Tech-Talks BREGENZ: Martina Paul, General Secretary, CIE (Article published in LpR #43)

LED professional: First of all, we’d like to say thank you for talking to us about the latest trends in the area of solid-state-lighting within the scope of the Tech-Talks BREGENZ. To begin, could you tell us a little about the history of the CIE and what your duties are as General Secretary?

Martina Paul: The CIE is actually a very old organization. Its predecessor was founded on the occasion of the World Expo in Paris in the year 1900. The gas industry called about 500 engineers and scientists together to standardize the photometric properties of street lamps. At that time, street lamps were run on gas. At the beginning, the CIE was called the Commission de Photometrie and then in 1913 it changed its name to Commission Internationale de l’Eclairage or the International Commission on Illumination in English. Through disrupting technologies like solid-state lighting and regulatory interventions to promote energy efficiency, the stakeholders have also changed. There are new groups of stakeholders which did not have anything to do with lighting in the past, such as the semiconductor industry.

I personally come from the area of organizational development and change management. I have always worked in international organizations within very complex environments. My main competence lies in being able to reduce complexities and to find solutions for complex problems for various players on a global context. Light is a very challenging subject and at the same time, inspiring, especially when leading this organization as its CEO through the technological changes.

LED professional: Can you tell us a little bit more about the organizational structure of CIE?

Martina Paul: The CIE not only covers the subjects of light and lighting, light quality and measurement and the description thereof, the metrics, but color is also a key topic. One of the first crucial standards that the CIE published was in 1931: the so-called color matching functions, which was the basis for how the human eye sees color. The CIE has a very broad spectrum that has expanded to the areas of photobiology, photochemistry as well as image technologies. Like all standardization and scientific organizations, the CIE is based on national committees. Right now there are 51 committees from all over the world. These committees must organize the stakeholders that work with light and lighting in their respective countries. It happens quite often that the CIE committees are consolidated on a national level and are identical to the national lighting organizations.

We still differentiate between national full members and industrial, supportive members who, together, finance the CIE. The direct work is done in so-called Technical Committees which are part of the divisions.

LED professional: You mentioned scientific work – which is the basis for every regulation. Is the scientific work carried out in Technical Committees or is it “out-sourced”?

Martina Paul: Since the laboratories are CIE members, it is actually the same. We are currently working on defining a new Color Fidelity Index. Division 1 is responsible for color and perception. Right now we are at the point where a lot of experiments are carried out. Ten laboratories from all over the world have joined together in order to be able to carry out the final experiments. Once the experiments have been evaluated, they will be published by CIE as a technical report. The scientific work is carried out in the laboratories and the evaluation and publication is carried out through CIE. The transition from a technical report to a standard is done through formal polling steps. Most of the time, the technical report is the groundwork that is sent to the national committee to be commented on. It sometimes takes months of negotiations to integrate all of the changes asked for by the interest groups.

LED professional: Who decides which technical reports become standards, and how are the technical reports evaluated as suitable?

Martina Paul: Technical reports present the underpinning science
and evidence, the groundwork, and might suggest the basis of a standard on that evidence. In the past, technical reports would be assessed within the community while a resulting standard was being formulated. Today the pace of change is so swift that this method is challenged and we have something of a conflict between scientific certainty and the speed of changing technology and demand for new standards.

LED professional: Light is often perceived subjectively or culturally and has cultural preferences. If you want to make something into a standard, should you take these different aspects into account? For example, light color has very different traditions. How do you find a common denominator so that a general regulation, norm or standard can be created?

Martina Paul: Some things cannot be made into a norm. A guideline consensus is needed to know what should be normed and what shouldn’t. There are also norms that are only valid in, for example, Europe, the USA or China. And it should stay like that. Not everything is suitable for international standardization. It is necessary to have guidelines for global standardization and the CIE only works on global standardization tasks.

LED professional: Besides the CIE standards there are also the ISO standards. Can you explain the synergies and differences between what the CIE and the ISO do?

Martina Paul: The International Organization for Standardization or ISO is an affiliation of national standardization organizations like the DIN in Germany or the ANSI in the USA and is made up of over 200 member organizations.

The CIE was officially recognized by the ISO as an international standardization organization in 1986. Out of four organizations worldwide that have this status, the CIE was the first one to receive it. This status means that the CIE has the right to draft standards and position them with ISO.

LED professional: To what extent are the ISO technical committees involved in the development procedures of the CIE standards?

