Following up on the International Year of Light in 2015, the UN has declared 16 May as the International Day of Light. This date commemorates the first discharge of a laser in 1960 by the physicist Theodore Maiman.
The International Day of Light brings attention to the importance of light and its role in science, culture and arts, education and sustainable development. Light is an essential component used in such fields as medicine, communications and energy.
Science and technology
At work and at home, we rely on proper illumination to allow us to continue our activities long after the sun has gone down. Lights provide us with comfort and safety, whether in our homes, walking down a city street or driving a vehicle.
But beyond the light bulb, light technology permeates many other parts of our lives. It allows us to scan our purchases at the grocery store. Listen to music on our CD player. We rely on lasers for medical imaging, from MRIs to ultrasounds, and for surgery such as skin and eye treatments.
Lasers are used to cut materials in industrial manufacturing applications and for remote sensing technology. Fibre optic cables provide high-speed data transmissions.
Bringing lights to everyone around the world
To help bring electrical energy to some of the 1,3 billion people without access or with only limited energy access, the IEC provides international best practice solutions to support energy access in developing countries. Together with the World Bank Group and United Nations Foundation, the IEC offers technical documents that support rural electrification in its TS 62257 series.
IEC Technical committees (TCs) and subcommittees (SCs) prepare International Standards for components and systems in the fields of lighting, imaging, lasers and fibre optics.
- IEC TC 34 prepares Standards for lamps and related equipment including LEDs, OLEDs, lamp controlgear and fluorescent lamps.
- IEC TC 47 prepares Standards for semiconductor devices including sensors.
- IEC TC 62 prepares Standards for equipment used medical fields, including imaging equipment.
- IEC TC 76 prepares Standards for equipment incorporating lasers and LEDs.
- IEC TC 86 prepares Standards in the field of fibre optics
- IEC TC 87 prepares Standards for equipment and systems in the domain of ultrasonics, primarily in the medical domain.
In addition, the IEC Conformity Assessment Systems provides a framework within which to test and certify that products fulfil the requirements of IEC Standards.