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                             Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


Contact:   Rebekah Mullaney
Lighting Research Center
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mullar2@rpi.edu
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Troy, N.Y. -  12/16/2013

New Light and Health Alliance at LRC

The Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has launched a new collaborative initiative—the Light and Health Alliance—to bridge the science of light and health to practical applications, and to provide objective information based on basic and applied research. The Alliance is led by Dr. Mariana Figueiro, LRC Light and Health Program director and associate professor at Rensselaer.

Light has a profound effect on health and wellbeing, including sleep, alertness, and performance. Humans need to be exposed to a sufficient amount of light of the right spectrum, for a sufficient amount of time, and at the right time, for the circadian system to remain synchronized with the 24-hour day. The LRC is researching light as a treatment for a variety of conditions, including jet lag, Alzheimer’s disease, insomnia and other sleep disorders, seasonal affective disorder and depression. Light can be used to improve sleep, alertness, and performance, along with overall health and wellbeing among the general population, and in populations with rigorous work schedules, such as submariners and night shift nurses. 

“Through this collaborative initiative, we will conduct evaluations, demonstrations, and research projects to develop practical devices and applications using light to improve people’s lives,” said Dr. Figueiro. “We will also hold seminars and present at conferences to educate key audiences and advance attention to light and health.”

The Light and Health Alliance is a collaboration among manufacturers, government organizations and NGOs, codes and standards bodies, along with architects, specifiers, medical facility managers and physicians, working to enable the broad adoption of lighting for human health by producing factual information based on basic and applied research and by visualizing future applications. Acuity Brands, Ketra, OSRAM SYLVANIA, and Philips are current members. Dr. Figueiro is seeking interested organizations to join this innovative program. Please email figuem@rpi.edu for details about becoming a member.


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.”