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

Vol. 2, No. 1

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

LRC Personnel Make Their Own "Passage to India"

Dr. Nadarajah Narendran, director of research for the LRC; LRC Acting Director Russ Leslie; and lighting students Ujjiaini Dasgupta and Swampna Sundaram went to New Delhi, India, for Lux Pacifica 2002, held September 9 through 11, 2002. Narendran gave the keynote address on the history, technology, and development of solid-state lighting. His talk was a comprehensive presentation of current technical developments, manufacturing trends, and immediate applications of solid-state lighting. Afterward he led a panel discussion at which other experts presented their views. Conference organizers hope to promote the use of solid-state lighting in all the Lux Pacifica countries and regions: the U.S., Russia, Japan, China, Korea, India, Australaia, and Thailand.

Leslie, also an invited keynote speaker, gave a presentation entitled "Lighting Matters," which was an overview of current lighting research and how it might respond to the lighting trends of the future. Leslie described both the obstacles and the opportunities that lighting professionals will face in the future. "Lighting will become increasingly important for society as time goes on," he says. "Research that demonstrates the value of lighting must be disseminated because good lighting techniques can do things like help older adults live independently and improve health and safety for everyone. New lighting technologies can alleviate electric load congestion at peak times, and it's vital that we get the word out." Leslie also led a workshop on office lighting.

Dasgupta spoke on the effect of windows on mood and performance of judgmental tasks. Sundaram presented a new design metric to evaluate sky glow. Both their papers are available in the conference proceedings.

Dasgupta and Sundaram weren't the only LRC students involved in the trip to India. It was Abhay Wadhwa, a graduate of the masters in lighting program and chair of the Illuminating Engineering Society's International Relations Committee, who initiated the collaboration between the LRC and Lux Pacifica. Wadhwa, currently a principal with the firm Available Light in New York City, also presented at the conference.

In addition to speaking at the conference, Narendran met with several representatives of the Indian government. First he met with Shashi Shekhar, director of the Ministry of Power to discuss a potential collaboration between the LRC and the Indian government to advance their energy-saving efforts. "The Indian government has decided to reduce the total energy load in all government buildings by 2005," Narendran reports. "Energy-efficient lighting will be an important part of this effort, and we think we can help. They're aware of our NLPIP and PEARL programs, and they don't want to reinvent the wheel when it would be more efficient to tap into our expertise instead."

Next he met with Professor V. S. Ramamurthy, the Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology to discuss an exchange of students and young scientists to produce trained lighting professionals who have an international perspective. "We get many students from India in our masters in lighting program," Narendran says. "They think very highly of the LRC in India, and they want to take advantage of the training and the know how we can offer."

Finally, Narendran went to India's National Physical Laboratory, which is equivalent to the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the U.S. There he explored other possible collaborations between the Indian government and the LRC.

In the summer of 2000, the LRC held a two-week training program in lighting technology, applications, and human factors for a group of students from India. Narendran and Leslie were happy to see that some of the graduates of that course were at the conference. One of them took the LRC group to see the lighting design he had done for a popular chain of coffee shops after completing the course. Narendran says, "It really is a small world. What will come out of all this international exchange is a continuing working relationship between the LRC and lighting professionals in India. At the same time, it was an education for those of us in the LRC delegation to see how lighting is done in other parts of the world and how precious it is over there. There and in other parts of the world, very few people can even afford to have lighting. We are very privileged in the U.S."

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