‘Let there be PLS lights,’ says LG Electronics

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‘Let there be PLS lights,’ says LG Electronics

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LG Electronics’ plasma lighting system (PLS) installed at the stadium of San Lorenzo FC in Argentina last month.Provided by the company

LG Electronics is putting a big bet on lights.

After declaring in June that it would target the North American commercial lighting market, the company is also looking to grab a piece of the world’s sports lighting market, which is worth 7 trillion won ($6.79 billion).

On Sunday, LG Electronics said it installed a plasma lighting system, or PLS, at LG Champions Park in Icheon, Gyeonggi.

The system will be introduced during LG International Women’s Baseball Tournament, which runs for four days from Aug. 22. It is the first time PLS lighting has been installed at a stadium dedicated to baseball.

Among artificial lights, PLS closely resembles natural solar light and does not flicker.

Crowds in the stands and players in the field can enjoy night games as much as day games, LG explained.

LG Electronics is unrivaled in PLS lighting, holding 150 related patents.

“There was often an after-image phenomenon with existing lighting that could make the ball seem disconnected, but the new lighting has less after-image,” said Hyun Jae-yoon, a member of the LG Twins baseball team.

PLS lighting is also economical. It provides the same brightness and costs 15 percent less than metal halide lighting, which is used in sports stadiums. Its lifespan is also longer.

Although the lifespan of exterior sports lighting systems varies widely depending on the external environments, metal halide lamps must be replaced once every three years on average. As they use filament electrodes, their brightness dramatically reduces over time.

It is difficult to maintain 70 percent of the initial brightness after three years of use. But as PLS does not use filaments, it can maintain 90 percent of its brightness through its lifespan.

Thanks to that, its lamp replacement cycle is about 10 years, twice as long as existing systems.

LG Electronics’ PLS lighting started getting recognized in the global sports lighting market since last year.

After PLS lighting was used at a golf course in the Antalya region of Turkey, its orders from Japan and Brazil increased.

Early last month, 90 PLS lights were installed at the home field of Argentina’s professional soccer team San Lorenzo.

The world’s sports lighting market is worth 7 trillion won a year. Some 70 percent of the market is controlled by traditional lighting companies with more than 100 years of history, such as Osram, Philips and General Electric.

“PLS lighting is the next generation of lighting and the best outdoor lighting tailored to sports environments,” said Lee Dae-geun, who is responsible for the new business division at LG Electronics.

“We will lead the market with the new concept of lighting technology called sports lighting.”

LG Electronics said in June at the Lightfair International 2014 in Las Vegas that this year it was entering the North American commercial lighting market.

At the event, the company exhibited LG LED Troffer as its main product to replace fluorescent lighting fixtures in commercial buildings under the theme “The Smart Choice in Lighting.”

BY choi joon-ho [kjy@joongang.co.kr]





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