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Troy, N.Y. -  6/28/2006

ASSIST Draws Global Support to Advance the Applications of LED Technology

Cree, Inc., the Federal Aviation Administration, and Seoul Semiconductor Co., Ltd. are new sponsors of the Alliance for Solid-State Illumination Systems and Technologies (ASSIST), a collaboration of researchers, manufacturers, and government organizations designed to identify and reduce major technical hurdles and help light-emitting diode (LED) technology gain widespread use in lighting applications.

ASSIST was established in 2002 by the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The LRC conducts a wide range of research projects, demonstrations and evaluations, and educational activities on behalf of ASSIST.

“ASSIST is working in parallel with manufacturers and the applications community to help improve LED product performance while identifying good quality products that provide value to the end user,” said Nadarajah Narendran, Ph.D., LRC director of research. “Successful LED applications will help rapidly transform the market.”

LED lighting offers many benefits, including energy and maintenance savings, long life, durability, safety, and flexibility. As a first step toward establishing the means for product consistency and reliability, ASSIST created ASSIST Recommends, a research initiative to develop formal recommendations about issues important for LED performance and applications. ASSIST published its first set of recommendations in 2005 for defining and measuring LED life for general illumination.

The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance recently signed on as a new sponsor of the ASSIST Recommends initiative to help fund research for future recommendations. Under this initiative, LRC is conducting research to identify metrics for evaluating LED systems which then would be used for developing guidelines for testing and evaluating LED luminaires.

According to Narendran, ASSIST will continue to work to ensure that people understand the benefits and complexities of using LEDs for lighting by disseminating research results, case studies, and guidelines. One example of the program’s emphasis on education is the ASSIST-sponsored LED Lighting Institute, an intensive three-day workshop where participants start by learning LED basics and progress to hands-on lab sessions where they design and build their own LED fixtures using the newest LED products on the market.

Existing ASSIST sponsors working with the LRC to synthesize LED technology and real-world applications include Boeing, GELcore, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, NICHIA America Corporation, OSRAM SYLVANIA, Philips Lighting, and United States Environmental Protection Agency.

To learn more about ASSIST, please visit www.lrc.rpi.edu/programs/solidstate/assist/. A free download of “ASSIST recommends: LED Life for General Lighting” is available on the LRC Web site at www.lrc.rpi.edu/programs/solidstate/assist/recommends.asp.

About LED Technology
LEDs are made of semiconductor chips and emit light when a current passes through them. LED lighting offers many benefits, such as energy savings, long life, and durability. LED lighting systems are very effective in applications where brightness, visibility, and small size are important. Typically used for exit signs and traffic signals, LED systems are increasingly being used for small-area general lighting as well.

Lighting applications that use light-emitting diodes are referred to as solid-state lighting (SSL). According to the U.S. Department of Energy, by 2025, SSL could displace general illumination light sources such as incandescent and fluorescent lamps, decreasing national energy consumption for lighting by 29 percent. To learn more about the ground-breaking SSL research taking place at the LRC, visit its SSL Web site at www.lrc.rpi.edu/programs/solidstate/.

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.”