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Troy, NY -  4/19/2001

LRC Students help Community fight Crime

Students of the Lighting Research Center are working with residents of Troy to shed some light, quite literally, on criminal activity in the city. In response to increasing concerns about drug trafficking and other safety issues in Troy, LRC graduate students met today at the Lighting Research Center with homeowners, tenants, neighborhood association representatives, community police, and others to determine how best to improve safety and overall quality of life.

LRC adjunct professor Howard Brandston, who is a world-renowned architecture lighting designer, directed the graduate students in their presentation to the community. Among his well-known projects, Brandston designed the lighting for the Statue of Liberty.

According to Troy police, residents in the area have been reporting illegal activities, such as drug dealing, gambling, and prostitution in various neighborhoods, particularly in stretch between 15th and 9th streets. Many people have asked that the wattage in streetlights be increased to deter activities in dark alleys and other hard-to-see areas.

But Professor Brandston says simply increasing wattage of the streetlights is not enough to decrease crime. "Lighting must be well thought out and well designed for it to be effective," says Brandston. Troy Police Officer Mike Carnevale says RPI’s Lighting Research Center is going to be essential in helping Troy to develop an effective lighting system. "Why should we go anywhere else," says Carnevale. "RPI has the technology and the minds to make the community at large a better place to live."

Rensselaer and the city of Troy may use the students’ proposals to seek funding from public and private sources for implementation.

About the Lighting Research Center
The Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is the world's leading center for lighting research and education. Established in 1988 by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the LRC conducts research in light and human health, transportation lighting and safety, solid-state lighting, energy efficiency, and plant health. LRC lighting scientists with multidisciplinary expertise in research, technology, design, and human factors, collaborate with a global network of leading manufacturers and government agencies, developing innovative lighting solutions for projects that range from the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to U.S. Navy submarines to hospital neonatal intensive-care units. In 1990, the LRC became the first university research center to offer graduate degrees in lighting and today, offers a M.S. in lighting and a Ph.D. to educate future leaders in lighting. Learn more at

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America's first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, 32 research centers, more than 145 academic programs, and a dynamic community made up of more than 7,900 students and more than 100,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include more than 145 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration.