Smart lighting for a safer city

Rotterdam’s planners and Philips CityTouch connected street lighting system are helping to solve urban lighting challenges without draining the city budget. The connected street lighting system enables the city authorities to use the public lighting in Rotterdam efficiently and effectively at night, providing less light where possible and extra light where necessary.

Connected lighting for a growing population


The rapid scale of urban growth presents considerable challenges for municipal authorities and citizens. Philips believes that cities can be better places and connected lighting can play an important role. Smarter and more sustainable lighting solutions can help people to live, work and socialize in safe, secure and attractive cities.

Today, half of the world's population lives in urban areas.

This is predicted to rise to 70% in 2050.

By 2030 the worldwide urban population will have passed the 5 billion mark.

Smart lighting impact


The global urban population will have exceeded 5 billion by 2030 with 50% of the world’s population living in urban areas. This will rise to 70% by 2050. We are going to need more efficient lighting as already, urban lighting can represent up to 60% of a local government’s energy bill.

City of lights

See how Philips CityTouch transformed a city and made people feel safer.

The challenge that we all face

Most of us take for granted that our city lights will illuminate the streets – but good-quality city lighting can also create a feeling of safety, allowing citizens to enjoy life and make the most of everything a city has to offer. Cities need to remain attractive and safe places for residents and visitors, to develop as centers of economic growth. But this must be balanced by the harsh reality of budget constraints and the requirement to lower our carbon footprint by using fewer resources.

The challenge was to make a city that’s livable. Philips has helped us tremendously with this. CityTouch can control lights at a distance. We look at what the citizens want. They need to feel comfortable and safe in the city."


Sander van Beurden

Head of Urban Management, City of Rotterdam

Innovators at Philips developed the unique CityTouch System which offers web applications to manage a network of LED street lights and analyze lighting data. For example, in areas of Rotterdam where there is a high level of activity, more lights can be switched on. In quieter parts of town that may not need lights to be switched on full, the municipal authority is able to dim illumination in individual streets.
The innovative software management system developed by Philips uses wireless technology to control every light fixture individually. So, at the touch of a button, lights can be turned up or down – or off. More light can be poured into areas that need it within seconds, in the event of a crowd problem or a traffic accident, for instance. The smart lighting system can also instantly identify where lights are faulty and need to be replaced.

Inspiring cityscapes


Philips CityTouch enables management of an entire city’s lighting system from a single online interface. It provides maintenance and real-time status reports. Lighting operators can track the consumption and output of every part of the system and can fine-tune lighting levels as needed.

Philips CityTouch’s impact on Rotterdam

An urban planner explains how Philips CityTouch helped change the city.

Explore CityTouch


Philips has created CityTouch: an online outdoor lighting management system that enables dynamic, intelligent and flexible control on a city wide scale. Click to find out more.

Every day I work on my bicycle. In the winter, during the last few hours of the day, it's dark. More light can contribute to greater safety for us."



Bike messenger, Rotterdam

Helping make Rotterdam more livable

Hear from locals on how this has positively impacted their lives.

Implications for the world


In an ever urbanized world, such technology can prove hugely beneficial to citizens and governments. Philips CityTouch software’s flexibility and eco-friendly LED lamps mean less impact on the planet’s resources. With CityTouch intelligent lighting management system, we can help make cities become safer, vibrant and more attractive for all.

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