The international commission on illuminaion in Vienna

International Commission on Illumination


Who is the CIE?

The tasks of the CIE, the International Commission on Illumination, are manifold. However, the focus is definitely on research. The non-profit organisation was founded in 1900 and is based in Vienna. Today it is largely supported and promoted by the lighting industry. The commission is mainly responsible for basic research and works closely with other institutes. These include:

  1. The IEC – International Electrotechnical Commission


  1. The CEN – European Committee for Standardization


International Commission on Illumination, CIE, Standards, LED lighting, lighting, artificial lighting standards
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In addition, the international lighting commission is recognised by ISO, the International Organisation for Standardisation. Representatives of the major producers and users of electric lamps are represented in the CIE, mostly from North America, Europe and the Far East.

What does the International Commission on Illumination do?

Dämmerung, Straßenbeleuchtung, Richtlinien der CIE

As already mentioned, the main activity of the CIE is research. Based on these results, the Commission lays down rules and guidelines. Sensible standards as a basis for the quality of artificial lighting. For example, scientists are researching which spectral ranges can be captured by the human eye and how this can be exploited.

To optimise street lighting, among other things, the CIE defines what exactly is meant by twilight. So that street lamps can be switched on or off at the right time. This not only increases efficiency but also safety.

Lichtgestaltung am Arbeitsplatz nach Richtlinien Der internationalen Beleuchtungskommission, Arbeitsplatz Beleuchtung

Another guideline set by the CIE is, for example, lighting design at the workplace for people with visual impairments. Naturally, ergonomic lighting of workplaces is also a fundamental part of this.

The elaboration of the so-called CIE colour space still serves as a basis for many other colour spaces, the best known being the L*a*b* colour space. The colour spaces play a major role in determining the colour temperature. Also in other areas such as photography, printing, monitors and many many more.

CIE Normafarbtafel, CIE Farbraum, Lab Farbraum
Image source: Torge Anders, CC BY-SA 3.0,



Today, in a time of growing environmental and energy awareness, the International Commission on Illumination also plays a major role in the development of holistic lighting concepts for buildings and complexes. Especially in view of the rapidly growing use of LED lighting in these areas.

The CIE regularly publishes new findings and passes them on at regular intervals at meetings with the “Professional Lighting Designers Association”. Technical knowledge and progress enables lighting planners and designers to use and process high-quality and good light.

ganzheitliche Beleuchtungskonzepte, international Beleuchtungskommission, CIE, LED Beleuchtung, Licht am Arbeitsplatz

CIE research therefore makes a significant contribution to ensuring that we have good lighting in our homes, at our workplaces and in public life. And of course you can get good LED lighting in the SEGULA Online Shop. We make the highest demands on technology and design!

LED, LED History, LED lighting, LED Technology, Light, SEGULA

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