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Educational Opportunities
Educational Opportunities

LIVE! From the LRC

  A Web Conference Seminar Series

LIVE! From the LRC is an Internet seminar series brought to you by the Lighting Research Center (LRC) of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the leading research and educational institution in lighting. LIVE! From the LRC brings lighting experts to your office via the Web to give you the latest information on topics important to you and your business and allows you to have your questions answered by the leading authorities in lighting today. All you need to participate in the seminars is an Internet-connected computer.

Who should participate?

These seminars are designed to meet the needs of

  • Architects, engineers, and other lighting specifiers
  • Facility managers and administrators
  • Building owners and developers
  • Roadway and traffic safety engineers
  • Other professionals interested in gaining a better understanding of light and lighting

Earn CEUs from your desktop!

All participants will receive two university continuing education units (CEUs) accepted by certification agencies and professional organizations.

Upcoming LIVE! From the LRC webinars will be announced soon.

Example: Previous seminar topic
Headlights at NightTo Illuminate or Not to Illuminate: Roadway Lighting as It Affects Traffic Safety at Intersections
A one-hour webinar reviewing new research on roadway lighting and safety

(This webinar was presented in April 2013.)
Time: 11:00 a.m., US Eastern Time

Newspapers are filled with stories describing reductions and removal of street lighting in order to reduce municipal costs. Tackling the tricky questions of when and where to install roadway illumination is a challenge for transportation agencies. In this webinar, presenters will offer information that transportation agencies can begin using now to not only allocate lighting more efficiently, but to design lighting more effectively. As new practices such as solid-state lighting, adaptive roadway and vehicle lighting, and benefit-cost analysis continue to emerge, the tools that will be presented in this webinar will help agencies specify and shape lighting that minimizes energy use and environmental impact while maximizing the use of limited public resources.

Lighting Research Center (LRC) director and professor Mark Rea and senior research scientist John Bullough, collaborating with Eric Donnell, associate professor at Penn State and faculty researcher at the university’s Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute, have recently completed research looking at roadway lighting as it affects traffic safety at intersections.

The team used lighting and crash data for state highway intersections in Minnesota to develop quantitative models relating nighttime driving safety to the presence of lighting at these intersections. In parallel, LRC researchers modeled prototypical roadway intersections with and without lighting, based on roadway lighting practices in Minnesota, and including the effects of vehicle headlights. Using a model of visual performance developed by Rea while at the National Research Council of Canada, they were able to estimate drivers' ability to detect potential hazards quickly and accurately under each lighting scenario compared to when no roadway lighting was present.

In both research efforts, Rea, Bullough and Donnell investigated rural and urban intersections with and without traffic signals. For example, the statistical models showed that roadway lighting at rural intersections tended to have small effects on nighttime driving safety. The team's visibility analyses suggested that rural intersection lighting provided relatively little benefit in terms of visual performance, because most rural intersections are illuminated by one or two poles located at the junction, but the high traffic speeds on most rural highways require drivers to see hazards when those hazards might still be hundreds of feet from the junction. Most importantly, the statistical safety improvements associated with lighting were strongly correlated with the visibility improvements for all intersection types evaluated.

About the Presenters

John Bullough, PhD Professor Bullough heads the transportation and outdoor lighting program at the LRC. He is an expert in transportation and roadway lighting and conducts research in wide range of areas related to outdoor lighting including the development of guidelines for outdoor and roadway lighting; quantification of glare from automotive headlamps and outdoor lighting installation; development and evaluation of improved roadway lighting systems and technologies; and human vision at nighttime light levels.

Eric Donnell, PhD An associate professor at Penn State and faculty researcher at the university's Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute, Dr. Donnell has 14 years of research experience related to highway traffic safety and speed management. Dr. Donnell has considerable expertise in assessing the effects of roadway features and countermeasures on vehicle speed. He has published and presented several papers at national and international conferences on operating speed prediction modeling on two-lane and multi-lane highways.

Mark S. Rea, PhD A professor and Director of the LRC, Dr. Rea is an expert in human vision and has conducted groundbreaking research in the area of nighttime vision including the development of a unified system of photometry which more accurately quantifies the visual efficacies of outdoor lighting technologies. Dr. Rea has also led research into the evaluation of the impact of lighting on roadway safety and accident prevention, and the impact of outdoor lighting on safety and security.

For more information

To find out more about the LIVE! From the LRC seminars contact Dan Frering, the LRC's director of educational programs, at (518) 687-7100 or via email.


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