© 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. A spectroscopic investigation of sodium germanate glasses activated with Ce3+, Tb3+and Ce3+/Tb3+is carried out by analyzing their photoluminescence spectra and decay times. Non-radiative energy transfer from Ce3+to Tb3+is observed upon near-UV excitation at 310 nm (peak emission wavelength of AlGaN-based LEDs). The non-radiative nature of this energy transfer is inferred from the increase in the decay rate of the Ce3+emission when the glass is co-doped with Tb3+. From an analysis of the Ce3+emission decay time curve it is inferred that an electric dipole-quadrupole interaction might to be the dominant mechanism for the Tb3+emission sensitized by Ce3+. Energy transfer from Ce3+to Tb3+leads to a simultaneous emission of these ions in the blue, green, yellow and red, resulting in white light with CIE1931 chromaticity coordinates, x = 0.30 and y = 0.32, which correspond to cold white light with a colour temperature of 7320 K and very small deviation from the Planckian black-body radiator locus (0.005).