Martina Paul: Up until now, the CIE has made all of the basic and fundamental standards including the application-oriented standards.
A disadvantage of the CIE is that it is only partly connected to national standardization bodies, namely only where there are national CIE organizations who are connected. The ISO technical committee was founded in order to increase the intake of new standards into the national standards inventories.

An agreement was made that the ISO committee would run complementarily to the CIE which means that the scientific part and the fundamental and basics in the domain would remain with the CIE.

An example would be the current topic of “Energy Performance of Buildings”. The way basic metrics like daytime light parameters is described is very important. There is a work group in the ISO technical committee that also works with the CIE and the balloting process runs directly through the involvement of the national standardization organizations.

In this way the organization path has been changed but at the same time it has been made more transparent and sustainable.

LED professional: Could you tell us a little more about your job as General Secretary of the CIE and what the current tasks in the ISO TC are?

Martina Paul: I have been the General Secretary at the CIE for 7 years now. My job, together with the President, is to represent the CIE to the public. The General Secretary is the only paid political function. All of the other people do their work on a voluntary basis in addition to their day jobs. Most of them have a certain amount of time allocated to them by their employers for the standardization and/or scientific work for international organizations. But in the end, it is volunteer work. The DIN is a driving force behind the ISO committee and holds the administrative office, which in turn means that they hold the right to suggest who will be the chairperson. This means that since I am the General Secretary of CIE I was appointted by DIN. My duties are not technical in nature but rather our task as chair- people is to create a consensus and to make sure that there are properly agreed, consensus-based documents that can be adopted.

LED professional: Apart from the interesting organizational topic,
let’s take a look at the contents. What changes has solid-state-lighting brought to the CIE and what topics are classed as important and have been addressed?

Martina Paul: Naturally, LED and OLED technologies can be labeled as disruptive technologies. The original light sources manufacturers are not the same ones that produce LEDs or semiconductors. Industries that we had no contact with at all in the past have suddenly become important players in this market and these players don’t have a lot of experience with light. Because of this, a brand new value chain has developed and the market is still not completely reassessed. Coordination of the stakeholders has been an important task in the recent past and this phase is pretty much completed as far as I can see.

Content wise, a lot of changes have had to be made. Certain fundamentals have been written in stone and don’t have anything to do with light sources. Some things like the area of colometrics only changes a little.
But the LED has other photometric characteristics with various colors and/ or spectrums and is a point light source. The human eye perceives the color of the LED light source differently than it does with a traditional light source. This means that the traditional color and glare metrics aren’t 100% correct any more. There is a technical committee – Division 3 – that is working on the subject of “New Evaluation of Glare from LEDs”.

LED professional: Will this new knowledge be added to the standards or will the standards be “updated”? Can you give us an example of what subjects currently have a high profile?

Martina Paul: The standards in question are being reviewed and might be updated if so requested. There is a technical committee that is concerned with the subject of OLEDs and we are already working on this technology. Division 2 – Photometry – will also start concentrating more on the subject
of OLEDs. We have also published a new report – Nr. 206 – titled “The Effect of Spectral Power Distribution on Lighting for Urban and Pedestrian Areas”.

This report shows that the human eye perceives light from certain LEDs as brighter than traditional light sources, which means it can be dimmed and energy is saved. The boundaries are naturally the deciding factor and this is where measurement is relevant.

These are the areas where classic metrics don’t work anymore and new metrics are necessary.

LED professional: How long do you think it will take for the reprocessing of the content process of change and the subject of SSL? Can it be estimated?

Martina Paul: There are discussions going on right now and I will be holding a workshop on the subject of “Standardization and the Art of Imperfection” soon. This means that we should consider standardization more as a work in progress. Perhaps it would be a good idea if we agreed on one terminology that simply means that right now the descriptions are snapshots and that work will continue. This is why I don’t feel I can commit to a time. My theory is that standardization as conventions should be seen differently today, namely as snapshots for a time period of at least three years. It should be clear in the standard where there is room for development.

You asked before about how we present flexibility. This is the exact challenge that we have, where we quote bandwidths or where we have to put certain areas “under construction”.

We have to define it in terms of scientific organization where we make it easy to identify and define knowledge and unawareness. One has to abandon the definition of the forever-valid standards or scientific findings. This change process that we are now going through is an interaction of technological changes through SSL and globalization and the new orientation of the market structures in general.

LED professional: We see the changes in perception just as you have described. What other aspects are there due to or through the initiation of SSL technologies?

Martina Paul: The main thing is measurement techniques and the measurement of LEDs because they have other characteristics and are also different in regards to spectral characteristics.

