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Center of Excellence for Solid State Lighting (CSSL)


Partner: University of California, Santa Barbara

The center combines expertise and resources from KACST and UCSB to enable the ultimate efficiency and performance of solid-state lighting technology, to develop intelligent functionality and communication in lighting, and to educate the 21st century workforce in new lighting technologies.


The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia currently uses ~10 GW, or more than 18%, of its electricity production for lighting. Since much of the current lighting technology in the Kingdom is highly inefficient incandescent lighting (10-15 lumens/watt), nearly all lights produce a lot of heat which leads to added air conditioning loads. The transformation to solid-state lighting (SSL), with an ultimate theoretical efficiency of ~300 lumens/watt (lm/W), will correspond to low energy consumption for lighting while simultaneously reducing air conditioning loads.

KACST and UCSB started to collaborate in solid state lighting (SSL) four years ago to develop advanced photonics technologies for SSL in Saudi Arabia. The establishment of this center will contribute to sustainable economic growth by the efficient utilization of human and energy resources. The primary goal is to assist Saudi-based companies and the Kingdom to develop next-generation SSL technologies. The center will also add new functionality to SSL, namely communication, and to pioneer revolutionary new approaches to SSL (e.g. - laser-based lighting and smart lighting). At the same time, work will continue on improving SSL efficiency (with an ultimate goal of 300 lm/W), reducing costs, and focusing on commercializing the of the developed technology in the Kingdom.