Once upon a time in 1997...

In 1997, University Colleges (Master in Industrial Engineering) were urged to start up activities of applied research in close cooperation with Flemish industry. The Flemish Institute for the Promotion of Industrial Innovation (IWT) was asked by the Flemish Government to manage these actions. With the kick-off of the first research project "Optical characterization of solar cells", the "Light & Lighting Laboratory" started his activities officially. 

Research activities

At this moment, the main research items are:

  • Lighting and energy efficiency
  • Optical design of secondary optics using ray-tracing software
  • Appearance (colour and gloss)
  • New light sources (LED, OLED)
  • Photovoltaics: cells, modules and stand-alone systems


Measurement facilities

The laboratory is equipped with the appropriate measurement instruments for optical characterization of materials and of sources: spectral intensity, spectral radiance, luminous intensity distributions, colour and colour temperature, specular and diffuse reflectance and transmittance, spectral BSDF, spectral response, near-field goniometer, QE of phosphors.



The laboratory is an active member within CIE and cooperates with several universities and more than 70 companies, especially SME. The laboratory combines research activities (PhD research) with activities of industrial support (characterizations, optical design, seminars, . . .).


How to find us?

Postal address

Light&Lighting Laboratory
KU Leuven, technologiecampus Gent
Gebroeders De Smetstraat 1
9000 Gent

Telephone, fax, e-mail

t1: +32 9 265 86 10
t2: +32 9 265 87 13
f: +32 9 225 62 69

e: send us an e-mail via: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Organisation Details

The Light&Lighting Laboratory provides education, research and consultancy services in:

  • Lighting
  • Optical Design
  • Photovoltaïcs
  • Visual appearance
  • New light sources

The laboratory has measurement facilities to support these tasks.  (More information on www.lichttechnologie.be).

Gebroeders De Smetstraat 1
Gent 9000


Areas of Activity

Lighting, optics, appearance, phosphors, light sources


Cooperation Profiles

Know-how: Measurement of light and visual appearance  



The interaction between light and materials is an important issue for a lot of industries (glass, wood, plastics, metals, ...) .  This interaction determines the visual appearance, appreciation and quality assesment of objects.  Colour and gloss are the important attributes in these applications.

In the lighting industry, optical materials are used as diffusors, filters and reflectors.  Reflectance, transmittance, diffusing properties are used as the quality characteristics.

The Light&Lighting Laboratory from KU Leuven (campus Gent, Belgium) has the measurement equipment to provide services to these industries.


A spectral bidirectional scattering distribution function (BSDF) setup

The spectral Bidirectional Scatter Distribution Function (BSDF) characterizes the scattering properties of a material for any angle of illumination or viewing. In this way, it offers a complete description of the spectral and spatial optical characteristics. Any gloss or colour measurement can be related to a particular value of the BSDF. A measuring instrument allowing for an absolute determination of the spectral BSDF, with a full three dimensional spatial coverage in both reflectance and transmittance mode, a broadband spectral coverage, a large dynamic range, a reasonable acquisition time and a large sample illumination area, has been built.


Other equipment

The Laboratory is also equiped with following setups:

  • Goniometer to measure retro reflective devices
  • Luminance camera
  • Several colour measurement setups (reflection/transmission : 350nm to1200nm)
  • Gloss meter
  • Near-field goniometers
  • QE of phosphors

Examples of cooperation with industry:


  • Automotive industry: harmony of textures
  • Wood: gonio-apparent aspects
  • Plastics: colour and texture
  • Printing: colour reproducibility
  • Lighting: LID and ray files, secundary optics

Over 70 flemish companies are member of the consortium "Groen Licht Vlaanderen" hosted by the Laboratory.


Co-operation Type:

Offered: Technical Co-operation
Offered: Joint basic research project
Offered: Joint applied research project