Shining lights on the slopes


The German Ski Association and the lighting manufacturer Osram have drawn a positive summary of their first season as partners. In this alliance, the German Ski Association applied the latest findings about “biologically effective light” to tap the performance reserves of athletes. The energizing effect of light was effectively used in particular for competitions held at night, overseas and in the Far East. “In world-class sport, we have reached a plateau where it is becoming increasingly difficult for athletes to reach an even higher level of performance. By applying knowledge about biologically effective light, we have been able to mobilize new energy reserves,” said Karlheinz Waibel, the national trainer for science and technology at the German Ski Association. Osram biologist Andreas Wojtysiak added: “We will systematically apply the knowledge we have gained in our partnership and develop new ways to boost the performance of world-class athletes.”

As a first step, Osram developed a special luminaire for use in individual training programs. The luminaire especially helps athletes begin their day in a more active and focused manner. In the evening, the light enables them to more easily wind down and regenerate their bodies. In doing so, athletes can boost their performance during the day. A different type of luminaire was also designed with a similar goal in mind. It is used in particular to light common areas and rooms where team meetings are held. With their high luminous flux, this luminaire acts as a “shower of light” that has a positive effect on people especially in northern regions with extremely short days in winter. Used either as individual or group units, both systems help athletes reset their biological clocks when they travel to competition venues overseas or in the Far East. With the aid of this systematically employed light, athletes can much more quickly find a balanced sleep/wake cycle. The result: significantly fewer problems with jet lag. Athletes get used to the new time zone much faster and can reach normal performance and reaction levels more quickly following long, grueling trips.

Experts have known for some years about the beneficial psychological and physiological benefits of light. But this knowledge has not been widely applied up to now. Against this backdrop, the German Ski Association and Osram announced their partnership on biologically effective light at the beginning of the winter season 2015/16. In this work, knowledge about light's effect on the human body is being systematically applied to improve the reaction, concentration and regeneration of athletes during the season and in the preparation phase.


OSRAM, based in Munich, is a globally leading lighting manufacturer with a history dating back more than 100 years. The portfolio ranges from high-tech applications based on semiconductor technology, such as infrared or laser lighting, to smart and connected lighting solutions in buildings and cities. OSRAM had around 33,000 employees worldwide at the end of fiscal 2015 (September 30) and generated revenue of almost €5.6 billion in that fiscal year. The company is listed on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt and Munich (ISIN: DE000LED4000; WKN: LED400; trading symbol: OSR). Additional information can be found at