The Future Shines with Energy Savings

Today, nearly 20 percent of the electricity consumed worldwide is needed for illumination in all areas of human activity, and this generates enormous amounts of CO2. For this reason, LASER World of PHOTONICS from 15 – 18 June 2009 is focusing on future-oriented concepts for illuminating streets and buildings and for providing light in electronic displays and in tomorrow's cars. The world's trade show for optical technologies is concentrating on this topic, as is the accompanying World of Photonics Congress.

Light emitting diodes (LED) and organic light diodes (OLED) have long been an ongoing technological trend that is increasingly making inroads into everyday life. These two technologies will soon change illumination technology much in the way that the semiconductor industry has changed electronics. Besides the many individual and custom solutions, the market for LED illumination is increasingly growing into the traditional area of interior and exterior lighting. By the year 2012, the market for LED illumination is expected to reach a worldwide volume of approximately 3.7 billion euros.

Due to the improved energy efficiency and the flexible possibilities for applications, the market for OLEDs is also continuing to grow. By 2014, the market volume in this area is expected to climb to approximately 4.25 billion euros. Currently, OLEDs are still being used primarily for displays and background illumination for electronic devices. However, their flexibility and electrical properties also enable them to offer genuine alternatives for architects and designers. For example, electrically controlled lighting foils have strong potential as a future approach to interior lighting.

The European Union (EU) incurs costs to the sum of five billion euros just operating 50 million antiquated street lights. However, the transition to modern lighting concepts has already begun. According to a planned EU regulation, by the year 2012, the existing street lamp systems will be almost completely replaced with energy-saving alternatives.

In this way, it is possible to save up to 38 billion kilowatt hours of electricity across Europe every year. For this reason, in some European cities, LED street lights are being tested that already meet the required standards with regard to light distribution, intensity and color. Furthermore, by 2012 traditional light bulbs will also be replaced throughout Europe with new, efficient, energy-saving systems. This measure alone will reduce annual emissions of greenhouse gases by up to 15 million tons.

New Displays and Projectors for Advertising, Industry and Consumers
Illumination in public spaces also includes another aspect that differs completely from traditional street lighting: New solutions in the area of e-signage, a term that refers to innovative forms of advertising on electronic displays, will increasingly become the new face of advertising. The development of LCD screens for e-signage applications and new LED background lighting are making new applications possible every day.

The technological foundation upon which video projectors are built is also currently in a state of change in the field of optical technologies. The industry is steadily approaching its goal of shrinking projectors to the point that they can easily be integrated into cell phones. The Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering (IOF) and Osram Opto Semiconductors are major contributors in this development. The first cell phones with integrated projectors are already being tested on the market. Nevertheless, the potential that this area has to offer is still far from being fully exploited.

LEDs are particularly well suited for automobile lighting – not just because of the advantages they offer in energy efficiency, but above all because of the lower cost of the production processes and products. Today, the use of red and yellow LEDs in taillights has become common place, and the first LED headlights are slowly beginning to conquer the roads. Both the automotive industry and consumers profit from the amazing energy-saving benefits that LEDs offer. The resulting reduction in energy consumption makes it possible to save several millions liters of gasoline in Germany alone. Furthermore, when it comes to vehicle design and styling, new lighting systems are also providing customized, pleasant and adaptive lighting in cars.

Illumination within the framework of the World of Photonics Congress
As one of the focus topics, lighting systems are being showcased at LASER World of PHOTONICS with example applications at the booths of many exhibitors. However, the World of Photonics Congress will also be shedding light on this subject, thus building bridges between science and industry, theory and practice.

At the Forum in Trade Show Hall B2, the congress is presenting the topic of "Sustainable Lighting Concepts" in practically oriented presentations. There, on 17 June 2009, beginning at 10:00 a.m., Dr. Andreas Bräuer from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering (IOF) and Dr. Berit Wessler from OSRAM Opto Semiconductors GmbH will be presenting a series of lectures. In these presentations, speakers from institutes and industry will be covering modern illumination concepts and efficient manufacturing processes for the light sources of the future.

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