Lighting Research Center

Advancing the effective use of light for society and the environment

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Educational Opportunities

The Daylight Institute

Tools and Techniques for Sustainable Daylighting

The Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is offering the Daylight Institute, a one-day seminar on daylighting design. The seminar is geared toward architects, lighting designers, and other professionals who are interested in designing sustainable daylighted buildings and in successfully incorporating daylight harvesting control systems into their building and lighting designs.

The seminar will include interactive lectures, demonstrations, case study reviews and practical sessions that will involve participants in the process of daylighting design and analysis. Participants will also learn about software tools that they can use to assist them in daylighting design, economic analysis, and the selection and specification of daylight harvesting control systems.

Each session of the Daylight Institute will run from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The seminar is designed to provide information to architects, engineers, lighting designers, and other building design professionals who are interested in learning the latest information on the design of well-daylighted buildings. Information contained in this seminar will help architects to:

  • Effectively design and evaluate options to improve daylight access and penetration in buildings; understand the impact of building site, building configuration, window and skylight configuration, materials, and glazing type on daylight penetration;
  • Design effective sun control systems to minimize glare and heat gain in daylighted spaces;
  • Understand the economic impacts of various daylighting options and the costs and benefits of each; analyze the impact of various daylighting options on building costs, energy use, and indoor environmental quality;
  • Objectively quantify the financial and human benefits of daylighting for building owners and developers; effectively communicate the value of daylighting to building owners, developers, and other decision-makers.

The Lighting Research Center will announce new dates for the Daylight Institute in Spring 2016.

Registration / Session Dates and Locations

The cost of the session is $1000 for those outside New York State, and is $125 for those who live or work in New York State. This will include continental breakfast and lunch as well as all course materials. To reserve your place at the Daylight Institute, complete the registration form and include payment information. Sessions are limited to 30 participants each, so please register early to ensure your reservation.

Participants will earn 7.5 AIA Health, Safety, Welfare Learning Units (LUs/HSW) for attending the Daylight Institute.

AIA New York State logo

Course Agenda




Arrival, continental breakfast


Introductions and remarks


Daylighting overview


Building orientation




Glazing terminology, side lighting and top lighting


Lighting software review for daylighting analyses and shading studies


Electric lighting control strategies




Exercise: Daylight controls simulation and demonstration


Daylighting trends in codes and voluntary building certification programs




Case studies and references


Light and health implications


Q & A





About the Instructors

The following LRC faculty and staff have developed the curriculum for the Daylight Institute.

Daniel Frering, LC
Daniel Frering is the director of grants development and educational programs for the LRC where he directs the Outreach and Graduate Education Programs including teaching, and course and curriculum development. Mr. Frering holds a graduate degree in education and has also studied lighting as part of the Master of Science in Lighting program at the LRC. He has received his “Lighting Certification” (LC) from the National Council on Qualifications for the Lighting Professions (NCQLP). He also currently serves as a member of the Council of NCQLP. Mr. Frering teaches courses and seminars in lighting technology, daylighting, control systems, lighting applications, and economic analysis. His current research includes the evaluation of daylighting technologies, photovoltaic outdoor lighting systems, and energy-efficient lighting for commercial buildings.

Russell P. Leslie, AIA, FIES, LC
Professor Leslie is the associate director of the LRC. He is a practicing architect licensed in Vermont and New York and has been project architect for more than one-hundred architectural projects and planning studies. He teaches courses in lighting, daylighting, environmental systems, design, construction systems, and research and has served as Director of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America. Professor Leslie is the author of The Lighting Pattern Book for Homes, The Outdoor Lighting Pattern Book, and more than 50 papers, articles, and reports on daylight, lighting, architecture, and energy. Professor Leslie was also coauthor of Daylighting – A Resource Book, which was the first comprehensive compilation of daylighting resources to help architects focus on daylighting in the conceptual stages of building design.

Professor Leslie has taught courses in daylighting within the School of Architecture at Rensselaer for the past 25 years. He was one of the founding members of the Daylighting Network of North America in the 1980’s and has provided consultation and technical assistance to architects and engineers throughout the Northeast since that time.

Leora Radetsky, LC
With an extensive background in photometry, daylighting, and lighting software, Ms. Radetsky brings over ten years of experience to the LRC. She serves as the Vice-chair of the IESNA Roadway Lighting Measurements & Calculations subcommittee. Since joining the LRC, Leora's invaluable expertise and technical guidance are evident on several research and design projects.


These Daylight Institute seminars have been made possible through funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

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