In addition, metrology has changed and as a result the concept of measurement uncertainty is a concept that is worked with more and more. Both private and state labs are, in many cases, not sure as to what measurement uncertainty means. In the last LED professional Review you had an article by two CIE experts about that. Marketing observation is carried out by being able to compare products and this is achieved by being able to compare measurement methods. The CIE is now working on a measurement standard and we have come quite a long way with it. The draft for a measurement standard is already being polled. Just as an aside, I’d like to tell you the difference between regulators and standardizers. The CIE doesn’t make regulations, but rather, standards. Standards are voluntary whereby regulations are mandatory and are stipulated by the lawmakers. Of course, the state can link certain standards to market initiation but the standards are not legal regulations. The International Energy Agency (IEA) is a classic regulator agency that is manned by governments. It has its own Annex 4E that concerns itself with testing and test methods.

The CIE has an agreement with the IEA, namely that the regulators will promote and implement CIE measurement standards.

LED professional: How far along is the standardization of the Color Fidelity Index?

Martina Paul: Color rendering has to be newly defined because LEDs have different spectral characteristics. For this reason, Division 1 is very busy developing this CFI because the CRI developed by the CIE is no longer applicable in some cases.

As I mentioned earlier, we are in the last measurement round; measuring samples and evaluating the results. This experimental round is being managed by a Japanese university professor. The CFI is the most important and most needed new definition in the industry. We surveyed all of the divisions and found out what they think are the necessary standards and which technology reports are necessary and then passed on the results to the industry. It turned out that internal and external ideas were congruent, which I, as General Secretary, find as a good sign. Through this there is a type of prioritization and standardization plan. CFI is at the very top of that list.

We estimate that it will take another one and half to two years before the CFI becomes a standard.

LED professional: Today LEDs can be run on a pulsed mode or digital information is conveyed through the light. Because of this there are sometimes totally dark phases in the light, which leads to the question of how this will affect humans. Is this also part of the CIE’s range of duties?

Martina Paul: Visual aspects of time-modulated lighting systems are presently discussed in TC1-83 and a report will soon be published. In addition there might be non-visual effects of modulated lights and this subject has been placed with Division 6 – Photobiology.

This division is also working on the question of how blue lights affect people. Very complicated and elaborate studies are necessary for Division 1 and Division 6 because people have to be involved as test subjects.

LED professional: You are also chairperson of the ISO TC 274. Can you give us some insight into the goals and tasks of this TC?

Martina Paul: The TC 274 is a technical committee of ISO and is in the initialization phase. This TC will, for the most part, cover the application specific part of the norms. The idea is that, next to the basic fundamental standards, there will be additional standards for the application in specific lighting situations like interior lighting, exterior lighting, road lighting, tunnel lighting and so on. These will be worked on by the TC 274.

LED professional: Let’s take a look at current trends in the area of energy saving. What is the CIE’s position in the areas of Smart Lighting or the use of day lighting?

Martina Paul: The subject of day lighting is, of course, very important and is being worked on by the CIE. As a basis there is, for example, the sky definition, the day light definition like the CIE “General Sky” which is an international CIE standard. This subject has come to the forefront again through the “Energy Performance of Buildings”. The subject of Smart Lighting, where it concerns the product standards in the area of electronics, is covered by the IEC. To differentiate, it must be clarified that the CIE concentrates on the application and fundamentals whereby the IEC concentrates on the parameters and safety, etc. of real products. There is the famous safety norm: IEC 62471. Photobiological Safety of Lamps.

This document was initially a CIE Norm – Standard 009 that is now a joint standard of both organizations.

LED professional: You need a connection to real life – the industry – to do your work. How do you make these connections?

Martina Paul: The Global Lighting Association (GLA) was originally
called the Global Lighting Forum and covered the national/regional lighting associations globally. Over the years, association structures were created and commitments were formed and now it is the GLA with its headquarters in Brussels. The GLA is associated with LightingEurope, the new organization structure in Europe, and can be understood as the voice of the international lighting industry. The CIE and GLA signed a Memorandum of Understanding last year. This cooperation is sustainable, efficient and built on a broad foundation.

LED professional: Thank you for participating in the Tech-Talks BREGENZ. To close, what is the CIE planning for the Year of Light 2015?

Martina Paul: The UNO General Assembly has declared 2015 to be a worldwide Year of Light. The CIE plans to have a global Open Lab Day that should take place in May 2015 and our 51 National Committees which span all continents will contribute with a variety of events.

I’m looking forward to coming back to Bregenz for the LpS 2014 at the end of September. Thank you.


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