Light up your inner muse! Celebrating 100 years of V(λ) with the art of light

June 3, 2024

2024 is a landmark year!  We celebrate the centenary of the establishment of the V(λ) spectral luminous efficiency function for photopic vision by the International Commission on Illumination. This is the foundation of the physical measurement of light.

The Art Contest

V(λ) underpins a century of scientific and technical achievements, and to fully celebrate this anniversary the CIE seeks your artistic contributions in the form of poems or visual art.

  • Poems are welcome in English, French, or German (the historic languages of the CIE).
  • Poems may be in any poetic style.
  • Visual art may take any form, including sculpture, painting, photography, video, media art and installations, etc., so long as the submission can be shared electronically in a standard format (jpg, TIFF, mp4, etc.).

Submissions will be open until April 30, 2024.

  • An individual may submit one poem only.
  • An individual may submit once to the visual art category.
  • An individual may, if they choose, submit both one poem and one visual art entry.
  • Submissions will be reviewed in categories by panels including poets and artists.
  • The best submissions will be revealed at the CCPR/CIE Joint Workshop on 100 Years of V(λ) and the Future of Photometry, which will be held at the prestigious Pavillon de Breteuil at the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM) in Sèvres, France, on June 3, 2024.
  • The creators of the best entries in each category will receive their choice of 3 CIE publications. Runners-up will receive their choice of 1 CIE publication.
  • The best and runner-up entries will be published in a CIE commemorative publication later in 2024.

Click here to make a submission. Other submission requirements are outlined on the form.

For more information, e-mail

The V(λ) function 

Why we want to celebrate 100 years of V(λ)?

The V(λ) curve describes the spectral responsivity of the human eye: in other words, how our eyes respond to different wavelengths of light. Measurement instruments are designed so that their detectors are effectively seeing the light as humans see it. This, in turn, enables us to meet standards for visibility, safety, and comfort.

The V(λ) luminous efficiency function has a significant impact on various aspects of our daily lives, ranging from the lighting we use in our homes and workplaces to the technology we interact with and even our health and safety. 

For example, the knowledge of V(λ) function helps lighting designers create lighting systems that are optimized for human perception. With this knowledge, designers can create environments that are visually comfortable and efficient. In roadway lighting, understanding the V(λ) function is essential for ensuring adequate visibility for drivers and pedestrians to enhance safety by improving visibility and reducing glare.  

These are only few applications of V(λ) as its impact resonated globally, shaping the way we perceive and interact with our illuminated surroundings while also contributing to energy conservation efforts and technological advancements.