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The invention of the light bulb had a major effect on the lives of people in the 20th century. Over the years, lighting technology has never ceased to evolve. The various milestones reached along the way coincide with some important dates in the history of the IEC.
Baby-related technology is increasingly about monitoring newborns from afar using the latest facial recognition tools and artificial intelligence software.
From smart clothes to talking cows: the IEC prepares Standards for the latest wearable applications.
Printed electronics is a relatively new technology, but it has already proven a disruptive, yet creative process that allows the production of new products and components, low-cost electronic devices, which open the way to a range of new applications. It has started transforming the electronics industry and many other domains by being included in different manufacturing processes. This new technology led to the creation, in 2011, of IEC Technical Committee (TC) 119: Printed electronics.
Inventions of past centuries have paved the way for today’s technological innovations. This is the case for many of the electronic components that we use so liberally today. The Leyden Jar, for instance, is the ancestor of the capacitor. Just look at any technology timeline and you’ll have the complete sequence of events that leads to the tiniest components and ever smarter devices that connect everyone and everything.
The lighting market has been concentrating on energy-efficient solutions for years. After lamps relying on light emitting diode (LED) technology, new solutions based on organic LED (OLED) are emerging. Relevant International Standards for these are being developed by IEC Subcommittee (SC) 34A: Lamps. One such Standard covers performance requirements for OLED panels for general lighting.
Printed electronics is set to revolutionize multiple industries from automotive to photovoltaic. The IEC is helping to find the right applications through standardization.
Access to clean and affordable energy for all is a sustainable development goal for the United Nations and the IEC is contributing to the effort with a number of its International Standards. While access to electricity remains an issue for many of the world’s poorest, refugee camps are finding that cheap solar energy is a way of overcoming the odds.
The lighting sector is experiencing a deep transformation across the world as new energy-efficient lighting technologies that first appeared a few years ago gain wide adoption. They are being adopted throughout the world as countries seek to control their energy consumption. IEC Technical Committee (TC) 34: Lamps and related equipment, and its Subcommittees (SCs), develop International Standards for electric light sources including energy-efficient lighting solutions.
Want a weather update, real-time air pollution status, or are you just trying to find that elusive parking space? It’s simple…ask the lamppost!
Energy, and especially electricity, is the golden thread that impacts the majority of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and furthermore, the development of every nation and economy. The UN recognizes electricity access as a key pillar for economic development because it helps to reduce poverty and hunger, improves educational opportunities and enables higher quality healthcare.
The quest for better television pictures has been ongoing ever since TV was invented and in particular after it started reaching a wider audience. The second edition of an International Standard for Organic LED (OLED) displays adds to a series that will contribute to better image quality on these displays.
Demand for the use of solid state technology for general and specific lighting applications continues to grow at a very rapid pace. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in particular, on the market since the early 1960s, have been extremely successful in recent years. Mostly used as indicator lamps for electronic devices in the early days, they are now increasingly used in a wide range of domestic, commercial and industrial applications.
Achieving better Electrical Energy Efficiency (EEE) is a very broad task that extends well beyond the more efficient transformation of primary energy, chiefly fossil fuels, into electrical energy. It must be introduced in energy-intensive sectors like industry and buildings. Standardization work by numerous IEC Technical Committees (TCs) is central to this broader objective.
Smart and connectivity are two of the words that probably best describe our society in the 21st century. Everyone and everything is connected nowadays. Cities, buildings, transportation means, mobile devices are becoming smarter. Even the most mundane objects – the smart frying pan is a good example – have their connected version.
Imagine swiping your car seat to change the radio station or heating temperature? How about a uniform which can detect chemical contamination, a tent which generates electricity or a lamp shade which reacts to light and temperature?
More than ever before the two major sports event of 2016, the European Football Championship, Euro 2016, and the 2016 Olympics Games, are supported by high-tech electrical and electronic equipment and systems. These make it possible to provide the best possible coverage on and off the venues and ensure high commercial returns for investors and sponsors.
Augmented reality (AR) may not have developed its full potential yet but the technology evolves at such a rapid pace that it should soon be integrated in our personal and professional environment. Architecture, education, medical, sports and entertainment, workplace are just a few areas that can benefit from AR. Tourism and sightseeing may also be revolutionized by the use of AR.
Electric propulsion has been used on waterways since the 1880s, where it is primarily installed in small boats transporting a limited number of passengers on rivers or lakes. Outperformed on water and on land in the early 20th century by more efficient internal combustion engines with their longer range, electric propulsion is now making a comeback on waterways. A number of IEC Technical Committees (TCs) and Subcommittees (SCs) develop International Standards that provide essential support for this renewal.
Is there a time of day or night when we do not rely on electrical or electronic devices in one way or another? Home and workplace are obviously full of appliances, devices and equipment that help us in our daily professional tasks and domestic chores. And with the ever growing number of wearables with us at all times, everything’s connected. Our reliance on electronics seems to be a 24/7 affair.
