Philips Increase Workplace Productivity With a Light Canopy Inspired By Forests

There is a known scientific link between quality of lighting in the workplace and productivity and cognitive performance. Putting this knowledge into practice, Philips collaborated with Lava Architects to develop a canopy of opaque panels that filter and scatter natural light like leaves in the forest as part of an upgrade of Philips Lighting Headquarters in Eindhoven.

Originally built in the 1950’s the Philips Lighting Headquarters comprises a number of separate buildings organized around a central courtyard. The courtyard at some point was covered with a large, approximately 11,500 square meters ceiling that included a number of skylights, but was nonetheless a dreary place with poor sound quality.

As part of improvement, it was key that the atrium and canopy feature natural passive lighting, even when the power is off. Philips installed over 1500 individual panels, each overlapping slightly. This layering effect mimics a natural forest canopy. When the power of the canopy itself is turned off, the panels diffuse a bank of LED lights located behind, while also allowing natural light from sky lights to filter through.

When the canopy is switched on, this natural effect is enhanced by 500 Philips Ecophon Soundlight Comfort panels, which algorithmically turn on and off depending upon the time of day, time of year  and occupancy of the building. Constantly shifting and changing, no more than 60% of the panels are ever illuminated at one particular time.  The result is a flowing, tranqui effect as the light patterns constantly change in response to the elements. 50 Philips Selecon RAMA LED fixtures are additionally located in the centre of space, giving off a golden glow that closely resembles the effect of the sun as it sets.

With natural ebb and flow, this new canopy offers Philips the opportunity to show in practice how good lighting can radically transform a workspace.