Philips to light up Madrid with thrifty LEDs

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Philips will supply Madrid with 225,000 new lights, switching to an energy-efficient system that will cut the Spanish capital's lighting bill by more than 40 percent, the company said on Friday.

The Dutch lighting and medical equipment maker has done similar projects in Argentina, Sweden and the Netherlands, but Madrid will be the largest, it said.

"This will be the biggest technological renewal ever seen in Madrid," Mayor Ana Botella said in a statement.

"The new lighting installation allows us to make significant progress towards becoming a smart city, which is more sustainable and, in conclusion, a more liveable city," she added.

No financial details were provided, but Philips said the energy savings, of 44 percent, would eventually cover the cost.

The LEDs and other energy efficient lights will be controlled from a central command panel allowing officials to regulate lighting across the city of 3.5 million people.

Philips has been shifting out of the traditional light bulb industry, which helped make it a household name over the past century, to focus on more high-end technology in lighting.

(Reporting By Thomas Escritt; Editing by Anthony Deutsch/Keith Weir)

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