The end of year season presents lighting designers and individuals with the opportunity to give free rein to their creative imagination and bring a festive atmosphere to towns, buildings and homes in many countries. The range of lighting equipment now available offers great flexibility for dazzling effects whilst keeping power consumption in check and improving safety thanks to more energy-efficient systems. Standardization work by IEC Technical Committee (TC) 34 and its Subcommittees (SCs) makes this possible.
The lighting sector is undergoing a profound transformation as most countries, seeking to limit increases in their energy consumption, adopt energy-efficient solutions. IEC Technical Committee (TC) 34: Lamps and related equipment, and its Subcommittees (SCs), develop International Standards for electric light sources and a significant proportion of their activity is focused on energy-efficient lighting solutions.
Solid-state lighting (SSL) is rapidly becoming the preferred light source for many lighting applications and the demand will continue to grow. SSL solutions are widely used in industrial and commercial environments. They are also making inroads in urban and airport lighting, automotive headlamps, traffic signals and advertising. They can be used in almost any kind of applications.
As World TV day was observed recently, it is worth looking at what makes television more popular than ever, enabling it to evolve and reach new audiences via different platforms and new distribution modes. This was highlighted also during the 2015 World Radiocommunication Conference, which ended recently consolidating central aspects of TV broadcasting for coming years. Television enduring popularity can be ascribed to many innovations in the hardware and software domains, many of which rely on standardization work by a number of IEC Technical Committees (TCs) and Subcommittees (SCs).
Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT), Smart Energy and Smart everything…None of these would be remotely possible without electronics. Sensors in particular are present everywhere and they have a major impact on our home and work environments.
Switching on a light is such a routine task that we often take it for granted, however for millions of people worldwide, this is far from the case. The IEC is delighted to be associated with the global initiative, International Year of Light, adopted by the United Nations under the patronage of UNESCO.
The United Nations proclaimed 2015 as the International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies, recognizing “the importance of raising global awareness about how light-based technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health”. This global initiative ties in very smoothly with another, put forward by IECQ (IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components), namely the IECQ LED initiative.
IECQ (IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components) has been thriving in the past 12 months. The launch in 2013 of new programmes for the automotive industry and counterfeit avoidance have enriched its portfolio and broadened its scope. Together with the complete restructuring of the Schemes and a new website, they have brought new dynamics to the System. Not resting on its laurels, IECQ is actively working on new developments.
From indicator lamps on electronic devices or numeric readouts on digital clocks to their current use in a wide variety of lighting solutions, LEDs (light-emitting diodes) have come a long way in a few decades. They are now replacing incandescent or CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) light bulbs in domestic, residential, commercial and industrial applications.
In less than 20 years, the LED (light-emitting diode) technology has emerged as an increasingly popular light source. LED-based lighting solutions, first used in commercial and industrial environment, can now be found in all kinds of environments and applications. The new generation of LED lights is more efficient, less costly, lasts longer and can be fitted in any kind of lamp or luminaire available on the market.
More than a century ago, the first IEC President, Lord Kelvin, was quoted as saying: “If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it”. This is as true today as it was then. One thing that has changed since those words were uttered is the way we measure things today.
The Louvre, one of the largest museums in the world, is a grand sight to behold. Its front entrance, a glass pyramid built in the late 1980s, is imposing in its size and shine. Nearly 35,000 objects from prehistory to the 19th century are exhibited over an area of 60,600 square metres. Around 9 million visits are made to the Louvre every year.
In 2007, the International Energy Agency estimated that lighting accounted for just under 20% of electricity use worldwide. Public policies, reflecting environmental and energy saving concerns, are driving the global take-up of energy-efficient bulbs. The lighting industry's need for proper International Standards to ensure the safety and measure the performance of these bulbs is obvious and proceeding apace under the aegis of IEC TC (Technical Committee) 34: Lamps and related equipment, and its SCs (Subcommittees).
In countless ways, modern day technologies have changed the way we live. The emergence and extraordinary success of small mobile devices has increased our reliance on electronics at all times of day – and night. Whatever we do, wherever we are, we rely on them for communication, connecting with others – whether at work or at home – travelling, playing and keeping fit.
Offshore oil platforms, refineries, shipyards, gas and oil tankers operate 24 hours a day. Most human activities may go at a reduced pace at night but the tanker will continue to trace its route across the ocean, the rig will continue to drill or pump oil, and refineries never stop refining crude oil. Night-shift crews need powerful and reliable lighting to be able to work when it is dark. Lighting fixtures, as with any other piece of equipment or device used in hazardous areas, have to be explosion-proof.
An LED (Light-Emitting Diode) is basically a semiconductor light source. LEDs, primarily used as indicator lamps in many devices, are increasingly used for industrial, commercial, residential and domestic lighting. The market for LEDs is large, growing fast and is dominated by Asian manufacturers from China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan.
Electronics are everywhere in commercial and office buildings. Elevators, escalators, automatic sliding doors or lighting all rely heavily on electronics nowadays. The same can be said of most of the smaller devices that equip stores and offices. While safety is an important issue for any electronic device, it is becoming crucial for equipment that is used by hundreds, if not thousands, of people every day.