Standards affect every part of our life. From the quality of air and water, to the assurance that products and services are safe and effective for use, there are hundreds of standards helping to improve our everyday life. Standards play an important role in ensuring that products, services and systems meet our needs; for example standards should guarantee that electrical products, like lighting systems, are energy-efficient and safe to use. In principle, our modern world should fit together like a jigsaw puzzle thanks to standardization. Standards that have a role in protecting the public’s safety and health may become mandatory through inclusion in laws and regulations, such as national, European or International codes. However, there still exists a number of domains where standards are cruelly missing and this is a serious handicap that slows down, or in some cases stops, new product development and all associated business.
In this paper we will discuss, first, how missing standards in the domain of Human Mesopic Vision affects the development of innovative light sources especially for urban lighting systems that enhance security and quality of life in urban areas as well as achieve important energy economies and contribute to sustainable development. Then, we see how intense collaborative research can help to overcome the problem. The discussion will be illustrated by using the results obtained in the framework of a large European-funded research project under FP5-Energie program targeting the development of intelligent urban lighting schemes.