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LRC News

Winter 2011
LRC presents findings to Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies

John Bullough, LRC senior research scientist and adjunct assistant professor presented two papers at the 90th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies in Washington, the week of January 24, 2011. These papers, co-authored by LRC Senior Research Specialist Nicholas Skinner, both address the increasing use of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in roadway transportation applications.

The first paper, "Evaluation of Light-Emitting Diode Warning Beacons for Maintenance Vehicles," summarizes a recent LRC study of LED beacons on maintenance trucks. The LED beacon lights provide equivalent information for closure detection to other drivers, but use substantially less energy, allowing transportation agencies to turn trucks off rather than idle when parked at roadway work zones. This results in lower fuel costs and fewer greenhouse gas emissions. The TRB has recognized this paper as a "Practice-Ready Paper," meaning the results could be implemented immediately by departments of transportation.

The second paper, "Luminance Criteria and Measurement Considerations for Light-Emitting Diode Billboards," describes field measurements of LED and conventional billboards with the aim of identifying criteria for limiting the luminance of LED billboards to minimize distraction and glare from these signs, increasingly found along our nation's highways. The data from this study can be used to ensure that LED billboards will, at a minimum, be no higher in luminance than conventional billboards during both daytime and nighttime.

Abstracts of these papers can be found on the TRB website at the following links:

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

Contact:lrcnewsletter@rpi.eduPhotos & Graphics:Dennis Guyon
Editor:Mary CimoWeb Production:Dennis Guyon
Contributing Writers:Jennifer Taylor, Mary Cimo, Dennis Guyon
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