Lighting Research Center Lighting Research Center

Application and Design

Where and how lighting systems are put to work is what applications and design are all about. Lamps, fixtures, controls and their installation must be carefully designed to make the most of the light without wasting it. Among the many considerations for lighting design are energy use, human response, cost, how well the technologies work, and how easy they are to maintain.

The LRC evaluates lighting applications and designs and recommends innovative and appropriate ways to light our spaces.  For example, the:

  • DesignWorks program provides cutting-edge lighting design solutions, effectively pairing advanced research with dynamic design concepts.
  • Capturing the Daylight Dividend program explores the use of daylighting.
  • DELTA program produces illustrated case studies of energy-efficient technologies and applications.
  • Solid-State Lighting program improves the use of LEDs.


CFL Intelligence pdf icon - To help manage your CFL expectations and become an informed consumer, we've outlined some CFL facts and guidelines to assist you.


Lighting the Way: A Key to Independence - A series of guidelines for designing lighting for older adults.

Lighting Applications Guidelines for LEDs pdf icon - Identifies potential interior and exterior architectural applications for LEDs by giving specific design examples typically found in residential and commercial categories.

DELTA Snapshots: Retail Lighting - A case study of a retail boutique that balanced the need to attract the attention of shoppers with the need for energy-efficient lighting.

NLPIP Lighting Answers: Task Lighting for Offices - A guide to under-shelf and portable task lighting and how to use task lighting effectively to save energy and improve visibility.

Builder's Guide to Home Lighting - Offers builders and electrical contractors practical advice for installing energy-efficient lighting in homes.

View more DELTA publications - Illustrated case studies from the Demonstration and Evaluation of Lighting Technologies and Applications program

View more Daylighting reports and publications - Research, case studies, and tools for effective daylighting in buildings


The Lighting Pattern Book for Homes - By Russell P. Leslie, AIA, IES, and Kathryn M. Conway, MS. Originally in hardcover, this 222-page book is now available online at no charge. Illustrates common home lighting installations as well as energy-efficient upgrades and redesigns.

The Outdoor Lighting Pattern Book - By Russell P. Leslie, AIA, IES, and Paula A. Rodgers, IES. A hardcover guide to the development of effective and attractive outdoor lighting designs.


Sustainability as a Foundation for Collaboration between Science and Design pdf icon - By Mark S. Rea, PhD. This keynote address was delivered at PLDC (Professional Lighting Design Convention) 2009 on October 31, 2009, in Berlin, Germany.

Related Programs

Education Programs

Lighting Education Online is an interactive, Internet-based education program for building, design, and facility management professionals who want to learn more about light and lighting. Available courses include:

The LED Lighting Institute is a three-day, hands-on workshop for people who want to learn more about this quickly evolving lighting technology in a small-class setting.

New! Daylight Institute - An intensive one or two day seminar for architects, engineers, and other building professionals interested in learning more about daylighting design and daylight harvesting control systems.


Saratoga Energy-Efficient Home - Survey results and a photo gallery of energy-efficient lighting in a showcase home.

LEDs: Saving Energy in Retail Display Windows - A field study using LEDs as colored background lighting for retail window displays in order to reduce accent lighting power by up to 50%.

Innovative Lighting Solutions for Senior Care Facilities - A demonstration showing how innovative lighting designs and advanced technologies, including LEDs, photosensors and occupancy sensors, can help seniors in long-term care facilities maintain independence and be more comfortable.

New York State Excellence in Lighting - Conducted by the LRC and sponsored by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), this project encourages and supports efforts by New York manufacturers to design and commercialize energy-efficient lighting products that equal and exceed ENERGY STAR® and other high performance specifications. You can also view the PDF version pdf icon

Reducing Barriers to the Use of High-Efficiency Lighting Systems - The LRC conducted a three-year project exploring the problems, questions and potential solutions associated with the use of lighting controls and systems designed to reduce energy demand.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
LRC Intranet Web mail Lighting Research Center