Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

The Lighting Technology Greenhouse(ST8480-1)

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute-LRC


The trend towards consolidation within the lighting industry, and the pressure for immediate or substantial return on investment has resulted in a decrease in Research and Development (R&D) of new and innovative lighting products. Consequently many lighting products that could save substantial amounts of energy are often never brought to market.

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Project Description

Before the project begins, the Lighting Research Center (LRC) in collaboration with NYSERDA, will identify and enlist key players (e.g., lighting manufacturers, Energy Service Companies (ESCOs), funding sources, including entities interested in economic development) to serve as an advisory board. NYSERDA will serve on the board. The board will meet and determine by consensus the feasibility, and if necessary help refine the scope of the project. NYSERDA does not fund any tasks until the board has determined that the project is feasible. In addition, if NYSERDA deems if financially prudent to enlist the services of outside consulting to help in the development of the business plan, a portion of the funding (75K) will be reserved for these services. The project will result in the development of a business plan for a sustainable program to aid start-up lighting manufacturers, a key element of which will emphasize acquisition of non-NYSERDA funding (e.g., National Science Foundation ( NSF) and other funding agencies). The LRC has already received the commitment of two lighting manufacturers (General Electric and Lightolier) for $75,000 each, over a three year period.


Benefits include economic development within the State of New York, offering the potential benefits of an agglomeration economy (locating key players in close geographical proximity offers the potential for reduction of costs associated with goods and services), and the potential for substantial energy savings from commercialized products. The deliverable is a business plan.

Project Results

The Lighting Research Center (LRC), in collaboration with NYSERDA, solicited the involvement of key players in the lighting industry (including lighting manufacturers, ESCOs, and funding entities interested in economic development) to serve as an advisory board. The board met and determined the feasibility of establishing a lighting technology greenhouse, and the scope of services that such a center should provide to lighting companies in New York State. The board recommended that a technology greenhouse be established to interface between businesses in New York State and the LRC, as well as facilitate a transfer of knowledge and advance new product ideas through collaborative research, development, and commercialization activities. The project resulted in a final report that concluded the success of the lighting technology greenhouse is dependent on strong financial support from NYSERDA and New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR), and collaboration with the Saratoga Technology and Energy Park (STEP), large, established manufacturers, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the LRC.


Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute-LRC
21 Union St
Troy, NY 12180

Principle Investigator

Mark Rae

Universities Involved

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


Project Type:

Research Study

Technologies Types:

NYSERDA Contact Information

Marsha Walton


R&D - Buildings Research

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST8480-1

Last Updated: 2/8/2011 1