by emergency services and hospitals. As we emerge from lockdown, they could be crucial in helping disinfect public transport as well as office, industrial, retail, and public buildings.

    Business adapting to the new normal

    What’s become abundantly clear in recent weeks is that the impact of COVID-19 will continue to be felt by us all, and businesses of all shapes and sizes are going to have to adapt quickly and find innovative solutions. Certainly there are problems to overcome, but there are also fresh challenges that need to be addressed as we’re forced to rethink the established ways of operating.

    Of course, the pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on different types of businesses. While some, like supermarkets, are likely to be cash-rich, others will have to respond without resorting to capex-heavy investments. They simply won’t have the cash flow to do so.

    As the global economy starts to recover and partnerships form, a lot of these relationships could move to a more service-based model, rather than traditional models with large upfront costs. 

    We see that light offers us unprecedented solutions in unprecedented times”

    The lighting industry is no different. We can see that light offers us unprecedented solutions in unprecedented times. But we are seeing more and more organisations looking to adopt those solutions at speed, via a Light as a Service (LaaS) model.

    And that’s because there’s a plethora of applications for lighting and technology across a huge range of industries. Here are just a couple of examples where we’re seeing the biggest impact in the current transition to the new normal:

    • Flexible environments – Offices, warehouses, shops and supermarkets will all need to become more flexible in order to deliver operational efficiency and effectiveness while allowing for potential social distancing and hygiene requirements. Sensors in connected lighting systems can be deployed to tackle this, enabling businesses to effectively plan and manage their workplaces.
    • Internet through light – The emphasis on digital connection during this time has been acute and this has placed a huge strain on networks. LiFi – two-way, high-speed wireless communication via light rather than radio signals – could be the new go-to medium for the Internet, offering businesses more secure and stable connections.
    • Ensuring future food security – The COVID-19 pandemic has also posed enormous problems for global supply chains and food production. We will continue to see a demand for these to be more robust and for food security to be guaranteed. Evermore sophisticated and energy-efficient artificial lighting has made it possible to grow a host of crops at northerly latitudes, reducing the distance from farm-to-fork. This can transform the traditional farming sector as well as unlock the possibilities of vertical farming in our cities, as a means to efficiently produce certain crops more locally.
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    Light illuminating a way forward

    The pandemic has had a huge impact in almost every aspect of our lives and will continue to do so for some time to come. It has also accelerated the arrival of our digital future and placed technology at the heart of finding creative ways to tackle the new problems we face.

    Signify is committed to partnering with organisations and harnessing the power of lighting and technology to take on the new challenges they face – whether that’s unlocking the power of light to disinfect or helping businesses to adapt and succeed safely in this ‘new normal’.

    Together, we can take on the challenge of operating in this new global environment. To find out how light and technology can help your business, why not register for one of our upcoming webinars here.

    About the author:

    Joao Pola
    Joao Pola

    UK&I CEO, Signify

    For further information, please contact:

    Signify Global Integrated Communications
    Neil Pattie
    Tel: + 31 6 15 08 48 17

    About Signify


    Signify (Euronext: LIGHT) is the world leader in lighting for professionals and consumers and lighting for the Internet of Things. Our Philips products, Interact connected lighting systems and data-enabled services, deliver business value and transform life in homes, buildings and public spaces. In 2022, we had sales of EUR 7.5 billion, approximately 35,000 employees and a presence in over 70 countries. We unlock the extraordinary potential of light for brighter lives and a better world. We achieved carbon neutrality in 2020, have been in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index since our IPO for six consecutive years and were named Industry Leader in 2017, 2018 and 2019. News from Signify is located at the Newsroom, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Information for investors can be found on the Investor Relations page.

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