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About Us

Explore our history

The Lighting Research Center (LRC) was founded in 1988 with core funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) with a mission to advance the effective use of light and create a positive legacy for society and the environment. As part of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the Lighting Research Center (LRC) has built an international reputation as an independent, objective, third party research and education center providing reliable information about lighting technologies, applications, and products.

The LRC moved from the Rensselaer campus in 1992 to a facility across the Hudson River in Watervliet, New York. Its rapid growth, however, prompted the LRC to find a new home back in Troy in 2000. Now occupying two floors in the W. L. & E. Gurley Precision Instrument Building in downtown Troy, LRC researchers continue to lead efforts to find better ways to provide energy-efficient and effective lighting worldwide.

LRC programs and projects have changed lighting practice and have improved the energy efficiency, quality, and effectiveness of lighting. The LRC’s research into architectural and optical design applications, system development, product testing, and human factors often identifies needs that could be met by new technologies and product improvements.

The Lighting Research Center has forged strong ties with public benefit organizations, manufacturers, utilities, and government agencies. Through this collaboration, the LRC has developed customized research and education programs to meet the needs of society and industry. The LRC has been called “an outstanding example of what public-private sector partnerships can contribute by linking science, government, and industry to achieve shared objectives.”




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