A cinema classic celebrates its birthday


Xenon gas discharge lamp XBO

Osram has been producing XBO lamps for 60 years, ensuring that films stars look their best on cinema screens throughout the world since 1954

Movies retain their fascination – that much is obvious from the rising number of cinemas. In 2013 many millions of people worldwide enjoyed the sad, funny, magical and mysterious offerings from dream factories in more than 110,000 cinemas across the globe. In each of those there is a very high probability that the picture is projected onto the screen with the aid of an XBO lamp from Osram. After all, the XBO xenon gas discharge lamp has been a permanent feature in cinema projection since 1954. Osram is now celebrating the latest milestone for this cinema classic with a global campaign.

In 1954 an international cinema star was born. That was when the XBO lamp from Osram superseded the carbon lamp as the new standard in cinema projection. This light source was so successful in enhancing the screen presence of full-color Hollywood blockbusters that Osram was presented with a coveted Oscar for the XBO lamp at the 1983 Academy Awards ceremony. The xenon gas discharge lamp was revolutionary in its day and still offers unrivaled luminance and a very high color rendering index because the spectrum it generates corresponds almost exactly to that of the sun. As a result, it provided and still provides razor sharp pictures on cinema screens with high color intensity.

Advertisement 50 years of XBO lamps

The preferred lamp for cinema projection even in this digital age

“Since they were first used the Osram XBO lamps have been continually developed and their output and performance constantly improved. Osram XBO lamps have not only taken the age of digital projection, now commonplace in cinemas, completely in their stride but have actively shaped this revolution. We are proud that an XBO lamp from Osram, made in Germany, is in use in every third cinema projector. Since 1968 these lamps have been manufactured in Eichstätt, Germany, on a fully automated production line which is unique in the world”, said Hans-Joachim Schwabe, CEO of the Special Lighting division at Osram. Osram is celebrating this anniversary with an advertising campaign in specialist media and appearances at various trade fairs.


OSRAM of Munich, Germany is one of the two leading light manufacturers in the world. The company's portfolio covers the entire value chain from components – including lamps, electronic control gear and opto semiconductors such as light-emitting diodes (LED) – as well as luminaires, light management systems and lighting solutions. OSRAM has more than 35,000 employees worldwide and generated revenue of almost €5.3 billion in fiscal 2013 (ended September 30). The company's business activities have been focusing on light – and hence on quality of life – for over 100 years. The company was listed on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt and Munich on July 8, 2013 (ISIN: DE000LED4000; WKN: LED 400; Trading symbol: OSR). Additional information can be found at www.osram-group.com