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Lighting Research Center
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mullar2@rpi.edu
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Troy, N.Y. -  2/25/2008

Lighting Research Center Evaluates Integrated Classroom Lighting System

The Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has released a new publication detailing a new, systems-based approach to lighting school classrooms that improves the lighting while saving energy. Field Test DELTA Snapshots: Classroom Lighting summarizes the LRC’s findings from its evaluation of a demonstration project conducted by Finelite, Inc., which installed its Integrated Classroom Lighting System (ICLS) in 28 classrooms at seven different schools (K-12 and university level) in New York State. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) sponsored the project.

The LRC assessed how teachers used the lighting system to benefit the learning environment. LRC researchers interviewed teachers, distributed student preference surveys, and analyzed the results of electronic data loggers connected to the system in order to map usage patterns and energy use. Teachers agreed that they preferred the ICLS over existing lighting systems.

“Teachers liked having an alternate lighting mode when showing audio-visual presentations,” said Jennifer Brons, who led the LRC’s part of the project. Brons is a lead research specialist at the LRC. “They also appreciated having a separate task light directed toward their main teaching board. Positive feedback also came from students, maintenance staff, and installing electricians,” Brons added.

On the energy side of the equation, the new system delivered significant energy savings compared to current national codes. The results demonstrated that the system is effective at saving energy while increasing teacher and student acceptance of the new lighting system.

“The energy savings are impressive,” said Peter Morante, director of energy programs at the LRC, “showing 58% lower energy use than New York State energy standards for schools.”

Study findings

  • Teachers rated the ICLS favorably, particularly at the K-12 level.
  • Electricians characterized ICLS as “easy to install.”
  • The ICLS reduced energy consumption reduced by 52% from current national energy code levels and 58% from New York State energy standards for schools.

DELTA publication

The LRC publication, Field Test DELTA: Classroom Lighting is available at no charge online at www.lrc.rpi.edu/programs/delta/publications/publicationsDetails.asp?id=918&cat=17. A list of all DELTA (Demonstration and Evaluation of Lighting Technologies and Applications) program publications is at www.lrc.rpi.edu/programs/DELTA/publications/. DELTA publications illustrate a wide array of effective applications for a variety of common building types. The DELTA program Web site is at www.lrc.rpi.edu/programs/DELTA.

About Finelite, Inc. (www.finelite.com)

Finelite designs and builds sustainable, energy-efficient lighting systems for offices and high performance schools. Finelite is known for award-winning research and innovations, leadership in lean manufacturing, and excellence in customer service. Finelite is a values-driven company focused on Service, Innovation, Quality, Respect, and Initiative. Finelite is privately held and has demonstrated superior results in sales growth, profits, and return on equity over 15 years. The company is located at 30500 Whipple Road, Union City, CA 94587.

About NYSERDA (www.nyserda.org)

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), established in 1975 as a public benefit corporation, provides energy-related technical and financial packaging assistance to businesses and institutions to promote energy efficiency and economic development, as well as providing energy research and development programs that promote safe and economical energy production efficiency technologies in New York State.


About the Lighting Research Center
The Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is the world's leading center for lighting research and education. Established in 1988 by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the LRC has been pioneering research in solid-state lighting, light and health, transportation lighting and safety, and energy efficiency for nearly 30 years. LRC lighting scientists with multidisciplinary expertise in research, technology, design, and human factors, collaborate with a global network of leading manufacturers and government agencies, developing innovative lighting solutions for projects that range from the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to U.S. Navy submarines to hospital neonatal intensive-care units. LRC researchers conduct independent, third-party testing of lighting products in the LRC's state of the art photometric laboratories, the only university lighting laboratories accredited by the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP Lab Code: 200480-0). In 1990, the LRC became the first university research center to offer graduate degrees in lighting and today, offers a M.S. in lighting and a Ph.D. to educate future leaders in lighting. With 35 full-time faculty and staff, 15 graduate students, and a 30,000 sq. ft. laboratory space, the LRC is the largest university-based lighting research and education organization in the world.

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824, is America’s first technological research university. The university offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in engineering; the sciences; information technology and web sciences; architecture; management; and the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Rensselaer faculty advance research in a wide range of fields, with an emphasis on biotechnology, nanotechnology, computational science and engineering, data science, and the media arts and technology. The Institute has an established record of success in the transfer of technology from the laboratory to the marketplace, fulfilling its founding mission of applying science “to the common purposes of life.”