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Troy, N.Y. -  10/30/2013

NLPIP Releases Report on Plasma Lighting Systems

Plasma lamps tested by NLPIPThe National Lighting Product Information Program (NLPIP) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Lighting Research Center (LRC) recently released its latest publication, Lighting Answers: Plasma Lighting Systems. Plasma lighting systems, also known as electrodeless high-intensity discharge, light-emitting plasma, high-efficiency plasma, or advanced plasma lighting are emerging in the marketplace primarily for high-bay and outdoor lighting applications.  Many specifiers and others involved with lighting technologies have heard of plasma lighting systems, but would like more information on how plasma compares with other light sources, regarding performance characteristics such as light output, system efficacy, color characteristics, lumen maintenance, and rated life. Lighting Answers: Plasma Lighting Systems provides straightforward information on these performance characteristics and others such as operating orientation, dimming, warm-up and restrike times, electromagnetic compatibility, and ultraviolet radiation.

The report details findings from NLPIP’s study of plasma lighting systems, conducted from 2012 to 2013, and responses from a survey of more than 300 lighting specifiers who provided their opinions on the application of plasma lighting systems and information on any installations they had evaluated.

Key findings include:
  • Purchasing plasma lighting systems can be difficult.
  • The tested plasma lighting systems have system efficacies comparable to conventional sources used for high-bay and outdoor lighting applications.
  • The tested plasma lighting systems have color rendering characteristics comparable to conventional sources although they have a greenish-white tint.
  • The tested plasma lighting systems could be dimmed but dimming impacts color and system efficacy.

“NLPIP’s mission is to rapidly provide the best information available on energy-efficient lighting products,” said Leora Radetsky, LRC research scientist, principal investigator, and author of the report. “This plasma lighting systems report provides independent, objective and reliable information not found elsewhere that is critical for specifiers, electric utilities, and others involved with lighting technologies to understand how best to incorporate this emerging technology.”

The report was sponsored by the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

Lighting Answers: Plasma Lighting Systems is available free to the public, courtesy of the above sponsors, at: http://www.lrc.rpi.edu/nlpip/publicationDetails.asp?id=936&type=2.

About the National Lighting Product Information Program (NLPIP)
NLPIP, the National Lighting Product Information Program, helps lighting professionals, contractors, designers, building managers, homeowners, and other consumers find and effectively use efficient, quality products that meet their lighting needs. With the support of government agencies, public benefit organizations, and electric utilities, NLPIP disseminates objective, accurate, timely, manufacturer-specific information about energy-efficient lighting products. Established by the Lighting Research Center in 1990, NLPIP team members are LRC researchers—leading experts in efficient lighting, human factors and technology transfer. The NLPIP product testing laboratory is a non-manufacturer, NVLAP-accredited lab (NVLAP Lab Code: 200480-0). NLPIP's research and product testing has included many products such as compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), T5 fluorescent systems, metal halide lamps, dimming ballasts, and occupancy sensors, as well as timely subjects such as light pollution, full-spectrum light sources, and light sources and color. 

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.”