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Contact:   Rebekah Mullaney
Lighting Research Center
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mullar2@rpi.edu
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Troy, NY -  7/25/2001

Rensselaer's Lighting Research Center Web Site Tops Google™ Search Rankings

Summary: The LRC's web site at www.lrc.rpi.edu is ranked first among sites about "lighting" by the popular Google™ web search engine. Over 1000 people visit the LRC site each day.

The most popular search engine in America has ranked Rensselaer's Lighting Research Center (LRC) first among web sites about lighting. The Mountain View, California-based Google™ search engine (at www.google.com) places the LRC site above well-funded corporate sites. The LRC's site, at www.lrc.rpi.edu, offers free, objective information on a wide variety of lighting topics, including lighting for older adults, lighting products for commercial buildings, and lighting for roadways and automobiles. The Lighting Research Center is part of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's School of Architecture.

According to Great Britain's Sunday Business magazine, in April Google surpassed Alta Vista and other rivals such as Lycos and Ask Jeeves to become the most popular search engine in America. Google uses a proprietary method to rank web pages based on how many other sites on the Internet link to them. This method effectively finds the most authoritative sites first, and has earned Google "a cult reputation as the fastest and most accurate in cyberspace," according to the Sunday Business. "The search engine has the ability to pinpoint exactly the right information in seconds, and such is its popularity that Google's three huge servers now handle an average of 100 million inquiries every day."

When users type in "lighting" as their search topic, the LRC site quickly pops up as the first result. According to LRC Director of Information Technology Robert Wolsey, the most popular search topics entered by visitors to the site include residential lighting, office lighting, fiber optics, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and traffic signals.

"We have over a 1000 visitors per day, most of them visiting for the first time. More of them find us through Google than all the rest of the major search engines combined," said Wolsey. "To keep them coming back, we're adding new information all the time, like lighting tips for older adults, evaluations of compact fluorescent lamps, info on photosensor dimming systems, and the facts about bright blue headlights. It's all free and it's from an objective source."

Another popular search engine, Yahoo!, has licensed Google's search technology, so the LRC is ranked first there, as well. The LRC site also ranks well among sites about lighting at other search engines, including Lycos (LRC ranked 3rd), Alta Vista (LRC ranked 10th) and Direct Hit (LRC ranked 11th), which counts click-throughs by its own visitors to rank sites.


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.”