A Bright Future? Challenges and Opportunities for LED Lighting

A workshop at the European Forum Alpbach (28.8.2015)

The awareness of the toxic content of fluorescent tubes as well as the EU ban on incandescent light sources have drawn wide-scale public attention to the issue of lighting. Rapid advancements in Solid-State Lighting have revolutionised modern lighting, opening up new market opportunities. Further investigation is necessary into the effects of lighting on humans and their well-being, modern architecture, and also into undesirable impacts such as light pollution. The awarding of the Nobel Prize of Physics in 2014 for the invention of the blue LED confirms the current impact of this form of lighting.

Following their lecturers the experts discussed various questions from the audience focused on the optimum light source and applications of LED lighting for arts exhibitions and museums or the impact of light on human well-being and health. The audience was especially interested in the topics of high quality of lighting and ways to achieve it. It was acknowledged by Steven DenBaars, that Europe is leading in taking up questions of “healthy” lighting and working towards technical solutions to provide it. The experts agreed that the importance of infrared parts in the light spectrum has been underestimated so far and deserves a revitalized attention in the concepts of light sources of the future, which could as well be laser based.

Paul Hartmann, host of the workshop (organised by JOANNEUM RESEARCH), concluded that the floor is open for a continued success story of novel lighting technologies, provided that the new physiological insights of the effects of light continue to be taken up by the industry and transferred to optimized lighting solutions for the benefit of all of us.