Advancing the effective use of light for society and the environment.

Vol. 2, No. 2

Thursday, April 17, 2003

LRC builds relationships with IDA and others to reduce light pollution

Two representatives of the LRC appeared at the International Dark-Sky Association's (IDA's) annual meeting in Tucson, Arizona, held March 20 through the 23, 2003. LRC Director Dr. Mark Rea gave a presentation on the spectral response of the eye at mesopic light levels. He made the point that researchers should have the right photometry tools for what they want to study. Lighting researcher Dr. Michele McColgan discussed the many light pollution projects currently underway at the LRC. These projects include guidelines to help municipalities reduce light pollution, a recent light pollution seminar, a new Lighting Answers on the subject, and research projects to study illuminated signs and to develop a new light pollution index.

"There were about 70 people at my talk," McColgan says, "and the response was favorable. People were happy to see that the LRC was going forward with research on light pollution and providing resources to others."

One issue of concern at the meeting was the need for researchers to identify gaps in the current body of light pollution research. "Also," says McColgan, "people would like to see an objective, peer-reviewed body of information that would include the results of research, design guides, and legislative reviews." Such a collection of work would be a natural project for the LRC, but not the LRC alone. McColgan continues, "It would be our work and other organizations' work, too, all of which would be peer reviewed by experts in the field."

Such a body of work is yet to be developed and collected in one place, but for now the IDA has agreed to provide funding for the LRC to investigate a new sky glow measurement tool, and they've asked for the LRC's input to their committee on sky glow. McColgan is hopeful that these positive relationships will continue to build. "We're working with astronomers," she says, "and we're working with manufacturers of lighting equipment who are interested in funding work to reduce light pollution. There's a lot of interest in this issue from a wide group of people."

About the LRC

The Lighting Research Center (LRC) is part of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and is the leading university-based research center devoted to lighting. Founded in 1988, the Lighting Research Center has built an international reputation as a trusted and reliable source for objective information about lighting technologies, applications, and products. Its mission is to advance the effective use of light and create a positive legacy of change for society and the environment

2003 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180 USA.

Rennselear Polytechnic Institute