What do people really think about your lighting? Philips has an app for that

Philips Lighting has introduced a new social impact analytics app that will enable tourist boards and city authorities to measure the social and economic impact of illuminating city landmarks.

The app, the result of a collaboration between Philips Lighting and enterprise software specialist SAP, is designed to help owners of sites to collect accurate feedback on the social and media impact of public lighting projects. Information from the app will help authorities to facilitate better engagement with citizens, improve strategies to boost tourism and enhance value for the local economy.

The new app merges image analytics developed by Philips Lighting, which identifies architectural lighting photos of landmark installations on social platforms such as Instagram, with SAP’s Cloud Platform which collates data on what is being posted on social media and news sites, about a given piece of architecture. The result is an invaluable set of metrics formed by public opinion, measuring sentiment about architectural lighting for a specific building or monument.

The app illustrates how technology can help to quantify the return on investment for architectural lighting. For example, data from the app will help city authorities to identify the most popular lighting displays and refine lighting strategies to best meet the needs of their local community. This is becoming increasingly important as individuals interact with their environment in new and innovative ways; for example, the lighting of a bridge might be sponsored by a charity which allows donors to vote for their preferred lighting design. Also, in a world where cities strive to find new and innovative ways to be smarter, the social impact analytics app may be used to create new business opportunities for the local economy.

A study conducted by Philips Lighting about the impact of public lighting revealed that landmarks that have been dynamically lit serve much more than a functional purpose. Cities and public and private organizations are using the installations to beautify or brand cities to boost tourism, promote health and wellbeing, and revitalize areas in decline by turning buildings, bridges and monuments into art.

SmartCitiesInitiatives social impact data collection dashboard 300x171 - What do people really think about your lighting? Philips has an app for that“When used in a dynamic creative way, light can turn even the plainest structure into a work of art,” said Jacques Letzelter, Global Business Leader Public Segment at Philips Lighting. “The new app will contextualise social media posts proving the value of dynamically lit architecture, not just from a social and cultural perspective, but also their potential impact on the local economy. The analysis engine analyses all the data that comes in. It can visualise it, report it and provide alerts to cities.

“Furthermore, it will identify only the posts that you’re interested in, for example: ignoring a traffic jam on a bridge, but capturing sentiment about the lighting.”

Media and social media especially reflect the impact lighting installations have on civic pride and the local community. One example of this is The Bay Lights, a light sculpture by artist Leo Villareal on the San Francisco Bay Bridge, which has shown to have enormous positive impact on the local community:

  • 50 million people saw the original installation
  • 100,000+ YouTube views
  • 650m+ media and social media mentions
  • $18 million boost for the local economy



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