This paper reports the luminescence emission spectra of Y(Ta,Nb)04 activated by rare earth ions such as Eu3+ and Tb3+. The influence of these rare earth ions on the radioluminescence (RL) of yttrium niobate and tantalate phosphors was investigated. The luminescent properties were studied under X-ray and preliminary RL measurements to further evaluate prepared materials. The emission centers of the rare earth activators (Eu3+, Tb3+) were found to contribute efficiently to the total luminescence. With their various luminescence chromaticities, these rare earth activated phosphors are promising materials for solid-state lighting applications as well as for X-ray intensifying screens in medical diagnosis, providing the broad band variation of visible RL from blue to red. (c) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.