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LRC News

Fall 2007
Research News
Thinking Inside the Box: A New Look at Light Pollution
OSP Calculation Box

As more and more communities tackle the issue of light pollution, they are enacting new laws that often restrict the type of luminaires (light fixtures) allowed for outdoor lighting. But are these restrictions actually reducing light pollution?

To answer that, the LRC has developed Outdoor Site (Lighting) Performance, or OSP, a comprehensive framework for quantifying light pollution for specific installations.  Full story. . .

LEDs for Airport Taxiways
LED taxiway light prototype

In recent years, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has targeted LEDs as a promising option for many airport and airfield lighting applications, especially those requiring colored light. Yet, LED-based taxiway fixtures have one drawback: they do not radiate enough heat to melt snow and ice buildup on the fixtures. As a result, LED-based taxiway lights often incorporate electric heaters to meet FAA requirements for weatherability. However, this negates any energy savings that come from using LEDs.

In a project sponsored by the FAA and its Center of Excellence for Airport Technology, the LRC explored new taxiway fixture designs that could transfer heat from the LEDs to the glass optics, eliminating the need for heaters during winter months.  Full story. . .

NLPIP releases Specifier Reports: Photosensors

The National Lighting Product Information Program (NLPIP) has released Specifier Reports: Photosensors. This new report updates information found in the original report on photosensors published in 1998. Photosensor technology has advanced significantly, and interest in photosensors has increased dramatically over the years. A growing desire to create sustainable buildings has led to the current trend in building design of increasing emphasis on daylit spaces that use lighting controls to reduce electrical energy needs.

This new report presents the findings of testing conducted by NLPIP on the latest photosensor products and provides information to assist in the selection, setup, and general understanding of photosensors. It also includes data sheets on each photosensor product tested and discussed by NLPIP. 

Specifier Reports: Photosensors is available online.

Compilation of “Research Matters” Articles
Cover of "Research Matters" A Compilation of Articles published in LD+A magazine

The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) has published a compilation of “Research Matters” articles, written by LRC staff and originally published in LD+A magazine between December 2002 and September 2006.

The compilation consists of 42 articles written as regular columns by Yukio Akashi, John Bullough, Mariana Figueiro, Conan O’Rourke, and John Van Derlofske. Topics range from energy efficiency to human factors to automotive and street lighting to light pollution and more, and a special article celebrates the 100th anniversary of the IES. Timely and interesting when they were first published, these articles will have a lasting impact on lighting design and application. Although scholarly, they are easy to read and provide practical information for a broad audience.  Full story. . .

Industry Supporting LRC’s Lighting Education Programs
Graduate students at the LRC are benefiting from support by the lighting industry. An important part of the LRC’s mission is to educate future leaders in lighting. Through Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the LRC offers one-and-two-year master’s degrees and a doctoral degree. Three scholarships have been awarded this year from the Alliance for Solid-State Illumination Systems and Technologies (ASSIST), Lutron Electronics Company, and W.A.C. Lighting.  Full story . . .

Color Rendering: A Tale of Two Metrics
Study subject arranges color tiles to determine a light source's ability to render colors

LRC researchers examined color rendering index (CRI) and other metrics of color rendering to determine how useful they are at predicting subjective judgments of how “natural” objects appear, how “vivid” objects appear, and how well one can discriminate between subtle differences in hues. Results indicate that using a combination of lighting metrics is more effective than relying on a single measurement. A scientific paper on the subject will appear in the journal, Color Research and Application.  Full story. . .

Reducing the Transmission of Airborne Diseases and Bioterrorism Agents in Buildings
Building systems can be designed to reduce transmission of airborne diseases such as tuberculosis and influenza and to help defend against bioterrorism agents such as anthrax. That is the message in a new publication, recently completed by the LRC, summarizing field research about an ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) system installed in the ductwork of a retail space in New York City.

With funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the study was conducted in collaboration with the Tuberculosis Ultraviolet Shelter Study of St. Vincent’s Hospital—Manhattan and the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH).

The publication, Field Evaluation of Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) in an Air Duct System, is available online.

About the Lighting Research Center

The Lighting Research Center (LRC) is part of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of Troy, N.Y., and is the leading university-based research center devoted to lighting. The LRC offers the world's premier graduate education in lighting, including one- and two-year master's programs and a Ph.D. program. Since 1988 the LRC has built an international reputation as a reliable source for objective information about lighting technologies, applications, and products. The LRC also provides training programs for government agencies, utilities, contractors, lighting designers, and other lighting professionals. Visit www.lrc.rpi.edu.

Contact:lrcnewsletter@rpi.eduPhotos & Graphics:Dennis Guyon
Editor:Keith ToomeyWeb Production:Joann Coffey
Contributing Writers:Jennifer Taylor, Keith Toomey
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