Lighting Research Center

Advancing the effective use of light for society and the environment

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Abhay Wadhwa
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Principal, AWA Lighting Designers

Abhay Wadhwa, Founder and Design Principal of AWA Lighting Designers, sees lighting beyond its intended purpose. Here he crafts a story using lighting design and technology to create moments of experience, that factor into the psyche and emotions of those who work, live or visit the spaces designed by AWA. Abhay, who works with an international roster of architecture clients, is global in his focus, but insists that all his design concepts respect and honor the local culture and building processes, highlighting nuances that are unique to the place the design will reside.

M.S., Lighting, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; B. Arch. Sir JJ College of Architecture, Mumbai University, Mumbai, India.

Research interests:
Abhay trained as an architect, but found lighting design to be his calling. He is inspired by the cultural and emotional effect of lighting. His passion for light design is evident, whether it be the Sixth Crossing Bridge in Dubai, the tallest single arch span bridge in the world, or the Monsoon Bar with its breathtaking "light carpet" effect, every project adds ambience to the conversation of light and design. Even the LED retrofitting of NYC's Holland Tunnel creates a journey of scientific advances combined with beauty, touching the lives of daily commuters.

Abhay established his design studio in 2002, and today leads multiple global projects and a collaborative highly skilled team of trained light designers and engineers in North America, India, and the Middle East. Based in Brooklyn, NY, he is a widely respected leader in LED technology application and infrastructural solutions. He works extensively with the world's leading architecture and design firms in the fields of commercial and mixed-use developments, urban planning, transportation, infrastructure, hospitality, and health care. He is an internationally acclaimed keynote speaker, educator and author of numerous advanced light engineering and cultural lighting articles, and he has worked with the United Nations Foundation on projects that address issues that marginalize many of the world's population. Most recently, Abhay's company, AWA, was asked to work with the Rural Haiti Project and Ethiopia's Mary Joy Aid through Development to improve the infrastructure, and, in turn, the lives of its residents.

Professional memberships:
Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA), Associate AIA Member IESNA Roadway and Tunnel Lighting Committee, US Green Building Council, Indian Society of Lighting Engineers (ISLE).

International Illumination Design Association (IIDA) Awards; Lumen Award; Paul Waterbury Award of Excellence (for lighting the George Washington Bridge towers in NY and NJ).

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